Wild Words: August Writing Prompt


Remember the last time you encountered something wild? A hawk perched on a telephone pole? A lizard on a lonely hike? A possum who decided to take up residence in your garage?

It might not be so easy this time of year, but think back. When did you see something in the wild (the wilds of a park, your backyard, or even a city street) that surprised, unnerved, or delighted you?

Ready to write?

  • Jot down a few encounters. The lizard, the hawk, the fish, the spider, the mouse, maybe even a bear. Take three minutes to list a few wild encounters you’ve had before reading further.

  • Now. Pick one encounter and focus in. Write about the smells, sounds, and feels of that moment. Describe it in detail for 8.5 minutes. Set a timer if that helps you to write it out.

  • Now....come back. Ready? Okay.

  • Pause. Focus in on the wild thing you’ve met, no matter what it is. If the creature could say one thing, and only one thing to you, what would it be? Write for three minutes.

  • Return for the final prompt. Take a nice, deep breath. Ready? Okay.

  • Take the 8.5 minute scene you wrote about your wild encounter and flip the POV. Write from the perspective of the wild thing—describe what the wild thing senses: smells, feels, tastes, sees, hears. Write from the wild thing’s POV for nine minutes and see where it takes you.

  • Want to share a discovery from writing this story? A weird, amazing, surprising turn of phrase? Reach out to me on Twitter.