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.


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?

A FUN LIST! Do You Hear Any of These Writing “Rules” from Your Groups?

Check out “12 Dumb Things New Writers Tell Each Other.”

The "dumb writing rules" monster
The “writing rules” monster! He can go wild!

Do you have any to add? I’d add fear of the word “had” and terror of starting sentences with “and” or “but.”

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.


Min-Zhan Lu and Bruce Horner introduce a symposium on “translingualism” in the January College EnglishCollege Composition Weekly Banner. Translingualism is not just about L2 language learners; it’s the default for “the normal transactions of daily communicative practice of ordinary people.”