“But me and Cinderella, we put it all together
We can drive it home with one headlight.”
One Headlight, The Wallflowers

In fiction writing, it’s tempting to provide our characters with whatever tool they need at a given moment. Do they need a hammer, an ice scraper, a clothespin, a lint brush? Poof! You write one into the scene. But it’s more realistic — and often more satisfying — to make them struggle a bit. Not everyone has a lint brush, for example — but most of us know that a piece of tape works in a pinch. And your southern-dwelling character might use a credit card in place of an ice scraper. The character of MacGyver was famous for being able to put together whatever he needed from everyday items. While I’m not suggesting you go to that extreme, you should give your characters a chance to use their brains and ingenuity by cobbling together what they need now and then.

Write a scene or story where the characters are missing a vital tool and have to piece together a replacement.

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