The Sausage Machine
Okay, you must be thinking I've gone a little bit crazy talking about sausages when I'm supposed to be a writer and maybe I am one sandwich short of a picnic. Yet who wants to be normal anyway? Normal is boring. Anyway I digress, back to the sausages.
I once attended a talk given by Richard Wilkins. He used to be a businessman who lost everything and nearly gave up. But he turned himself around and started up Ministry of Inspiration He bounded onto the stage wearing a pink shirt and a yellow jacket which immediately got everyone's attention plus a few laughs. He played up to this, saying “You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and you are all smiling.” He spoke of life, garlic and sausage machines. At the time, the reality didn't really sink in, but it's true if you think about it.
Poor Naomi, she really has lost the plot, you're thinking. Hang on a minute though and I'll explain.
We are writers, new and experienced alike, but all working to improve our art. So imagine that the writer owns a sausage machine. We also have cupboards full of ingredients just waiting to be used in a good recipe for a story.
Once the basis for a story is borne the outline or sausage skin is attached to the machine. And as more ideas, characters and situations for the story are added, the fatter the sausage will be. (Rather appropriate a phrase with our style of writing, don't you think?) Remember, you only put garlic in, you only get garlic out, and the cupboards will never run out of ingredients, it's just a case of finding the right balance for your particular sausage. Every so often run a sausage off, taste it and you'll soon realize what's missing from your recipe. And when you think you're totally stuck, take a step back from the machine and rummage through your cupboards. There might be an ingredient you'd forgotten about.
After all, you're a writer and every writer has a sausage machine!