|As I wrote in my mail, please don’t take it to heart if you feel this is too negative. I’ve flagged this as I read and made overall comments at the bottom.
There are two authors who have taught me a lot (I’m very much a novice still) and I suggest you look in on them:
The first is K. M. Weiland at https://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com
Then Jerry Jenkins at https://jerryjenkins.com
There are many others, but I’d start with them.
Ok here we go :)
A few typos, e.g. “a second stream OF melting ice cream.“
Also a few comma issues. A free Grammarly account with their browser plugin is great to help with these. I love ProWritingAid too.
(I'll comment as I read from now on)
Name. Personally, I'm a bit leery of names like Misty, which many might associate with a porn star. You may have a perfectly good association for the name, but I spend quite a bit of time on the names of my main characters. I try to use names that tend to be associated with a personality. E.g. Elisabeth may be someone who's a bit old fashioned, while Beth sounds spunkier, etc. This is very subjective, so stick with your gut, as long as you have thought about why you have given her this name.
Is Misty sitting ON the table? English is not my first language, but isn't "up from" more usual if she's sitting next to the table?
Black hole. Perhaps makes the reader associate it with an astronomical object? I'd try something like "aperture", or if you want to take it further "gaping maw", or some such.
"he’d made direct eye contact with her so she understood his truthfulness."
This is one I struggle with myself. Isn't this the naughty telling instead of showing all professional writing tutors harp on about?
The recommendations I've gotten from watching tutorials say to keep the point of view (POV) to a single character. Meaning you can inform the reader about the intentions/thoughts/motivations of the POV character, but not the others-these must be shown or inferred. At this point, I'm not sure who the POV character is. Initially, I thought it was Misty, then I'm led to believe it's Otis, then Misty.
As a reader, I'm left confused
"her Dad" should probably be "her dad"?
"She easily beat Otis to the bus and chided him about it when he opened the driver door just a few seconds behind her."
I'm using this as an example. Me, I'd drop the "just a few seconds behind her" as the reader understands he's not far behind. If he had been far behind, it would have been worth writing about, because there would be an important reason for it.
Often the writing gets stronger when we delete fluff. I believe I've deleted at least 20 000 words from my novel, and the story improved a lot.
"Misty Thompson looked down at her hands".
I wouldn't use her full name again. I assume she's the main character, and now it looks as she's being introduced again.
I like the dad scene, as I feel it starts giving us an insight into her career choice (in addition to calming her). But I'd cut down on the minute details and focus even more on her emotions: Being small and alone, then seeing dad and the joy making her forget the pain from the sting, etc. I feel this is what you're doing, but tightening up the sentences gives more emotional impact.
Isn't it "stape OF their existence"?
Perhaps it might be better to tell the reader it's a cardiac arrest when they get the call? Then "her first run would be to a cardiac arrest" could say "potentially fatal" or some such?
"An inattentive driver in a blue Mustang hung in front of them"
Another example where brevity is better. I'd just say "A blue Mustang hung in front of them".
Driving and arrival at the hotel. I don't if you intend geography to play an important role in the complete story, but if not, I'd cut a lot of it. For example "A blue neon swan in front of a neglected, two-story building signaled their destination." I suspect I may be too brief in describing scenes in my own writing, sometimes. But I work under the assumption the reader is more interested in the characters, the drama and the action than long descriptions that have no relevance later in the story.
The skinny man. How do they know he's bald if he's wearing a cap? Perhaps they can see it, but I'd drop that.
The police car. Drop "Dodge Charger" (unless it's important) and just tell us that the police car can be spotted far off by it's flashing light. As written, it left some confusion as to which car the lights were on.
Indian. For us foreigners, it's not clear if he's Asian Indian or Native Indian. Probably not important, but these tiny things make the reader hesitate and breaks the flow of reading. Probably easier to just describe him as "dark" or something like that?
TV-guy would probably stare at them, possibly "wide-eyed" or "curious" or something like that?
"lookie-loos" Is that a local term? We foreigner must guess what it means
fireman = firemen and later the reverse :)
Ok, enough nitpicking (sorry).
I like the pacing when for much of the ambulance ride and the scene at the hotel.
But you would tell a much stronger story by trimming off much information that's not needed for this part (or at all).
For example. I'm not sure if Otis or the police officer will be the love interest (I suspect the latter). When Misty arrives, I strongly doubt she would notice much detail around her, including the police officer's eye color. This is perfect for continuity, because the next time she meets him, under relaxed conditions(?), she gets to take in all those details and reflect on how she finds him attractive. As her feelings deepen, she finds herself thinking more and more about those details.
I’d also start the story with the call coming in for a dramatic opening, and then perhaps do the ice cream scene when Misty and Otis meet next?
I hope this is taken as it's intended: As constructive comments