Andrew Merrigan
Andrew Merrigan
  • 4
    |
  • 1
    |
  • 0
    |
  • 1
    |
  • 72
Andrew Merrigan
Hi, let me start by saying I really liked it.

As it's a work in progress, and you asked for notes...

I would start it with this: 'Being in the studio was the only peace I felt. When I was snapping those pictures or developing. I was away from the pressure to conform. To apologise for my moody attitude.'

Then you have a long section dedicated to his inner thoughts and feelings. While you are going through these inner dialogues, I suggest describing the studio, off set his thoughts with some minor physical actions that show how he is feeling as he goes through his day as these thoughts come to him. It will make the reader attach the thoughts to his character more, and place them within his world. This way, while he has just said to us 'going to the studio let's me escape' you will then have him over-thinking everything while in the studio, the complex nature of his character, and his deeper feelings that come at the end of the chapter, are projected. He says he doesn't care, but the act of him thinking about it all reveals that he does secretly care and is hiding it from himself.

Something kind of like this:

'I filled the developing tray with chemicals and waited for them to settle. I wouldn’t let it show that I was less than happy. But I never encouraged her either. And she knew it, the same as she knew everything about me. I let the undeveloped photo paper fall into the liquid and watched it slowly emerge to the surface again. Then it revealed the image that was hidden in its blank whiteness. She knew everything about me, and she knew that I wasn’t happy with this. The picture was no good. I would have to fix the exposure.'

(I know this isn't very good and is a massive cliche, but I just wanted to illustrate what I meant.)

Then, when the model arrives, even though you've well established his frame of mind how you have it, the intermingling of the two parts will place his frame of mind into the present moment and further cement his thoughts as the motivation for his choice to sleep with her — which is what you have already done quite well, what I'm suggesting is very minor; a slight nudge to make it more convincing that he is talking himself into doing this act one more time — in order to try to prove to himself that he is still heartless.

Your characters are very three dimensional and complex, and I really like the honest humanity and flawed nature that is expressed through them. You have a good grasp of internal motivation, which is a rare talent.