This morning Jay Cantrell posted the final chapter of "Daze in the Valley." I'd like to say that means I'll get some work done now, but of course I'm reading more stories now than ever. I continue to look for more stories like Jay's that have rich character development, good story-lines, and enough titilation to keep me interested.
Jay rates his story as "Much Sex." I probably would have dropped it to the "Some Sex" category. In fact, for a story about people in the porn industry, there was remarkably little sex. That said, the story is compelling because he attracts a such a diverse group of people who all gel together. That's probably the most unbelievable part of the story. Close to 30 people get together and in only two instances in ~170 chapters is there an interpersonal clash that threatens to tear them apart. They lead a charmed life in which everyone gets along with everyone, recognizes each person for his or her individual talent, and willingly makes compromises to promote other people. As Jay says in his preface. "It's fantasy."
Since I write much shorter works averaging 50-75,000 words over 10-12 chapters, I can hardly guess what it must be to write nearly a million words in 170 chapters. So if I criticize, I still have to shake my head and say "as if I could do better." Still, I felt like the last two chapters were rushed. I think the author was tired and was ready to move on. I've been told several times that I could extend my current story, "Model Student," to a similar scope that takes place over 4 years of college, but in general I don't want to get into a make-everyday-in-their-lives-interesting sort of routine. But having a day-to-day story wrap up with a chapter that covers 3 or 4 months left as many questions remaining as were wrapped up. I would think the daily drama of Adam living with and loving seven women would be an exhausting story even without the backdrop of the industry.
All that said, "Daze in the Valley" is one of the top three or four stories that I've read on SOL. I hope that Jay will get some well-deserved rest and come back to entertain us with another, and even better, story of epic dimensions!