REVIEW: “Coincidentally…” by Stephen Graham Jones

Review of Stephen Graham Jones, “Coincidentally…”, in Tod McCoy and M. Huw Evans, eds., Pocket Workshop: Essays on Living as a Writer (Hydra House Clarion West Writers Workshop, 2021): 51-55 — Purchase here. Reviewed by Sara L. Uckelman. (Read the review of the anthology.)

For every “rule” about writing you come across, you probably can find a story that breaks that rule, successfully. Jones opens his piece with a number of such rules and examples of stories that break the rules successfully, in his opinion, in order to set the stage for a rule for which he says “there doesn’t seem to be any wiggle room”:

Coincidence only enables, it never solves (p. 52).

After reading the rest of this piece, naturally I want to take this as a challenge to write a story that successfully, and essentially, breaks the rule. (I do like the idea of using coincidences as enablers, though, and will apply that liberally.)