Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Monday 24 April 2017
We have just finished watching the excellent British TV series Broadchurch. It dealt with rape but it was not preachy while showing how families were affected, girls especially. It turned out there were a series of rapes, most unreported because of the shame the women felt until the woman around whom the story was centred, reported her experience. She went through the horror that most rape victims experience….her past sexual history being dragged up, her behaviour which made many draw the conclusion she asked for it, and all the invasive examinations she had to endure.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Sunday 12 March 2017
My editor is my best friend and she is remarkable.
This is because when she is editing my work she is not bothered about how I might feel when she fixes my mistakes or points them out. These mistakes can be continuity problems, grammatical slipups or any number of things I miss when I am in full creative flight.
So, in fact, she is my very best friend when she is not trying to be.
When my editor dispassionately points out my errors, she makes me look good to my readers. And that is what good friends do. They watch out for each other. She has my back!
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Wednesday 8 February 2017
One of the mistakes some writers make is to slip into telling the reader everything that’s going on in sweeping generalisations. A reader won't see what a writer is visualising until the writer describes the scene, character or action. Until then it is a blank.
All any reader can ever see is what the writer allows him or her to see and the only way the reader can do this is if the writer takes the time to describe it.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Friday 6 January 2017
The Story Mint has just published its first Anthology of collaboratively written short stories. There are twelve stories written by 32 authors from eight countries. It is an amazing achievement and it is a world first.
We learnt a great deal from this experiment. However, it was so successful we intend to repeat it.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Thursday 8 December 2016
We have just released Everyone Has a Story, which is a set of short stories created from The Story Mint’s earliest serials. There are 12 stories, written by 32 authors from 8 countries and, as Kalli Deschamps says in her review, “The serials are well written with a beginning, middle and ending; complete as though written by one author.”
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Wednesday 2 November 2016
As writers we mix our experiences, associations and stories in a unique way. No-one else will tell a story like each of us does even if it is on the same topic.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Friday 7 October 2016
While we were at the Melbourne Writers Festival I attended a session chaired by a successful Melbourne independent bookseller. He had two publishers, Henry Rosenbloom, founder of Scribe Publishers and still in business after 40 years, and Louise Ryan, Penguin Publishers on the panel. As can be expected they were asked what publishers look for in a manuscript. Both had the same answer. That answer made me sit bolt upright.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Tuesday 26 July 2016
Why do writing experts always advise us to use the writing principle of show don’t tell?
I find that when I am reading a writer who uses show don’t tell I am absorbed and fully engaged with the story. Those stories are the ones I cannot put down.
The reason for this is the language is cinematic and active sentences prevail. There is more detail and description. I am not simply told something happened I am shown what happened and I am part of the action as a reader. Love that feeling.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Thursday 30 June 2016
A major building block in a good story is tension. Tension can be as simple as surprise at the way the writer has shaped a sentence, conjured an image or set up a series of events that create within the reader a curiosity that will not be satisfied until we find the answer to our initial question, why, what or how.
Tension is the key to engaging readers and to keep them turning the pages of your short story, novel or piece of non-fiction. There is no reason to keep turning the pages if nothing is happening.
Submitted by Suraya Dewing on Saturday 4 June 2016
Fires burned in the hearts of students from Room 26 of Matipo School this week and it was exciting to witness. We were giving the stylecheck a trial run in the class to see if it could make writing more fun for students.
Their teacher arranged the 25 students into teams of two or three and asked them to write what they liked about Matipo School.