Hey ya'll! I wrote this tale quite a bit ago, and would love to submit it to the Library.
Link! (First tab)
Let me know what you think! Is it coherent enough? Should I expand on anything?
This is decent, but needs some work. The main thing I'd think it needs is some proofing for typos and evening out the language. A lot of sentences feel weird or drag on too long. Stuff like
neaking past the city guard was the easy part; it was actually leaving town that was difficult: huge chains suspending midair between the town and a bottomless pit aren't the simplest to traverse.
Would flow a lot better if cut up into multiple sentences.
He gripped the artery in his arm, slowing the bleeding down. He thought quickly and tied a piece of ripped undershirt around the wound; another piece securing itself around the pulsating vein.
Veins don't pulsate. Also, I imagine this would be really hard to do on your own arm (by which I mean I've tried it, and it's nearly impossible to get it tight enough to matter). A hand injury probably wouldn't bleed enough to need a tourniquet and risk killing the limb anyway.
I'd like more vivid descriptions of the areas he's in. There's nothing in here that particularly evokes interesting imagery or paints a good picture of his surroundings.
Gonna pull a vivax here and say that I'd like more of a sense of who this character is and what his motivations are.
The ground wavered. The earth faltered. The floor fell. Swallowed by the city, he fell; not a smooth fall, not in the least. Smacking against the jagged concrete faults every now and then, he felt intense pain with every blow. A final blow to his mask switched everything to black.
deserves a lot better description than it gets. How did the ground rumbling feel? What did it sound like? How did it look?
In general this could stand to be lengethened. You move through events too quickly so the reader really never gets any emotional reaction or feel for them.
Not a fan of the ending, unless this is going to be getting an ending. Leaving things open is good, but this doesn't really pose interesting enough questions to make me keep wondering about them after the fact.
Overall you've got a good start here, it just needs work to push it to a higher level.
Thank you so much for the feedback!
I agree. Now that my attention's been called to it, I can see how my language is kinda clunky.
I'll work on providing a bit more description and context for the scenes, definitely. I suppose I always held a notion that "description gets in the way of action." I'm an impatient reader, so I try to make things as interesting as possible in order to continue having an audience. This has clearly not worked out to my benefit, though.
I will confess about the ending, that I really phoned it in. Perhaps with more reflection, I can find a suitable resolution. All of your suggestions are greatly appreciated!
You have a lot of "excess wordage". What I mean is that you've used long sentences in places where shorter onws would serve. This make it a bit tiring to read, especially when the extra words are boring. Don't take this criticism too hard. This is pretty common in first drafts, especially when you are writing out ideas as they come to you. In my own writing, I usually write I lot more than when ends up in the final draft.
Anyway, as a specific example, consider: "Jiang-Xiang was a different place than what the old stories described it as." vs. "Jiang-Xiang was not as the old stories had described it." The two sentences have the same meaning, but I think the second reads a lot better.
Now, this is not to say that you can't have extra words. Just make sure the extra words are interesting or exciting. "Jiang-Xiang was no longer the glittering jewel that the old stories had described." (Note: Why did I include the word "that" even though I just said it was redundant? Because I think it sounds better, especially when read aloud. Yeah, it's not an exact science.)
In short, think of each sentence as labor that your reader has to do, and choose words that help them do it. Do not allow any words that don't pull their own weight. : )