Love your critic

Love a good critic


What makes people happy?

Whenever I read a headline that claims to define happiness, I am immediately cynical. Why, you might wonder, is this? Surely, happiness is a state to which we should all aspire.

The Twelve things Successful People Don’t Tolerate

The internet is full of lists covering every imaginable topic. They are ideal for distilling information into bite-sized chunks and work well on social media. They are also invaluable for reminding us to focus our energies on things that matter.

The ‘Twelve things Successful People Don’t Tolerate’ is, as the title suggests, a list that focuses on choices we make in the way we work and socialise.

Life is the Writer’s Research


Popular writer John Grisham says that before you can be a writer you have to have done some other things, experienced heart break, joy and seen the world. However, above all you ‘need to have something to say’.

Tense: past, present or future?

It’s so easy to take tense in writing for granted…things either are happening, have happened or will happen – present, past, future. In fact, of late, I have had good reason re-think my somewhat blasé attitude to the use of tense in writing.

The starters for our serials generally set the tense and each writer maintains it. This keeps the continuity and maintains the story flow.

Why enter writing competitions

This month we launched our own writing competition. Two of the prizes offer winners writing-related prizes: a webinar on script writing and mentoring for two months. We intend to expand on this as we grow the competitions.

Reasons for entering writing competitions vary, but the first most obvious reason is that if you win you gain exposure to a new audience. But there are other reasons. These include giving yourself a specific deadline to work towards meeting. This is, in itself, a great motivator.

How do the serials work?


When I first set the serials up, I saw them as a bit of fun to get the community of writers at The Story Mint interacting and sharing their writing thoughts.

So it was a surprise when I had a member come to me and say how much she loved the serials and how much she had learnt about writing by taking part in them.

I asked her what she meant by this.

What makes a story

Of all the books on writing that I have ever read, and I have read many over the years, the one which I class as my bible is called Story, by Robert McKee.

He says: “A culture cannot evolve without honest, powerful storytelling. When society repeatedly experiences glossy, hollowed-out, pseudo-stories, it degenerates. We need true satires and tragedies, dramas and comedies that shine a clean light into the dingy corners of the human psyche and society. If not, as Yeats warned, ‘the centre cannot hold.’

A Writers Manifesto/The Story Mint's

In 1914, a group of artists, including American poet, Ezra Pound, founded a movement called Vorticist. They essentially stood for breaking away from traditional forms of art and creating new and energetic art. The First World War was looming and, although this is not stated, there appeared to be a sudden firing of energy within the artistic world that rejected modernism and tried to create a fresh approach to the way artists expressed themselves.

We are in the Transformation Decade

Last week I was in a meeting with a local language school that prepares students from all around the world to enter tertiary education or the work force. Their role is to train students to write and speak English well. We were discussing the next phase of research into how students can use the Style Guide™. The aim is to supplement one-on-one tutoring and set students up to continue practising the fundamentals for writing English when the tutor is not available.


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