One of the things you need to know is that as you work with wire, it will "work harden" - get stiffer and stiffer. The only way to soften stiff wire is to anneal it. This is the simple process of heating your wire and letting it cool. See the following instructions.
A simple process, really. All you need is a torch, a fire proof tile, and some wire.
Your torch can be a nice little hand-held one that is fueled by butane. This gets hot enough for what you need. If you are using heavy metal - say 12ga. and thicker, you may want to use a propane/oxygen torch.
To anneal metal, all you have to do is light your torch, and keep moving it back and forth over your wire until the wire glows "cherry" red. You will be able to see this easiest in a darkened room - or at least in a room with the lights turned out(daylight is OK but it's better if it is dim in the room)
Once you see the Cherry color, be sure you move your torch so all of your wire gets to this point as evenly as possible.
When you reach the end of the wire, pull your torch away - let the wire cool. You can quench it in a bucket of water if you want to, but it's not necessary.
Your wire will now be "dead soft" but will work harden again as you use it.