Re: Action scene approximately 400 words
“OK, I’m hooked up. Start the winch.”[new paragraph? You don't need one, but I'd like it] In one smooth movement, [I'm not sure about the comma] he drew his gun out of its holster with one[ 'one' repeated] hand while [personally, I'd drop the 'while'] grabbing the rope with the other. In a few moments, [I don't like the sentence starting this way -- it feels sort of empty and, in terms of pattern, I find it similar to the start of the last sentence] he started the slow rise up the hill. He was just ten feet off the ground when the creature came into view fifty feet away. It was just under three and a half meters tall and was all legs. [I don't like specific measurements very much -- my brain doesn't work that way -- but even for people who do, I suspect three of them in quick succession may be too much] It moved like a jackrabbit and had a head full of teeth. Given its speed and ferocity, [I assume from this it is fast and ferocious -- have you covered this elsewhere? I kind of thought not because you called it 'the creature' which suggests they haven't seen any like it before -- if so, I think you could do something much stronger to describe or show the speed and ferocity -- as it is, it's just mentioned in passing but things would be much scarier if we knew] evolution apparently didn’t give it any kind of camouflage that could be seen as it was pale beige[ in color -- you don't need this]. It stopped at the edge of the forest when it saw him, but only for a moment. Then it took off toward him at full speed. ['full speed' implies measurement and I'm not sure how he knows it's moving at full speed]
Don pointed his pistol at the oncoming creature and fired. [I think 'pointed his pistol' is unnecessary -- we could assume it, I think] Even at full power, the beam had to remain constant for two or three seconds in order to do any real damage, and since it was a moving target, it only managed to slow the animal briefly. [I assume there is a reason he's in a potentially hostile place with rubbish weapons?] As it continued toward him, Don hoped that the thing couldn’t climb the hill as he was around forty feet from the bottom. [I think the sentences you're using are maybe a bit elaborate for action -- it would be more effective to use some short, punchy sentences instead] Unfortunately, he had no such luck. The hill wasn’t so steep for an animal that size and that had evolved in that gravity. [whose POV? If it's Don's he's sounding awfully calm about an alien monster his gun doesn't work on charging full speed towards him with a head full of gnashing teeth]
[In almost no time, -- I don't think this adds -- and it slows the action down] the thing was directly beneath him, its jaws opened wide. He fired again directly into its mouth. [oooh nice!] [This time, -- I think this slows the action and you could remove it] the creature screamed as the beam seared the soft flesh at the back of its throat. [how does he know that's what happened?] It tumbled down the hill and lay clawing at its neck[ trying to expel the pain -- he doesn't know and I don't think it adds to the moment]. As the winch continued to pull Don up to the ship, he re-holstered his weapon and muttered, “State of the art,”[ to himself. -- I don't think you need this]
He arrived at the top of the hill without further incident but their troubles weren’t over. The screams of the creature Don had shot must have alerted others of its kind. Just as he was unhooking from the line, a dozen or so of the tall, beige creatures came galloping toward the ship. They were still several hundred meters away but it wouldn’t take them long to close the distance. [ Don insisted on being the last one to board the ship so he stood by the loading ramp with his pistol in hand while the three scientists rushed inside. -- I think this last bit would be better shown rather than told like this]
Hiya Tom, I'm not sure it quite works yet as an action scene because the writing seemed to me to be roughly the same style as the non-action bit. It's a good scene, though, and I think with a few changes it will be very effective. I'm having an enthusiasm for specificity this week, and I wonder how Don would feel trapped in a winch half way up the hill being attacked by an alien monster. What does he think it's going to do with its teeth?