I can't thank you enough for the story consultation on which I may retitle ,The Murder Portfolio. Our discussion and your enthusiasm for the project reignited my interest in the world of Mr. Stallworth and I am amazed at the bonehead oversights in the draft you read. Not only would Nick Donatello not have paid a house call alone on Reed, if he had he would have had people on the fire escape to block Reed's exit. And when he trashed the place, he would have stolen Reed's laptop in order to find out where he worked. I have Reed go back and pick up the laptop after the break-in. Where was my mind?
Well I've junked the break-in and I've junked the shouting match between Reed and the super about the broken windows (makes Reed too much of a hothead, not likable) and I've junked the liaison with Jamie because it was an inessential subplot that went nowhere, and I've made Reed much more leery about coming back to the neighborhood after the night he clipped Michael Donatello.
Your keen observation that as of page 40 all the story is concerned with is finding Sal Bianco made me want to shrink this, but I found I was unable to. It is the nucleus of too many scenes. I would have had to junk the entire first 40 pages, and a cut of that magnitude was too much for me. It still stands as a Winner Take Nothing plot element that at least has a hard-bitten realism going for it. And it is a way of showing the nature of the relationship between Eddie and Reed. But I've changed it from Reed asking for Bianco's phone number to Reed asking both Zanetti and Eddie to vouch for him with Bianco, so a meeting can be set up, which Eddie finally agrees to do, for the grand.
But mainly it was your enthusiasm that enabled me to go back and do all this necessary work and for that, once again, I thank you kindly.