When Rabbits Grow

When rabbits grow, they multiply.  And not like 7 x 6 = 42. 

More like 1 x 1 = a litter.

My back yard is full of bunnies.  They eat my lilacs, poop on my sidewalk, and chomp away all the buds from my perennials.  They are a royal pain in my back side. 

Which reminds me of a WIP that is quietly hanging out in the TBRevised pile. 

Sometimes we get carried away with story lines and we let those plot bunnies multiply.  We think it adds tension and drama and depth.  And to a certain extent they do.

But sometimes, we end up with a whole litter of them and they run out of control.  They take over the main conflict, nibble at the important story lines and out number the MC. 

I should have let DH shoot them when he had the chance.  But no, I’m a sucker for those fuzzy little ears and milky white paws.  And their noses….  Be still my heart when a baby bunny twitches his little nose my way.  I’m a sucker for bunnies.

Sadly, my TBR manuscript shows it.  One agent suggested it might be too issue heavy.  What I think she meant was prolific. 

I’m going to don my farmer’s overalls and chase down my plot bunnies.  And the next time two of them shack up under my shed, I’m going to let DH give them the boot. 

One plot bunny is nice.  I think I’ll keep it that way.

Do you have a problem with runaway plot bunnies?  How do you balance the population in your manuscripts?  And how do you decide which plot threads add to your manuscript and which ones eat away at the gist of your story?

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17 responses to “When Rabbits Grow

  1. Be thankful you don’t have wild turkeys. They can wreak havoc on both garden and novel plots.

    • LOL, Peter.

      I can picture a wild turkey streaking through a novel. It would definitely take over the main conflict and draw undue attention to itself!

  2. Peter is so funny. As are you Cate dear. I just picture a sea of bunnies in your backyard. That would be quite frightening actually.

  3. My plots usually stay under control, though I do have to cut runaway characters at times, those that wander in and then wander off without explanation. I think they go to the coffee shop of lost characters, wandering around in the scenery somewhere, cup of joe in hand.

    • Barbara,

      That’s funny. I’m okay with my characters most of the time. Maybe because I’m somewhat introverted and prefer small casts of people in my daily life. In that respect you’re lucky. Random characters are easier to cut than random plots.

      ~cat

  4. I’m a little worried about prolific bunnies in this ms. There’s one over-riding conflict of course, but I don’t know if I need to cut down on some others. I need to give it a straight read-through and see

    • Good luck figuring out if your bunnies are too prolific. It’s not easy, but I have faith that you can flush them out if they are causing too much damage.

      hugs~ cat

  5. I love bunnies, too. Unfortunately, I think that I dislike hunting down excess plot bunnies as much as I would real ones. Thank goodness for beta readers!

  6. I have one draft that is probably going to stay a draft forever because I can’t figure out where to begin and which bunnies need to be humanely seperated out and relocated (I can’t bear to shoot things). The problem was some of the plot bunnies turned out to be more interesting than the actual plot and that is a whole seperate problem.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Cassandra,

      Maybe you can still salvage some of this plots for other writing purposes. I know sometimes that’s hard or impossible, but it stinks when we have to totally shelve something we worked so hard on. And forever is a long time. Maybe you’ll have an epiphany that can help you untangle the naughty rabbits from the necessary ones!

      Best luck~ cat

  7. I can’t picture plot bunnies right now, I’m too busy cooing over the mental image of real baby bunnies hopping around in your backyard, sniffing the flowers and nibbling on the grass. OH, how I wish I had a yard!

    • Yards are nice, but you have a pretty awesome artistic pad! Your space looks amazing, inspiring and comfortable all at once. Or maybe that was you who looked too adorable while posing for the pic!

      Yes, the bunnies are cute–even when the eat my flowers.

  8. Plot bunnies. Pretty funny imagery. You have an amazing talent for finding metaphors all around you.

    Hope your plot bunnies aren’t as hard to manage as those wild bunnies wreaking havoc in your back yard.

  9. Pingback: Spring kittens « Guardian Cats

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