Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “World Apart,” Science Fiction

Please welcome today’s aspiring author, Cody Connor, ready for a peer critique.

Take a moment to read the excerpt, then please leave some thoughtful feedback in the comment section below.

If you are a writer whose excerpt has appeared anonymously on Write It Sideways, and now you’d like your name to appear on your piece, please contact me.

World Apart

Science Fiction

*Please note:  This excerpt is taken from the beginning of the work.

The trio stood adjacent at the apex of the mount, their minds whirling as they stared out across the open valley before them. The sky was already shifting red with sunset, the hills on the horizon looming dark silhouettes on the fiery backdrop. The basin thrived with grasses and shrubs yet trees were absent, the openness revealing every detail to their sights. A towering precipice enclosed the region, its rugged walls embracing stones that threatened to fall but did not. The cliff’s shadowed face rose at such an angle that scaling it would be impossible without equipment; they knew that the only exit was where they now stood.

Darkened figures littered the glade, tall and rectangular but glistening in spots where the retreating light bounced off their lustrous surfaces: metallic they inferred. But what these objects were, they didn’t know, and it plagued their thoughts until the answer interrupted with a deafening boom that sent them reeling and ducking.

The racket of smashing metal boomed and echoed throughout the enclosing, initially the product of one box but then, slowly, the sporadic sounding of them all. The silent vista morphed instantly into chaos, the walls of the metal boxes shifting from within against blows of inhuman strength.


The three stared at each other, their hearts racing as they awaited the moment when the structures would give way. They gripped their weapons tightly and cocked them in preparation. The click of bullets dropping into position drowned instantly amongst the clamor. Whatever they were, the creatures within were sent to kill, and their ferocity flaunted this charge.

Potential Feedback Prompts

When you respond, you might consider: