Let’s take a break from characters and backtrack a small bit. As a writer, you might be plagued by an idea so insistent that you’re forced to stop everything you’re doing and focus on this new little bunny that just made it to your CPPC (central plot processing center). As you pause from your current manuscript, you turn to look at the new arrival only to stare in abject horror as you recognize the rotting flesh of an old discarded idea come back to life!
You run from the room and grab the nearest source of fire at your fingertips. In my case, that would be a propane tank and a lighter. Grabbing the zombiefied creature, that hardly resembles the once vibrant hopeful little bunny it once was, you tape it to that propane tank and light it off!
Fleeing the flames, you take shelter back inside your writing cave with peace of mind that the horrible creature is dead. Never to bother you again. Until you hear a rapping at your door and the scampering of furry feat across the floor.
You back up against the wall, reaching for the nearest blunt object. Your fingers close around the handle of a baseball bat, I have no clue why you have one in your writing cave but you do, and you slowly creep towards the door. You reach out, and quickly, throw the door open and swing at the bunny standing before you. You swing and swing and swing some more until all that’s left is a pile of rotted goo.
Slumping against the door frame you wipe the sweat and blood from your face and think finally it’s dead. No way it can come back from that! But even as you think it, the goo starts to move and take form. The bunny rises from the pool of decay and rot.
Having no other options at this point, you move swiftly! You get the vacuum and you suck that little bastard up. You deposit his half liquid, half solid remains in a metal box, and you jet out to the ocean. Because we all have private boats on standby. You sail at full speed out to the deepest part of the ocean and you drop that horrid creature right off the side of your boat. You watch. Counting the seconds and minutes as that box slowly descends to the dark crushing depths. Imaging the entire time, the box getting smaller and smaller, the bunny being destroyed from the inside out as it implodes.
You release a sigh of sweet relief and steer your boat back toward shore. You go home, you sit at your desk, and your fingers are now once again poised above your keyboard. You’re ready to get back to that book!
No you’re not!
He’s back, standing by your chair and smiling up at you. You look upon his lifeless gaze knowing this will be your last moments of sanity. Nothing will work. You can never escape the undead insanity of the plot bunny before you.
So, you cave in. You pull up a new document and you write a story you know has no originality to it but you try to make something good out of it. Maybe the characters can salvage this train wreck of an idea. Or, you can try a new angle… if there even is one!
As a writer you might find yourself locked into an idea that has been done time and time again. As the saying goes, there is nothing original anymore. Everything has been done. Just like that undead plot bunny that continually rises from the grave to be rewritten over and over again.
It is up to you to come up with something new, even for a tired old story idea. Maybe you want to write something similar to a Beauty and the Beast style story. It is your job as the writer, as the interpreter of the undead plot bunny, to weave a tale with a different spice to it. A new approach. Maybe the beast is half man, half machine. An outcast in society because of his mechanical parts. He’s neither human nor robot. Maybe your beauty is an employee of this beast, and already knows of his gentle heart. Your beauty is desperate to show the beast that it’s okay for society to not accept him, as long as they have each other. There is no curse to be broken, just the jaded and lonely heart of one man to overcome! (this is my idea, stay away from it)
So, even as this Halloween comes around and you are faced with the idea of the insanity of the many undead plot bunnies abounding, remember it could be a blessing in disguise. Wait, I say before chopping off that rotting creature’s head! Listen to the tale he wishes for you to spin. Lend the insanity an ear, and just maybe a bit of it will find its way into your writing.