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Hope's Rebellion

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Writing 101: Palette vs Pallet vs Palate

Homonym pairs are bad enough. When you've got three words that sound alike but have different spellings and different meanings, you may want to just give up and forget that the words palette, palate and pallet exist at all. But they do. And even though it may be difficult to learn which one to use when, you still want to have these words in your writing toolkit...because your language can never be limited.


A palette is a range of colors. It's also that thing an artist uses when they're creating a painting, like Bob Ross and his famous big palette. Think of an artist and their palette when you think of this word. Think of all the colors on the palette. If you're writing about the colors of the rainbow or the way the sky looks during sunset, you're going to be using the artistic word palette to describe it.


Do you have a good palate for flavor? Have you ever eaten a fancy, multi-course meal and been given a dish to cleanse your palate? The palate is the roof of your mouth. That's why it's so often used with references to cuisine. Palate refers to taste or to the mouth itself.


A pallet is a frame, usually made of wood, that's used to carry and transport items. They're found often in the construction industry.

Writing 101: Do You Know Your Characters?

You know how they say that every villain is the hero of his or her own story? Well, every single character in your stories is the main character of their own story. And as an author, you have to have a pretty good idea of what their story is like. You need to know every single character in your story. You have to know who they are and why they are who they are. So...how do you do it?

Knowing Your Characters

Authors have an intimate knowledge of their main characters. Their thoughts, their backstory, their hopes and dreams. But as an author, you should have this information for all of your characters. Every character in your story, no matter how minor, matters in their own story. You need to know what drives them and what makes them who they are. Otherwise, the actions your characters take and the words they say may not make any sense.

It helps to create a character sheet to remember essential facts about each character in your story, like what their names are and what they look like. While you're jotting down quick notes about hair and eye color, include essential elements of their personality as well. Keep your notes as short and to the point as possible. You don't want to read for 40 minutes every time you want to write a chapter.

If you don't know every character inside and out, you can't write every character in a believable way. Know why each character does what they do and says what they say and you'll be creating a well-crafted, well-written story. Because if you don't know your characters, none of your readers can know them, either.

Writing 101: Gray vs. Grey

They say that life, like writing, is full of shades of gray. Or...are they shades of grey? Why is this word spelled two different ways? What's the difference between the spellings? Are you sure you've been using the right one? It's time to settle the debate between gray and grey once and for all.

Shades of Gray Grey

There are many word pairs in the English language, words that sound the same or look the same but have different meanings. Do gray and grey fit into this group? 

The simple answer is no, they don't. By any spelling, grey/gray means the same thing. This word, whether it has an e or an a, always refers to the color that's created when you mix black and white together. In any shading, gray is grey.

The only exception to this rule is brand names. Earl Grey tea, for example, is always spelled with an e. Canada's national bird, the Gray Jay, is always spelled with an a. 

So why do two spellings of the same word exist? Grey with an e is more commonly used in British English, which is spoken in England. Gray with an a is used more commonly in American English. If you're an American writer, it's more proper for you to use gray spelled with an a. While it may not seem like a big deal, some editors can be sticklers about this.

Always use the right spelling of every word you want to use, even when the difference is small. After all, there has to be some reason there are two spellings of the word gray/grey -- even if it's only to give us something to talk about!