Do you know what plot bunnies are? I didn’t – until today. Apparently, plot bunnies are subplots or elements that we love and leave in our stories though they contribute nothing to the story and may even lead us way off the path of the plot. I’m not sure why they’re called plot bunnies but I’m thinking that it’s because they are apparently, warm fuzzy things that you dear writer, hold dear, and just can’t kill. Or maybe it has to do with the speed with which bunnies multiply?
I digress. If you think you may be guilty of populating your stories with plot bunnies, the following may tip you off or whether or not you’ve lost the plot:
1. You name all your characters after people you know and/or from the list of baby names you’ve had since you were twelve in case you ever have babies.
2. The steamy sex scene between your main character and the UPS man, meant to show the character’s problem with sex addiction, has now become a major plot point. And the story has turned into a Telenovella but without the subtitles.
3. A secondary character you particularly like has more dialogue than your hero/heroine and you just can’t bear to edit it out.
4. Your story is intertwined with stories of things that actually happened to you but aren’t really funny, monumental or even very interesting to anyone other than you and your BFF.
5. You find a way to save a character you should definitely kill off and sacrifice for the good of the story – but you just can’t. Because you love him.
6. You just can’t, can’t, can’t cut out that dialogue because you love it so much and laugh every time you read it. Even though it has jack to with the story, characters, theme or anything germane to the story.
7. You bristle whenever a beta reader makes an unflattering comment about a plot bunny and write a 10 page response, justifying its existence.
8. You threaten bodily harm to any reviewer who spots your plot bunny and gives your story one less star because of it.
I have to go now because I’ve bought ten pounds of carrots to ferret out my plot bunnies. Wish me luck. Where is those wily wabbits?
How about you? Do you protect your plot bunnies to the end, or do you just make rabbit stew?