Post-NaNo Update: The Perils of Wandering Bunnies

Leatherbound rough draft is at 94K words and counting. I’ve successfully swatted some monsters but tracking down the bad guys is proving elusive. Going to be chewing on that. I know how the story should end; it’s getting the characters from where they are now to that final fight that is being twisty as a worm trying not to get hooked.

One of the problems of getting most of the way done on a draft, is wandering plotbunnies.

Plotbunnies are addicted to Shiny. No two ways about it. They love Shiny. Whether it’s the most recent new species/weird science fact/meteorite spotted in outer space, an odd historical detail you run across researching something else (oyster farms off Britain in the first century BC? Ooo….) or something as simple (yet satisfying!) as Big Booms.

(You will never hear me say that Big Booms have no place in Serious Storytelling. Nope.)

Bunnies will go out of their way for Shiny. Waaaaay out of their way. And part of the problem with having most of your story worked out – as you must to have gotten most of the way through a draft – is the bunnies are not uncovering gobs of new Shiny. Oh, there are twists, and fine details, but most of the world should be set.

…Cue yawning plotbunnies.

Sometimes they just go to sleep, meaning struggling your way through the rest of the draft becomes a slogging-through-mud-in-lead-chains slugfest to the end of the book. Other times… they start looking for new Shiny. Anywhere. Everywhere.

Anywhere that’s not what you’re currently working on, that is.

So far I’ve been hit with no less than four separate Ideas that could themselves be workable stories. Currently I’ve typed up and stored notes for all of them, in the hopes that I can pick at least one of them up later and run with it like a cackling tiefling. Or something like that….

First one’s a post-apocalyptic setting, where the apocalypse was an invasion of magical blood-drinkers, the two sides are currently staring at each other across a river, and the heroes may be mercenaries trying to get by in the middle of the chaos.

Second, an “In Another World” Sword-and-Planet science fantasy, complete with lost princess and sarcastic demon-blooded sorceress who need our Earth-born hero’s help and sword against an evil out to destroy other kingdoms. (Because Witch World is still one of the most awesome books ever, and smiteable bad guys yay!)

Third is a different In Another World, with a reincarnated as fantasy race slant, which is going to have fairies, dwarves, demons, and flying islands. (Physics? What physics?)

Fourth and most recent were the bunnies poking that trope of, “In our hour of need, the kingdom can summon a mighty hero!” Bunnies: “You know, if I were an Evil Overlord, and had studied the history of the places I was attacking, I’d know about this last-ditch thing. And I’d steal how they do it. On top of that, then I would summon the Chosen Hero – where I can immediately try to get him on my side/toss him in the dungeon or execute him if that doesn’t work out.”

Of course, a real heroic type would escape… and does….

Ahem. Aaaaanyway.

As you can see, the problem isn’t not having ideas. It’s having ideas that are completely separate from what you’re working on, that will take you off on a romp of a tangent but leave the current work just… not done.

I’ve learned from painful experience that not finishing a work in one go makes it really hard to pick up again. So the way I write books is to cling onto the rough draft like iron tongs and keep going. No matter how tempting all the other ideas are. Once I get the rough finished – then I can start something else while I edit.

Hear that, bunnies? I will get to you. And I’ll get to you faster if you turn loose of the rest of Leatherbound…. 😉

24 thoughts on “Post-NaNo Update: The Perils of Wandering Bunnies

      1. I’m reminded of a line from some authorial interview (I’m thinking Mercedes Lackey, but pretty sure that’s wrong) about their favorite author’s club being 6 feet long, *with spikes*. Could be useful against the bunnyswarm…?

        Liked by 2 people

  1. >“In our hour of need, the kingdom can summon a mighty hero!” Bunnies>
    Recently ran across a manga/LN that twists that notion on it’s head along with a sprinkling of Log Horizon into the mix. There’s an on-going fan-translation of the LN online if you want to take a look.

    Yasei no Last Boss ga Arawareta! aka A Wild Last Boss Appeared!

    Story seems to be that you have a reality that is patterned off (or in some way connected to) a popular sword and sorcery MMORPG (traditional setup, no VR involved). Long story but the surviving ‘good’ nations are trying to summon an ancient hero that can defeat the demons that threaten to wipe the last of them from existence.

    Situation seems to be Log Horizon only it’s been 200 years without Adventurers and the ‘NPCs’ by and large aren’t powerful enough to do more then hold onto one tiny corner of the planet.

    Cue the summoning ritual and they snag a player in their PC body. Bad news is that said player hammed up being an evil overlord/second-to-last boss that the Devs actually put it into the game lore which is part of the NPCs history.

    The ‘Oh -bleep- what have we done’ reactions are highly amusing. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds Awesome.

      Incidentally, you might be amused to note that an image search for Last Boss also brought up “The Other Side Beyond the Last Boss.”

      Evil god gets tired of waiting to be defeated, decides to go to high school? I’d love to see that one too….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks, I’ll take a look.

        Here’s the link to the LN translation: Shurim’s 3am Translations

        Though we’re getting more and more hints that something hinky is going on that the main character isn’t aware of, or at least we aren’t shown any indication that she is. Specifically with an NPC follower that she found in her tower that appears to have something of a talent for mental magics along with teleportation.

        You see she needed to remind the PC and later another allied.NPC associated with the player of who she was before they could remember her………

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t remember the name of it, but I read the first several chapters of a manga that’s yet another variant of this. It’s set on the “forum” for “heros”, which was created by an organization/union of veteran “chosen heros” to help the newbies. Basically, it’s an overlay on reality, that automatically connects to any “chosen hero” at the point at which they’re chosen, and acts like a forum where they can talk to other chosen heros (log horizon style overlay on reality/”telepathy pm’s” crossed with “it’s a forum, not just pm’s”) to ask for advice/howtos/etc, to read about other “chosen heros” adventures, and just generally to chat with others who have had similar experiences.

      For the most part, each chapter of the manga is a self-contained “chosen hero” situation (tho there’s some ongoing bits, like one guy who’s been a chosen hero 30+ times, and always as the “summoned” variety… while being a japanese office drone normally. and complaining on the forum about how many jobs he’s lost because of his time in other worlds as a hero), with a mix of “here’s what’s happening” and “here’s other heros watching the thread and commenting on it”.

      It also delves into some of the interesting bits in a reality where such things can happen. Like a world that turns out to be welching on its payments by backstabbing their summoned heros after the mission is complete. Or the business drone who keeps being summoned even during the middle of a workday. Or random schoolkids with no experience being summoned and thrown into a war. Or something messing up, and two heros being summoned to deal with the same event separately. Or a hero getting too high level, and being bored out of his mind.

      And it was amazing how much continuity and extended plot managed to be worked into that manga, despite it relying on each chapter being an “adventure of the week”.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. . . . being twisty as a worm trying not to get hooked.

    Well, you can’t really blame the worm for that. No one likes being speared by a hook.

    Plotbunnies are addicted to Shiny.

    *nods* Poster-children for the trope Attention Defiecie . . . Oh Something Shiny!

    Of course, a real heroic type would escape… and does….

    Of course they do.

    And said Evil Overlord would know that if they had read the list but they never do.

    Hear that, bunnies? I will get to you. And I’ll get to you faster if you turn loose of the rest of Leatherbound….

    Bunnies: “But we’re BORED! We have been working this for sooooo long almost all of the Shiny has been rubbed off!”

    You: “Tough! We are finishing this book. It is not going into to Unfinished Pile!”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tough luck for your Bunnyzilla, but that description frankly reminds me rather heavily of Overlord.

      No time travel (unless you count it being the 2160’s in the “real world” when the series begins), but the MC is a Level 100 Elder Lich (i.e. skeleton archmage) in a world where even a level-30 former-NPC is considered Ludicrously OP.

      Hell, said MC isn’t even all that strong, compared to other players – he’s specced for PvE, not PvP. What made him and his guild famous, was not only going through and conquering a legendary dungeon without a single loss – something that even the game admins considered as praiseworthy – but then turning around, claiming it as their territory, and then making it even more deadly, to the point where no one else even came close to repeating their feat!

      It’s basically an evil, one-man version of Log Horizon.

      The anime is on Crunchyroll, if anyone wants to see it – the second season is in progress as we speak/type.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another interesting and unique situation from a webnovel i read, is an urban fantasy setting, where the bad guy wants to break teh masquarade worldwide as his endgoal–to show life having purpose beyond the mundane cogs in a machine of society, where people have good, comfortable but meaningless lives. and tries to revive a god using human sacrifices-

    the interesting point is that when they are confronted by the protagonist, the police is about to come, and an ultimatum is given-if the protag will try to fight or escape, the villain will try to stop the protag with their own supernatural power, in full view of the cops, unless the protagonist surrenders to the police, masquarade will be broken-but it will make stopping the villain harder.

    what would your protagonists and plot bunnies will do with it-keeping in mind that the masquarade is important.


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