Oh those seductive plot bunnies!

Plot bunnies can be quite tempting. You would be sitting there, working on your WIP when suddenly, “Ding! Ding! Ding! You’ve got a new plot!” Try as you might, you will not be able to ignore that call. It will keep bothering you and dancing around your head until you throw up your arms in frustration and admit defeat. You will scramble around for a scrap of paper or a pencil and frantically jot down anything you can remember.

I’ve been struggling with that lately. I know I have to learn to be monogamous with my plots just as I am monogamous with the books I read, but it’s so difficult! Plot bunnies have been invading my mind all the time, at a time when I’m desperately trying to finish a novel that’s – ironically – about an evil bunny who sucks the life from any artist he latches himself onto.

I’ve been working on this novel for more than four years now. Yes, I did take a break from it every once in a while to work on other projects (such as Puppet Parade), but it was always sitting there, glaring at me with its beady eyes and not allowing me to fully enjoy the other novels. Jealous, I presume, that I’ve been giving them more attention. Eventually, I couldn’t ignore its silent accusations and passive-aggressiveness any longer and started working on it.

This hasn’t been easy though. The Muse Bunny is already giving me enough trouble on its own, but coupled with the ideas that keep bouncing at me from all directions, I’m not having much luck. It’s like a faucet has been opened and I just can’t close it again. I keep jotting down all the ideas that I’m getting, stowing them away in my notebook for future use, but I swear you can almost hear them beckoning me to take them out and use them. Those sneaky little plots, I know that they won’t stop even if I do succumb!

Oh they may be cute. But they’re evil. Pure evil.

However, I made a promise to myself that I will not start any new projects until TMB is finished and I’m sticking with it… regardless of how severe the itch to write new things becomes. It’s a commitment! Thankfully I’m but a few thousand words away from wrapping up TMB… how long it will take me to write these words, I have no idea, but hey, I at least I don’t have much left to go! I don’t think I’ll bother editing it right away… maybe I’ll give it a quick read through to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything, but I really want to start the next story, one I bet I will have much more luck with.

How about you? Do you stick to one story at a time, or do you prefer to spread your creativity among more than one project?

29 thoughts on “Oh those seductive plot bunnies!

  1. I think sticking to one story at a time is best, but I not always follow the rule. I have a note book I carry with me everywhere in case I have new ideas, which I usually do.

    Now, thinking about it, I am in desperate needs of structure, schedule and discipline. I am trying to do too many things at a time. I miss painting, which I said I will do this weekend, but I also need to finish the two short stories I am working on.

    This is madness!!!! LOL!!! But I love it! ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. I always carry a notebook with me too! It’s useful to have one on hand.
      Haha, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Good luck, Patricia!

  2. Hi Zen,
    Great post, loved the bunny pictures! Your posts always make me smile ๐Ÿ™‚

    I tend to have more than one on the go at any time. For instance; I am editing Cursed, I have started writing book 2 to that, I have book in planning stages, I have another untitled story due to start editing and I have another total re-write on the go. So I am a rather busy bee.

    Plus, like yourself, I have a lot of ideas written down for another time.

    I hope those last few thousand words don’t take you too long to write so you can “scratch that itch” as it were (hehe)


    1. Thank you! I’m glad to hear that, and bunnies are just too adorable, aren’t they?
      And it sounds like you have a lot to do. How can you even manage? I think I would quickly lose interest and do something else.
      And I hope so toooo. I’m going to try to crack them out this weekend. Wish me luck!

      1. They certainly are, especially the ones with the big floppy ears ๐Ÿ™‚

        Hehe yes lots to do indeed. I tend to only have one going on any day. At the moment I’ve been working on editing book 1 and starting book 2, as I want to put a taster for book 2 at the end of book 1.

        Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. I have a stuffed bunny toy with floppy ears! I actually received that one in honour of my Muse Bunny novel. A friend got it for me from Build-a-Bear, and it even has a certificate with its name on it, haha.
          Tasters are definitely a good idea. =D Good luck to you too!

  3. Every once in awhile a small side project is a nice way to “reboot” on the stuff I’ve been plugging away at. I just have to be careful that it’s not avoidance.

    1. That’s a nice way of looking at it. I admit I do get bored when I’m working on the same thing all the time, but sadly I won’t get anything done otherwise. =[

  4. I have far too many projects like that. I read once that Neil Simon (great playwright) always had a stack of legal notepads. One was something he had just started and went through quickly, another was the current play he was working on, and another was a play he’d been working on for years. I think many writers write this way. I’m having one of those moments right now. I try to jot down at least a rough sketch so I can hold onto the idea, and then work my way back to my main project. A good imagination is a double-edged sword.

    1. You know, for some time I did that. I was juggling three projects at once and thought I had a grip on things, but then I realised that I was working primarily on one thing at the expense of the others, so I stopped. If it works for you though, then good luck! And you’re right; it’s double-edged indeed.

  5. I tried sticking to one story…but now I just do two chapters of one, jump onto another, and so on. I have 11 stories on the go at the moment, two of which are short story collections (which are great for getting rid of extra plot bunnies) plus the story I’m editing. I am not good at focusing on just one thing. Although…NaNoWriMo is coming up, and I was panicing because I had no idea what to write. Today, an idea came to me and now I can feel the strong urge to write it. Can’t wait for November – it’s the one month where I actually do only focus on one thing!

    1. Wow. 11 stories? That’s a lot more than I could ever handle, haha. Kudos to you! And I know what you mean about NaNo. I have an idea ready and I can’t wait to start either! Last year wasn’t good for me, but I’m confident I’ll be able to manage it this time.

      1. I didn’t do very well the first couple of times I tried; my first year at University was my third attempt and the first time I hit the all important 50,000. Managed to do it the last two years, as well. This year, I’m just worried that work is going to stop me reaching it. Still, I’ll try and keep my fingers crossed!

        1. University does get in the way, doesn’t it? I wasn’t able to finish last year because I had just started a job and was still figuring things out, so hopefully it’s better this year! Good luck to you! =]

    1. It’s an interesting term, isn’t it? Just like bunnies, plots keep bouncing around your head until they tire you out!
      And it’s always good to have one on stand-by. Are you considering doing NaNo this year?

  6. Very good post Zen. I would very much appreciate been able to apply my attention to one project โ€“ but then I begin to acquire other ideas which do not tie in with the original storyline and so they become other creations. I then begin to prioritise these pieces over my original work, and at the end of the day I have a menagerie of pieces โ€“ all of whom are incomplete. Dang!

    1. I remember when I used to do that too! At one point I was starting a story, then ten pages into it, I would switch to a new story. Eventually I had over 10 incomplete stories that will never see the light of the day. But I’ve learned my lesson now. xD

  7. Hi Zen, great post. I only ever work on one project at a time, however because I write historical fiction and my stories take a lot of research, I like to start reading in support of the next project while still busy writing to current one. That way, I still get to play with the bunny a little bit – rolling it around inside my head, cuddling it in bed at night.

    1. Thanks, Janna! I’ve never written historical fiction before, but I can imagine how it wouldn’t leave much time for anything else. Research for an upcoming novel is not bad; it’s just writing the upcoming novel that I feel I have to stay away from.

  8. I’m not sure if it’s a creative way of procrastinating, but I always hop from project to project, although I’ll also always have one that I feel I “should” be working on. It’s not a very effective way of doing things, but it prevents me getting bored or too frustrated with something.
    Love the evil/cute plot bunny photo!

    1. It definitely falls into the category of procrastination. And same here actually – I always felt like I should be working on TMB while finishing other books.
      It’s adorable, isn’t it? Pity they’re so evil!

  9. I keep a notebook handy for just such occurrences. Then when I have a plot bunny, I write it down and it shuts up. Also, I apply sedatives and duct tape to it, so it really has no choice. I’m very stubborn. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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