Sunday, 17 February 2013

Revisiting the Bunnies - The Quiz

My bunny question was introduced after my interrogations had got going, so I decided to revisit it and ask the authors the question they wished they had been asked.  Two authors named their book in the answer, so the number of authors listed is more than the bunnies quoted, so the authors that answered (and can perhaps remember their answers) can play along too.

So, match the author to the answer to this insightful question:

“How do you manage plot bunnies (ideas that invade your mind that aren’t usually helpful to the story you’re writing but breed” 

Bunny No. 1
Ah, the bunny question...
Plot bunnies. They do pop up whenever they want, no matter what you're working on. They are most likely to appear just before you fall asleep and make their little bunny noises. Darn those varmints (to quote Yosemite Sam). How many sleeps have been interrupted.
Well, I have a way to electronically take care of them. Whenever I do get a plot bunny I don't call in the hunters. I just pick up my iPod and send an email to myself. Then I save them all in a file that I go over as I'm writing the book.
But you have to be careful when you open that file. Sometimes the bunny jumps right out!

Bunny No. 2
I guess I'm pretty sparse with my writing at the best of times, preferring to concentrate more on moving the plot forwards, so I guess I shoot dead anything that isn't helpful to the story. Cruel to be kind, to both the story and the reader. But if an idea does crop up that seems good, I might make a note of it for another story, burying my little bunny until such time as I can resurrect it.  

Bunny No. 3
I have a notebook filled with scribbles that my bunnies make me do. It's got one-liners, ideas for scenes, conversations, plots, etc, all stuffed into it. I hope the police don't find it if they raid my house...could be rather incriminating! 

Bunny No. 4
I tend to just make a note of plot bunnies to get them out of my mind and get on with the main thread of the story. Sometimes plot bunnies are really useful because they indicate a missed opportunity. Other times they need shooting... better the 12 bore than a book bore.

Bunny No. 5
I've tried ignoring plot bunnies - honest, I have - but they're just so cute with their wide eyes and their little snuffles. "Make your heroine a talking carrot, please!" they sing. Usually, I make a note to explore their idea at a later date and then get back to the task at hand. There's going to be a mutiny when they learn that my next book is not a gritty thriller about a vocal vegetable patch.

Bunny No. 6
Oh, those wicked plot bunnies, dancing about and distracting me from what I'm supposed to be working on!
I keep them safely in a hutch; i.e. I have a special file for them, and whenever one springs up I store it there. Some of them do turn up in later books, and sometimes I'll reach a point in the current project when I realise a similar breed of bunny might work well right there.
If I find I'm getting a lot of bunny invasion, I look hard at what I'm currently writing. The distraction might just be a sign of the dreaded [shudder] *boring* writing, in which case the current passage will be re-worked, trimmed down or outright deleted.

Bunny No. 7
One by one, I drop them into a single computer file, where they fall into a state of suspended animation, rarely to be heard from again. Every so often, usually between books, I open up the file and euthanize …

Bunny No. 8
Plot bunnies - yes. I think the word somehow gets out in bunnyworld when I'm in the thick of writing or editing, because those are the times when the plot bunnies come along. If they're very tiny baby bunnies I can usually ignore them - either they will go away or they'll eventually grow into bigger ones that can't be ignored. So I don't really do anything about those ones.
Sometimes they are massive, more like elephants, and then I usually lose a night's sleep thinking about them before either scribbling down some notes or just imprisoning them in a special cage in my mind to let them grow or change in some way before I let them out again. This is what I'm doing right now with a colossal plot bunny that scampered along during my final edits for my work in progress - absolutely nothing to do with the plot for that but an idea that was so huge it tried to blot out the sun.
Actually I'm allergic to real bunnies but I couldn't do without plot bunnies. I wouldn't have any new plots without them!

Bunny No. 9
Plot bunnies are dangerous creatures because they can drag you away from the task at hand – namely, the bazillionth edit of the novel you’re desperately trying to finish but oh-so-tired of reading over and over. To put the bunnies in their proper place, I let them run wild for a paragraph or two and outline the new idea as best I can. When  I return to them a few days later, nine out of ten times they don’t have the ‘bunny power’ to make a full novel and they’ve run out of steam.

Bunny No. 10
There's no such thing as plot bunnies, of course. Haha! Funny that some writers talk about them, but you know you can't trust writers, they'll say anything. Just an urban myth, that's all. So they're not a problem. [whispers] Right, I've said what you wanted me to say, now please, give me my novel back... what? Only the first chapter? That wasn't the deal! You furry little b... no, not the subplot, please! All right, you win! [cough] Nope, no problem at all.

Bunny No. 11
To be honest, I let the little buggers do whatever they like. It's their story, not mine! So may they hop and cute and procreate and continue to weird up my little offerings! Here's to bunnies!

The weird minds that came up with these answers, aka authors
Arthur Slade
Carl Ashmore
Cecilia Peartree
David Wailing
Eric Christopherson
Ken Magee
Linda Gruchy
Rosen Trevithick
Shaun Jeffrey
Shayne Parkinson
Sibel Hodge
Stu Ayris
Talli Roland

1 comment:

  1. I have emailed my guesses! (And they are guesses - I couldn't interpret many clues.)