Hey guys! Welcome to PlaNo-WriMo. For the last three weeks of October, I’m going to be publishing one post a week on developing the ideas of plot and characterization that many of us struggle with. Then, in the month of NaNoWriMo, I’m going to be posting a weekly feature called SabriNoWriMo. I’ve been a NaNoWriMo veteran for three years now. This will be my eleventh time participating in an NaNoWriMo event, and, hopefully, my ninth time winning. I figure it’s time to put out some advice.
This isn’t really what we’re going to talk about today, but: what project will you be working on this year?
You could say this is a very important question. If you don’t have a project, as I have learned from much experience, you can and will experience an Attack of the Plot Bunnies. Those of you that don’t know what a plot bunny is, I envy you.
What are Plot Bunnies?
Here is what the Plot Bunny Support Center has to say on the subject: “Plot bunny attacks happen quite often during NaNoWriMo. Thankfully, we have a kind and helpful support community if you are attacked by these evil creatures. Recovery can take anywhere between two days to three years. Most victims survive thanks to Plot Doctoring, and are happy and safe today. Plot bunny attacks may lead to serious trauma. Please, visit Plot Doctoring today, or call 1-800-000-PLOT.”
Sadly, I am a survivor of a Plot Bunny Attack myself. During NaNoWriMo 2013, Penneastrum and a yet-as-to-be-named novel arrived, complete with an army of plot bunnies. Luckily, I managed to fight them off. At that time, Plot Doctoring did not exist. For me, recovery came nearly six months later, in April 2014.
Today, as a survivor, I am here to counsel you on how to avoid a plot bunny attack.
1. Do not be entranced by their adorable looks.
I know. They may appear cute and harmless, but once they have emerged from their burrows, they are all viciousness and claws. Methods of attack include acting cute and harmless. Sometimes, they tell you they are hungry and you need food. DO NOT FEED THE PLOT BUNNIES. Once you have fed them, you will only encourage their volatile and dangerous behavior.
2. Learn to Read the Warning Signs.
When a plot bunny approaches you, you will often be overcome with feelings of longing, and will often feel the urge to abandon your current novel, with all of its wit, charm, and wonderful intellect. Have you stopped writing your current novel to stare longingly after the plot bunnies? This indicates a severe inclination, and you may be diagnosed with Plot Bunny Proclivity Syndrome. Please, come in and talk to one of the specialists in the Plot Bunny Support Center today, and get help before it’s too late.
3. Take the Plot Bunny Defensive Stance.
If you are ever approached by a plot bunny, take the defensive stance. Quickly construct a pillow fort out of blankets, chairs, and anything that might be around. Secure the entrance by draping it with blankets. Only take with you the essentials: your computer and a mug of tea.
If the plot bunny manages to enter the pillow fort, stay calm. Block the plot bunny from view with your laptop (after backing up your novel, first!) and quickly splash the bunny with scalding tea from your mug. Plot bunnies do not like tea. They have a special aversion to chamomile.
4. Focus on that 50K.
LOOK. LOOK AT THAT WONDERFUL SIGN UP AHEAD. 50K IT SAYS. JUST KEEP LOOKING AT THE SIGN. DO NOT LOOK AWAY.
5. Find yourself some writing bunnies (also known as a Plot Bunny Support Group).
I found myself a wonderful Plot Bunny Support Group during Camp NaNoWriMo this year. We write novels and fight plot bunnies together. We also swap fictional character feels and cozy tea recipes.
I sometimes attempt to knit them sweaters. (They usually end up as Plot Bunny Traps.)
Ready for NaNoWriMo 2014? I am! Start planning your novel today, and avoid ALL the plot bunnies
– Sabri & Inky