sara stinson recent comments

written 153 days ago


You have once again written a story worthy of readers to see and enjoy! Your writing sparkles with artsy words and your descriptions bring your characters to life. (her body, gleaming like pale starlight.) Chapter One started on edge with the tiger trying to break through the fence. I felt the agony of the captured tiger. Chapter Two takes up where Book One ends. I have only read two chapters. I will return, read more, and will add to the comments. I have no constructive advice. I was involved in the story! :) I sprinkle you with 6 stars!

Sara Stinson view book

written 221 days ago

Hi Maretha,
Being an animal lover, I feel this book is enchanting! All ages will enjoy. I hope to see it on the shelf soon and into the lives of many!

Sara Stinson
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written 303 days ago

Hi Sarah!

What talent you possess! Your writing is captivating! I have read nine chapters and have enjoyed your book! I plan to read the remaining you have posted. Quelyn's character is complicated, but her situation along with all the mysteries around her make the story. I turned the pages wanting to find out what would happen next. So far as the plot, writing style, and sheer enjoyment of the story...I sprinkle you with 6 stars!

I found a few grammatical errors. If I have read wrong, please ignore. :)

Ch. 4
I THOUGH his eyes were green - thought
Ch. 6
He SWING his fist at me and I duck to avoid it whistling over my head. - swings
Tig RUN at me again, - runs
Ch. 9
I yank away from her and start TO head back the way we came, - add the word (to)

Good luck to you!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

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written 308 days ago

I have worked on this part of the story. Let me know if this works. Thank you for catching it!


Hi Sara, I'm up to chapter 8 and a little confused. Why is there concrete by the tree? The tree shifts and sends them flying, right, but I don't know where the concrete that almost hits Henry in the head came from?

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written 314 days ago

What an imaginative and lovely story. Your writing is easy to read and the story easy to follow. I am excited for you and I am ready to see this in print! I sprinkle you with all the stars I find!
Sara Stinson
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written 315 days ago

Hi Bruce,
I have been reading your story today. You have had many comments about your style. I have to agree. You writing is unique. You have a gift, Bruce. Your story brings the emotions out and challenges the reader to feel and grow through the story with the characters. Well done and I sprinkle you with all the stars!! I know I will be seeing more of your writing.

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones view book

written 318 days ago

Pippa Whitethorn
Enthralling pitch to hook a Young Adult reader, or an Adult reader. Your writing submerges the reader into the characters' world, and into their head. When Chapter One was finished I felt I had invaded her mind and that is a good thing for an author. I completed through Chapter seven.

I have made a few notes. Not anything big. I reviewed other comments hoping I have not repeated.

Ch. 4
Jemma came in one day trying stuff on and we got TO chatting.

He use to wait up when I was out before he went INTO THE hospital.

Chapter Five
I wonder what he got up to and why he's in trouble -- I feel some words are missing. Maybe: I wonder what HE'S BEEN UP TO and why he's in trouble.

"How are things at home, Della?" - Needs a comma before Della. Found one or two other places where commas are needed before a person being directed.

Wonderful job! I enjoyed it!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones view book

written 320 days ago

I stopped around mid-night last night. I believe I am to Chapter 6. I have another book I am reading too...LOL...and writing. Turnaround Bay is a great middle-grade book. Lucy is a strong character. She reminds me of me at that young age. I read where you are adding in some changes. Maybe more action and more dialogue would bump it to outstanding! What you have written, to me, is spot on. I believe the educational side of your book is wonderful for schools.

I plan to read the entire book and will comment again. Harper Collins needs to think and consider you, in my opinion anyway. :) High stars and talk soon.

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

Here's to Middle-Grade to Young Adult books! WHOOP WHOOP! view book

written 321 days ago

Hi Carol

What a great story with vivid imagery. Bess is a strong character. You seem to have researched and know the 17th century language. High stars and good luck to you!

Sara Stinson Finger Bones view book

written 321 days ago

T Barr Jr.
Your story has started good. It has action and plenty of clear description to let the reader know what's going on. It's realistic and you seem to have researched, which makes it authentic. For the first paragraph, I have a suggestion, but remember as I write, I am giving my suggestions. You use what you want and delete the rest. :)
I believe it would be hook the reader even more to start where the car is being peppered with bullets. Then you can add the time and who it is. Just an idea.
I went through Chapter One and made changes I felt needed correcting. Again, you will have the final say. :)

**zinged PASS - Change to: (past) - PASS is a verb. PAST (Used as an adv. here. Meaning to pass by or go beyond.
**Many of the vehicles JUST BARELY SWIPE - Change to: (missed) - I have read several articles by agents stating they would trash a book if it had any of the words on their 'Don't Use' list within the first 500 to 1000 words in the story. Adverbs would be part of the Don't Use list. ) SWIPE - Is present tense. You are writing in past.
**SILVER DOLLAR SIZED bullet holes - I believe this needs to be (silver-dollar-sized bullet holes)
**The name SAM is overused. I had this issue too! :) - Go through and change to pronouns when you can. As I read, I discovered other names repeated as well.
**circulated THRU the community - I would avoid THRU when writing. Use 'through'
**He thought back ON the events - Change to : (to)
**had six adult kids - this is confusing to me. I suggest deleting this part and going straight into describing who lives there and their ages. (Did not know if you meant they were adults acting like kids, irresponsible adults, or adults not contributing in the family.)
** Question mark after ..."Who turned on the damn T.V.?" yelled a burly kid AS his hair dripped with Gerri curl juice.
**His voice echoed through the bare white WALLS OF THE DAYROOM IN the orphanage.
**I suggest deleting ' scarcely decorated'. You have already told us it was bare.
**The loud crash and THE sound of breaking glass...
**"What happened to the T.V.?" (asked)Sister Alice(.) (She) was new to Saint Joseph and (had) relocated from Nicaragua to assist ...
**She was a looker. (I suggest ending the sentence here.)
**COULD BE - Never use could be, should be, or would be when writing. (Maybe say, It had been speculated that she had HAD her pick...)
**comma before (a skinny pale Cuban teen.)
**comma before (but his skinny frame made him...)
**"Jose, is this true?" asked Sister Alice as she wheeled in his direction. (Comma after Jose. Asked instead of replied. No comma before 'as'.)
**Jose remained silent. (This is a new paragraph and I suggest deleting the rest of the sentence. We know she is waiting for an answer.)
**Comma before Sister Alice. ("Jose didn't do it, Sister Alice.") - Sam is speaking directly to her.
**Sometimes you do not need 'he said ' or 'she said' Maybe say: (Sam sat straight up in his chair. He scrunched his eyebrows. "Jose didn't do it, Sister Alice.". Now you have shown and not told.......... Of course after this sentence you have 'Sam exclaimed.' If you say EXCLAIMED, use (!)..........
**Start a new paragraph with the next sentence. (New speaker.)
**Comma before Sam.
**SAID Sister Alice in a sarcastic tone. (You could show us how she sounded sarcastic) Maybe: she SNAPPED, placing her hands on her hips, making a step to the side.)
**The Burly kid cut... - This is a new paragraph
**She now turned - delete NOWI
**Comma after Trey Brownlee -- She is talking directly to him.
**I would use an exclamation mark if the character "exclaimed".....Maybe say: said harshly.
**I suggest the next sentence read...("I swear...," retorted Trey. Before he could finish...)
**"Sam, get this mess
**"Hey, Sam," - comma
**"Forget Trey. If you're down with (him) (then) forget you too," said Sam plopping down onto a sofa. (We already know they are in the dayroom of the orphanage, so delete)
**Oh, I'm down for myself. I'm just making sure you knew what time it was."
**A thumbs up
**Jose pulled up a chair...(This paragraph is confusing.)
**A HIGH five

This is the end of this scene.

I have read chapter one. I will return and read more. Again, your story is good. It is editing time, the part we all enjoy. haha Good luck with your writing!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

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written 327 days ago

Hi Nadiyah!

Good read! The cover is perfect.

**In the second paragraph of the e-mail should the word (of) be added before Beverly Hills?

**The last sentence in the second paragraph - I believe this sentence should end with a period. You are given us more of a statement.

( I already love your sarcasm. Great start!) You have a wonderful way with words! I have smiled through the first two chapters!

**supersupportive - Isn't it 2 words? Sometimes there is a hyphen.
**Should OK be OKAY?

In Chapter One you mentioned how women handled stress. Maybe you can say women in the past had (cocaine) in their Coke...haha. That would be funny.

**The 2nd sentence, I suggest it read like this. (The hyphen is between high-school) ----- (If the working world was a simulation of high-school jocks, geeks, THE homecoming queen, and A diva ...
**I think there is a hyphen with the word - (frumpy zit-faced)

Good luck to you with your book!
Sara Stinson
Finger Bones view book

written 327 days ago

Hi Erin,
Completing Chapter Two...

In the next to the last paragraph you have several areas where you need to edit. Erin, your story is great. Your pitch is wonderful. You really need to do some serious editing before you hit the desk. I think your characters are strong and your writing flows and is easy to read. With editing, you will have a magnificent piece here!

If you want me to read more or help, let me know. I enjoy helping. I am no professional, but hope I benefit. :)

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones view book

written 328 days ago


I have read chapters one and two, and will complete two tomorrow.

CHAPTER ONE - What a heart wrenching chapter. You have captured me in the first chapter! Little Alice already has my attention. I found one spot you may want to change, or add to.

**This room isn't much but it's what I call my own and in here I can pretend (TO) be whoever I want.

** You need to go back and place your dialogue marks.
** When a different person speaks, always start a new paragraph You have several places in chapter two where you should start a new paragraph.
** 'I could snap it easy,' he said, 'just like a chicken out (IN) your Ma's yard.'
** I found myself down by the small (STREAM) behind the schoolhouse.
** I heaved and vomited into the water and cried for Aunt Elena and my (mommy). - not capitalized here.
** I let out a scream and Daddy held me close. -- The rest of this paragraph needs to be edited.
** I feel this sentence should be changed. (Your decision though.) :)
I (THOUGHT or JUST KNEW) that Uncle Ted had tricked me and had been following me(,) but when I stopped yelling I could see it was some older feller who was poking me with his cane.
** No, not my beautiful sister, Randall, she was moaning to my father, this isn't happening. -- There is a lot going on in this sentence. (I feel you need to reword this sentence. It is confusing.)
** Where have you been, Alice? - (This should not be italicized. It needs quotation marks).
** You're right, Mom, I thought(.) (S)omething bad has happened to me(.) (B)ut I didn't say that(.) I said I'd been out picking apples. (ITALICS- Where she is thinking to herself needs to be in italics.)
**"Hurt Daddy?" This question should be a new paragraph.

I will complete the rest of this chapter in the morning. There are several more places I want to make you aware of tomorrow. Several times I see where you should start a new paragraph.

Will complete tomorrow.

Sara :)

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written 337 days ago

Hi Barnard,

I was immediately swept into your story! You have created a unique and exciting world. I enjoyed it!

Good Luck! High stars!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones :) view book

written 352 days ago

Hope you get there soon! Keep up the great work!
Finger Bones view book

written 354 days ago

I am writing because I love to write. My book is for entertainment in hopes children will want to read. I have taught special needs for 25 years. Even they love entertainment. So for as a purpose, I WANT THEM TO READ. And it is working...


I hope you don't mind if I ask you a question. Is your book purely for the entertainment of normal children or do you hope to empower children with special needs? Let's say I'm a five-year-old girl and my father won't hug me because I'm immobilized with dystonia. How will your book brighten my life? Let's say I'm a bullied, eleven-year-old boy who's mentally challenged? How will your book strengthen me in my next go-around with the bullies? Let's say I'm six and entering first grade with treacher collins syndrome. How will your book help me when kids start telling me how ugly I am?

As you approach the ED, no one denies that you are not a powerful writer, but you've dealt with special needs children all your adult life. My only question is how you intend to use that power to help them.


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written 379 days ago

The Sister
Max China

Of all the crime novels, thrillers, and mysteries I have read, this is one of the best! You have kept me on the edge of my seat! I caught myself tensing all over as the young boy watched in horror at the unspeakable act unfolding before him. I could feel the boy's terror each night as he tried to go to sleep, only to find the bulging eyes, dangling tongue, and purple face staring at him. The nightmare branded in his mind.

The young girl is introduced and her unfortunate life unfolds. You vividly write what happens to her at such a young age. She is confused and does not understand these things she sees in her head.

As others have written on here, I could not find any fault and I sprinkle you with as many stars as I can find. I am returning to read some more now. Chapter 9 is waiting!

Sara Stinson
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written 380 days ago

Hi John,

Your story is imaginative and has a good pace. I like how you start with the action and the adventure begins! I love Children Books. You get such a variety of different worlds and creatures. The name and description for the creatures are great!

We all have advice, but we mean well.

The first Chapter has lots of action! I enjoyed it.

What I suggest is that you go through the chapters and review your 'ing' verbs. Agents like to read 'strong' or more direct verbs. (I just read a wonderful article by Robb Grindstaff about the misuse of verbs. I may have to review all my work after reading this. He is a book editor.

Passive 'to be' verbs sometimes weakens a sentence and takes away from the story,

I have read articles from agents stating NOT to have more than 2 'was' 's on a page. It slows the story with more words.

Hope this helps. Good luck with your book.

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

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written 380 days ago

Hello World
Jo Sellick

Like someone else, I saw the red hair! I thought I would give your book a read. I like the cover. Your short pitch and long pitch is good. Your have captured the girls emotions.

The best advice I can give...Look for repetitions, be careful with adverbs and adjectives, and you want to get rid of unnecessary words. Make all words count.
Here are a few suggestions. Use what you can and ignore the rest. :)

*The snow continues to fall quickly and thick -- I know one or two have mentioned adverbs. Also someone has given you a suggestion with this sentence, so remember this is your book. :) You change what you feel is best. Maybe the first sentence could start (Bursts of snow falls...) Although, you may want to make a change here. Many agents say not to start your book discussing the weather.)
*Watch the adverbs
*Also watch adjectives. Too many can take away from what is happening in the story.
*I choke on a sob and (stuff) my phone in my jeans, fat tears streaking down my cheeks. -- (I have reworded. You decide. It takes the word 'pocket' away because of repetition. I have seen some authors use the word 'cell'. I deleted now. The reader knows it is 'now'.
*I try to push down my emotions but JUST -- Delete 'just'
*I would take a look at your sentences where you are repeating a word 2 and 3 times in a sentence.
*I don't know how my tormentor knows things. No one knows, because I have told no one. -- (I suggest rewording here. Maybe say...I'm baffled/I'm clueless how my tormentor knows.) delete things.

I'm clueless how my tormentor knows. I told no one.

*The next sentence -- to step over the edge / to take one step and be done --Both say the same thing. I would delete one.
*(The last part of the sentence be done with this torment.) To avoid repeating maybe say...To be freed from the torment.
*I land harshly on my back.... This sentence is filled with adverbs, I suggest rewording. ( I land with a loud thud on my back)
*disbelievingly -- What about (in disbelief).

You are doing a good job. I can feel the girls sorrow and pain. Take the advice given by everyone and use what is best for you. Good lick with your writing!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones view book

written 381 days ago

Hi Violent,
I have read seven chapters. I am immensely in love with this book. The first time I read it I was very absorbed in the book, got to the last chapter, and "Bloop" you were gone. I do hope you load the rest of the book. Or at least have it for sale. I would definitely buy it! I did not find any errors or anything I would change. So I am going to say a little something about each chapter. :) I will return in a day or two and read the rest!

Chapter One - This chapter is written so vividly. I could see Isabella holding the paint brush and performing each stroke. She is a perfectionist and loves her work.
Chapter Two - I love the word "cheeky". In Chapter Two we are introduced to Freddie and his crew when flying.

The world beneath the wings of his aircraft is as impersonal and inanimate as a map in a book. That's how he strives to see it. (This sentence describes how he tries to cope. Kind of says it all.)

Each member of the crew has a ritual. I would have to say that Chalky has the most unique ritual. (It amazes me with the knowledge you've had to have had to write just the first two chapters. You discuss painting and now flying. You have taken this knowledge and made the first two chapters realistic.

Sentence after sentence you show the reader your skills in writing and your imagination. You're creative with your words. (The static in his headphones like the desolate of the dead, the gibbering of ghosts.)

Chapter Three - From where Isabella stands, she can see the planes approaching. At the beginning of this chapter, your writing gives the reader the feeling that a beautiful painting is being destroyed color by color until no color is visible. If any color is present, it is black.

You've painted a vivid picture of what a bomb can do to an area. It leaves misery and sometimes death and destruction.
Chapter Four - She meets Freddie (The timeline goes to an earlier point.)
Chapter Five - Fabio is a creeper! (He plays his part well.)
Chapter Six - This Chapter brings change in Isabella's life. Three strokes of paint and the cruelty of someone.
Chapter Seven - Isabella does not indicate if she heard what Freddie sai at the beginning of the chapter.

I can't wait to read the rest! 6 stars! I applaud you!

Sara Stinson
Finger Bones

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