Every spring our Labrador Retriever sheds all her winter fur. This fur swirls into corners and under tables with dirt from our shoes, hair from our heads, skin cells and just plain dust. Eventually, these things tangle together and form a kind of mat or ball. This ball is held together by static electricity. This ball is known as a dust bunny.
Dust bunnies collect in even the cleanest of houses. They can often be found behind dressers, under beds, in closets and behind knick knacks on the book shelf. They collect in places where vacuum cleaners, dust clothes and brooms don’t always reach. Also, air movement from people in the house or from fans pushes all these dust bunny particles to the outer edges of a room.
So, where does the dust bunny get its name?
Nobody knows for sure. Some believe it came from the idea that real bunnies multiply very quickly–just like dust bunnies do.
According to Mental Floss, one female rabbit can have as many as 1,000 babies–or kits–in her lifetime. That sounds a little bit like the number of dust bunnies under my refrigerator right now! As a writer, we can spend so much time writing that we forget to dust as often as we should. Because of this, dust bunnies hop up everywhere.
The same idea is true for plot bunnies. Plot bunnies are used to describe the ideas that writers have. They are inspiration for story plots. Many writers spend a lot of time jotting down ideas based on things that happen in their lives. Writers often say, “I collect plot bunnies from watching my kids.” As you can imagine, kids do lots of interesting things. In this way, they are like walking plot bunnies!
Another word for writing ideas, or plot bunnies, is novel fodder.
Think about your favorite story. Where might the author have gotten inspiration from? What was the author’s plot bunny?
Now, look around you and start collecting those little bits of inspiration (like the bits of fibers and dust and hair that make up a dust bunny) and start weaving them into an amazing plot bunny of your own.