WHAT IS PART WILD FOR?
- To bridge the gap between your civilized and wild parts so they can work together for a stronger creative process.
- To provide support, encouragement, tips and “block busters” for writers and other part wild types.
HOW DOES THE SITE WORK?
Prompts: Use the hundreds of prompts on this site to get your pen moving. Prompts are good for getting out of your head, gaining flexibility and strength in your writing muscles, outmaneuvering the inner critic and/or turning over the soil to find hidden treasure.
Post your Prompt Work! Share your prompt writing by posting it in the comments. Share prompts and exercises of your own invention for others to enjoy. Share your voice and make it okay for others to do the same. This is the place to honor and support the vital, early, wild part of the artistic process.
Students in my Unleash your Genius workshops are always shocked by the beauty of the unadulterated voice that comes through in the timed exercises. The unedited writing is peppered with fresh and surprising ideas and images that don’t come through when we lean on the pen with expectation. This valuable part of the creative process is often given short shrift. Let’s celebrate it here and give each other permission to go wild.
Claim this virtual place as a refuge in which to share your undomesticated, unsophisticated, maybe even unintelligible, howls, twitters, trumpets, rumbly growls and yodels.
HOW DO THE PROMPTS WORK?
Sentence starters: You are given the beginning of a sentence. You can use it two ways: 1. Launch from it and see where it takes you. 2. Finish the sentence as many times, in as many different ways as you can in the time allotted.
Lists: You are given a heading and you list all of the things that you can possibly think of that belong under that heading. You are not elaborating, but rather just naming. Go for quantity over quality.
Everything I know about ___ : You are given a topic and asked to divulge absolutely every scrap of knowledge you posses on that subject. This includes memories, factoids, observations and associations. Dare to state the obvious and dare to get it wrong.
Progressive prompts: If a prompt has more than one step, don’t read ahead. Finish step one before you look at step two and so forth. I will try to separate the steps by pictures or other distractions in an attempt to curb your urge to jump ahead.
Use a timer. The timer is your friend. It assures you that of an end point, something we, as writers, rarely have. It provides pressure that can help keep you moving – a ticking clock just has that effect on us. Most importantly, the timer keeps you writing past the point when you think you’re “finished” and into unknown territory where something surprising can happen.
Keep your pen moving. When writing to a prompt, you are exercising your muscles. The most important muscle for a writer, and often the weakest, is the “yes muscle.” Our “no muscle” can stop a truck: “No, not that word. No, that’s not interesting. No, that’s too cliché.” When you keep you’re pen moving, accepting the next word and the next, even though you don’t know what it might be, you are strengthening your ability to say, “Yes” to your instincts.
Forget the rules. There is no “right” way to do these prompts, so dare get it wrong. Make a mess. Court total failure. We have all been trained to fear the Red Pen. Here, we spite it. Throw grammar, punctuation and spelling out the window. Be obvious. Let clichés clutter up the page. You don’t have to be interesting, clever or original. You don’t have to be right or tell the truth. You don’t even have to make sense. Whine, wallow, rant, objectify, copy and steal. As long as you keep moving your pen as fast as can possibly go, you’ll get an A+ with a smiley face and a cookie.
Read your work. When you’ve finished writing, go back and read your work, preferably aloud. Don’t just leave it on the page and move on. Most likely, you’ll be surprised by what’s there, and quite often you’ll find something of use to your writing.
WHY PART WILD? The name Part Wild, was given to me by my dog, Al. She’s a smart, sensitive, mostly well-behaved Queensland Heeler mix who is now entering her dotage. When younger, she had some truly inexplicable behaviors and habits that no amount of training or socializing could alter. In a moment of frustration, I asked a pet psychic to find out what the hell her deal was. Al stared me down as the woman told me, “She says, ‘I can’t help it. I’m part wild.’” That brought me up short. What was so great about a cookie-cutter dog, anyway? In a society that requires civility and rewards obedience, writers and artists often struggle to stay in touch with their wild instincts. My dog was a four-legged example of a balanced part tame/part wild nature. Instead of trying to fix her, I started to watch her for tips.