How To Deal With Your Plot Bunnies (In 3 Easy Steps!)


If I am known for anything besides waffles and trademark symbols and the color teal, I am probably known for the ridiculous amount of book ideas I have: 17 TO BE EXACT. Did I want these book ideas? Did I ask for them?? Is now a really good time to DROP EVERYTHING and hermit away to spontaneously write a new book??? < NO TO ALL.

The plot bunny struggle is real. I’m starting this post by blabbing about myself so you can see that I have the same problem – too many book ideas, and not enough time.* But don’t get me wrong – I LOVE NEW BOOK IDEAS. They make me incandescently happy. After thinking up a new book idea, I will walk around all day/week/month in a lovestruck stupor with a dumb smile on my face and everyone will probably think I have a secret admirer WHEN ACTUALLY NOPE IT’S JUST A NEW IDEA FOR A NEW BOOK AND DON’T MAKE ME THINK ABOUT THE REALITY OF MY SCHEDULE OR ELSE I WON’T BE HAPPY ANYMORE I WILL BE INCANDESCENTLY ANGRY @LIFE.


It’s a very delicate subject, the plot bunny. But I’ve begun to realize that I am not alone in this struggle. Lots of writers face the dread of being plagued with renegade ideas that will keep them up at night and steal their motivation to write anything else. IT’S A RATHER TERRIFYING PROSPECT WHEN YOU REALLY THINK ABOUT IT. But there is hope, my friend. Today I’m going to show you how I deal with my small army of 17 plot bunnies.

*This is actually one of the two things I like about myself so plz don’t judge me for shouting a bit. :’)


PLOT BUNNIES HAVE A MIND OF THEIR OWN. Seriously. I have no idea where most of my book ideas came from. I’ll see something – in a gift shop or on Pinterest or in my own house – and suddenly, BOOM. THE BUNNY ATTACKS. I have a five book series exploding in my head with heartbreaks and villains and sci-fi worlds and time travel and…it’s all very messy.

For a while, I had absolutely no process on how to deal with my new book ideas. This is roughly what it looked like:

     • OMG NEW BOOK IDEA!!! Happy dance and freak out and flail!!!!!!!!1 Everyone looks at me weird and is like “are you ok” and I’m like “no”

     • Grab a notebook and write down a few Vague Notes That Make No Sense™

     • SCREAM

     • Celebrate with waffles

     • Realize that I have no time to write this book

     • SCREAM X2

     • Go back to whatever thing I was writing in the first place with slightly less motivation and then probably forget about the plot bunny = it dies

As you can see, THIS PROCESS IS EXACTLY 000% HELPFUL. I mean, who wants to FORGET about a plot bunny??? *crickets* YES OK SO SOME OF YOU DO but if you really want to write that freaking brilliant book one day, YOU NEED TO HOLD ONTO THE BUNNY. Feed it, water it, lock it up in a cage, and DON’T LET IT DIE.


DROP WHATEVER IT IS YOU’RE DOING and go write those ideas down!! EVERY. SINGLE. ONE OF THEM. Even if you end up scrapping an idea later, it never hurts to write down your every thought on a new book idea. I have only ever regretted not writing down an idea. And don’t be afraid of making NO SENSE. Just be thorough. WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING <<< I cannot stress it enough.

A book doesn’t feel REAL to me until I have two things to accompany it: a Pinterest board and a playlist.* I just like to utilize all my senses or something?? Unfortunately I cannot taste my book (seriously unfortunate – it would probably taste like waffles) but I can build a Pinterest board to see it and a playlist to hear it. This may or may not be helpful to you – IT IS RIDICULOUSLY HELPFUL TO ME. So when I get a new book idea, a) I write down EVERY SINGLE DETAIL, b) I create a Pinterest board, and then c) I create a playlist of music that reminds me of the new book.

*We won’t even get into the fact that I additionally make Pinterest boards and playlists for individual CHARACTERS and SCENES in my books. Because I’m a little obsessive and I’m afraid you’ll get scared *extends waffle peace offering* 



I’m about to give you plot bunny advice that you probably haven't heard from ANYONE ELSE: plot your new book idea as if you’re going to write it. I KNOW!!! CRAZY. But it works for me, and I’m dearly hoping it will work for you as well. The #1 thing that makes my plot bunnies die is delaying gratification SO MUCH that I’m no longer excited about the idea.

Which seems ridiculous because YOU’RE SUPPOSE TO DELAY GRATIFICATION RIGHT?? You’re supposed to ignore those plot bunnies and hide them in a dark closet and buckle down on your current writing project. RIGHT???? Actually, no. In my experience, the best thing to do with new book ideas is regularly think about them. Slowly and steadily. Of course I put them on the back burner – but they’re still simmering. AND GRADUALLY BECOMING FULL-FLEDGED IDEAS. << And then I’ll write the book when I’m actually ready to.

All I can say is: IT WORKS FOR ME. I’m the kind of writer who shamelessly hoards plot bunnies and wants to keep them all alive and well because I will eventually write them into books because I’m secretly immortal and have all the time in the universe BUT I’M ALSO A VERY ANXIOUS BEAN OF ANXIETY AND I need stability and structure. < If this is you as well, the above method for Dealing With Plot Bunnies 101 should help you.

How do YOU deal with plot bunnies? Forget about them? Think about them incessantly?? Simmer them on the back burner??? Are you plagued with new book ideas or not really? Do you make Pinterest boards? Playlists? Share some goodies in the comment section below!!

rock on,
abbiee

44 comments

  1. YES. PLOT BUNNIES. HOW I HATE THE LITTLE RASCALS. 😠
    And I do all of those things too. LONG LIVE THE PLAYLISTS!! (I basically have theme songs for a bunch of my characters. *grins*)

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    1. YAAAAS THEME SONGS FOR CHARACTERS = PERFECTION omg. :') *high fives u kindred spirit* I'm so glad you can relate to this!!

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  2. Oh, plot bunnies. It's a love/hate relationship. 😳🐇

    Hailey
    www.haileyhudson.wordpress.com

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    1. TRUE DAT :''') so glad you like this post! <3

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  3. " Did I want these book ideas? Did I ask for them?? Is now a really good time to DROP EVERYTHING and hermit away to spontaneously write a new book??" 17 book ideas and you are still capable of writing a wonderful post. I love this opening paragraph though! So funny and cute!

    This helps a lot!!! I usually forget to write down ideas as soon as I get one or realize that there isn't a pen next to me and WHERE IS THE PAPER. Making boards for characters and plot of the story is a fun one! Favorite part of writing a story. Thinking about them all the time is a tip I am taking from this!

    I love this postttt!

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    1. HAHAH THANK YOU DEAR I'M SO GLAD THAT MADE YOU LAUGH. <3 My small army of plot bunnies are very demanding. KEEPING ME UP AT NIGHT AND SUCH << so rude of them :') EEEP I'M SO HAPPY YOU FOUND THIS POST HELPFUL!! thank you for reading, Vanessa! <3333

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  4. this is great. boards and playlists are the best!!! also the simmering thing is so relatable for me right now with a rewrite of an old book. i'm like I WANT TO WRITE THIS NOW but it must simmer... there's more ingredients i must prepare. lol now this is sounding like creating a taste for the book. although actually i do want to make tea blends for my characters.

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    1. YAAAAS <333 I'm so happy you can relate to this Andrea! :D SAME HERE OMG. Legit your current project sounds just like mine... I'm trying to rewrite an old manuscript and meanwhile all these new shiny ideas seem much more appealing.... GRRR. I'M REALLY LIKING YOUR FOOD ANALOGIES GIRL KEEP EM COMING <3 omg tea blends for your characters?!!?! << THAT SOUNDS FREAKING EPIC. I need to drink your characters asap :') thank you so much for reading!!!

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  5. OMG, SO I TOO HAVE 17 BOOKS THAT I NEED TO WRITE. WHY DOES MY BRAIN HATE ME SO. in all honesty, I love all of the ideas and I'm so excited to finally write them, BUT GOOD GLORY, 17?? Couldn't I just have...like, 3? XD

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    1. DUUUDE!! TWINNING! *high fives but then cries on your shoulder bc 17 book ideas omg how will we survive* SDFGHJKL YOUR THOUGHTS = MINE. UGH. THE STRUGGLE IS REAL. :')

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  6. THIS IS SO RELATABLE!!!
    I probably get new book ideas at least once a month and I always have to write them down.
    YES!!! I always make Pinterest boards for my books! It's so much fun!!!
    Thank you so much for the post!!

    littlebitofsunshineweb.wordpress.com

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    1. AW MADDY THANK YOU I'M SO GLAD YOU CAN RELATE. <3 Pinterest boards = life itself :') I seriously don't know what I did before Pinterest?? LIKE HOW DID I SURVIVE EVEN???? gah. visual inspiration is just so key for me these days. THANK YOU FOR READING MY DEAR <3

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  7. Ohhh I LOVED IT !!
    Plus, it was really useful <3
    Thanks, Abbie!!!

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  8. YES. I love this!! I don't like the advice of "just ignore plot bunnies and come to them when you're finished your main project"...because like I have the memory of a dEAD GRAPE and if I don't take notes immediately I will forget. haha. XD So I totally agree that it's good to think about them slowly and steadily. I also will let myself totally develop the story, write an outline (like my outlines are really detailed to help with the dead-grape-memory-thing) and then put it in line to write whenever I'm ready. :')

    Which is like 1000 years away because WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY BOOKS. *sobs* I've written outlines for 7 books this year alone and that's not counting all of last year's outlines and all the sequels I should be thinking about. sAVE ME, ABBIE. SAVE ME WITH WAFFLES.

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    1. SAME!! I recently read an article that was like "HIDE UR PLOT BUNNIES IN THE CLOSET AND DON'T THINK ABOUT THEM!!" and then I got to thinking about it and I'm like "actually that doesn't really...work for me??" SO BOOM THE IDEA FOR THIS BLOG POST CAME ALONG LOL. I'm so happy you can relate!! <3 DETAILED OUTLINES ARE LIIIIFE. And idk I'm still kind of learning my writing process but I really like to take my time with writing outlines and that kind of stuff just builds over time?? BUT IT NEVER BUILDS IF I DON'T THINK ABOUT IT SO.. haha i am confused bean of anxiety help. :''')

      *GIVES YOU MANY WAFFLES* IDK IF THIS WILL SAVE YOU BUT IT MIGHT HELP UR MENTAL STABILITY IT WORKS FOR ME <33333 THANK YOU FOR READING DUDE

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  9. DUDE THIS WAS SPOT ON!!!

    So this is essentially what I do with plot bunnies as well, but I was super happy to read this post because I feel like there's a certain Expectation as a writer that we Focus On Only One Project At A Time and I can't do that like at all???

    SO THANK YOU FOR MAKING IT "OKAY" TO BREAK THE WRITERLY RULES HERE!!! I'm glad I'm not the only one who does things this way!

    Whenever people ask me for writing advice I always tell them to switch things up and do two projects at the same time or at least be thinking about the shiny new idea while they plod on with the old boring one - now I can just direct them to this lovely post!!

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    1. SAME KAYLA MARIE SAAAAME. :') I don't think I ever focused on just one project (writing or Anything Else™ lololol) in my life. LIKE I'M JUST NOT THAT PERSON??? *high fives u kindred spirit* IDK WHAT I WOULD DO WITHOUT MY PLOT BUNNIES HONESTLY. <3 I'm so glad I'm not the only one who does things this way too!! YOUR WRITING ADVICE IS SPOT ON MY DEAR. ;) and omg I'm so happy you like this post!!! *HUGS*

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  10. I actually have the opposite problem...? Not enough ideas!!!!! Gah whatever, at least I can focus on this one book idea I have which STILL HAS NO PLOT AND I JUST CAN'T CREATE ONE BECAUSE MY CREATIVE STREAM HAS DIEDDDDD.

    Excuse me while I flail.

    Thank you for this post x) <333

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    1. I SERIOUSLY ENVY WRITERS LIKE YOU ABBY :'''') *hugs you and gives you waffles* It must be a pretty amazing feeling to be fully focused on one project though like I have no idea what that's like hahahahahem *nervous laughter* THANKS FOR READING <333

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  11. I get plot bunnies SO MUCH, MAN. I have seven (7) embryonic books floating around in the back of my mind because of this. I usually write down all my ideas in a Google Doc, then save it to my "Embryonic Ideas" folder so I can return to it later and always know where it is. I don't actively think about them a lot, but I DO add to the doc whenever inspiration strikes me. Usually, I let them marinate in the back of my mind for quite a while before I start committing chapters to paper. :)

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

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    1. YOUR PROCESS SOUNDS GREAT ELLIE :D seriously that's like the best way to do it -- taking lots of notes!! I'm so obsessed with taking notes and writing down every single little idea, I even write down my sister's ideas for her books when she doesn't becAUSE WRITE IT DOWN OMG :''') u get me?? LOL THANK YOU FOR READING <3

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  12. LOVE THIS SOOOOO MUCH!!!!! <3 <3
    Thank you for yet another magnificently amazing post! ;D
    xx

    Sophy

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    1. GAH THANK YOU SOPHY!! *hugs and lots of waffles*

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  13. So I used to get a lot of plot bunnies... and then it stopped. And now it's started back up again??? Like no??? How can I write about magical realism and ghosts and libraries and upside down rain and food PLUS some other little 300 ideas of stories??? But I love your "plot it out" method because though I try to tell myself "after you finish this novel after you finish", by then I'm like bored by this idea and have 100% forgotten it. SO I SHALL TRY THIS NOW, THANK YOU. (Except plotting takes so much time??? *wails*)

    May @ Forever and Everly

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    1. SERIOUSLY THAT SOUNDS JUST LIKE ME AND WHAT I USED TO DO MAY. :') It really REALLY helps to steadily plot out a story idea instead of locking it away and forgetting about it. BECAUSE THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD PLOT BUNNIES OUT THERE AND THEY DESERVE LIFFFFE <333333 but yes wow the struggle is real. *wails with you and eats waffles*

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  14. Ahh, the plot bunny. Story of my life. More specifically, story of why it took me so long to actually finish a story in my life. :P

    Thanks for the helpful hints, I agree, we should not totally ignore our other ideas in order to hyper focus on our current WIP. Being excited about other things is okay!

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    1. HAHAHA YAAAS EMILY I CAN RELATE 10000% omg :') I'm so happy you like this post!! EEEP. <3 *hugs*

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  15. WHY CAN'T WE HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD?!? I literally have like four book ideas (two are a series) that I MUST write right now but I CAN'T. This has been my biggest struggle with plot bunnies since forever.

    Ha, yes, write them down :P I more let them dance around in my head for ages or write one of those vague notes bc I think my plot bunnies are happier when they roam around my mind instead of on paper. Buuut then they keep me up, so I'll have to try your method before the bunnies drive me crazy XP

    audrey caylin

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    1. YOUR FIRST QUESTION = MY LIFE'S WORK. :') seriously I don't understand it. WE HAVE NO TIME FOR ANYTHING BUT WRITING OBVS WHO NEEDS TO SLEEP WHO NEEDS TO EAT WHO NEEDS TO WORK AND PAY TAXES??? not me plz omg *cries in a small corner* I more or less write down my ideas because I'M A LITERAL SEA SLUG and will forget 100% of everything I plotted in my head *insert row of upsidedown smile emojis* BUT YES YOU SHOULD TRY IT because sometimes it's super inspiring!! I'm so happy you like this post, Audrey!! <3

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  16. I love the idea of keeping the ideas simmering on the back burner, occasionally taking them out to grow before putting them back on the heat - I try to do this as much as possible so that when I do come to write a new book, I have at least the beginning and ending in mind. Otherwise without a bit of planning my books would just trail on and on and on lol - great post!

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    1. EEEP YES I TOTALLY GET YOU. *nods* And I'm the same way omg -- usually I always come up with the beginning and ending of a book yet the middle is like a muddled expanse of "UHHHH idk but get to the end and it will be really good I promise." ;) MUAHAHA. Thank you so much for reading!! *HUGS*

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  17. First: Can I just say that I always squeal with joy whenever I see a new post from you? Because they're definitely what I look forward to in my day.

    Second: I WOULD WANT TO KEEP THE PLOT BUNNIES ALIVE AT ALL COSTS BECAUSE BUNNIES ARE SO FLIPPING CUTE AND I LOVE WRITING.

    Third: I never realized I had this problem until now. I can totally relate to it! I struggle with losing interest in something because another idea (*cough* plot *cough* bunny) comes hopping by. The sad part is, sometimes I let them hop on by and never see them again. :( But the good news is, I did keep one plot bunny for 3 years and I'm finally putting it to use! *happy clap*

    Great post, dear. <3

    xx Kenzie

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    1. FIRST: CAN I JUST SAY THAT EVERY TIME YOU COMMENT IT PUTS A HUGE SMILE ON MY FACE??? <3 BECAUSE IT DOES. *hugs you and gives you waffles* BUNNIES ARE SO CUTE OMG. :') how could one possibly hide them in a closet??!! EEEP THAT IS THE BEST FEELING EVER WHEN A PLOT BUNNY TURNS INTO AN ACTUAL BOOK !! *high fives* good on you for keeping it safe. ;) THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING DEAR

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  18. Those plot bunnies usually haunt me and all my current WIP to death. Seriously, even if I put them on the back burner to simmer, they come boiling back to my attention when I'm deep in brainstorming land with my most important WIP.
    But isn't it so absolutely incredible how story pieces pop into a writer's mind? I am always left in awe...They are just so good and completely random.

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    1. THEY ARE REALLY GOOD AT HAUNTING AREN'T THEY??? like are they bunnies or ghosts??? who knows. :''') BUT MAN I CAN RELATE. it's so hard to keep them simmering on the back burner sometimes omg. *screams into a nearby pillow* "But isn't it so absolutely incredible how story pieces pop into a writer's mind? I am always left in awe...They are just so good and completely random." <<<< YES!!!! I'M SO GLAD I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO JUST MARVELS AT THAT LOL :''')

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  19. These are great tips. Plot bunnies are probably the best/worst plague of writers everywhere.
    Also I love making playlists and pinerest boards for books. It's true, it is so so satisfying to be able to see and hear a story. It definitely makes it more real.

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    1. RIGHT??? THE STRUGGLE IS SO REAL. I'm happy you liked this post!! <3 I completely agree, Hannah! The more ways to real-ize your book = the better. ;) THANK YOU FOR READING DUDE

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  20. Excellent article. Thank you for sharing. Plot bunnies (really, any distraction) can wreak havoc with my regularly scheduled writing time. But writing things down helps me get them out of my mind, and remember them later! :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachelle!! I'm so happy you can relate to this as well. :') Writing down all my ideas is definitely what saves me from getting completely distracted!! *nervous laughter* it's a struggle for sure.

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  21. THIS IS ACTUALLY THE BEST METHOD EVER. I'm currently doing battle with a lovely little plot bunny that is SCREAMING AT ME TO WRITE IT but I can't because I'm editing. XD So I'm pacifying it by making a beautiful Pinterest board.

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    1. EEEEEEEEEEP I'M SO GLAD YOU LIKE THIS POST <3333 BEST OF LUCK WITH YOUR PLOT BUNNYYYY

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  22. Really interesting! Normally I use my blog as a way to vent out my plot bunnies. I write short stories and then post them.

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    1. That's a really good idea!! <3 Thank you for reading eeep

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kind words are like raindrops on the desert. they make me bloom with happiness, as absolutely cliche and cheesy as that sounds. even if it's just a simple alt+3 i will heart you for it. so, go ahead! MAKE MY DAY. literally.