A "plot bunny" is an idea that hops into a writer's brain, seemingly out of nowhere, and leads to a story.
I have a lot of those, and they tend to multiply just as fast as rabbits are alleged to do. Sometimes even more so. Which is a problem; I can only write so much.
When I do presentations about writing, one of the questions I'm frequently asked is, "Where do you get your ideas?" I usually muddle through with some answer like, "Things I overhear on the subway," but the truth is I often have no idea where the stories come from. Some of my books and series have identifiable origins; for example, my Reality Shift series came from a bunch of conversations with a friend of mine who practiced energy healing and channeling, along with events in my own life that became events in Shanna Bailey's. Other times, though, the stories just show up, or the characters do, and I just play along.
Even a tiny comment can give me a plot bunny. At one point, I was trying to think of a contemporary YA plot, and I was drawing a total blank. I asked my daughters to ask their friends for ideas.
My younger daughter said, "Write something with dolphins in it." (She's obsessed with dolphins...) A friend of my older daughter said, "Write a story about two boys who meet in an unlikely circumstance and fall in love."
So I wrote a story about two boys who meet when a pod of dolphins is stranded in a cove outside their houses. There's some romance in the story, though not necessarily a happy ending, at least not together. That novel, Dolphins in the Mud, will be out in May from Featherweight Press.
It's amazing sometimes what can spark a story. And even though I sometimes grumble about having too many plot bunnies in my head, it's fun!