Your Wild Words: Helen Ellwood

For many years, I was plot bound, held in check by the beginning, the middle and the end - kept behind the bars of good-girl grammar and spelling.

I insisted on knowing what was going to happen and frequently forced my characters to obey. They had no freedom to express themselves, to turn right instead of left, to explore the dangerous jungle trail to the unknown.

I always thought it was weakness when people said that their characters wrote the story, but now that I have two teenagers learning about love and a tropical island intent on their death, I’ve change my mind.

Even I, the god of this particular little world, can’t tell these youngsters what to do or say. I have learned to listen.

I can now feel the wild heartbeat as they kiss for the first time.

I hear the knock, knock as the bones of a long dead soldier roll against the coral. Fear tightens my belly as the island plans their doom.

Wild writing is not safe. It is liberating.