ModeratorMay 27, 2021 at 10:14 pm
I really like the immediacy of this story. The present tense works well, and I think you are at your strongest when you zoom in on the small details, the breath on the neck, etc.
I found the shift in the last third to be a bit jarring. I wonder what would happen if you interspersed those italicized interjections more evenly throughout the story (but perhaps still with greater frequency toward the end).
Also, this is a second draft/revision thing for sure (something that I wouldn’t expect in a first draft), but I think you have a great opportunity to defamiliarize the opening, instead of “The pain is unrelenting” try to describe that pain with specific details or an unusual figure. Show vs tell.
Overall though, great first draft. I’m excited to see how this develops going forward.