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Tyler Danann
December 7th, 2013, 07:30 AM
This is an action-excerpt from a recently published novel (Mountain Hold). A deadly faceoff between man and beast:


Barber was fortunate though, during the fall the Chimera's weight and angle of descent saw it suffer the brunt of impact and not him. Despite this he was winded and the FN FAL slammed between them digging into them both. Without his flak-jackets padding he'd of been in helpless agony, as it was he had a chance. Stunned, the creature momentarily ceased its struggle and Barber pulled free like a frantic man from a trap.

His weapon sling had somehow become torn and the remains of his night-vision were a hanging mess of plastic. He slid the latter off it's hinge-slot and hurled it from him so he could fight properly. As he did so the creature, seemingly barely affected from the loss of part of a limb, now gained its feet in a pivoting fashion.
The Ranger began backing away in a slide-skipping movement as his old grizzled instructor had taught him. He changed magazines on the move, dropping the old one from the FAL via a quick tap on the flapper-release with a fresh magazine. He'd just rocked-in a fresh magazine when the shape of it bounded and loped forwards. A booming shot rang out from above but the darkness moving onwards at him showed no sign of slowing.
This time it managed to swerve then make a sudden lunge from the flank with impossible quickness. Barber worked the bolt to chamber a new round when its big head smashed the weapon from his hand. His legs kept carrying him backwards, eluding the Chimera's snapping, slashing head that sought a quick killer blow. In doing so he bought himself the narrowest of openings and reached in for his Automag. He suddenly experienced a great blinding flash as the night illuminated. Shades of gray and black turned to a near-whitewash effect, Barber shut one eye out of instinct as he saw the thing in its full glory.

It had a blackish-gray fur coat which heaved with effort, showing oozing bloody fluids. The thing's head was what took him aback. It was like that of a jackal, hyena and possibly lizard bundled into one. It too was greatly affected by the blinding light, blackened eyes now closing slightly with the sudden flash. The chunky and long limbs were powerful, even with one-half of its foreleg's severed off.
As time stood still his Heathen lore gave a surreal clarity to it's presence as that of Fenrir the demon-wolf; destroyer of worlds and nemesis to his kind. Then the moment passed and from the general direction of the gateway a dozen running men came rushing out.

He heard shouts from Athias warning the Reaction Force not to shoot. The creature heard the noises of man and almost decided to attack again. Yet the wounds sustained along with the blinding light sent its raw intelligence into flight and the Chimera began darting away.

The Ranger took to his feet and moved after it, charging in hot pursuit...

Nico
December 27th, 2013, 08:06 PM
If it's already published then I'm not sure how much help any critique can be, but have you had an editor look over it? A few of the grammar and punctuation issues take away from the power of the scene, I think. In your very first sentence, the comma ought to be a semi-colon, because it's connecting two independent clauses.
In the same paragraph, you say "he'd of been" and it ought to be "he'd have been". Of course, depending on the narration style through the book, if you intended a certain dialect in order to convey tone, then possibly disregard this.

I think that it's very well written, though. The description and imagery are wonderful, and I hope the novel is doing well :)

Tyler Danann
December 27th, 2013, 08:48 PM
Thank you for your words Nico!

I have had a friend go over it with a fine tooth comb, but can't afford the editing prices.

The book is doing ok. It was selling steadily and now is tailing off...

Child_Alchemist
December 29th, 2013, 04:10 AM
In doing so he bought himself the narrowest of openings and reached in for his Automag. Is automag the name of the weapon?

Tyler Danann
December 31st, 2013, 11:28 AM
Is automag the name of the weapon?

It is indeed Child of Alchemist! :)

It is an Automag Mk 5 .50 Calibre Action Express to be exact. Made from about the late 70s to the mid 80s in various calibres if I recall correctly :)

Previous to the excerpt this fact is known to the reader.