Wildness or Craziness? Part Two

To be ‘wild’ is to live in a state of nature, to not be tamed, or domesticated. To ‘write wild’ is to strip away all the writing techniques that we have told will help us to become better writers, and to touch back in with our innate capacity to tell good stories.

Most traditional stories follow the same structure. They have done since the beginning of human existence, and for most of history when stories were told round the fire, rather than written down. This structure applies equally to novels, short stories, and oral tales as well as jokes and poems. It’s a natural arc that is seen in the macrocosm of the narrative shape of the whole novel, as well as in the microcosm of the emotional pattern of one character’s reaction to one incident in our story.

It’s only when we stop writing from instinct, that our stories lose their way, and the problems start.

This happens because we think too much. We fear the power of our wildness, of our wild words, and we suppress them. Our suppression of them leads them to leak, or explode out in unnourishing, unpredictable, unbalanced ways. The wild, if not listened to, becomes crazy.

Wildness and craziness are not the same thing at all. ‘Wild words’ are connected, contained, channelled, a healthy expression of our thoughts and feelings. ‘Crazy words’ are disconnected, rambling, unfocussed, out of control.

We want our characters and situations to ‘live’, and to ‘jump off the page’. They must, however, do it on our terms, not theirs. 

The Weekly Prompt

Look back at the written work you’ve produced over the past month/year/decade(s) (depending on how long you’ve been writing). How often when you’ve written, have you had a sense of being in control of the words, and how often have the words controlled you?