Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “The Hand,” Fantasy

Hello to all, and thanks to today’s anonymous author for this excerpt from a fantasy novel-in-progress.

Please take a few moments to read the excerpt and leave some feedback in the comment section. Potential prompts are listed below if you get stuck.

(Please note: This excerpt is not taken from the opening of the novel, so keep that in mind when you’re giving feedback.)

The Hand

Fantasy Novel

The glow on the horizon flared suddenly to reveal a colossal wave of what looked to be pure fire, heaving its way toward the spot where they stood.

The woman’s song crescendoed. She flung her right hand over her shoulder, and in one fluid motion, she wrenched a long, gleaming blade from the sheath at her back. It burned white-hot like a star in the night, illuminating the entire area—

There was a loud crack and Talon was shocked to see that she had broken the sword in two. In one hand, she now held the blade, its light significantly diminished; while in the other, she grasped the plain, severed hilt.

“What are you doing?! MOVE!” he shouted. But she did not respond and the wave was fast-approaching.

He trudged toward the place were she stood atop the water, brandishing her useless weapon. Suddenly, he was halted where he stood as the weight in the air intensified. The water encased his legs holding him fast. He looked on with a familiar sense of horror and helplessness as the wave swelled higher, now mountainous in size, roaring like thunder. It was about to sweep over them.

Still, the woman sang, and he could barely discern her voice over the clamor. She clenched the blade in her hand, the sharp edge cutting into her skin. Blood trickled down onto her feet. Talon closed his eyes just as the woman’s song rose to an audible climax and the wave’s intense heat seared his skin—

Talon screamed. His eyes wrenched open and blinding light filled his vision. Scorching heat washed over his body as he suddenly realized that his vivid nightmare had brought him face to face with the embers of the campfire.

Potential Feedback Prompts

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