It’s been a comically long time since my last post, especially considering the topic of it, but here we are again.
Dead. Bunnies. The title is undoubtedly, and unnecessarily morbid, but stick with me.
What I’m actually talking about, is the death of plot bunnies. Plot bunnies being the little story ideas, or post ideas, that you get and jot down to write later. Although in my case, later never comes, and those bastard bunnies plague me endlessly.
You need to write that thing, you should make that post, or the worst, why didn’t you just write this when you had the idea?
Because, imaginary me, I’m a fool.
I do this all the time. I am overcome with bunnies. My notes app is choking with them, I’ve a million random pieces of paper flying around the office, and yet, I never write any of them. So today, I’m purging.
Side note: This may be embarrassingly influenced by my recent watching of The Last Jedi, and Kylo Ren’s joyful advice that to get over the past you should ‘kill it if you have to’. But, regardless of how questionable that is, I’m officially holding a funeral for my plot bunnies.
It’s a new year, with new projects… so lets massacre some ideas.
The Fairy One
I’m starting here because it’s the most incoherent plot idea I’ve ever read in my life, and I’m the one that wrote it. I remember waking up from a dream and thinking ‘wow, that would be a good book’, and then I wrote something down and went back to sleep. This is what I wrote:
‘fairy huntress who challenges the lord (he’s two) to do something but tricks them and then appears in human form to buy paints’
The paints part is so arbitrary, that I can’t even begin to tackle how a two year old becomes ‘the lord’. I’ve no idea what sleep-me expected me to do with this. It’s vague, unexplained, and really, just exists as proof that dream logic can never really be translated into the real world.
The one that’s Too Much Work
On the topic of dream logic, I’ve a feeling this is another dream-induced plot, as the note simply reads:
‘a huge area and mansion that changes era on the command of the lady that lives there, e.g. the shops, people’s clothes, cars.’
As far as fantastical worlds go, this is a pretty interesting one. I’m almost impressed that my subconscious could muster this up. However, I do not have the patience, or world-building skills, to handle the endless questions that this idea raises. So, to the graveyard it goes.
The Ghost One
‘girl working at a stables, something spooky happens when she is filling hay bags’
Somehow, this single line in my notes app, spurred on a complete, and complex, story about tortured spirits and teenage angst. I even wrote two thousand words of it. I had the entire story plotted out. But then, I realised I didn’t like ghost stories; I didn’t want to read them, and I certainly didn’t want to write them.
So this one, although it is an example of the success of writing down one-line plot ideas, can leave and never come back. Insert cheesy joke about being haunted by abandoned plotlines here.
Cowboys In Space
That was it. That’s all I wrote down, ‘cowboys in space’.
It never really stood a chance, but I appreciate its ambition. In fact, I congratulate past me for combining two things I love, so plainly, and so unimaginatively. It’s laughably basic.
I’m also almost positive that cowboys in space has been done a million times over, so goodbye and farewell, partner.
The Tin Can
Oddly, this is a bunny that I’m moderately reluctant to kill. I had all intentions to write this story, I’d even mapped out a rough draft of the narrative. But, realistically, I won’t write it. So I’m letting it go. Here’s the little chunk of prose that I got down when the idea first struck:
‘Papa,’ she said, with a spoon in her mouth. ‘Why is there a can on a string?’
‘A can?’ he said. ‘Where?’
She plucked the spoon from her mouth and pointed it to the window. ‘Outside the cafe, Papa, across the road.’
‘I don’t know, my sweet. Are you sure it’s there?’ Papa hadn’t looked up from the paper in his hands. He hadn’t looked out the window to see.
I will say that plot bunnies like this, where I note down a small sequence of dialogue, are by far the easiest to run with. Snippets of conversations, I find, are the easiest way to get an immediate grasp on characters, setting, world… the list goes on. If there’s any advice to take from this tin-can-tragedy, it’s that.
Anyway, there we have it. A graveyard of ideas.
Obviously, this is a very small selection. Most of the plot bunnies I have never actually get to the stage of being hastily written down, either because I’m walking somewhere or I’m busy, or just lazy. Those ones are the ones that are truly dead, as in I can’t even remember them, as in I forgot them the moment I’d stopped thinking of them.
Now, I can’t say for definite that I’ll never come back to any of these ideas, but it is nice to lay them to rest on the internet. This way, I don’t have to feel guilty about ignoring them anymore. It’s been surprisingly therapeutic.
Here’s to a new year, full of new bunnies.
I’ll see you there.
p.s. Sorry about the ongoing bunny analogy.