Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Sometimes, my life is infested with plot bunnies.
Which is not a bad thing. I like plot bunnies. They make my days more interesting. Exciting, even, because the thing about plot bunnies – and possibly why they’re called plot bunnies – is because they multiply at dazzling speeds. Where this morning you only had one, suddenly you’ve got this:
And therein lies the problem.
Too many bunnies is not a good thing. It’s overwhelming. It’s chaotic. And while all things are created from primordial chaos – who remembers the opening credits of Monkey Magic? – what you need to turn a plot bunny into a book is order.
First, you need to separate a plot bunny from the herd. (Bonus points if anyone knows the collective noun for bunnies. I’m going to vote for a cuddle. A cuddle of bunnies.)
Then you need to cage it so that it can’t escape.
And then you need to give it everything it needs to transform from a plot bunny into an actual book.
The germ of an idea isn’t enough.
Where’s your world building?
Where’s your character development?
Where’s your theme? Where’s your action?
Make your bunny earn his keep. It doesn’t matter how cute he is. Cute doesn’t cut it any more. Test him. Is he clever? Is he agile? Is he strong enough to carry an entire storyline?
If he’s not, then let him go. He wasn’t ready.
But it doesn’t matter. There are eleventy-billion other plot bunnies out there, just waiting for you to catch them. And one of them will work for you. With odds like that, how can it not?