So, you’re writing a story, and all of a sudden you get this great idea for it. The only problem is; it doesn’t go with the story you are currently writing. What are you going to do?
Plot bunnies and rabbit trails. They don’t mix. For those of you who are new to the lingo, a plot bunny is basically an idea for a story and a rabbit trail is a story or explanation that leads nowhere.
It’s fun to follow a rabbit down a hole to see where it leads, but you’ll just end up in Wonderland where nothing makes sense. When things don’t make sense, readers get frustrated and put the book down. So you need to be able to figure out when to follow the rabbit and when to let him hop on by.
Take this for an example: You are writing a story about two people on a camping trip. Then you have this amazing idea about a character who has this crazy dream about going into space and meeting an unknown race of aliens. You write the dream sequence and it takes up a whole chapter. I’m sure it was an awesome chapter, but if it doesn’t have anything to do with the story, you’ve got to cut it.
“But I really like that idea!” you say. Well, then, use the cut and paste option. Take that dream sequence and stick it in a new document. You can make it a story of its own. You have a new baby plot bunny! Congratulations!
Sometimes it’s okay to combine plot bunnies and come up with an awesome story with twists and turns. When you do this, everything comes together at the end of the book. Other times, those little bunnies just aren’t going to get along and that’s when one of them runs off on a rabbit trail.
Rabbit trails frustrate readers, mess with the flow of the story, and worst of all they add a bunch of unneeded “fluff” to your story. Stick with the important stuff and set the ideas aside for another project.
Thanks for reading!
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