NEW POSTS AT JUST CAN’T HELP WRITING! Semicolons, horse books, and backstory!

book w starsFrom Chuck Wendig’s Terrible Minds blog, a feisty post from Aliette de Bodard on the much-maligned semicolon and what it can do for your prose.

My review of Anne Clermont’s Learning to Fall for all the horse lovers out there.

A succinct how-to from Andrea Lundgren at A Writer’s Path on managing all that pesky “backstory” stuff your readers need to know without letting it kill your pace.

New Shares at Just Can’t Help Writing: Stop By!

BooksDon Massenzio has tips for book formatting to make life easier for you and for your readers. Some good questions answered here.

Louie Cronin, aka Cronin the Barbarian from Car Talk, tells us about her experiences rejecting people for the show—and why we shouldn’t be downcast! She makes rejection fun!

Writer Unboxed has been on a roll recently. Here’s a great post with some clues that you might want to skip that writing contest you just found.

I weigh in on this post from Adirondack Editing, via Chris the Story Reading Ape, on split infinitives and dangling modifiers. I ignore one and screech when I find the other. Check out which is which.

Four Great Shares at Just Can’t Help Writing!


A writer's bookshelf

What should writers know about trademarked names or brand names? How should you handle these names in your fiction? Adirondack Editing, via Chris the Story Reading Ape, helps out!

Phoebe Quinn at A Writer’s Path has a list of seven writing mistakes that are all too easy to make—and some ideas for improving. See if you spot yourself in this list! I did.

And if, unlike me, you’ve been struggling to keep up with SEO, here’s some good news: SEO tricks we writers can let go of, from Torque.

more books for writers

Speaking of tech stuff, I found this post from Bookworks on basic tech skills for writers more than helpful. Check it out!



A writer's mind: all books!

Think you know SEO? Chris the Story Reading Ape passed along this comprehensive list from Mostly Blogging: How to be Found on Google Today, 17 Powerful Tools.Some I bet you’ve never even heard of!

Then there’s How to Write a Press Release from The Happy Self-Publisher. Instructions, templates, examples galore! Help yourself!

And what about “stupid writing rules”? Colleen Chesebro at the Fairy Whisperer proposes a list of 12 Dumb Things New Writers Tell Each Other. I added one of my own. What would you add?

My Writer’s Interview with Don Massenzio—Tomorrow!

Great News! My writer’s interview on Don Massenzio’s highly active, informative blog is scheduled for tomorrow! It posts in the early morning hours and should be up in the a.m. on Monday. My deepest gratitude to Don for highlighting so many terrific authors and for sharing so much information on writing and publishing. Check him out!Books leading to a door in a brick wall.

AT JUST CAN’T HELP WRITING: Use Parallel Structure in Writing for Voice and Style

Check out these ideas and examples for building rhythm and coherence in your writingBleu curve through the use of parallel structure to add detail.

NEW AT JUST CAN’T HELP WRITING: Overbudget on “To be”? Use “Absolutes”

Use “absolutes” to cut back on “to be” verbsscissors3 in progressive tenses, and build your voice as well.


SciFi and Fantasy writers talk about building worlds. But world-building can make the difference between a place we can take or leave or a place we just can’t tear ourselves away from.

world building photo

How do you build a world in your novels?