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Since I can't toot my own horn,

I find testimonials. We all need Ego Therapy occasionally, this is mine.

It's comments like these that feed my addiction. A reviewers fix. 

I really want to have it published and so any help I can get, which I seemed to be very bless with btw, I will gladly welcome with open arms. I've also updated my story. I followed on the review tips I got from a member called critin. She was awesome in her review and really helped me unleash my polishing skills. So I hope I made it better and not worse lol. That would suck if it was worse T_T

Hi critin,

I'm having trouble getting tough criticism on a piece I wrote called "I Wish I Looked

Closer." It is a very short one minute read on an encounter I had as a boy. I want to get

it printed in my local paper for MLK Day. It deals with Dr. King and so people are overly

congratulatory with their brief comments. I know if you look at it, you will tell me what

works and what doesn't. It is not fiction, so I can't be to creative with it. I just want

to know if I portrayed what I set out to portray. Thanks. 



Thank you for letting me know about the Newbie posting, and thank you for all your help.

In one of your pieces on writing (I can't remember off hand which one) you advice

beginners to not throw out their original work based on reviews they received. I have

kept that in mind. The Horse Latitude story has gone through many metamorphics. The last

one I just posted to the item number tonight. I have saved, I think, all my previous

versions. I believe the story is better now ( I feel better about it), but I'll let time

tell. I need to leave it alone at this point.

You have been a guide to me through your writings (I do visit your port. and read) and

through your reviews. I am truly a newbie and do appreciate your support. Take care.


Hi critin,

This won a Blue Ribbon!

Your feedback had a lot to do with this. I was just awarded a blue ribbon awardicon from one of the preferred authors for THE HORSE LATITUDES. Thanks for your help.



Thanks critin

Your reviews are always a guidance to me. This is a first draft. I started it about five days ago, got into an inspired writing jag, posted the first write down, got some feed back, and just re-posted the results. I'll be working on this for some time, getting to know how the characters feel and fleshing them out, as you suggest.

I want to take a break from writing and concentrate more on reviewing. I want to give back a little of what I've gotten. I love this website. Never have I had a forum to workshop stories like this before.

I'm glad you told me that this piece flowed well. I wasn't sure because of the jumps in time and the swing in narrative style between the sections. Several other people have said they thought it flowed well. That kind of feedback is critical. It saves the writer a lot of time he might waste going over things that don't need going over. Again, thanks.



Hello critin,

I could use your help if you have the time. I'm writing a novel. I would like for you to review one of the chapters. It is the story of a boy in the 1960's who runs away from a reform school in upstate New York and spends the next three years hitchhiking around the country. The chapter I would like you to review is part of his adventure thumbing his way across Georgia.

Let me tell you some of the back ground of this boy not mentioned in this chapter. He is from New York City, Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. He is the son of an NYPD vice squad detective; a hard as nails Irish cop, who, himself, is the son and grandson of hard-as-nails Irish cops. His mother is second generation Italian American. His family roots in America grow out of Ellis Island and The Five Points district of lower Manhattan (the area depicted in Scorsese's movie Gangs Of New York). If there is a gene for streets smarts, this kid's got it in spades.

His father and he have problems. His father has had him placed in the reform school to straighten him out. But, the boy is too much like his father and his grandfathers before him. Nobody will take away from him his right to make his own mistakes. He'll straighten out, but he will do the straightening.

The chapter I would like you to review is

Title: Moon Rising  (M-way Stories) 

Description: 16 year old boy hitchhiking thru Georgia in 1968: romance, white lightening & danger.  I warn you, it is about five thousand words.    The prelude (or first chapter) is much shorter.

Title: Ditches  (prelude to M-way Stories)   Description: A boy running for freedom

The two chapters are not sequential. I'm working on the parts that come between them now, as well as working on the parts that come after the Bad Moon Rising chapter. If I'm lucky, and I stick to my regimen, I should finish in about six months.

You always rate my stories the lowest, but you always read them the best. I value your insights. I hope you can find the time.



Thank you soo much. This was exactly what I was looking for. Typos were a huge issue through these first few entries b/c I was without word :P I felt the same problem with word variety. I tried to change up where I could, but thank you for pointing out where I missed.

I am curious. I was trying to use "Wonderous voice" as more of a name until she saw Aldan, should I cut it down to just the voice?

Thanks again!  ~Heather


I want to thank you for your very constructive review again. Its been most helpful in revising my book.



a cat as a hat ***revised***
 its a fun little poem i did for school thanx to esprit de corps for the help

Thank you. You hammered this one and I needed that. Most of my reviews have been very flattering. Mostly 5's and 4.5. People comment and how well the writing flows, the imagery and the characters. I like hearing that, but it doesn't help me see the work objectively. The parts that you bolded were some of the parts I had labored over. Your suggestion I think work. I'm explaining too much. Like the bit about "to town" and New Orleans. Actually Cajuns never say New Orleans. When they talk about it they say "to town" and they never mean any place else by that. But I don't need to tell the reader all that.     Thanks critin.



Hi critin,

(Perfect 5 Stars!)

Thanks for re-reading this piece and your comments. I am at work right now on a ship in the Indian Ocean (I'm the First Engineer of a merchant freighter). I've been at sea almost four months now, with only limited Internet access. I sign off in about a week and will fly back home. I can't wait to get back to work on Thanks for remembering me. I have to get back to the engine room now. Thanks again


Thank you kindly for your honest review and suggestions! Your details are very insightful and work. I am editing a lot of work this weekend and highly appreciate the time you've spent to read and take time to feel the passion of what I intended between the characters. Please accept my gps for your time and honesty. I will be back soon to post more work.

Have a safe weekend.

K.P.  Stone

I've made edits and it does read smoother. You rock! The story now explains more on his feelings and the I see where the confusions were ** spinning and then slow motion** Excellent observation! ** and the canvas part too** All of it. I'm sending you more gps for being so honest and thorough. This story is possibly up for publication soon so I do appreciate your time.


Subject: The Best Reviews

Hello, critin!

So, I was looking back at the reviews I have received over my lengthy period here at the writing group. I must say that I am generally displeased with what people have to say (be it positive or negative).

For serious writing, one needs serious reviews. That's where I found you. I noticed that you gave a story I wrote a 2.5 out of 5,  BUT you also gave valuable feedback. Extremely valuable. You have an eye for catching inconsistencies, flaws in logic, etc., etc. As said before, serious writing needs serious reviewing.

As a graduate of Knox College with a Creative Writing degree, I never truly realized how much I was taking all those workshops for granted. I'm sure people request reviews directly all the time and, as a moderator of this site, I am positive that you are busy. However, I need some true, quality feedback on a new project I am working on.

The working title is "Hail the All-Mighty " but it is sure to change next week and a hundred times after that. Either way, I don't have much written as of yet, but what I DO have I have not received any feedback on besides grammatical suggestions (which are almost always completely wrong... I was told today that "anyways" wasn't a word which I then looked up in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary and sent the link along...) or feedback that is, quite frankly, rudimentary.

I intend for big things with this "novel" (not quite sure what it will be yet, maybe a short story collection), but I need some feedback if I am ever going to be successful. Harper Lee couldn't have written To Kill a Mockingbird without Capote! Anyways (there I go making up words),

I would really appreciate it if you would take the time to look over what I have so far. ANY comments are welcome. I'm not sure what I can offer you... I'm sure we could come up with something. This is going to be good, I tell you. I really can feel it. I just need that extra help to get it done and I don't know any writers or writing groups where I live. Please, please, please help me out! I'd understand if you are busy, but consider it.

Thanks for your time,

Request On 12-23-2008: A good quality, in-depth constructive review is exactly what I want for this story. If you can help, that would be awesome! Thanks!

Thank you so much! This was exactly the kind of review
 I've been waiting for. You've given me a wonderful Christmas present.
First of all, I'm so glad you enjoyed the parts you did. That gives me so much encouragement. And you've definitely given me some great things to think about. I honestly feel that, with your help, I can make this piece so much better.

Thanks again so much! You've been unbelievably helpful. Please have a beautiful day and, if you celebrate, Merry Christmas!

 Sincerely,  John 

On 12/27/08 at 2:13pm, critin wrote:
I looked at it again and it flows smoother now. Do you like it as well? You must rewrite so you still like it, because changing it to (only) suit someone else's specs won't help you grow. It's very important for you to understand the 'why' of changes.

Good work.

The writer's reply:

I certainly do think it is improved. It can be hard to cut things out of your own story but often there is little reason to feel attached to a particular word or phrase. Only when it is gone is it obvious why it didn't need to be there.

I think you gave me the harshest review I've ever received on this site (this is going back quite a while). It was hard to swallow at first but I don't mind saying that your comments helped me earn first place in the Short Shots contest that month.