Tricks up your sleeve

I’ve learned as a college student that things do not always taste the way you expect them to. Especially if you burn them. That’s why I always try to keep several sticks of cheese (not the fried kind). Having a stick of cheese or two to add to your food may make a terrible meal a pretty decent one. I accidentally burned some microwavable pizza. Heated some cheese onto it, and it was a lot better. My parents got me some canned macaroni. It was one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. I added some Parmesan, lots of salt (like, considerably more than I’m ever comfortable using), and two sticks of marble cheese. It was actually pretty good. Adding real cheese can make fake cheese better. Don’t discount it.

Where I’m going is that you should always have a trick or two up your sleeve in case something goes an unexpected direction. You need something you can add to what you’re writing to save an unsalvageable mess. Don’t use it too often. But have it there just in case you have no other way of fixing things. A bit of stellar writing can come in handy. I’m not saying to have a paragraph you can throw in or even an event. Just have a writing technique that you use to get things back on track. Become a master of the flashback or the stream-of-consciousness narrative. Anything that can fix up something that isn’t going the way you originally planned.

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