Guest Post: What Happens When Things Go Right? (A.K.A. An Extremely Unprofessional Guide to Writing Happy Endings and Getting Past Writer’s Block in General)

This is my hundredth post!  Plus, it’s about a week away from this blog’s first anniversary.  So, to celebrate, I asked a good friend of mine to write a guest post.

I hate writing endings, and always have. It’s so bothersome to have to say goodbye to your favorite characters, and leave the story for a while. The most daunting thing, to me, however, is that when you’re done with the book the next step is editing. Editing is, perhaps, annoying, but it certainly gets the job done. This is something that I have yet to convince myself of, but hopefully this has convinced you.

But–back to endings: once the climax is over in a story, it’s often very hard to gain motivation to keep going. You’re sitting there, very happy that you’ve finally written the juicy bits, but now have no exciting things to look forward to. You’re sitting there, and no interesting twists are coming to you.

You’re sitting there, and you haven’t written a word.
This, my friends is where the Plot Rhino comes in.

Now, if you are at all familiar with NaNoWriMo and its forums, you have probably heard of the term Plot Bunny. But, just incase you haven’t, Wikiwrimo defines it as “a story idea that refuses to go away until it is written.”

The Plot Rhino is a creature of my own creation (as far as I know) and it can be very useful, but also very dangerous. It is exactly the same as the Plot Bunny, only, instead of a plot idea, it contains a bigger plot idea.

I imagine that now you’re probably wondering where I’m going with all of this. “What,” you ask, “is the significance of a small plot idea versus a bigger one? What’s the difference? And why a rhinoceros? Why not a lion?”
Do not fear, though, as your questions will be answered. (Well…maybe not that last one. But really, what’s wrong with rhinoceroses?) I only ask that you follow me for a bit longer.

Here are two arbitrary examples.
-A girl is banished from her home after her godmother finds out that she is half-demon. The story continues as if it were an alternate version of Cinderella, but instead of dropping a glass slipper she drops an engraved weapon.
-What if everything in the world were made out of cheese?

Which one is a Plot Bunny, and which one is a Plot Rhinoceros?
If it isn’t obvious, the first one is a Plot Rhinoceros, and the second, a Plot Bunny.

Now, you may disagree, and say that they are BOTH Plot Bunnies. If you do, I respect your opinion but have to disagree. To me, a Plot Bunny can BECOME a Plot Rhino–all it needs are some horns on its snout and an imagination, which I believe all writers ought to have.

So, next time you’re stuck writing an ending, think about the Plot Bunny that first convinced you to start writing, and turn it into a Plot Rhino. (I’m sure the bunny will love being big for a change.)

–The Orange Elephant


4 thoughts on “Guest Post: What Happens When Things Go Right? (A.K.A. An Extremely Unprofessional Guide to Writing Happy Endings and Getting Past Writer’s Block in General)

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