Bare or Bear With Me?

Commonly seen on the Web is the misspelled phrase “bare with me.” The correct expression is “bear with me.” It means, “be patient with me.” One of the many meanings of the verb “to bear” is “to tolerate.” The verb bare, on the other hand, means “to reveal” or “to uncover.” For example, “Do not … Read more

Passed vs Past

Sandi from Inspiration for Writers wrote to ask: “Can you do a segment on Past vs. Passed–if you haven’t already? Too many get these words mixed up.” Very happy to oblige, Sandi! Past – relates to location The word past locates something in time, and sometimes in space. It can be used as an adjective, … Read more

How to Write a Book Outline: Fiction and Nonfiction

You learned how to write outlines in school, I suppose. You were probably required to do it a certain way: I. Roman numerals for the main points A. capital letters for the sub-points 1. Regular Arabic numerals for the sub-sub-points a. lower-case letters for all the sub-points below that We could call it the Roman-Arabic … Read more

Among vs. Amongst

Summary: Among and amongst are interchangeable terms. Among is more common in modern writing. Americans tend to always use among, while in the UK both among and amongst are used. Although we’ve covered the difference between Among/Amongst in another post on Daily Writing Tips (spoiler alert: there isn’t one), you might still be wondering which … Read more

When to Use a Colon: Rules and Examples

The colon can be a tricky punctuation mark. You’ve probably grasped periods, question marks, exclamation points, and commas – but the rules surrounding colons may seem a bit trickier. There are two main ways to use colons: To introduce an item or a series of items. To replace a semi-colon between two independent clauses: the … Read more

Affect vs. Effect

Among the pairs of words writers often confuse, affect and effect might be the most perplexing, perhaps because their meanings are so similar. Affect, derived from affectus, from the Latin word afficere, “to do something to, act on,” is easily conflated with effect, borrowed from Anglo-French, ultimately stemming from the Latin word effectus, from efficere, … Read more

How to Create a Character Profile

Have you created character profiles for the main cast of your novel? While not all authors use character profiles, many find them a very handy tool for keeping track of their characters – and for developing and fleshing out those characters in the first place. Done well, a character profile can help you harness your … Read more