Yesterday morning, I posted the last chapter of Service Society. The feedback has been tremendous. One request that has been made repeatedly is to post it to finestories.com so that folks can share it with others without sending them to a sex story website. Well, I have started to do that. I will post it in units of ten chapters a day over the next seven days.
Normally at the conclusion of a story, I post a few comments about it. I write about my thoughts of the story and the reactions of various readers. I have already done this in a couple of posts, but I will add a few comments here.
A lot of people understood exactly where Dexter was coming from. His life reflected their lives or the lives of people they know. Still others rejected that things had become that bad. The truth -- I think it depends on where you are and what you do for a living.
Dexter's relationship with his family, particularly Janet, was the subject of a lot of emails. I got everything from 'burn the bitch' to 'what an asshole'. Some people particularly hated the chapters dealing with family interactions. A lot of people were rooting for Amber or Samantha as Dexter's new love interest.
Basically, I feel that our ties with family and friends have been sacrificed in our modern society. In most cases it wasn't intentional, but dictated by events and expectations placed upon us. No one asks to work overtime without pay in order to keep their jobs. They'd rather spend their time with friends and family. That's not always possible.
People are social animals with the same emotional needs as cavemen. If you don't want to be alone then there are two choices: forge new relationships or renew the old ones. They are not mutually exclusive choices. Dexter chose to do both, but only after discovering that dropping old relationships didn't make him any happier.
A lot of people felt that the only reason Dexter was able to succeed was because he got a lot of money from his company. Well, the website was earning money and that is what he lived on. It could have been his only source of money throughout the story. A website with a hundred thousand visitors a month can earn millions.
However, I felt that having access to a large amount of money was necessary for the story. Why? There was a good reason beyond punishing the company for which he initially worked.
Without money, Dexter was basically a small guy who was successfully challenging a large hostile system. That was good and could have ended the story right there. I mean, we all like a good David vs. Goliath story.
However, I felt that a role model for how the system could be run in a less hostile fashion was necessary. Who better than Dexter, an engineer who wanted to make products that made people's lives better and viewed his profession as serving mankind? I couldn't think of anyone and I was writing the story.
Having the money to create the coffeemaker company was part of allowing him to be that role model. He did the simple things to improve the workplace -- things like delegating authority and responsibility, taking the time to perform the proper level of engineering before releasing a product, providing an appropriate work environment, and looking out for the welfare of his employees. Revolutionary concepts? No, not at all.
One last comment. Dexter's story started on a Tuesday morning and ended on a Tuesday morning. I wanted to contrast those two mornings, pointing out where we are and where we could be. In the beginning, he was encased in his corporate warrior gear - work clothes, blackberry, cell phone, and other weapons of corporate warfare. In the end, he was nude and open to the light of the sun. A move from a cold life to one filled with warmth despite the fact that a chill hangs in the air.
I will be taking a small vacation while I prepare my next story. Sometimes a new story, like Service Society, will consume my ability to write and at the expense of other stories. I'm engaged in writing such a story now. It's just part of the creative process.
One last thing-- requests about stories. Magic will be completed soon -- the last three chapters are in my brain, but not on computer. I still am not satisfied with my attempts to reproduce the lost chapters of The Quatyl and I'm thinking about writing a conclusion chapter that leaves open the possibility of a continuance with James Junior. It is highly unlikely that I will return to the John Carter Universe although I have thought about a Bard's tale set in that universe (no promises). There will be a Damsels in Distress story in the future -- the first three chapters are written, but I'm blocked on the details of the adventure. Submarine Dreams is in process, but going slowly. I'm pulling together a Magus in Love story set in the Solutions Incorporated world.