A man is riding a bike on a hill.
Close this search box.
A watercolor illustration of a typewriter with a note on it.

Plot Bunny Into Story?

by Kellyn Roth |
January 20, 2018

Hiya, ladies and gents! Today I’m here to tell you how how to turn your plot bunny into a story (courtesy of me thinking about this a lot because that’s what I’m currently doing).

Now, I’m by no means an expert, but I do believe I can offer some advice based on my personal experience, and I’d love to hear your own tricks & tips in the comments!*

So, without further ado, let’s launch into the post!

*not that I’ll actually take your advice. #stubborn

If you’re anything like me, almost every day you seem to come up with a random little seed of an idea that could someday be a novel … but isn’t yet. In the writing community, these are usually called ‘plot bunnies.’*

*I refer to them as ‘plot cats’ – they are as cute as they are deadly – but for the purpose of understandability**, I’ll call them ‘plot bunnies’ in this post.
**it is too a word …

The thing is … plot bunnies aren’t developed. They are simply a teeny-eensy bit of a story. They may be the idea for a character, a plot, a theme, a setting … but it’s not much to go on.

How do you turn a plot bunny into a story? Develop it into an idea which you can actually use for a novel? Well, I’m here to tell you. Using a highly-questionable three-step guide.

1: Let it simmer for a couple days.

Keep that bunny at the back of your mind. Relish its adorableness. And this is just a suggestion, but I wouldn’t write anything down. It needs to be a free plot bunny, hopping about the recesses of your twisted writing mind with plenty of room to go.
One idea for this step is to set aside some time to just daydream. Turn off logic for a bit if need be. And just imagine. Think about plot, characters, and setting … but with no perimeters.

2: Make a brand new document and write down what you know.

I use Google Docs to do this, though the program is up to you (and doesn’t matter at all … don’t even know why I bothered to tell you). After letting it simmer, more info about the plot bunny/story-in-progress may have appeared – probably will have! – so write that all down.

I’d suggest setting a timer for fifteen to twenty minutes and just writing – any little detail you can think that might go into the book this plot bunny with eventually become. Or just talk to yourself about the plot bunny! Either way.

Don’t organize or reason. Just get those ideas down!

3: Make space for the details and fill them in as you go.

I divide that same document into different sections – plot, setting, characters, etc. Within those sections, I may make subsections (e.g. main character, supporting character, romantic interest). And … I slowly fill out each of those sections. I change it around. I don’t fill out some sections for days, but eventually I’ll get it together.

Slowly but steadily, it will develop into a basic story that you can turn into an outline (or begin to write, depending on your method).

I know this sounds too easy, but it works! I promise! I made myself do this for Water on the Rocks, and I’m a lot closer to a story than I was before.

And that’s it! Your plot bunny is turned into a story. Now all you have to do is write it! (HAHAHAHA, if only it were that easy!)

Now, I by no means mean to insinuate that this will be an easy process for youor that writing (including the brainstorming and outlining portion) will ever be easy.

But I do think that the process is made easier by giving yourself time to brainstorm, to be creative, and then easing the story into structure.


~Kellyn Roth~


How do you develop your plot bunnies? Have you ever tried doing something similar to this? Did it work? What do you do with plot bunnies you aren’t ready to work on yet? (I have a great big binder full of them!)

What do you think of my thoughts?

16 Responses

  1. Thanks… I should try this. I have a horrendous habit of getting such a plot bunny, and, if I like it enough, I’ll actually start writing with only a few details. *Worst idea ever* 😛

    1. Well, sometimes you can do that, I think! I personally am a plot bunny developer, but not everyone can do that. Some people need to be pantsers. And I know that even if I have no idea how people do this …

      1. Haha, yeah, I can’t. 😛 Depending on the story, it might work, but it was a horrible idea for one of them. It didn’t help me at all. 😛

  2. Exciting new beginnings. And of course, I opened the screenshot of your Google Docs in a new tab to see if I could get it bigger and read all the details. It seems so much more fun to learn about your plot-bunnies-turned-stories when I feel like I’m being sneaky. lol
    Have fun!

  3. Ooh, Kellyn, I LOVE THIS POST!! Especially since I have a plot bunny & I’m currently trying to come up with more ideas for it (but failing). I definitely will try to take fifteen or twenty minutes to just brain dump, that’s such a great idea! And ugh, I just really suck at turning plot premises into actual plots. My mind is not creative enough to come up with an elaborate storyline! ?

    1. Thanks! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! 😀 Good luck with that plot bunny! You can do it! Just … think about it until your brain hurts. 😉 I don’t know. But hey, you DID finish a novel, soooo?!

What do you think of my thoughts?

Follow my blog

Want to receive notifications of new posts? Let\'s make this happen!

Join 1,617 other subscribers