melissatreglia: (cursor it mocks me)
[personal profile] melissatreglia posting in [community profile] onedeadplotbunny
I thought I'd resurrect an old discussion here. Two years ago, [personal profile] kalloway made a post discussing the differences between a premise bunny and a plot bunny.

Long story short: A premise bunny is a basic idea that lacks the plotty goodness of a proper plot bunny. It's the germination of an idea that resembles a plot bunny, but without having the faintest clue where it's supposed to end up.

I do have quite a few premise bunnies myself. But I'd rather hear about you guys. What's a pet premise bunny for you, and how are you working (or not working) on growing it into a proper plot bunny?

Date: 2017-04-19 08:54 pm (UTC)
chronikle: (merlin ☆ the winter of our discount tent)
From: [personal profile] chronikle
I have a lot of fanfic premise bunnies that are simply scenes I'd love to write but then struggle finding a genuine plot for, so there's just a lot of little snippets lying around that don't feel complete enough to share but neither do I want to finish them. x__x

I think my biggest premise bunny is a supernatural/paranormal universe that I've spent a lot of time working on the worldbuilding for, and it's populated by lots (and LOTS) of characters and how those characters interconnect and why, but... I just don't have a proper plot for it. :'D And whenever I think of something, it either doesn't feel like it belongs with the universe or it feels like the characters aren't genuinely involved in the plot, they just happen to be there while it's happening.

One day, I'll find the perfect story for it... one day...

Date: 2017-04-19 08:58 pm (UTC)
the_rck: (Default)
From: [personal profile] the_rck
Hm. By that definition, I'm not sure I've ever had a plot bunny. I find out where a story is going by writing it or by telling bits of it to myself. I consider something a plot bunny when I have a premise and a first sentence. Anything beyond that and I find myself fighting with the story and the characters.

Date: 2017-04-19 09:16 pm (UTC)
gehayi: (writing it down (ravemasta))
From: [personal profile] gehayi
My pet premise bunny is about a pair of medieval interplanetary pilots in a clockpunk universe (one Punjabi, the other Hakka, and both women). I know the women, I have some idea of their backgrounds (not 100%, or I wouldn't want to tell the story)...but I don't really have a situation to put them in or an obstacle to afflict them with. Also, I don't know much about medieval India or medieval China, and much of what exists isn't online or in English.

(Yes, it's fantasy, but I want it to be somewhat grounded in reality; I'm making up the tech, but I'd like to know what kind of societies and political systems this world's India and China would be changing FROM, if you see what I mean.)

Date: 2017-04-20 12:06 am (UTC)
chronikle: (ninninger ☆ ohmygosh yay!)
From: [personal profile] chronikle
Dropping by to say that that premise is AMAZING, and I hope you figure out a way to write it because I would love to hear more about it.

Date: 2017-04-19 10:58 pm (UTC)
desireearmfeldt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] desireearmfeldt
I mostly don't get premise bunnies, I don't think. My ideas tend to start with pieces of scenes/dialogue, or climactic moments. Or, if I do start with a "what if?" my brain jumps very quickly to either scenes or plot events. I pretty much never start with a setting -- I'm not a worldbuilding sort of writer.

I guess I do sometimes start one-scene-ers with just a premise (these two characters are having sex with a blindfold...these two characters are making popcorn balls...) but in that case, either I figure out an actual point for the story to have as I'm writing, or it just withers and I lose interest and move on. Or, you know, if grows into some giant monster of a novella.

Date: 2017-04-19 11:42 pm (UTC)
marginaliana: Buddy the dog carries Bobo the toy (Default)
From: [personal profile] marginaliana
I think that if I have an interesting premise, it either moves quite quickly into actual plot bunny where I have a good idea of what the story is, or it dies almost immediately as a 'wouldn't it be cool.' There's nothing that really hangs on in the intermediate zone between those two, not for more than a day or so. I tend to ask myself right away - "What would actually happen? What would the story be about?" and if I can't answer it, then that's it.

(Which isn't to say I always end up actually writing the plot bunnies, but at least I have a sense of the outline of how they would go and they could be written.)

I guess sometimes if it's a specific scene, I might write out the scene and try to figure out how they get there later on, but that feels different than a 'premise,' to my mind. A scene idea is like a mid-way signpost for a story where you don't know the starting point. Whereas a premise is like a map of a woodland that gives you an interesting picture of the place from above, but no guidance on what kind of path to take.

Date: 2017-04-20 02:29 am (UTC)
gramarye1971: Old Ways (TDIR: Old Ways)
From: [personal profile] gramarye1971
*points up* This is how it usually happens for me, too. Sometimes I can dredge up a previously discarded premise bunny and turn it into a story idea if I'm inspired by something else, but usually the plot has to come along quickly after the premise or it might as well not have existed.

And the scene/premise distinction is a good one, too. Some of my more interesting stories have started with a scene idea and spiralled out from there, but usually because they actually had a plot self-contained in the scene. Personal example: Hen Wylad fy Nhadau, the postcanon Dark Is Rising fic about Bran Davies becoming involved in Welsh nationalist activism in the 1980s, started with a mental image of Bran and Will, sitting together (awkwardly) in a cramped dormitory room that is awash in political campaign literature. And as I wrote out the scene to make sense of the image, I could tell that the plot was in the underlying tension of this particular scene, so there was very little I needed to do with it apart from let it play out. Not all scene ideas lend themselves to this method, though, as my sad WIP folder suggests.

Date: 2017-04-20 01:19 am (UTC)
misslucyjane: poetry by hafiz (Default)
From: [personal profile] misslucyjane
My biggest premise bunny is "what if someone defeats the Big Evil that kept a town going, and how does the town manage after?"

I don't know if it's an original or a fanfic, who the Big Evil was or what they did, or what the town does after. But I'm pretty sure I'll figure out one day. The last time I had a big, Someday I will do this!!! idea, fifteen years later it became an SPN Big Bang :). (The premise was inspired by a theory about what's in the briefcase in Pulp Fiction; what if that glowy thing was the Holy Grail, and what if all kind of people were trying to find it while Our Heroes were trying to hide it away?)

Date: 2017-04-20 01:31 am (UTC)
samuraiter: (Default)
From: [personal profile] samuraiter

I'm not sure I have any of these. My plot bunnies tend to be fully developed when they hit the list. I mean, I've got pairing bunnies, where it's just a fandom and a pairing and nothing else, but that's a bit different, I think.

Date: 2017-04-20 02:40 am (UTC)
butterflydreaming: "Cris", in blocks with a blinking cat (Default)
From: [personal profile] butterflydreaming
I call them plot carrots... I have more ideas than time to give to them. If needed, all I seem to need to do is talk about it (make carrot salad) with my beta reader and a plot appears. I know how lucky I am!

Date: 2017-04-20 02:45 am (UTC)
milady_dragon: Dragon Myfanwy (Default)
From: [personal profile] milady_dragon
I usually get 'scene' bunnies, which to me are a form of plot bunny in that they are scenes with big pieces of plot in them. Then, I have to extend the story to those particular plotty scenes.

In this current fic I'm working on, I have about ten scenes planned out so far, all of them with large pieces of plot in them. I have two connected already, and I'm working on integrating the others. It's almost like working with a form of outline, really.

My problem comes when I run out of these scenes and can't figure out where to go next.

Date: 2017-04-20 04:17 am (UTC)
bridgetmkennitt: (Default)
From: [personal profile] bridgetmkennitt
Ohh, yes. I've had plenty of premise bunnies that may or may not grow into a plot bunny. Sometimes it'll be an image in my head of some locale or someone or an idea, but that's it and that's not enough to hang my hat on for any sort of story.

I did have a premise bunny recently in the form of a food item prompt and the way I worked it into a proper plot bunny was actually by channeling Project Runway critiques and trying to figure out how I could use said food in a story with actual plot. And it worked! I am writing that fic right now. :D

Date: 2017-04-20 04:49 am (UTC)
snowynight: Kino in a suit with brown background (Default)
From: [personal profile] snowynight
I often have ideas that I think are neat, but turn out I can't make up a proper plot with them. I mark them on a list until I can rework them into something workable or give up.

Date: 2017-04-20 09:12 am (UTC)
hardboiledbaby: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hardboiledbaby
Most of my premise bunnies are snips of dialogue, and, if I'm lucky, a bit of context to go with. I think of them as WIPsnips, and hoo boy, I have a crapton of 'em. I save them in a file, and revisit them from time to time. Once in a great while, the muse will pick one up and limp along run with it. When that happens, then I have a chance of getting an actual fic out of it. Alas, if I try to force her, she rarely cooperates :P

Also, hi! *waves* New to the comm, and looking forward to the posts :)

Date: 2017-04-20 11:20 am (UTC)
st_aurafina: Rainbow DNA (Default)
From: [personal profile] st_aurafina
I think I mostly get premise bunnies, actually? Then I trip up trying to turn them into actual functioning plot, unless I can get my brain to spit out a few scenes that sort of work like seed crystals around the premise, hopefully pulling more and more scenes in.

Date: 2017-04-20 02:28 pm (UTC)
darthneko: purple cartoon bunny (Default)
From: [personal profile] darthneko
Most of my fanfic tends to be plot bunnies (in as much as I'll write a self contained scene and call it a completed fic). Occasionally there are premise bunnies that are a scene that really requires more but I don't have anything for it (like, one set of scenes I had of The Avengers meeting Torchwood, nice intro, no plot).

Premises are how my original stuff usually start, though, and they can sit in the premise state with no plot for ages, or suddenly develop a plot when I'm least expecting it. My biggest one right now is the steampunk magitech universe with the lesbian sky pirate couple (one's a retired captain, former sky pirate, who invested her money in a legitimate shipping business. The other was her ship navigator mage who's blind and now happily a housewife. And something happens and it comes out that the blind mage ran away from her wealthy minor nobility family to elope with this disreputable sky pirate captain, and shit from her family legacy is going to mess their happily retired life up and send them back to being pirates on an airship.)

There's a lot of "and then something happens to make X occur" in that one, so it's still very much more of a premise than a plot bunny. It also keeps nosing around to see if I want to make a JRPG out of it instead of writing it in prose. =P

Date: 2017-04-21 10:31 am (UTC)
ahavah: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ahavah
There's been a premise bunny niggling at the back of my head for a few years. A vampire raises a cult around him on the downlow. I'm not sure why or what his ultimate plans are, but he could get pretty powerful over the years.

Date: 2017-05-02 01:27 am (UTC)
3rdragon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] 3rdragon
Hi, new here!

One of the changes that I've noticed in my writing recently is that story ideas are much more likely to come with plot. Previously it had generally been a character, or a scenario, or a worldbuilding detail (often a "what if X worked Z way instead of Y way?") -- but usually static. But within the past year or two, while the story-seeds are often the same sort of thing, they will come with plot, or at the very least, direction, a string that if I keep pulling on it will lead me to what turns out to be a plot, to mix my metaphors.

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