You’re working on your book. You might be slightly bored here in the middle, but it’s all for a good cause-
Ooooooh, look! A new idea! 🤩
Starstruck and blinded by the obviously NYT Bestseller material here at your fingertips, you drop the book you’re currently working on like a hot potato, diving straight into your new idea.
But is that a good idea?
- Consider plot bunnies
- Learn how to cook them
- Apply the next time you have a new idea
Small Note: My family has 2 bunnies, something you would know if you’ve read my About page. We used to have a bunny named Georgia, but after she died, we got Oreo and Cookie. They’re mostly just my oldest sister’s, but never in a million years would I consider cooking them. (My Grandpa actually does like to joke about making rabbit stew to us) So my analogies in this post are just analogies; I would never want to kill, cook, or eat a rabbit.
The first thing you 100% have to do is write it down. I’ve had many a great idea before, been sure it was so cool that I wouldn’t forget it, and then, lo and behold – I forgot it.
It seriously sucks. So make sure, before all else, you write down your idea.
I used to instantly dive into plot bunnies.
Well… who am I kidding? I still like to do that. 😂
Plot bunnies are basically inviting you to chase after them. They’re the new shiny thing for you to play with.
But I have news for you.
That beautiful, shiny, NYT-bestselling-material idea you have?
It’s a distraction.
Shocker, I know. I mean, how could this gloriousness possibly not be for the best?
How much work have you already put into the book you’re currently working on? I think it’s a safe bet to say quite a bit. And, at one point, you felt that it was NYT bestselling material as well. Just because you have a new idea doesn’t make this one any less good.
The thing is, writers are really imaginative. Many never finish a book – or even a single draft – because they’re so busy chasing after the next new thing.
Just because you’re slightly bored with your idea since you’ve worked on it for so long doesn’t mean that you can just go to something else. You need to be persistent.
A huge thing about plot bunnies though is that, though they look like they’re amazing at first, they actually don’t have enough meat on them to make a good story. To get enough material to work with, you’ve got to let that idea stew in your mind, and slowly gather new ideas. A short clip of dialogue here, an idea of how a character would look, a scene you really want… and with time you’ll have a very skinny skeleton of a plot.
But this takes time. Like, a lot. So you’ve got to be patient while it sits on the back burner.
While you work on your current story, you’ll just slowly let your plot bunny stew. Once you actually have material to work with, and you’re done your current WIP (Work In Progress), you could start looking into it more.
A tip of mine is to start a board on Pinterest for inspiration. If you randomly see a pin that reminds you of your story – even if you have no idea what the context might be – you can save it. As time goes on, you’ll eventually have a board where each pin has been carefully chosen and curated to inspire you the most. It embodies your story, and even though you might not even understand how some of them come into play in your idea, they just have this feeling that reminds you of the story.
Also, Pinterest is really fun. So there’s that too. 😜
But all that aside, I actually do this each time I have a plot bunny. It lets you feel like you’re working on it without actually leaving your current WIP. I have some secret boards on Pinterest that I’ll eventually release whenever I start working on those books publicly. They’re currently for my eyes only, so I can literally put anything on there that inspires me. And you can really find pins that inspire you in the randomest of places. Like, going through old pins? Oh hey, that one looks exactly like your main character!
Now It’s Your Turn!
The next time you have a plot bunny, instead of diving right into it (and then finding out that you don’t have enough material to work with) let it simmer so that you can come up with even more ideas for it. When you do eventually get to it, you’ll have a better idea of who your characters are and the whole story itself. You’ve got this. 😃
What do you like to do when you get a plot bunny?
Do you like to make Pinterest boards for your books?
Also, Happy Thanksgiving, my fellow Canadians!