Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh PLOTbunny!

By Amy Lane

Where do I get my inspiration? Well, uhm, anywhere really…

So, I’m getting on an airplane, and the guy next to me is slightly built, with battered blue jeans, truly amazing brown and white saddle shoes, ginger hair, hazel eyes, freckled cheeks, and a sweet smile. Then he opens his mouth to tell me that I’ll never get my carry-on stashed overhead, and holy-crap-what-the-hell… his voice! It’s a knee-melting, panty-wetting amalgam of two of the world’s sexiest accents in the bottom octave, and I have to ask him where he’s from.

“Well, I came from Russia when I was eighteen, and then I lived in North Carolina for ten years, and I’ve been in Orlando for the last eight.”

Oh holy shit. There has got to be a story here. Oh geez, I so want to know how all that happened and Goddess I want to hear this kid talk some more and…

Oh PLOT-bunny!

There he is. A character. I’ll put him on file, because someday, somewhere, his perfect mate has yet to be created. And I don’t care if the living breathing human next to me wants to jump into the sack with another (tall, tanned, handsome, broad-chested, dark-haired, rugged-Canadian-wilderness) man or not. I just care that somewhere over New Mexico, he ceased to be merely the guy sleeping next to the window in the airplane and became one of my favoritest mammals ever.

The plotbunny.

Plotbunnies are funny critters. Although I write m/m, I find that little m/m plotbunnies humping in the recesses of my brain still procreate. There is no reason for it biologically—it must be some creative evolution thing, because I swear it’s true. The more I write, the more ideas I have, and just when I’m chin deep in soft, fuzzy, furry, humping plotbunnies, there’s suddenly a population explosion and I lose the battle to keep my head above plotbunny ass and just go down with the computer. Then it’s official.

I’m now the plotbunnies’ bitch.

They have me. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing—housework (don’t laugh, it happens!), shuttling children, watching soccer/dance/gymnastics oh my!—the plotbunnies have free reign and are going at it in free-for-all plotbunny sex, and I’m on permanent distraction!

This is not always a good thing.

Recently, I lost my car keys—they were later found in the world’s simplest place (don’t ask me to reveal the location to you—it would be the final humiliation) and my long-suffering husband tried very very hard not to just lose his nut and scream at me for the $300 bill to have the car towed so the electronic key could be programmed.

“I’m sorry,” I whimpered, guilt-ridden. “I think the little people made me lose it. I get so confused, you know?”

“The little people in the house?” he snapped. “Or the little people in your head?”

Well, he had me there.

But plotbunnies have their uses—it’s a good thing that they procreate so well, really, because they’re the writing dragon’s favorite food. The writing dragon—that terrible, unstoppable force that drags me to my computer in the wee hours of the morning, forcing me to write, to edit, to bring the things in my brain to painful life—he eats plotbunnies by the dozens. They give him strength to roar in my head, distract me further, drag me kicking and screaming into that twilight land where the voices in my head are the only voices that matter, and reality becomes a distant memory, like the memory of the ground under your feet in flight. By the time he’s done with me, I feel light and empty, free of plotbunnies, a shell of a writer, waiting to be filled.

And then it happens.

I’m driving down the road in the rain and my windshield wipers are making weird scratching sounds on the front window and I pull over at the gas station, trying to keep my five-year-old from asking too many questions I can’t answer. Suddenly, there he is. Five-foot-ten, sandy, shoulder-length blond hair, bright blue eyes, a round, appealing chin and cheekbones to die for, and he’s helping fat-ol-middle-aged me with my windshield wipers and he’s so sweet, and so kind, and such a nice boy and he gets into a battered Honda and waves and smiles and…

HelLO plotbunny!

You can find Amy at:


Tracy said...

lol I love how author's brains work! I'd love to hear the guy on the plane's story as well but you've got the imagination to actually make one up! :)

Thanks for sharing a little bit of your life with us.

Chris said...

When people ask me why I don't write fiction and I try to explain that I don't have a fiction-writing brain (creative nonfiction I could do, if I exerted myself), they usually don't get it. You've definitely illustrated what a fiction-writing brain IS. :)

Amy Lane said...

LOL... writing, insanity... po-tay-to, po-tah-to...

Michelle said...

Love, Love, Love the results of all the plot bunnies and dragon feeding...But SHAZAM woman that cannot be comfortable! I am glad that you do it and in AWE that you can! And i can hardly wdait to hear those boys story either!

Unknown said...

Oh yes, see, as a writer I totally get you, Amy. :)

Funnily enough, and it might be because of my own preferred mate wouldn't be a man, my bunnies are story-bunnies first, character-bunnies second.

Occasionally I see a picture somewhere of a guy I want to turn into a character, but usually my stories need characters, not the other way around.

Needless to say, those story-bunnies are just as adamant as any other kind of plot-bunnies, so...yeah. I'm pretty much lost in my own head most of the time. :)

Amy Lane said...

Being in my head isn't always healthy -- I really do have to clean house and cook dinner sometimes!!!

Mary Anne Graham said...

I understand completely.

Muse torments me by telling me stories when I can't write them down. Recently, over a 3 day period she gave me the plot to a new historical romance. But she only talked to me while I was on my way to work.

On day 5 - Saturday - I sat down at my computer to make notes and it was gone. Absolutely gone.

That one would've been a bestseller. I just know it. If only I could coax Muse to tell me again - she remembers everything - but she's a stubborn wench.

Someday she'll tell me again. And I don't care where I am, this time I'll stop and write it down! In the meantime, I'll continue my other WIP, the one where there's this murder in a law firm.

And no, I haven't killed anybody at my law firm - yet.

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