May Newsletter 2020

1 post / 0 new
May Newsletter 2020

View this email in your browser

The Story Mint is a vibrant and
inspirational community of writers who celebrate one another's successes. 


We have some treats for you this month.

Scroll down for some thrilling chapters written by our members this month, but first...... an insight into the journey of an entrepreneur.... Suraya Dewing, Founder of The Story Mint. Suraya's story has been published in a free book called, What Next? 
This book is an incredible perspective from New Zealanders who have faced adverse situations in their businesses. It's an insight into the ups and downs of turning a great idea into a successful business. It's also a testament to perseverance, resilience and faith. Here is an excerpt from Suraya's chapter.

Life-long learner

I believed in miraculous overnight successes when I entered Massey University’s ecentre for entrepreneurship. I thought that if my grand business idea was good enough, I would have my business set up and customers paying a fair price for the service I offered before the year was over. I can hear readers scoffing. They have every right to. I would scoff too, knowing what I do now.

My grand idea was to provide a platform for writers to build their skills, grow their following by inviting feedback and then to go to market once their work was ready. I called my platform The Story Mint.

To succeed in today’s world, a writer has to produce writing that catches the reader’s eye from the first word and holds it long enough for them to tick the ‘Buy Now’ box.

So, what produces excellent writing? Feedback.

The Story Mint provided opportunities to give feedback to writers. But Stylefit, which we developed soon after, uniquely provided automated, objective and immediate feedback.

The Story Mint writers loved Stylefit. They talked to each other about where they landed on the feedback grid and why they were pleased or not pleased.

But The Story Mint fell victim to its own philosophy of creating writing excellence. As the established members improved, new writers became nervous about publishing their work and being compared to them.

We ended up with an active, talented group of writers but with no growth.

As the founder of The Story Mint I knew that what we had was not sustainable nor scalable because:

  •  Leadership came from one person.

  •  It was a B to C business model and getting subscriptions was

    intensive work.

  • We were not attracting new members because they were worried about getting unfavourable feedback from other people.

You can read the full chapter, and the other insights from the book, here What Next?

One of our serials has come to a fitting conclusion this month. 'Waterfalls' is a story started (and finished) by Suraya (NZ). It's a story with many layers and tricky to bring to a conclusion but, as one of our members has said, Suraya managed to produce a 'nice satisfying conclusion'.
'Waterfalls' is a good example of the challenge of serial writing. Every writer in a serial has the responsibility to make the story flow cohesively. And as tempting as it can be,  introducing plot threads and characters, without  giving them the oxygen (or word count) to let these elements breathe, is contrary to this. Serial writers are always part of a team, that's what makes it fun.

50:30 is a single author serial, meaning that one writer is writing all 10 chapters. This month he has written 4 new chapters and Ken Burns (NZ) has this to say about the experience: 
"Writing the whole serial is a good experience. The story changes because I want it to. It retains the original writers voice. I'd do it again." 

If you feel like taking on the challenge of writing your own ten-chapter story, please get in contact.

Suraya has been busy on 'The Spirit of Pythagoras'. Transport your self to Greece and follow Michelle as she struggles to understand her past, her present and her future.

And Ray Stone (Cyprus) has continued the story line in 'The Spirit of Pythagoras' by linking Michelle's father to Samos Island. What a clever twist that is!

We wish everyone safety and peace.

Happy writing, and all the very best to you and your families and friends in these uncertain times.
Suraya and The Story Mint team.

Showing from Telling
[T]hink through a camera lens. How would you show the scene if you were adapting it to film? Would her cheeks grow hot? Would he ball his fists?

Chapter 10 by Suraya Dewing (NZ)
Chapter 4 by Ken Burns (NZ)
Chapter 5 by Ken Burns (NZ)
Chapter 6 by Ken Burns (NZ)
Chapter 7 by Ken Burns (NZ)
50:30 (single author)
Chapter 8 by Ken Burns (NZ)
50:30 (single author)
Chapter 9 by Ken Burns (NZ)
The Spirit of Pythagoras
Chapter 6 by Suraya Dewing (NZ)
The Spirit of Pythagoras
Chapter 7 by Ray Stone (Cyprus)
Who to send your starters and chapters to:
If you have a starter send it to:
If you've written a chapter send it to

Ten Good Reasons to Consider killing off your main characters (edited)

by Ken Miyamoto.

As you develop stories, you always need to be looking for opportunities to shake things up, inject more conflict for characters to deal with, and surprise the reader and audience. These are the elements that you need to ensure that your stories are compelling and engaging.

1. The best screenplays and novels showcase genuine stakes that your characters must face. 

If the reader or audience doesn’t feel like any of your major characters are going to be in harm’s way (stakes), their investment within the ongoing drama isn’t going to be that strong. And when they’re not invested, you’re not doing your job as a writer.

Killing off a major character can show that the villain, antagonist, or threat means business. They or it isn’t going to let anyone off the hook. When you create that tension by killing off a character that the reader or audience has grown to love or empathize with, you’re creating an atmosphere of uncertainty that drives the narrative and raises the stakes of your story.

2.  To Inject Empathy

Empathy is a vital part of storytelling. You want to affect the people that are experiencing your stories. And the easiest way to accomplish that is by having them live vicariously through your protagonists. One of the strongest emotions is sorrow. When someone loses somebody close, the sorrow they feel is deep. And that is something that everyone can relate to.

3. To Create Catharsis

Catharsis is the feeling we feel after the resolution of the story and the protagonist’s overall journey. It is what we feel when we leave that theater, finish that episode, or close that book.

How are you going to affect the reader or audience enough for your story and your characters to stick with them when the story is finished?

Killing off a character can create a memorable cathartic experience.

4. To Add Tragedy and Despair to Your Story

Maybe your story is too light? Maybe it lacks in stakes? Maybe things are coming to your protagonist too easily?

Tragedy and despair are powerful story elements. If you feel that your story needs a little more oomph, those two elements may just be the answer. And what is more tragic than the death of a beloved character?

5. To Add a Twist

Audiences love twists. And what better way to shock the reader or audience than to kill off one of your main characters?

Plot twists allow the writer to change the trajectory of the story. It is less of a reset or redirection than a shakeup and wake up call to make sure that everyone is awake, engaged, and invested.

6. To Avoid Complacency as a Writer

You may very well have a solid plot with interesting characters, but complacency is the writer’s worst trap to fall into.

Any good writer can plot a story together, taking a character or group of characters from Point A to Point Z. But the best writers know how to challenge themselves.

Take a look at your screenplay or novel and challenge yourself by asking, “What would happen if I killed X character?” 

7. To Increase Emotion

Yes, empathy is an emotion that you want the reader or audience to experience within your story. But the emotions of your characters are the doors that they can take to experience that empathy.

When you kill a character off, you open yourself up to the opportunity of showcasing the emotions of the other characters dealing with that loss.

And those emotions they feel can be very telling.

8. To Create, Turn, or Complete an Arc

[For example where would your] ... character arc be without the death of his soulmate?

9. To Offer a Sense of Justice

Remember, readers and audiences live vicariously through the experiences of your protagonists. That’s one of the primary purposes of reading or watching a story unfold.

The death of an antagonist, villain, or threat offers the [reader justice] which also leads to that cathartic ending you want them to experience and take home with them.

10. To Give Closure

Sometimes a character needs to die. And sometimes, the story needs to move on.

If you have a character that has served their purpose within the story, killing them off can be a natural — but strong — way to offer closure to their story.

Ken Miyamoto has worked in the film industry for nearly two decades, most notably as a studio liaison for Sony Studios and then as a script reader and story analyst for Sony Pictures.

Membership News

Thrown down the gauntlet
From The Story Mint Forum.

Ant Smits challenges writers to write a sentence where the comma makes or breaks it.
Here's a great example.
"Lets eat Grandpa..."
"Let's eat, Grandpa."

Now write yours and post it on

Writing competitions members might be interested in entering.

Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest

There’s no denying it: social media is a huge part of our 21st-century lives. It’s easy to get used to limiting our communications to 280-character and emoji-strewn snippets, which is why this marketing firm is hosting an essay writing contest to “remind people of the benefits of writing.”

Essays of up to 5,000 characters (roughly 1,000 words) will be accepted, and you can tackle just about any topic you want. The grand prize winner will receive $1,000, and three runners-up will be awarded $200 each.

The contest is free to enter, but you’ll need to register for a Biopage account to be eligible.

Deadline: July 31, 2020. 


The Cambridge Prize
for Short Stories, 2020

  • Submission Period: 15th April 2020 – 15th June 2020
  • Word Length: 2,500
  • Entry Fee: Early Bird (until midnight on 14th May) £8; £9 thereafter. There will be a limited number of free entries for those in economic hardship – full details tbc.
  • Prizes: £1000 (1st)  £300 (2nd)  £200 (3rd) and all remaining shortlisted will be awarded £50.
  • Other Details: All writers will be published online across 2020.
  • Judges: Katy Darby


Membership Benefits
As a member you get these great membership benefits.
We edit manuscripts for members and prepare them for publication. We also publish and promote their books on social media.

Unlimited use of Stylefit™, a writing edge you will get nowhere else.
  • Belong to an international writing community
  • Your writing promoted to over 25,000 online readers when you write a serial chapter
  • Have one of more of your chapters published in our Anthology, Everyone Has a Story
  • Special member rates for editing, assessment and personalised feedback on individual pieces of writing
  • Promotion to agents/publishers

To join, go to membership
Happy writing!

Join The Story Mint and book to write a chapter in one of
our many serials, use Stylefit™ and meet other writers.
The first 10 memberships will receive a FREE assessment
of a piece of writing (up to 20,000 words)

Copyright © *|2015|* *|The Story Mint|*, All rights reserved.

This email was sent to << Test Email Address >>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
The Story Mint · 2B Brookesmith Drive · Waiuku, Auckland 2123 · New Zealand

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp