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Sunday, April 10, 2011

Evil Plot Bunnies

The plot bunny is evil. Seriously. I say it like there's only one of them, but that's not true. Like real bunnies, they multiply like crazy and leave authors going, oooh, shiny. Yes, we are your poster children for short attention spans.

It's not like we want to be distracted from our current Work In Progress (WIP), truly, but well, um, shiny!

And let's face it, the WIP is work--that's why it's called the WORK in progress. New plot bunny is shiny. There's that word again, but it's the most accurate. Writing is hard. Really hard. Ideas are fun. Ideas aren't work. Yet. Ideas can be gazed upon in their shiny magnificence and make a writer orgasmic.

For these reasons, the new plot bunny is always more appealing than the WIP.

Years of hopping around (no pun intended) and never actually finishing a book (add anal perfectionist in there, too) taught me a few things about tuning out the new shiny.

Some writers can work on multiple ideas/projects and do just fine, but I'm not one of them. I sink so deeply into my characters that switching around leaves me making little progress on any story. I had that problem on the project I sent to my agent a few weeks ago. I had so many ideas I was in various stages on (some just planning) that I was unable to write the WIP.

Finally, I realized I hadn't changed enough to be able to multitask stories. I had to focus on one, the WIP, if I wanted to write it. I did. It took weeks of forcibly dragging my mind away from other ideas and forcing it back to the job at hand, but it worked.

And just as I was finishing revisions to the proposal in preparation for sending it to my agent, a new plot bunny arrived. Ooooh, shiny!