PTSI: The Trion Syndrome (5)

An important aspect of The Trion Syndrome I haven’t discussed up to now is the character of Mary, the wife of the protagonist. She loves Dave and wants to be with him but decides to leave him because of erratic behavior and, ultimately, his infidelity. Writing half the novel from a woman’s point of view was a major challenge. But I found that by putting myself into a meditative state, I could understand a woman’s way of seeing things and hear her voice. Over time, as Mary grew and developed in my mind, she became a force to be reckoned with. As I wrote her story, it felt as though she was dictating it. If I erred in portraying her, she corrected me.

Early on, I saw that I had to let Mary tell her own story. So I tried a technique rare in novels and one I hadn’t ever before attempted: I wrote Mary’s half of the story in the present tense and first person, while Dave’s story was in the past tense and third person. That approach somehow made her story flow.

But Mary withheld from me the ending: would she reconcile with a contrite and healed Dave? The novel ends with Dave, now making strides in coping with Post-Traumatic Stress Injury, deciding he’ll return from his hideout in Maine and seek Mary’s forgiveness. Is he successful?

Mary never allowed me to know.

More tomorrow.

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