If you’re anything like me, as a writer, you have a whole freaking herd of plot bunnies romping around your head at any given moment. After a while, it becomes a serious pain in the butt. And the worst part of it is that they usually doesn’t stop. From the time you wake up in the morning until your head hits the pillow at night, there are stories just roaming around your brain. Creating worlds and keeping them contained can be exausting!
Here are some ideas for keeping those bunnies in the cage and prevent idea loss!
Keep a diary.
You may not have had a pen-and-paper diary in a hundred years, but trust me, it’s going to help! When you have an idea, write it down. Have a specific book dedicated only to future stories and/or plots of your current work. I personally have a different spiral notebook for each of my growing tales. If you’re not a fan of handwriting anything, you could always use the old blog. My-Diary.org is a great (free!) tool if you need to keep a private diary online. It’s even pretty simple to use.
Don’t go into a bunch of detail right now.
When you jot it down in your diary, don’t focus on writing it all out right now. Follow the dream journal rule of thumb for this. Just put the basic ideas in the book—enough to jog your memory when it’s time to work on your current story.
If you’re worried that you’ll forget that you’ve come up with a plot idea, make sure that you review your idea every so often to refresh your memory.
If you wanna go into detail, get your outline on!
So you have your spiral notebook ready and you want to start jotting out ideas, but you need a bit more than tidbits to really get your memory going. I’ve found making a nice story outline gets the job done. Yeah, it seems like school-work, though if you think about it, all those countless hours (minutes) you spent working on the outline for your big essay were for this very reason. Woah, school was useful after all? Yay, education!
If you need help with working on your outline, I thought this site was pretty helpful.
Not interested in writing down your idea? Well, you can always tell a confidant.
It may not work in the long run, but if you’re more inclined to remember something by speaking, it may work better for you to talk it out with a caring friend. Or, if your confidant is really cool, you can ask him to write down some notes for you as you tell him. Offer a cupcake or something. They’ll listen if there is food involved.
Just make sure the person is willing to listen. If the eyes start to glaze, then screw it. It’s not working. Take back the cupcake and have it for yourself.
But, if you have someone badass, get them to ask you questions, too. You know, to fish out all those pesky bunnies in your brain matter.
No confidant? No problem! Just talk to yourself.
Sure, you may seem crazy while doing this, but hey, if you’re a writer, you’re probably already a little crazy anyway. Record your thoughts via your computer or other recording device. When you need a memory boost, just play it back to yourself. Warning, your voice will probably sound really weird to your own ears. At least it will if you’re me.
You may want to transfer the files to your computer if you use another medium, then index them through a program like Microsoft Excel or OpenOffice. Ah, OpenOffice, you are a beautiful alternative to the Office suite. And you’re free. I love free.
At any rate, these ideas are just a jumping off point for the inevitable attack of the plot bunnies. It’s up to you to figure out what is the best for you! More importantly, get to writing.