Plot bunnies. That's what we're talking about this week.
What do you do with them when they show up? Do you keep them? Do you corral them? Do you let them go free?
Here's the thing. No matter what I'm writing, I can almost guarantee you that a plot bunny is gonna show up and try to distract me. If I'm only working on a few projects at once (like, maybe four or less) I'll let the little darlings run around and do their thing. More than that, and I'm likely to pull out my hunting shotgun, load it with shot and go to town.
Why? Because for me at least, plot bunnies are everywhere. Hell, I watch the news and I'm likely to come up with half a dozen plot bunnies. They are everywhere, and they multiply like tribbles.
The good news? I can kill the little bastards all I please. The ones that are good come back and remind me that they're bulletproof. The ones that aren't, end up as fertilizer in my constantly growing carrot patch of ideas. CONSTANTLY GROWING. Not kidding about that. The good notions resurface, and to make sure they get my attention, they often come back with more subplot or scenes attached.
My very first novel ever was a piece of garbage that died a painful death. It was a hodgepodge of science fiction and fantasy that had a few cool ideas and a LOT of craptacular notions that I should have killed. I spent an entire summer writing that novel, came u with around 500 pages of absolute drivel, and then tossed it away when I realized it had no plot, just a few cool ideas.
My second novel started off with a scene that would not leave me alone. I ignored it for over three months before I finally broke down and wrote out the first three chapters in roughly eight hours. I haven't really looked back since then.
The thing is, what works for me and my mind will likely NOT work for yours. I do things my way and if you're wise, you do things your way and take advice the same way you take pepper: to the level that satisfies you, and not one red chili flake further.
At least on the first draft. Edits from the powers that be are an entirely different affair.
Currently, I am working on THE GODLESS, Book five of the Seven Forges series, and THE TOURISTS GUIDE TO HAUNTED WELLMAN (a collaborative novel with Charle R Rutledge), three separate short stories, one collaborative short story (again with Charles) and a collaborative novella, BLOODSTAINED NEVERLAND) with Christopher Golden.
I tend to stay busy. A lot. I don't have time for all the bunnies that want my attention. Seriously. The smart ones wave, duck and cover, and come back later when they have reinforcements.
Your mileage may vary, and quite frankly should very.
PS: just for fun, here's a few visual hints for the TOURISTS GUIDE.