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If you’ve got a box of brownie mix — or a somewhat pedestrian scratch brownie recipe — you can elevate plain but good brownies into interestingly different brownies with the addition of about a teaspoon of cinnamon and a scant quarter-teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

You can do the same thing with a standard plot.  Throw in a couple of unexpected elements, something sweet and fragrant like cinnamon and something hot and tingly like cayenne pepper, and an ordinary story becomes a pleasing departure from what the reader expected — while at the same time still being the solid good thing (mmm, chocolate)  that he or she wanted in the first place.