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Author Topic: Plot Bunnies  (Read 2794 times)
Altivo
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« on: October 23, 2010, 03:16:54 PM »

You know, you have two characters holding a conversation and suddenly this idea goes hopping through like a bright purple rabbit or maybe a Day-Glo(tm) orange one, and one or both of your characters take off after it as if they were beagles, leaving your carefully outlined plot in a shambles. I happen to enjoy these serendipitous little guys, but not everyone does.

For more about plot bunnies, see this blog entry

And you thought you were seeing things. Nope, they're real enough, and everyone has to develop a way to manage or control them.
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« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2010, 07:02:17 PM »

I thought I was the only one who had this happen to them! And it's apt. More often then not, I plan something but the character takes a life of their own and do things "they" would do but not what I would write!!
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2010, 08:51:35 PM »

It's... Kinda odd when they do that. Kinda reminds me of the Inkheart series and that 'Maybe we're giving more than figurative life to our characters.' thing...
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« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2010, 02:50:54 AM »

What a both odd but strangely appropriate name for the problem.

Yeah, it happens to me too. When I write, I have a have a section at the bottom of the work separated by a fence of back slashes that I stick them in. Penned in, they can't do too much harm and if I need one they are where I can find them.

There have been a couple of times when the stuff after the fence is longer than the stuff before the fence.
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« Reply #4 on: October 24, 2010, 04:21:45 PM »

I sometimes think that's all I do: chase bunnies. For me, it's the best part of writing and integral to being a pantser.
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2011, 12:06:12 PM »

I've got a ton of those running around in my head. But for me, it's due to not being able to actually type it down, since I have no laptop yet.

Like, I have the perfect opening planned out in my head, but I can't get it to look good on paper. Since there's no paper in the first place, my mind wanders, and the characters end up in future/alternate universes(universi?) where they end up playing a rather raunchy game of truth or dare, or being trapped in a room where their doom is inevitable, and the onlyy 2 people alive are frustrated and desperate for sex or violent outbursts...(hmm. Maybe I'll enlist the help of an erotica writer later on...>.>)

Would those technically count as plot bunnies?
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Altivo
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2011, 03:37:31 PM »

Well, technically I'd say it isn't really a plot bunny yet until you have stuff down on paper that is being disrupted by the appearance of the critter.
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2011, 01:37:20 AM »

either way, I think it's a sign to the author that his characters have come "alive". I swear, that has to be a name for it when your characters are treated reflexively by your own mind as existing.
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2011, 05:08:07 AM »

Well, technically I'd say it isn't really a plot bunny yet until you have stuff down on paper that is being disrupted by the appearance of the critter.

I see...but they're not really all that bad, right? Sure, they're annoying sometimes, but still...
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Altivo
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2011, 12:07:25 PM »

No, they're not bad. I'd say they are inevitable and often serendipitous. But you still need to keep a tight rein on them at times.
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« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2011, 04:38:06 PM »

Oh, I LOVE plot bunnies. I live for them. If I write more than a page without seeing one, I get worried. For the first bit of writing I did, I had a plan. It wasn't a very detailed plan -- just a list of little bullets-- but it was a plan. Just as I got past the second plot point, however, the little voice inside my head said: "What if THIS happens?" I didn't want to listen to it; after all, it would blow the rest of my beautiful plan out of the water... but I did. Nowadays, writing outlines has become a thing of the past. I know what needs to happen to my characters, but how it happens is always decided right in the moment. This makes for a more organic flow, and allows me to see possibilities that I wouldn't have been able to see in advance. Actor's training helps with this tremendously. You learn to live as each one of your characters, and see unique choices that you just can't see during the planning stages.
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 08:12:27 PM »

I'd say they make good fodder for tons of "what if" stories when I'm tired of pushing the plot along. Haven't gotten to that point yet, but one day...   Smiley
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