Hello! I know this is ridiculously late but Iím here to review this for the Film Noir challenge. I know. Iím stupid. I let work and summer get away with me and so I (sort of, maybe, ish) forgot about this. I feel very bad, and canít apologise enough. Also kudos for the Orson Welles.
Your descriptive language really is incredible. The whole reveal of Moody was handled really well, I really enjoyed reading it. The fog just added a great sense of atmosphere to the whole thing. One thing I loved was the description of Hogwarts - it is a dark place. Although it is a school (full of lovely children and innocence and what not), just think of all the murders and attacks that happens (especially when Tom Riddle was there, and then again with Voldy enacting his revenge on Harry). Your interaction between Hagrid and Moody was spot on - their dialogue was very well characterised.
Again with your descriptive skills! You have such a nice writing style that fits the genre beautifully. You say this is your first outing in film noir, but I donít believe you. Up and up, as though into the clouds, that hellish blackness that hung overhead, impenetrable, unyielding. He followed the staircases, halting only when they chose to shift their path, extending or shortening his journey at their weak, womanís will.
I loved the whole Dumbledore and Moody scene. Your characterisations in this chapter are spot on. Dumbledore being kind but firm, worried for McGonagall and then his twinkling smile at the end. Moodyís deductions were awesome - the memory about Hepzibah Smith, his ideas about the note and the quill. All amazing.
And the ending? Bringing to a close with a mention of the fog that is probably still whirling outside. Well done, a totally awesome chapter.
Author's Response: Eee, thank you for reading and reviewing this! I was looking forward to your comments on this because this is my first time writing film noir and hardboiled crime fiction. It was a fantastic bonus to also win the challenge - I wasn't expecting that! ^_^
For the descriptions, I wanted to focus on how the story would look as a black-and-white movie, so there's very little colour unless it's fundamental to the narrative (or character), and there's also a lot more contrast between light and dark areas. Fog is a fantastic way to capture this style because of the way it obscures shapes in a strange, fuzzy light. As Moody's shadow emerges from the fog, it appears monstrous, menacing, yet he's also the hero - one far more clear-cut than most film noir heroes (while his methods for obtaining information aren't always by the book, he is firmly on the side of "good").
I love the idea of Hogwarts as the safest place in wizarding Britain, yet it's also a castle with many bloody secrets, including a basilisk hidden in the basement. It's an extraordinary juxtaposition and I couldn't resist emphasizing it here. :D
It is my first foray into writing film noir! The mysteries I've written so far are mostly humourous, somewhat playing off of film noir tropes, but they're never particularly deep nor complicated. I want this one to be a "real" film noir, with crazy twists and dualities. But I did watch a lot of film noirs before writing this for inspiration, and it looks like it was the right kind of research. ;) There's something amazing about writing very dark imagery, where anything commonly regarded as positive can be transformed into something hellish and twisted. The writing style is also something I'm having fun with because, while it's filled with elaborate descriptions, it still has to sound harsh and sharp. Finding the balance between concise, choppy sentences and intense imagery is a wonderful challenge!
Before I go on forever, I want to thank you again for the opportunity to have written something like this! It was a great challenge idea! :D