Review of: Fraternal Twins - 2nd Draft 

reviewed by Gary Wright on 09/11/2009
Credited Review
Gary Wright
tale of two brothers Credited Review
p.3 omitted word
It's [the] only sperm in the ampulla.

Brilliant hook - establishes the whimsical tone and the brothers' relationship immediately (though I would like to see some interplay between Robert and Tommy as sperms which will be cleverly echoed later in their human forms).

p.4 I like the juxtaposition of the two bikes side by side in the driveway to show the brothers' respective status.

typo
He['s] dressed in obvious second-hand clothes.

pp.5-6 The designation "younger brother" seems a bit stilted. Maybe "little brother"?

p.8 LOL "Tommy needs college more than you do"

Your first 10 set up the protag's goal and interior and exterior conflicts very efficiently - so efficiently, in fact, that you have time to be repetitive. Which makes me think the first 10 probably aren't working hard enough. As I read along, I'll be on the lookout for story elements which might benefit from a stronger set-up - elements you can use to enrich the beginning of the script. The note above about giving the brothers a prophetic exchange of dialogue as sperms is one such idea...

p.12 verb agreement error
From just below come[s] voices.

p.20 The "one thing about him is he doesn't lie" VO is a bit clunky. Actually, just the beginning of it is clunky. The "For all that I hate Tommy" part. As they say in tv writers' rooms (but not often enough), Write the good version of that.

p.21 Left the period off the VO at the top of the page.

Love the late rent message delivered by the Random Guy acting as if he lives there.

LOL "That's nice of the fates."

p.25 typo
SARAH
How long are you going to be able
to keep up being [of s/b a] full time
college student with three jobs?

p.29 redundant
Sarah and Robert [descend down]

p.33 When Sarah agrees to date Tommy feels like an act break to me - except you haven't really written it like one - you've buried it, and let it go by without seeming to notice it happened. And it comes several pages too late, if you want to be dogmatic about structure.

p.36 omitted word
He [is] startled by a noise at the door.

no apostrophe: MOMENT[']S LATER

Jacob's line "See you again" seems like an odd thing for a kid to say. Just the "again" part, I mean.

You might think this is bleeding heart bullshit, but I'm not trying to change the way you think - just trying to keep the reader on your side. Since you've established the dog's gender by having him lick his balls on the previous page, I think it's weird that you call Checkers "It" instead of "He" or "Him". Seems really cold, as if you're one of those people who think dogs are incapable of feeling pain because they're lower animals - therefore it's okay to go home and kick the shit out of them if you've had a bad day. People who love and admire dogs tend to have a low opinion of people who "don't get it." Lasting friendships and bitter enmities are created over this. It might seem like a small, silly thing - but it also might make a significant difference in the way the reader thinks about you, the writer. I notice Dan refers to Checkers as "It" as well. With some readers, this might lower your protag's likability quotient, too. Take it for what it's worth - I'm just sayin'.

p.41 no apostrophe
Sarah let[']s herself out with a wave.

p.43 typo
Robert looks out the window [at s/b as] he dials a number.

p.45 Great line!
TOMMY
Isn't that a lot to be asking a
self-centered jerk?

p.46 omitted word
"I'm not going to be able to make [it] into work tonight..."

omitted word
Robert, still on the couch, staring [at] the fish.

p.54 Officer Davis' line falls short, I think. "Well, you don't have to be touchy about it." If your meaning is "Sorry you're not having any fun, but don't take it out on me," I think that's a great sentiment for Davis, but this line doesn't quite land it. Write the good version of that.

p.59 omitted word
SARAH
I didn't sleep [with] Tommy, okay?

p.65 typo
"...you'll get [to] opportunity to attempt a half-court shot."

p.69 whoa! what happened here?
ROBERT
...you gave me the money even though [it knew you meant] you wouldn't have enough to finish college?

I find it very implausible that these guys make such a high percentage of these half-court shots.

p.80 Fish bow on the packed boxes in the living room. Why are the fish bowing? Is it some kind of curtain call? Oh, you mean fish BOWL!

p.92 Dude, this freaks me out. All of a sudden, Mrs. Flanagan turns into Mrs. Pennington - weird!

p.94 Here's another weird thing - all of a sudden, Checkers is no longer an "It". Cool!

p.96 Since Sarah and Robert were sort of fired for moral turpitude, it seems a bit odd that Jack Jackman, in the midst of a tabloid "gay affair" scandal, would be the kind of guy they'd want appearing at the school. I'm not suggesting you change it - but you might have someone comment on the irony.

p.98 I like the who vs. whom callback.

I enjoyed this, Matt. I especially like the revelations about Tommy as Robert learns to be less jealous of him. Always a nice surprise to learn that someone's better than you thought.

A couple of things left me vaguely dissatisfied. The first is the argument between Sarah and Robert after her date with Tommy. That was all pretty linear, and I saw it coming before it happened, and then the argument seemed kind of shallow and simple - and so did the reconciliation.

And then, in the last 15 pages or so, the resolution of the whole thing felt tidy, yet laborious. By which I mean starting with Mrs. Jackman's deus ex machina entrance, I could sort of hear the clank of the plot machinery turning in the background under the dialogue, and I knew everything was gonna get tied up into a nice, neat bow - but it seemed to happen very slowly, with no real surprises.

I don't have suggestions on how to fix these things, but I wanted to mention them, so you can figure out what to do about them, if you agree.

Anyway, I was glad to finally have a chance to read some of your work, Matt, and I wish you the best of luck with this - I think it's a fun story!

cheers,

Gary

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