Review of: Fixed Shadows (r) 

reviewed by Jeremy on 05/26/2011
Credited Review
Jeremy
Beware the quadrople cross! Credited Review
I'm a guy who likes a film that takes twists and turns. A mystery to figure out - and you've got a doozy here! The writing style is clean and smooth - the pages turns themselves and outside of a formatting thing that I'll mention below, I'll be damned if I found a single typo or error. More people should strive for this kind of perfection before uploading!

There is a difficulty that comes with a story like this. You need a lot of characters to make the twists and the turns continue to come, and so you've got to introduce a lot of people - and I think you do that well enough, but there is still a problem with the set-up to your story. It's confusing, and outside of knowing that two men were against each other, I didn't really have a strong handle of what was going on - there is a double cross at play so I know that we can't be given too much information, but the problem is that I'm not sure who or what this story is about. Who or what I should be caring about. You need to give me something to latch onto, 'cause for the first dozen pages or more I was drowning in confusion. I didn't even know what level of politics these men were running for. President? Senator? Mayor? Not clear.

It's clear to me that your film is about The Fixer/Julianne, but we don't really get to see her doing a whole lot of fixing, especially because in the end it's all set up. I think you could benefit from an opening sequence where we see her at work, at the top of her game. Also during the second act I would throw a few more obstacles her way.

I really felt like your story was wrapping up at the end of the hotel sequence, and then it felt like a stretched out ending after that, and it kept going, and going, but nothing got more exciting or interesting than what happened at the hotel. So you either need to find a way to compress the ending, or make it get bigger and better following the hotel. It starts to feel rather convoluted by the end with all the double, triple, quadruple crosses - certainly no honour among thieves here! It gets to the point where it starts to become a little unplausable and a little bit like a joke. When you start making it that EVERYONE is a double agent in some way, then it stops being a surprise when someone turns out to have an anterior motive. So keep that in mind. Simplify your ending.


READING NOTES

1 - opening quote is a bit confusing (and to be honest, pretentious). I'd vote to lose it.

1 - These photos feel staged.

24 - These scene between Dills and Parker goes on a half a page or so too long - you want to end with a joke, but you end with three. Pick one. End the scene with "Why would I tell him about your hemmorhoids."

27 - "know how to swim". how does this comment follow up the car wash? Doesn't make sense.

37 - I'm not quite sure the importance of the name on the room - can you make it super clear? Also, it gets solved rather easily (I'm hoping that they weren't actually able to fix it).

59 - I don't recommend changing Henderson's character slug - like The Fixer, just keep it to his alias if need be. Same with Kyle and everyone else.

Not sure you need the Flashback sequence - it's pretty clear how most of this went down (except maybe the bit with the orange juice)

The whole bit with her father comes out of nowhere on page82, if it was in earlier then it was so slight and I missed it. Seems convoluted to connect her and him now - why can't it just be about money?


CLOSING THOUGHTS

This is a fast read and it's entertaining enough. I think it needs a little more work on the areas I've mentioned above, and also a stronger title - your current title it too poetic and doesn't tell me anything about the story or characters. Simply The Fixer, would work well. Best of luck with it! Feel free to hit me with any questions you have while it's still fresh!

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