Plot bunnies. Those story ideas, scene fragments, characters, or images from a yet-to-be-written story that nag nag nag to have their story written RIGHT NOW and won’t leave us alone to focus on the story in progress. They look cute and fluffy and friendly, but oh boy, they can also be trouble!
“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” — John Steinbeck
He only had twelve? Lucky guy!
My brain teems with story ideas. And they really do multiply. My new story ideas never come one at a time, they come as entire series. And far too often, they distract me from the story I should be writing.
I suspect that’s a sneaky procrastination method. “But I am writing.” Hmm, nice try, Ms. Procrastinator! Or could be, it simply happens because my brain is set to creative mode. They do attack more when I want to be writing something else. But whatever it is, it’s about as welcome as a family of hungry rabbits moving into my veggie patch!
I should be finishing up my stories for the wonderful A Tuscan legacy multi-author series. I’m already a little behind where I hoped to be by now with my books, set in Wales and Tuscany. I love the series. I love the stories. I love my characters, especially Rachel and Jonathan, who you’ll meet in book 1, Marion’s That’s Amore, the one you heard about on Thursday. They’ll reappear for their own story in Book 8, Dolce Vita (Sweet Life), and appear again along with all the cousins in book 9, La Risposta (The Answer).
- An entire opening scene for a story, which appeared while making breakfast one day and emerged on my computer screen way faster than I thought I could write since my pesky illness started. It’s looking like it will be this year’s Huckleberry Lake Christmas story. The one I found a cover image for a few weeks back, but had no idea who those characters were. Uh, that would be when I was looking for cover images for a whole different story – chasing other plot bunnies you’ll hear about next year!
- New ideas for a multi-generational family saga (more women’s fiction than romance) set in my birth country, Australia, requiring massive research and fact-checking. That series first appeared in 2013 with an entire month of nothing but solid 8-hours-a-day research for the first book, followed by a 70,000 word incomplete draft set on an 1830s convict ship bound for Sydney. They hadn’t arrived yet, and I hadn’t even mentioned something that will become a major theme for the series, so each book will probably need to be at least 120,000 words! Eep!
- Another Aussie series, involving the staff at a Royal Flying Doctor base. Despite the fact I worked at one for a while in the ’90s, it will still require loads of research. And then there’s that odd quirk of mine – I can’t write romance about any job I’ve actually done. Experiencing the reality is such an imagination killer! That means if it ever gets written, this series is likely to be more women’s fiction than romance. Nope. Not happening. I love romance too much!
- Ideas for not one but THREE linked stories for my Princess series that keeps getting postponed. I started Book 1 last year, but had to set it aside half-way through. The want-to-writes are stacking up fast, and the original trilogy has now grown to three linked trilogies – nine books! By the time I begin releasing the series, most likely 2020, I can’t help wondering how many more there will be. At least the books in this series are all romances! Phew!
- Ideas for six more books in my Sweetapple Falls series, on top of the five I already have. At least my latest solo ebook release, His Father’s Son (previously published in the Cherish boxed set last year) won’t be orphaned and on its own too long. A romance series involving a family and their friends I was going to set in a different small-town location have decided they want to move to Sweetapple Falls, Oregon. That one is truly awesome news, as I welcome the chance to write more about Josh, Anna, Luke, and the other characters!
That’s pretty much a typical week of idea sparking for me.
But, I should be writing! The book that needs to be done first, not the new idea! So I write down the story idea as fast as I can. Tell it to join the queue. File it away. And then forget it. It will have its time, but that time isn’t now. And I get back to work on the stories whose time is now!
God has a lesson for me in this, and it’s far more than trusting I will never run out of story ideas! Through this, and through the pesky illness that hit me two years ago, He’s teaching me to hope for the future, but to live in the present, trusting that He will take care of whatever happens next.
Because he does, and He will!
Each comment on this post will go in the draw for the winner’s choice of my ebooks, as well as in the Big Birthday Bash prize draw! Winner for my ebook giveaway will be chosen randomly from all comments made on this post by March 2nd.
And that cover reveal? Visit the A Tuscan Legacy website (after you comment here!) to see the gorgeous cover Marion made for Dolce Vita!