Friday, June 10, 2011

BUNNIES, BUNNIES EVERYWHERE . . .




When I set out to write this blog, I stood at my back patio doors looking outside at my yard. Within moments I noticed movement under the bushes along the fence line. In our neighborhood, even though I live in a large city, we still tend to get several different "critters". Some I don't mind seeing in the yard, some I mind quite a bit. This morning, though, was one of the happier sightings. Coming out of the bushes was a cute little brown and white bunny. There have been several wild rabbits spotted on our street, so the sight of this one wasn't a big surprise. Seeing a second bunny come hopping out behind the first, though, that was a bit more unusual. So standing there with my first cup of coffee in hand, I eased the curtain aside and watched.

The bunnies played in the grass, running and hopping. It looked almost like a dance, a fun game, with one racing toward the other and right as he/she would reach the other rabbit, it would hop straight up in the air and land only to race in the other direction. They did this over and over. Then I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. From under the same bushes as before, another lone figure slowly emerged from the underbrush. Easing forward, slowly, body crouched low to the ground, one step at a time, it paused to look around before focusing on the two young bunnies at play. Slowly it inched forward, step by step drawing closer. The two at play never notice the possibility of danger creeping slowly up behind them. They were having so much fun running along to and fro, hopping up only to run again. They ran through a small hole in the fence, only to race back in seconds later.

With a burst of speed, the third body sprang forward tackling one of the playful rabbits, barreling into it full force. A third bunny had gotten into the yard and wanted to join in the fun. They raced across the patio, oblivious to any sense of danger around. I watched these three bunnies play for a few minutes thinking about how what they were doing was similar to how we write.

We start a story with the two main characters, the hero and villain. As writers we could take then on a straight path from point A to their goal, the villain is foiled, and everybody lives happily ever after. End of story. But where's the fun in that, not just for the writer but for the reader? Instead, like the bunnies, we have them do their dance, running toward each other only to veer away (or hop away as the case may be). We send our characters down rabbit trails, following false clues, making them backtrack and start their dance over again. If we're really creative, we throw in that third person to provide that element of danger, that layering of suspense. Is this the villain? Are they a friend? A lover? We can take it in any direction we want.

Do you have your characters following bunny trails throughout your story? Do your characters do their own special dance, a few steps forward, a hop back? Sometimes, if we take the time to stop and watch the bunnies, following those bunny trails in our stories can be a good thing.

14 comments:

MaureenAMiller said...

I have a rabbit in the yard that stares me down when I come outside. He says, "You again? Are you really going to walk this way and disrupt me?" So I make it a point of giving him a wide berth.

This is one bunny trail that will not make it into my book. LOL

Great post, Kathy!

Pauline Barclay said...

We have lizards, very small, and ghekos dashing around on our garden amongst the rocks. They are no more 6 inches long and dart areound very fast. I have made mention to these in my latest novel.... Loved your Blog about the bunnies!

VICKI BATMAN said...

Good post, PP, about bunnies of all things. But it is so true--even something small has a story, if we just look.

Elise Warner said...

Toni--tell me the bunnies are doing well. You are so right--stories everywhere to be discovered and told.

Elise Warner said...

Kathy, I think the heat has me. Addressed my comment to Toni.

Toni Anderson said...

I'm the default name around here, Elise. And that makes me feel happy b/c I would have loved to write the lovely bunny post :)
Kathy--we have bunnies and my dog is the villain, and the suspense is whether or not I can hang on to her once she spots them :)

Phyllis said...

Good post,Kathy....fellow PP....I enjoyed it. Funny how something so totally different, strange or small can connect us to writing in some way or another.

Kathy Ivan said...

Sorry, ladies, Blogger keeps eating my responses to you all.

Just saying thanks so much for stopping by. (Bad computer morning, ready to throw it across the room. So very frustrating.)

Everything and anything can spark a story idea, where you go with it is up to you and your creativity.

Janis Patterson said...

Well, we all know it's a bunny-eat-bunny world out there...

Great post, Kathy!

Liz Lipperman said...

Wonderful analogy, Kathy. I once found my dog (a big White Pyrenees/Golden mix) guarding over a nest of new baby bunnies. Why that mother rabbit chose our yard when we were the only ones in the neighborhood with a fenced in dog is beyond me. But in Max's enthusiasm to protect the bunnies, he inadvertently laid on one and killed it. I called some nature people to find out what I should do, and they said bunnies almost never survive in captivity, so I should just cover them up with grass and put some kind of ribbon on them. That way I would know that the mother bunny was coming back to take care of them.

Sure enough, she did. A few days later, they were gone. I want to think she either moved them or they matured enough to follow her out of our yard. I need that HEA.

As for blogger, I always copy my responses since it has chewed up too many of mine, too.

Julie Moffett said...

Can't even think of bunnies without remembering the scene of the boiling bunny in Fatal Attraction! LOL! Great post, Kathy!

Caroline Clemmons said...

What a nice way to make your writing point. I love bunnies in our yard. We encourage them and try to protect them, but a red-tailed hawk caught one and we took it personally.

Kathy Ivan said...

Many thanks again to everybody for stopping by and reading about my bunnies. I was around quite a bit yesterday but blogger and I apparently aren't speaking. LOL

And yes, Elise, no bunnies were harmed in my yard.

Marcelle Dubé said...

Good post, Kathy. Takes a writer to equate bunnies playing with plotting! Julie: eeeuuwww! Where I live bunnies have to worry about the coyotes, but at least they're not getting boiled!