and the answer is . . .

I need some help with the story and need it now while it could still make a difference. As things currently stand, we have twelve chapters and an epilogue remaining before we finish the story.

The next seven chapters are focused on what I would call the Riley/Ethan arc of the story, which was originally planned more as a Riley, Gina and Marie, and Ethan arc. The final five chapters and the epilogue are the conclusion of the story, one in which all of the loose ends get wrapped up.

To put it simply, my question is whether anyone is getting bored with the story at this point?

The reason I ask is I’ve been looking at the remaining chapters and have identified three that could be eliminated in the Riley arc without doing a lot of damage to the overall story. If nothing were to change, they would be Chapters 44, 45 and 46. They’re a bit of this and that, including some philosophical musings and a bit of sex (although probably not the sexiest of sex for most of you and certainly different than what you’ve seen from me up until now).

They’re interesting in their own way, I suppose, but I was never quite able to put together the Riley arc in the way I was hoping for; and as I’ve thought about these three chapters, they don’t seem to me to be critical to the overall story. On the other hand, leaving them in is probably fine too. It’s more a question of where you are as readers at this point.

Let me put it another way. Everyone is different, of course, but in some ways I feel the best of the story is behind us. We have to come to a resolution, of course, so it’s not like I can just toss in the towel at this point and declare the story over. But I’m not sure dragging it out makes a lot of sense either.

But then again I spend a lot more time with the story than you so it’s hard for me to say how fresh the story is coming across for each of you; how good a job it’s doing of keeping you engaged with the characters. Obviously, I thought these chapters made sense as part of the story originally. I’m less certain of that now; and while I plan to make the final decision, not put it up for a vote, it would be interesting to find out whether any of you are getting bored at this point.

By the way, just so everyone knows, I don’t have another story waiting in the pipeline and it’s possible this could be my last online story. But that really shouldn’t make a difference. Either you’re bored or you’re not.

In any event, it’s probably better to do this via e-mail rather than commenting on this posting. That way I can get your sense of things unfiltered by what others have said. If you decide to comment, don’t worry about hurting my feelings. I take criticism pretty well and whether you’re getting restless or bored is hardly something to get upset about. If you’ve made it this far, you’ve gotten your money’s worth 🙂

The bottom line is there isn’t a right or wrong answer, just a personal answer for each of you. I can go either way. But if you have an opinion and want to share it, let me know by sending an e-mail. Thanks.