I’ve decided to start a new feature here at da blog called Question Wednesday which, as its name suggests, consists of me answering readers’ questions. On Wednesdays. Whether this feature appears weekly, monthly, yearly, or some other -ly depends on reader response.
So here we go!
Today’s question was sent to me via email:
I often wonder if you have ever considered writing the book from Jason’s point of view? It seems that he was suffering as well.
Truth be told, Jason is one of my favorite characters in the book. Writing it started to really click for me once I got a handle on his story and I got very involved in the process of deconstructing his and Tess’s very complicated relationship, then putting it back together again. I did end up writing a couple of chapters from Jason’s point of view, one of which became the basis for chapter 22, which chronicles the beginning of Tess and Jason’s romantic relationship. In fact, a rather more masculine version of this sentiment was originally expressed by Jason in that just-messing-about draft:
He laughed. Laughed. That was all. It was the sweetest sound I’d ever heard. And the moment I knew what the Something was. There were no bells or lightning bolts or fireworks, no angelic chorus from heaven singing Hallelujah. I just knew, in the same way I knew that I had to pee. It was that primal and that obvious. I wanted him, yes. It wasWant. But a want of all of him. His mind and heart and body and laughter, his words and smile and soul and life.
I wanted the rest of his life.
I REALLY love the story of Jason-and-Tess; how they started out as childhood friends, lost touch, then found each other again. Even the break up of their marriage was great fun to write, in a horrible, heartbreaking way (I’m sick like that). Plus, their story is crucial to the book in so many ways. It serves as a contrast to Tess’s subsequent relationship with Brian and as a way to expose the fact that Tess’s insecurities and problems are not exactly recent ones to readers as the book progresses. Also, it was an interesting way for me personally to explore the question of soulmates. Is there such a thing? If there is, what happens if you lose him or her? (Confession time: I ended the writing with the same conclusion I began it with, ie I don’t believe in soulmates. Sorry.)
But back to the topic at hand. I’m thrilled to know that Jason’s story resonated with so many readers and that in spite of the fact that it was told from Tess’s point of view, his love for her and consequent suffering at the ending of their marriage was apparent. However, I believe their story has been thoroughly told and will not be revisiting the character of Jason in future novels. This doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes wonder about how he’s doing in his new life and wishing him all the happiness in the world. (Don’t make fun of me. I’m pretty sure all writers do that kind of thing…right?)