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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Raab

Kissed by the plot bunny

While I’ve been working on the intricate plot of my dystopian novel, I got a flash of a plot bunny. 🙈 It’s an urban fantasy. Maybe more of a suburban fantasy. The MC is a middle aged apothecary demon hunter. Well she looks middle aged. And she does kill demons and other scary creatures on occasion. Sometimes she just tries to capture them and send them back home through the veil. Yeah. I got kissed by the plot bunny.

Although I don't write to market because I think that trying to chase trends is a problematic enterprise, I do try to keep in mind that eventually I am going to want to sell my story to a market, no matter how niche the market is. So I started asking around to my fellow middle-aged women friends who are fantasy fans, and indeed, they were intrigued by the idea that a demon hunter could be just like them. In fact, they were very excited that a demon hunter was just like them and not just another young muscle bound man (though we do love the eye candy of that) or a young woman (although we do like reminiscing about our youth), it is fun to think about a middle aged woman hunting demons.

Because she is middled aged or at least looks it (she is much, much older), she is not going to go about it the same way that a young person would. Fists first. Ask questions later. She's going to use her brains as much as anything else. She's not going to assume that all of the monsters are just out to get the humans, some could be lost from the Dark woods. (The place I'm calling the netherworld where the supernatural come from). A monster may have gotten lost and is scared and is acting out because it wants to go home, so she helps it to go home.

The other thing that I'm playing around with is the idea of the Hero's Journey. Usually in the Hero's Journey, the hero is called to adventure and at some point goes into the Underworld to seek out information from some wise person. The wise person must have a story too. This is the story of that wise person.

So the apothecary has a library that the local demon hunters, occult enthusiasts, and fiction writers pay to have access to and do research. The local demon hunters hang out with their leader of sorts, Henry. My MC, May Louise, calls them Henry's nimrods. Nimrods is of course slang for idiot. As a former teen from the 1980s, I remember calling people nimrods, but it is also a term for hunter. At some point (and there is controversy and confusion as to when and why this happened) the word went from hunter to idiot. Nimrod came from the biblical name of a hunter. And that's about all I know about the term.

In any case I've been working on this plot when I get stuck on the plot for my dystopian novel. At the writing of this post, I've started re-outlining Act 3 of the dystopian novel, which is giving me all sorts of headaches. I have to make sure that the plot is self-propelled, but also that I am seeding disaster for the MC but also you still like her but you are aware that she's about ready to take a huge fall and and and ... so then I dive into my demon hunting story for a change of pace.

I like having more than one project going at one time, so that if I get stuck I can go to the other one and not loose flow. For me, creativity begets creativity.

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