Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Here there be dragons

Yesterday I was talking with a friend and fellow author Laurie Roma about how things were progressing on our respective projects and somewhere along the way our conversation turned to plot bunnies.

What's a plot bunny? It's a fuzzy, adorable creature that hops into your brain, wiggles its fluffy tail and introduces a snippet of plot, storyline or a character into the already teaming mess that is a writer's brain. If you dare to follow the plot bunny, you may find yourself rewarded with a new story, or you just end up far off the path of your current WIP, with nothing to show for your trouble but fatigue, frustration and an inexplicable craving for carrots.  Right, now... Where was I?

Ah yes, Laurie and I were discussing plot bunnies, distractions and the fact that she's having to battle both her muse and her characters to get her current book done. Not a single imaginary entity was cooperating, and that was when the plot dragon attacked. (Her description, not mine.) I was an eye witness. One minute we were discussing ways her challenges, possible ways to make the story work and the pain of working through writer's block, and the next minute I am hearing about an idea for a new story... And then she was gone. Whisked away by a great, fire-breathing plot dragon doing its best to blaze a new trail for her to run along, all thoughts of her previous book lost in a smoky ruin. It made the plot bunnies I've been dealing with run away and cower in abject terror.

Before I lost all contact with Laurie I had already been given a glimpse of what promises to be a slam dunk first chapter, and I know by the ongoing silence that the dragon still has her firmly in its grip. Hopefully by the time she breaks free, she'll have an impressive word count and the characters from her other project will be sufficiently jealous they'll stop bickering and get on with telling the story.

If not, I suppose she could always feed them to the dragon.