6 thoughts on “Novel extract for critique 003: ‘Hunted’ (fantasy) by Heather Lawson

  1. Hi Heather
    I like your story – well the prologue. I think it works well, you haven’t overloaded the imagery too much or made the language too complicated to interfere with the enjoyment of reading it.
    I have a few suggestions, but I’m pretty new to this so please bear with me.
    I felt your synopsis could be a bit tighter.. You could maybe neaten up your third sentence to make it a bit easier to figure out by moving the ‘themselves’ – I would suggest ‘the humans themselves no longer fighting with …’ or maybe, ‘the humans themselves no longer fight this new threat of/from the immortal’ Also maybe a capital ‘I’ for Immortal???
    And I would suggest ‘ever since he first heard of their existence, Talik has searched for even a glimpse …’ or something like that, to emphasise how long he’s waited and how elusive they are.
    Also a couple of things from the Prologue but I felt it worked well as a scene-setter.
    Opening sentence is good, though I would suggest changing ‘rotting’ to ‘rotten’.
    To avoid repetition of ‘foot’ I would suggest ‘Each step squelched underfoot’. ‘Swirls of mist …’ – this sentence works well. As does ‘Bodies littered the ground …’ I would suggest putting a capital letter for Army, but also making those two words a separate sentence. ‘The Army. She scoffed …’
    You don’t need ‘This once anyway.’ We already get that she’s her own gal. If you do want to emphasise this, I would suggest maybe build it into the previous bit ‘ … but she’d been given a group this time, so for once she would/had to obey.’
    And later I would suggest ‘There’s only Them’, for ‘There’s only them.’ because again, we are talking about beings we haven’t yet met and are building them up for reader and the rookie Thomas.
    Nice job!
    Best wishes

  2. Sorry to nit-pick, I just thought of something else – maybe her knife should be in her belt, because she does a great deal with her hands, but we’ve already been told she is holding a weapon in each hand, so how does she push her hair out of the way, muck about with vampire gums and put her hand over Thomas’ mouth? So maybe she should put her spare weapon away until needed?

  3. Good buildup and tension. Nice tone to the description of the terrain. We get as good sense of the girl’s personality and even without back-story, we understand her anger.That’s the good part. Now for the problems. Talik is referred to as ‘he’ but this features an un-named ‘she’. If this is not Talik you need to give her a name, even if you only mention it once. ‘visions’ in the second sentence should be ‘vision’ – it’s a collective. in “trying to get the attention of his mummy” ‘mummy’ should be ‘mommy’. It’s a common homonym error. I would reduce the use of ‘was’ and begin fewer sentences with ‘she’. The piece needs editing for punctuation and some sentences are awkward.
    Don’t take that too much to heart. I see this a prologue and so assume that you still expect to edit before you call ‘finished’ to the project. This reads like my first drafts do. 🙂 One suggestion – have someone else read this to you out loud. You’ll be surprised at what you notice – especially the awkward wording. And you will know what to do to make it flow better.
    This has the promise of a good story – if you are into vampires. I like the idea of having a fresh new way to deal with them.

  4. Thank you, Yvonne. We say “mum” (semi-formal) / “mummy” here in the UK so I guess it depends on the author’s origins and target audience. I picked up on the ‘She’ but missed the ‘was’ses. 🙂

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