Review of Vonda N. McIntyre, “Pitfalls of Writing Science Fiction & Fantasy: General Useful Information & Other Opinionated Comments”, in Tod McCoy and M. Huw Evans, eds., Pocket Workshop: Essays on Living as a Writer (Hydra House Clarion West Writers Workshop, 2021): 153-161 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.
In this extremely helpful essay, McIntyre identifies 14 concrete pitfalls, applicable to any writer but perhaps more apt for the SFF writer, and then provides advice on (a) how to detect these pitfalls in your own work and (b) what to do about them.
All of the advice she gives is great advice, nothing earthshattering but all worth being reminded of, including the advice she opens with:
McIntyre’s First Law: Under the right circumstances, anything I tell you could be wrong (p. 153).
But you’ve got to know the rules in order to be effective in breaking them, after all.
(Originally published in 2012 by Book View Café.)