Please welcome today’s anonymous aspiring author, ready for a peer critique. Take a moment to read the excerpt, then please leave some thoughtful feedback in the comment section below.
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You know something strange has happened when the slowly dawning consciousness doesn’t seem quite right. Your brain slowly climbs towards the light of day, picking out anything out of place on the way. What is with this bed? It’s hard – hard and cold. And the pillow? Something is definitely wrong with the pillow. And the smell? It smells disgusting, like week old meat when the fridge has failed. You try opening your eyes, the light burns like two red hot pokers. You try again. It still hurts but it’s unbearable. You try again – success. You blink, slowly taking in your surroundings. You realise you are lying on metal, which explains the coldness, but still doesn’t help you place where you are. You grope around. You explore an edge with your fingers. Another edge on the other side as well. Okay, so you are on a table. You swing your legs around and try to get up and almost pass out from the pain. Your chest hurts. You run your hands over it, realising there is a line of stitches running up from your belly to each shoulder. You try again and manage to control the pain, but only succeed in rolling off the table. Pain blooms all through your body and darkness pulls at your vision
Slowly things brighten again. It’s darker down here out of the brightlight, which is nice. You slowly look around. The table you were on is one of many. You try to count and fail. That part of your brain just doesn’t want to assist at present. You slowly get to your knees, ignoring the pains of protest from your legs. It hurts. You slowly put one leg beneath you and raise yourself up, feeling dizzy you grasp hold of the table. The dizzyness fades, but your reactions feel sluggish, like your brain is a 1000 miles from your body. You look around again. Okay… metal tables, little metal doors on one wall… sudden realisation dawns that you woke up in a morgue. You hear shouts outside the main door. Someone is coming. Perhaps they can help. You start to stagger towards the door. Suddenly it crashes open. A man with a baseball bat stands before you. You don’t think he is here to help. The last things that go through your head are ‘why did he hit me?’ and ‘why did the man yell “Die zombie!”‘?
Potential Feedback Prompts
When you respond, you might consider:
- your immediate reactions
- likes and dislikes
- anything that seems unclear
- language issues
- point of view
- general encouragement