Tag Archives: plot bunnies

Rounding Up Plot Bunnies

I’m still not making much progress toward my writing goals but in a moment of insanity I decided that it would be “fun” to make a list of all the books that I have started or planned.

Off the top of my head I listed 50.

Then I came home from work and poked around a few file folders (with helpful names like “fantasy starts” and “story ideas”) and I’m pretty sure I’m up to over a hundred now, and that’s not counting the “plot bunny bag” beside my computer hutch.

A friend told me I’d better create an immortality potion so I could live long enough to finish them. I told her I’d just make detailed notes and outlines on all of them and leave them to her in my will so she could finish them.

Seriously, though.  What do you do when you have more stories to write than years to write them? (Well, aside from “write faster” which was my friend’s other advice.) If I could write a book a month – consistently – it would still take me over 8 years to clear my backlog of ideas.

Anyhow, listing my projects and potential projects actually sort of ties in with my writing goals for this month, as one of them is to set up a bullet journal for my writing, and part of that is to have a list of all projects so I can track progress on them.

As to how I’m going to track progress, that’s a good question.  Once I get some free time (ha!) I think I’m going to poke through the files section in the bullet journal writers group on Face Book to look for ideas. I might even dive down the Pinterest rabbit hole.

I will find a way to get my writing organized. I will!

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Plot Bunny Census #1*

I’m not quite sure how the conversation started, but I think we were comparing how many plot bunnies we had, so I started making a list of books in progress or planning, and it’s… well… Let’s just say I’d better discover the Fountain of Youth or a Philosopher’s Stone.

I thought maybe I should lay my shame out here for all to see.

1) Onyx Sun
2) The 12 (or maybe13) books of the Academy of the Accord series
3) The Other Mages trilogy
4) The Betrayal trilogy (desperately ISO a better name)
5) Sequel to Sanguine
6) Sequel to Onyx Sun
7) A spinoff from Onyx Sun (Soraine)
8) A possible spinoff from Onyx Sun (Jad)
9) Two sequels and a prequel to Song and Sword
10) Lost House
11) Sea Witch
12) Dragon’s Tear
13) Paranormal Picnic
14) Hedge House
15) a nameless novel that involves a Minotaur and a Sasquatch
16) Disturbed Magic (which is going to end up being a trilogy)
17) Benn and Rin (needs a name)
18) Fighting Back (needs a new name)
19) Guardians of the Abyss (probably needs a new name)
20) another novel in need of a new name
21) Rainbow Rescue (in need of a new name)
22) SRish (the name makes sense to me, but, yes, it’s in need of a new name)
23) Vishkaya
24) a Demon and Angel story that started as a flash fiction piece
25) genie in a bottle
26) The Sword and the Shield

That’s something like 45 or 46 novels.

I’m 56.

Do the math.

And that’s not counting a bunch of stuff in my “Plot Bunny bag” or in a file called “story starts.”

Now, in all fairness, some of the above are written, or nearly so.

Onyx Sun, for instance, is in revision and should be out this year.

The Academy of the Accord is an editing nightmare but I’m making headway.

The nameless trilogy (Betrayal) is written and just needs to start the editing process.

Hedge House is mostly done.

The first book of Disturbed Magic is done.

Lost House is… maybe a quarter of the way done?  Maybe a third?

The Minotaur and Sasquatch is done, but needs to be expanded.

The Other Mages is… well… we won’t talk about Book Two, okay? I might make it my next year’s project, or tackle it after I get Onyx Sun released.  Book One is done, and Book Three just needs some massive changing but is mostly done, if I could just figure out what Book Two is doing…

The Sword and the Shield is almost done: just a couple more scenes to write, really.  But it needs a massive editing job. (As in, I need to completely write out one character and find another way to advance a relationship that she was unwittingly (and unwillingly) a part of.)

Most of the rest, however, are a few paragraphs to a few chapters in length.

Hmm…

I wonder what would happen if I wrote a sentence or a paragraph in each one every day?

 

*Someday I’ll add the contents of the plot bunny bag and the “story starts” file to the list.

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The (Plot) Bunny is Growing

I had no idea what I was going to write about for a blog post today. It’s been a very stressful weekend at work and the creative portion of my brain was hiding. (Can’t say I blame it, and I’m tempted to go hide with it.)

But then I read an article that a friend posted and it triggered all sorts of interesting plot bunnies. I don’t know if I’ll actually write anything based on it, but it might be something that I can work into Paranormal Picnic

(Yeah, it’s trying to turn into something other than a short fun story.)

(And, yeah, I’m trying to tell it that I really don’t have time for another WiP.)

(And, yeah, it’s not listening.)

(And, yeah, I’m losing the battle.)

(And, no, I do not have an addiction to parentheses. Why do you ask?)

So, anyhow…

It’s kind of amazing how one little thing can change the whole tone of your day.

(Well, okay, maybe not the whole tone. I am still dreading going to the evil day job this afternoon, so that hasn’t changed.)

Since I’ve mentioned Paranormal Picnic a time or two now, I thought maybe I should give you a snippet of it.

 

“Dad?  What are you doing here?” 

Maya rubbed the sleep out of her eyes and stared at the scene outside her door.  Her father stood at the grill, smoke rising from around the meat he was turning and an assortment of people she didn’t know were gathered around the picnic table.

“I’m barbecuing ribs, what’s it look like I’m doing?”

“But…” She took a deep breath and decided to ignore the rest of the scene and focus on him.  “Dad,” she said gently. “You’re dead.”

“I know I am.  That doesn’t mean I can’t cook.”

“Well, yes, actually, it does.” 

“No it doesn’t.  Now bring out some plates and silverware.  Everyone’s eager to meet you but don’t worry, no one bites.  Well, Alfred might, I don’t think he’s fed recently, but it won’t hurt, and, oh, hell, you’re my daughter.” He turned toward the table and raised his voice. “Alfred! No feeding from my daughter.”

An older gentleman, lean and well-dressed, nodded and waved off the comment, not really looking up from the chess game he was involved in.  His opponent, however, looked up and laughed.  She was a short stocky woman with reddish brown hair and almond-shaped amber eyes. 

“Dad? Who are all these people and what are they doing here?”

“Having a picnic.  That’s Alfred and Ginny playing chess.  Ginny brought fried chicken, and potato and macaroni salads, would you get them from the fridge?”

“Right.”

“The two little girls playing tag are Dina and Annie. Dina’s the one with the dark hair.  Oh, and don’t worry, Mariposa is keeping an eye on them.”

She followed his gaze and saw a woman perched in the old oak tree, her clawed feet clutching the branch as easily as any bird.  She waved a wing at her in greeting and turned her attention back to the children.

“A harpie?”

“And the girls are ghosts and Ginny’s a werewolf. Alfred’s a vampire in case you hadn’t figured that out.”

“I’m going back to bed until I wake up,” she muttered. “This can’t be real.”

Juice from the meat dripped down onto the coals, splattering and hissing, and the smoke that rose from it carried a scent that made her stomach rumble.

“On the other hand, maybe I’ll just set the table.  If I’m losing my mind I might as well enjoy it.”

“You’re not losing your mind.  And can you grab me a Pepsi?”

Dead people don’t drink Pepsi, she thought. But then, dead people don’t cook ribs, either.

 

 

 

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Progress and a Plot Bunny

So, there’s this plot bunny starting to form.  I don’t actually have a story yet, just a main character: a Mexican demon named Charlie.  And I’m not sure, but I think maybe he can only possess pencils.

If you’re as totally unaware of trending teen things as I am, you’re probably scratching your head wondering what on earth I’m talking about, so here’s the explanation.

At work last night I was on a different unit than the one I usually work.  One of the aides there is also a preacher and is a bit… over zealous… at times.  I’m not sure what prompted the conversation but he asked another aide if she had heard about “the Charlie Charlie pencil game.”

She thought for a minute and said, “Do you mean the thing with the piece of paper with yes/no/no/yes?” and started to get a piece of paper to draw it out and was demonstrating how the pencils laid on top of each other for it.

He stopped her and said not to do that because it would summon a real demon.

He was completely serious.

And apparently it’s a Mexican demon. (Although he did say that demons don’t have nationalities.)

Anyhow, I now want to write about a Mexican demon named Charlie.

I’m just… not sure what his story is.

Yet.

Any work on this story (other than kicking it around in my head) is probably a long way from happening, but it’s so rare that I have a clear example of where a story idea came from that I had to share.

In other writing news, I started working through the bit that blocked me from working on entering changes to Onyx Sun. And I wrote (more of) a scene to be added to the first book of the Academy of the Accord series.  The scene seems kind of… not really necessary (although it will further character development, world building, etc) but it’s needed for a scene in Book 12, so…

And I got a bit more done on the Elven Bard novel that only has half a title.

So, there you have it. My weirdness and inspiration for the week as well as a bit of progress.

 

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Due to…

Well, since I can’t cancel the rest of the year due to technical difficulties, can I cancel it because…

I don’t know. Think of something.

Lack of interest?

Too much to do and not enough time to do it?

I’m still recovering from the back to back doubles of the weekend and have one more shift to go and then I’m off for two days. (“One more shift. Just one more shift.” has become my mantra for the day. I’ll be switching over to counting hours soon.)

On my days off I have to clean the rat cage, clean off the back porch, clear off my desk, and set up my goals for next year.

And on the goals front, this month of a nearly enforced hiatus from writing and editing has done wonders for me. My mind has shifted back to wanting to write and revise and edit. I’m running through scenes in my head, and every plot bunny that ever existed is screaming for attention. (No wonder I have a headache!)

It’s going to be really hard to decide what to focus on first. (And nearly impossible to start on the 1st unless my new monitor arrives early so I can access everything on my PC.)

Hm. I wonder if I can use that as an excuse to start working on something new?

I should just use it to work on paper edits of Book 6 of The Academy of the Accord

Or maybe I’ll use it to work on Book 2 of The Other Mages.

So much to do, so little time.

Suddenly 2017 is too close… and too short.

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Inside the Computer Hutch

So last Monday I mentioned that I was “clearing out all of the “important” papers in my computer hutch. All of the stuff that I shove under my monitor – and beside my monitor when I run out room under it – because it’s important and I need it and need to refer back to the information on it.”

I ended up with a plastic bag full of random scraps of paper and partially used notepads and I’ve been taking it to work with me to sort through during down time.

So, what all did I find in my “important” papers? Here’s a brief list:

a work schedule from a year ago
pages of potential Wednesday Words prompts
the phone number of a guy that a co-worker recommended to fix my laptop
several lists of names to use for characters (now consolidated into one list)
plot bunnies
quotes I’d saved
lists of goals, writing and other
a lot of notes about stuff I’m writing
a couple snail mail addresses
and a lot of miscellaneous because “Everything can be filed under Miscellaneous.”

I wrote anything important in a notebook and tossed the papers, except for stuff that I had printed out for novel-writing – story starts, outlines with handwritten notes added, etc.  It’s much neater and more organized now.

So now my next step is to decide what sort of permanent home the notes go into. Some are goals to work on so they’ll go into my 2017 planner. The writing stuff will go into appropriate folders and notebooks.

And the rest… I’m not quite sure yet.

I think once I get the big categories done I’ll be able to get a better handle on the small stuff.

And then I’m going to try to keep just one notebook or notepad by my computer and sort out its notes on a weekly basis.

And meanwhile, I’ve rediscovered a dozen or so feral plot bunnies that need taming.

*wanders off to find a whip and chair*

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A New Plan

I’ve been writing.  Not really gaining ground but holding my own and not falling any further behind.

I’ve written a couple short stories and have started a couple post apocalyptic dystopian type novels. (I can’t really call them “dystopian” because I just can’t seem to write “dark” enough for dystopia.  Is there a sub genre called hopeful dystopia?  If so, that’s what I seem to be writing.)

And I shared part of one of the novels and am now being urged to finish writing it.  I think I’ll need an outline and some background info on that first – I kind of wrote myself into a little more of a plot than originally planned. (Not that it was all that well planned, but still…)

Anyhow, now that I seem to have gotten that out of my system (at least for now) I’m back to the originally planned project for the month.  Will I finish it?  Oh, hell no.  But I am working on it and the words are coming better than they were before the detour.

And I’ve figured out a way to help my word count as well as the story progression.

I can get anywhere from 750 to 1000 words written (by hand) at work on a good night. What I’ve been doing is that if I hand write something at work I type it up when I get home, which is normally okay but since I’m so far behind it’s kind of a waste of writing time. So, for the rest of this month when I hand write stuff I’ll put a date on the top, and leave a space in the Word doc flagged with that date and just keep on writing.  I’ll count the words (it’s usually about 250 per page) and just copy and paste that many words from somewhere else into the end of the file. So sort of a weird combo of normal NaNoWriMo and being a Luddite.

But hey, whatever works…

And with this method I won’t worry so much about not being on my computer next Wednesday while I’m away from home waiting for Riley’s surgery. I can just write and count the words.

So, yeah, I have a plan!

And in addition to the plan, I have renewed enthusiasm for my original project.

I call that a win win.

And hopefully a NaNo win.

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A Week and a Day

Can you believe it? In one week it will be NaNoWriMo Eve.

Are you ready?

I’m ready-ish.

I have some shopping to do to lay in supplies.  (In November, the focus should be on writing, not on shopping.)

Granted, there are some things that I’ll have to shop for.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t have room to store a month’s worth of food, but I can stock up on other stuff to get me through the month so I don’t have to worry about, say, running out of toilet paper.

I already restocked toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, and body wash, and I’m pretty sure I have enough tissues and garbage bags to get me through the month, and the bottle of dish soap looks good.

We’re going to need laundry detergent, but my roommate is in charge of that because that aisle of the store tends to make me feel like my bronchial tubes are collapsing.

I’ll need to get more (generic) Excedrin and more ibuprofen.  We might be all right on both of those, but why take chances?  I don’t think I have enough tea, either.

I just ordered rat food and it should be here this week, probably tomorrow.  I’ll pick up more treats for them this week too, and order medicine to have on hand.  (Gotta make sure my boys are taken care of!)

And of course I’ll have to make sure that there are writing snacks on hand for me.  I’m partial to pretzels, “party mix,” cheese puffs… dry crunchy things that don’t make too much of a mess.  (Well, okay.  Cheese puffs do leave sticky residue on your fingers after a while but it’s nothing that a wet wipe won’t take care of.)

(*adds wet wipes to the stockpile list*)

I also like to have some quick meal type things on hand: Ramen noodles, hot dogs, canned ravioli, etc.  I try not to have to spend too much time in the kitchen in November, which means a lot of quick and easy meals.

Of course, if you’re in the U.S., there will be Thanksgiving to deal with – but it’s really not too much of a time suck if you plan it right.  (And then you have leftovers for quick meals for that all important last week of NaNoWriMo.)

And I’ll be cooking a ham next Monday, so lots of leftovers there too.

Yep, I’m pretty well set for next month as far as supplies go.

As far as the actual writing goes, I have a nicely detailed (hopefully detailed enough) outline to get me through the month.

I also have an insistent little bunny trying to snuggle its way in between me and it.  The plot bunny at least belongs to the Elven Bard books, but I think it needs to happen before the one I’m outlining and since The Academy of the Accord has shown me what a mess I make when writing out of order I’m kind of starting to outline it, but with a week left I think I’ll be doing the one that I already have outlined.

Maybe.

Yeah. I think I’ll go shopping.

 

 

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Song and Spam

I don’t know what it is about NaNoWriMo that brings forth plot bunnies.  Does it emit some sort of pheromone?  Does some favorite treat only grow during NaNo months and lures them forth?  Does my muse just put out a casting call for out of work plot bunnies?

I have no idea, but whatever it is, it never fails.

This morning, with three weeks left before NaNoWriMo, a new plot bunny climbed out or the woodwork and jumped into the bathtub with me.

On the positive side, it is part of the Elven Bard series (which is growing out of Song and Sword), is pretty much fully grown, and helps me eliminate some of the potential scenarios in the one I’m currently outlining.

On the negative side, I don’t know exactly where it’s going to fit in the timeline for that world.

And on an even more negative side, it wants to steal the title for the one I’m currently working to get ready for NaNo.

So now the question becomes, do I continue with the current book or do I stop and work on an outline for this one?

And what do I do about titles?

I was sort of falling out of love with Song and Shield for the current project anyhow.  The use of “Shield” makes me feel like I need to get the Shield of Truth from Palora’s Crossing to use in it, and it doesn’t really fit into the book at all.

Actually, the shield doesn’t fit into either the one I’ve been outlining or the new one that hopped in, so I’m thinking that they both need new names.

Because, yeah.

Three weeks.

Two stories.

No titles.

(Or maybe lots of titles, courtesy of Cassy and Danielle and Danielle’s dictionary.)

(Song and Spam is not going to be one of the choices.)

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Dodging Plot Bunnies

We’re just over a month away from NaNoWriMo and already the plot bunnies have been congregating. I swear the approach of November acts as bait for them.

There’s a dragon story that really wants me to write it.  (And Squirrel! I just had a breakthrough on what to do next for Book 2 of the Other Mages trilogy.)

Anyhow, as I was saying, the plot bunnies are starting to crowd around.  I love the dragon story that’s taking shape in my head, but there’s also this weird dream that I had last night in which I was a cat burglar. (If you could actually see me you’d laugh hysterically at that.)  The dream itself has great promise as a novel. I don’t think I’ll ever write it although I might incorporate elements of it into something else.

Yeah.  Nothing like the approach of NaNoWriMo to call forth the plot bunnies (and it’s only going to get worse from here on out) but the plan is to work on another book set around Song and Sword.  (Because if I don’t my friend Debbie will probably kidnap me and lock me in a room chained to a desk until I do.)

But which book set around Song and Sword?

There’s the prequel, which was supposed to be a short side-story about how Pachevel met Hierik, but when I re-read what I had written there’s a definite novel in it. It might be the easiest to tackle but I always start something new for NaNoWriMo and use Camp sessions to work on stuff already started.

And then there’s the sequel that I had started.  Well, sort of started.  I’m not quite sure what the starting scene is yet.  I might stick with the one I have or I might move it a bit further in.  We’ll see when I start outlining.

Then there’s a sequel that goes before that sequel. (A prequel to a sequel?) I have only a very vague idea for it but I feel like it should be written before the other one.  (For one thing, I’ve pretty much learned my lesson about writing books out of order.)

Decisions, decisions.  I’ll start outlining all three and see which one shows the most promise and probably go with that.

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