I am burbling here mainly because nobody else cares. And if you don’t care either I probably won’t know, I’ll just be happy because I’ve said all this about this amazing invention to someone who isn’t a) its actual inventor b) Qui-Gon Jinn or c) MacGyver. So here goes nothing.
Plot bunnies come in two concentrations, and two only: drought and deluge. In a drought, you swear you cannot write a single word about anything, you are tired, miserable, and essentially exiled from your own mind, and you desperately miss your friends (read: characters) because you have no way of getting to them. It’s kind of like being rendered incommunicado. In a deluge, you have more story ideas than you know what to do with, and write down all the ideas as fast as you can, and spend the next month hopping from one story to another, like playing whack-a-mole, every time you hit one another one pops up for attention.
The other day, I was suffering under a deluge, washing the dishes and bemoaning my fate – but actually rather enjoying myself – when my wonderful brother came up with a plot-bunny-macerating device. Simply put, it was to ‘have the characters sitting around swapping stories’. The idea being that as each story was told, the bunny that started it would burn out. And characters telling stories don’t put in all the little gidgets I have to, because everybody they’re talking to already knows what Malastare looks like. Well, it was a good idea, and I tried it, and in the first page of trying it, I burnt out five plot bunnies. In the second page I burnt ten. The floodwaters receded. Times were good in the mind palace.
Skip forward a month.
The first page generated seven plot bunnies of its own while burning only five. The second generated twelve while burning ten. I’m currently at six thousand words, twelve pages, and the rate has finally settled down to producing bunnies only as fast as they’re burnt out – and, of course, I’m keeping the burnout rate under control. Let me repeat: this story will continue as long as I let it.
My genius of a brother invented a literary fusion reactor.
It runs on itself. It’s big enough that it will swallow any extra stray plot bunnies I throw at it because I don’t know what else to do with them, and then it will ask for more. I tried leaving this reactor completely alone for a week, unfed and ignored, and when I came back it was not sulking and refusing to be written, as so many stories do when you treat them like that; in fact it was raring to go. It has eaten over half of my current notebook in a week, a feat that so far no other story has accomplished.
Anytime I think it might be dying off, I count up the threads that are simultaneously running through it, and realize… well, I’m at least four thou away from finishing this one, and at least eight thou away from finishing that one, and if and when I find out that all the threads tie off in the same place (unlikely – for each one that dies off, a new one appears, it’s like braiding a rag carpet) I can start on the prequels. Which are threatening to become a reactor of their own.
I’m really excited about this, you may have noticed.
Thanks for reading.