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The LaPorte Caves - Revised

02 Mar 2020 18:53 #67015 by twitch99
Replied by twitch99 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

eromacque wrote: I'm fascinated.  Because the more I read, the better it gets.  And the angrier I become.  

It's well written, of course.  Circe is a genre writer with a strong command of language.  Skillful scene-setting.  A laudable effort to make the Weald into a fleshed-out, 3D world.  Even if it's a place that's looking less appealing to a male reader with every chapter, regardless of the glories of the Nourished themselves.

Why do I get so irritated?

Is it because Howard is initially so over the top in his insecurity?  So cartoonishly intolerant of the steel Amazon into which his girlfriend has been transformed?  His hapless flailing ego refusing to permit thoughtful engagement with his newly-goddessed girlfriend?  With each thing Julia does....each comic-book feat of strength or speed or mental prowess, he seems to just repeatedly butt his head against it, though Mindy's appalling bullying and threats seem to've made some sort of impression.

Is it because Mindy is so entirely awful, with so few redeeming qualities as to make Julia's interest in her seem egregiously shallow?  Her vanity, petulance, ego, and sadism are appalling, and feel somehow off, given her age.  They seem more fitted for an 11 year old.  Certainly they feel wrong given that Ruth herself is vastly more mature and circumspect.  She seems to have imparted almost nothing in her daughter.

Is it because Julia herself is flirting with asshole-dom as her powers rumble through her, her mind expands, and her ego grows with it, leading her to keep Howard essentially a prisoner in a place so completely, profoundly uncongenial not only to his soul, but also his physical health?

The problem is that you can't get inside a story like this because none of the protagonists feels worth cheering for.  Howard wasn't perfect, but he loved Julia and encouraged her.  The shoe's on the other foot but he apparently possesses absolutely nothing in the coping mechanism department, and his rebuffs of Julia seem both one-note and increasingly strident.

Julia was a doughy plain-Jane who became a goddess.  Yet the wonder of what she can do is often perfunctory and she too-soon shifts to patronizing, condescending, and unsympathetic.  I can run 200 miles per hour!  I'm benching 60 tons!  My mind makes Deep Blue seem like a Casio calculator!  Awww....look at Howard trying to better himself.  Hee hee!  Lookit Widdle Howie pretending he's capable and stuff like on Earth!  It's teeth-grinding.

And you know what?  I wouldn't give half a shit if it wasn't So. Well. Written.  So perhaps that's Circe's great gift.  Creating something so interesting and so compelling that I want to read every bit of it.  It's a world that's fascinating and repellent.  Maybe that makes it hard to look away.  Maybe having no one to really root for is deliberate.  A way to disorient a reader and perhaps help empathize with Howard.  I don't really know for sure.  But the quality is too high for me to stop, even as I sometimes shake my head as I read.


I feel the same way when reading this story,  it's so well written and I am compelled to see where it goes, but at the same time I'm pissed off that the Weald women, while they are so physically attractive, they are so cold and uncaring as people.  The world they have built is so selfish and self centered.

I anxiously await the next episode in the train wreck of Julia and Howard's relationship.

Circes, thanks for taking on this rewrite and for sharing it with us.

twitch

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07 Mar 2020 15:21 #67112 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Thanks everybody.  

Nothing new this week.  Hope I can have the next chapter out soon.  Everyone have a good weekend.
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07 Mar 2020 18:05 #67114 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I believe Julia's behavior towards Howard is a manifestation of her deep-seated self-esteem issues. The very first scene of the story is Julia lamenting about how she couldn't measure up to the rock-climbing girl. From the moment she woke up in the hospital, she feared that Howard would leave her for one of the towering, curvy amazons they were surrounded with. She admitted to Howard that she Nourished in order to better compete for his affection.

Nearly everything Julia has done in this story has been tinged with a sense of her own inferiority, even post-Nourishment. She allows everyone to make decisions for her, even men. I think for her, Howard is her only release valve; the only person she feels she can impose her will on. But it's as if she can't accept that she's even worthy of that privilege; she has to keep bossing him around in order to convince herself that she can.

The problem is, it isn't working. She isn't winning his affection; she's just losing his trust. And his affection was the thing she used to bolster her self-esteem. I have to wonder how she will cope if Howard does decide to move forward with Amanda, especially after vocally spurning Julia specifically for her new body.

I am really enjoying this revision of LPC. The character development and world-building are even better than the classic revision, and the plot is tighter and more focused. Really great stuff.

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14 Mar 2020 17:30 #67171 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Nothing new this week either.  Trying to get a few upcoming chapters to align with each other and it is taking some time.  Expect I can have the next chapter our by next weekend.

Thank you all for following the story!
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14 Mar 2020 17:33 #67172 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: Nothing new this week either.  Trying to get a few upcoming chapters to align with each other and it is taking some time.  Expect I can have the next chapter our by next weekend.

Thank you all for following the story!

Thank you for keeping us informed about the progress.
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05 Apr 2020 12:22 #67379 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I haven't read Ch.11 yet (I'm just about to), but thank you for posting. (and thank you Woodclaw for pushing the chapter through.)
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05 Apr 2020 12:37 #67380 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Yes, thank you Woodclaw for squeezing it in!

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05 Apr 2020 13:19 - 05 Apr 2020 13:26 #67382 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Brilliant. I've read up to the point, so far, where Julia says "and Howard wants me to give it all up" This is astonishingly good writing.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2020 13:26 by Monty.
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05 Apr 2020 14:27 #67383 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: Yes, thank you Woodclaw for squeezing it in!


No problem, but for the foreseeable future (and this is something for all the writers), please don't drop your story at the last possible minute. For real, Crices uploaded it at 00.59 AM my time, usually I schedule the stories to go online ar 1.00 AM my time :P

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05 Apr 2020 14:38 #67384 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Woodclaw wrote:

circes_cup wrote: Yes, thank you Woodclaw for squeezing it in!


No problem, but for the foreseeable future (and this is something for all the writers), please don't drop your story at the last possible minute. For real, Crices uploaded it at 00.59 AM my time, usually I schedule the stories to go online ar 1.00 AM my time :P


If you don’t want to publish it this week, then don’t.  I submit my stories when they are done and am not going to apologize for the timing of the submittal.  Publish it in 2021 for all I care.

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05 Apr 2020 15:51 #67385 by wf711022
Replied by wf711022 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
The conflict between Julia and Howard has been made public. Howard will be indifferent to Julia to express his dissatisfaction. Julia may be trying to change Howard's attitude, including the use of power, but at best she can only make Howard appear submissive.  I like this novel very much
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05 Apr 2020 16:15 #67387 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Monty wrote: Brilliant. I've read up to the point, so far, where Julia says "and Howard wants me to give it all up" This is astonishingly good writing.


Does he want her to give it up, though? Maybe the thing that finally gets Julia to open her eyes is for Howard to point out that of all the times he begged Julia to take him back to Kentucky, he never asked her to stay there.
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05 Apr 2020 17:40 #67388 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

Pepper wrote: Does he want her to give it up, though? Maybe the thing that finally gets Julia to open her eyes is for Howard to point out that of all the times he begged Julia to take him back to Kentucky, he never asked her to stay there.

The biggest secret Howard is holding back on is not Mindy's threats; he's not in love with Julia.  The loss of being in love is beyond the loss of physical appeal.
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05 Apr 2020 17:55 #67390 by wf711022
Replied by wf711022 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
If Julia still shows off her strength and intelligence in front of Howard, it is hard for her to win back his love. She can force Howard to stay, but he has no advantage over the other men here. Why should Julia like him for so long? If Julia liked to show off her power, she could return to earth and use it. Hopefully Julia will understand that in future chapters. In addition, could we add some scenes in the following chapters in which Julia used her power to attack other men who had no master in front of Howard, so as to warn Howard at the same time?
So many people here to leave a message, everyone very recognized your work. This is a very wonderful novel, no matter how the novel develops, I will pay attention to him. Thank you for your creation!
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05 Apr 2020 17:55 - 05 Apr 2020 17:56 #67391 by grungykitten
Replied by grungykitten on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

mpac00 wrote: The biggest secret Howard is holding back on is not Mindy's threats; he's not in love with Julia.  The loss of being in love is beyond the loss of physical appeal.


I think Howard's biggest secret is that he never really loved Julia; he always just saw her as a damsel in distress that he could feel good about rescuing, and now that he can't rescue her anymore, he wants out.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2020 17:56 by grungykitten. Reason: fix formatting
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05 Apr 2020 18:06 - 05 Apr 2020 19:56 #67392 by RevTekkX
Replied by RevTekkX on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

grungykitten wrote:

mpac00 wrote: The biggest secret Howard is holding back on is not Mindy's threats; he's not in love with Julia.  The loss of being in love is beyond the loss of physical appeal.


I think Howard's biggest secret is that he never really loved Julia; he always just saw her as a damsel in distress that he could feel good about rescuing, and now that he can't rescue her anymore, he wants out.


Maybe.

I believe the 'he never really loved Julia' sentiment is right out of the Team Julia playbook.

I do not think circes has written anything regarding what was Howard's reason for falling for Julia. So far only Julia's narrative about Howard requiring a 'damsel-in-distress' to have a meaningful relationship has been presented.

Yes, Howard is a jerk at times, and incredibly, perhaps even willfully, oblivious to the Weald reality. Still that is long way from the self-centered, not-able-to-see-past her unearned superiority twit that Julia has become.
Last edit: 05 Apr 2020 19:56 by RevTekkX. Reason: correction
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05 Apr 2020 18:09 #67393 by eromacque
Replied by eromacque on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote:

Woodclaw wrote:

circes_cup wrote: Yes, thank you Woodclaw for squeezing it in!


No problem, but for the foreseeable future (and this is something for all the writers), please don't drop your story at the last possible minute. For real, Crices uploaded it at 00.59 AM my time, usually I schedule the stories to go online ar 1.00 AM my time :P


If you don’t want to publish it this week, then don’t.  I submit my stories when they are done and am not going to apologize for the timing of the submittal.  Publish it in 2021 for all I care.




Caught you in a bad mood, did he?  That could've been handled better.  Note the cutesy emoji?  It wasn't meant as a rebuke.  It was meant as a pleasantly-delivered heads-up for ALL writers.  I'm not exactly sure why a snippy rejoinder was called for.  Everyone who reads your work acknowledges that you're a good writer.  It was a gentle reminder from an admin.  Nothing more.
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05 Apr 2020 19:29 #67399 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Well 11 is out. I've skimmed it, read some sections in more details. Circes may have a problem interspersing the original into Revised.
He's added a lot of content with Revised that takes it slightly different road. I made a comment I can't swallow the
crowbar scene in Revised. Seems a bit of a back peddle from their
relationship. Julia has already nearly won dominance. Plus she's
already hinted at staying for awhile. In the original, the crowbar
scene is where we're introduced to a large degree both of these aspects.

I also don't know where Circes can take these two characters. Julia
hinted at making things right for him in Earth, but how?  At this point,
the moment Howard sets foot in Earth he's bolting.  As said previously, their relationship is beyond salvageable. Next up is the swamp
scene then Julia's job and her distracting Howard with flash cards.
That diversion won't work in Revised. The physical threat with Howard
did not exist in the Original. Left alone in Ruth's house reading flash
cards around Mindy? Yeah right.

I guess that's what keeps me reading, trying to see where Circes is going.  So far he's really taking us on a ride, and if wasn't for his writing skill and leaving us guessing, I would have abandoned the story a while ago.  I don't find the main characters likeable, there's no one to really root for.  I sympathise with Howard, but I don't know if I can root for him.  The story is, well, depressing, at least aggravating.  But I keep reading it to enjoy the story telling and to see what rabbit Circes pulls out.
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05 Apr 2020 21:44 #67401 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

mpac00 wrote: Well 11 is out. I've skimmed it, read some sections in more details. Circes may have a problem interspersing the original into Revised.
He's added a lot of content with Revised that takes it slightly different road. I made a comment I can't swallow the
crowbar scene in Revised. Seems a bit of a back peddle from their
relationship. Julia has already nearly won dominance. Plus she's
already hinted at staying for awhile. In the original, the crowbar
scene is where we're introduced to a large degree both of these aspects.

I also don't know where Circes can take these two characters. Julia
hinted at making things right for him in Earth, but how?  At this point,
the moment Howard sets foot in Earth he's bolting.  As said previously, their relationship is beyond salvageable. Next up is the swamp
scene then Julia's job and her distracting Howard with flash cards.
That diversion won't work in Revised. The physical threat with Howard
did not exist in the Original. Left alone in Ruth's house reading flash
cards around Mindy? Yeah right.

I guess that's what keeps me reading, trying to see where Circes is going.  So far he's really taking us on a ride, and if wasn't for his writing skill and leaving us guessing, I would have abandoned the story a while ago.  I don't find the main characters likeable, there's no one to really root for.  I sympathise with Howard, but I don't know if I can root for him.  The story is, well, depressing, at least aggravating.  But I keep reading it to enjoy the story telling and to see what rabbit Circes pulls out.


Without Howard, there is no real story. Taking him out the equation kills things, and Circes realises this. He is playing Julia's hand brilliantly with human nature's narcissism ruling over Julia with her new fantastic power.
It is a very well written, very well thought out story. Keep going Circes!
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05 Apr 2020 22:58 #67403 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
I don't remember if I saw this in the original, or the revised. But Howard's heart was won over by Julia because she is the first girlfriend he ever had who never tried to take advantage of him. And this motivated Howard to try to give her anything she wanted. She loved him for himself, not what he could give her, and that caused him to love her.
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06 Apr 2020 18:20 #67411 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

eromacque wrote:

circes_cup wrote:

Woodclaw wrote:

circes_cup wrote: Yes, thank you Woodclaw for squeezing it in!


No problem, but for the foreseeable future (and this is something for all the writers), please don't drop your story at the last possible minute. For real, Crices uploaded it at 00.59 AM my time, usually I schedule the stories to go online ar 1.00 AM my time :P


If you don’t want to publish it this week, then don’t.  I submit my stories when they are done and am not going to apologize for the timing of the submittal.  Publish it in 2021 for all I care.




Caught you in a bad mood, did he?  That could've been handled better.  Note the cutesy emoji?  It wasn't meant as a rebuke.  It was meant as a pleasantly-delivered heads-up for ALL writers.  I'm not exactly sure why a snippy rejoinder was called for.  Everyone who reads your work acknowledges that you're a good writer.  It was a gentle reminder from an admin.  Nothing more.


Yes, the tone of my message was unnecessary and I apologize.  A better way of phrasing my post would be to say that the admins are at liberty to set whatever deadlines they want to set.  I submit my chapters whenever they are ready, and I won’t complain if a submittal has to wait a week because it missed a cutoff.  Hope that handles the matter a little bit better.
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06 Apr 2020 18:25 #67412 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised

circes_cup wrote: Yes, the tone of my message was unnecessary and I apologize.  A better way of phrasing my post would be to say that the admins are at liberty to set whatever deadlines they want to set.  I submit my chapters whenever they are ready, and I won’t complain if a submittal has to wait a week because it missed a cutoff.  Hope that handles the matter a little bit better.


Thank you.

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06 Apr 2020 22:56 #67422 by anonxyzus
Replied by anonxyzus on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Uh ... what is the deadline?

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08 Apr 2020 05:44 #67471 by mpac00
Replied by mpac00 on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
There's a duality of men, the claimed and non-claimed.   The claimed live in slavery, no self worth, no self identity.   They're to constantly
stroke the women's ego, remind everyone involved of the women's vast
superiority.   (And to do menial labor jobs the women don't want to
do.)  Then you have non-claimed men.  These men have their own lives,
their own accomplishments, albeit a very low quality of life since the
women hoard everything and don't leave much resources to the men.   But
these men sometimes cross over and become subservient much like the men
on the boat.  The irony is those that do not want the subservient
lifestyle are called malcontents.  They begrudgingly acknowledge the women's
superiority, but do not wish to partake in stroking the women's egos.

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11 Apr 2020 12:26 #67584 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic The LaPorte Caves - Revised
Thanks evveryone for all the enthusiastic discussion of the story.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen 70+ comments on a single chapter!  Things start looking up for Howard, so I hope those of you that are discouraged on his behalf hang in there.

There will be no updates to LPC this weekend.  If everything goes well, the next posting will occur the weekend of April 18-19, and that will a 17,000-word cluster of three chaters.  

After that, we will have a haitus of at least a few weeks as I work out the subsequent material.  The interconnections between the chapters require me to edit chapters in groups rather than one at time: the group the follows the April-18-19 posting is a pretty large editing job that will take a few weeks.

If you want to help with the process, shoot me a note tellng me which aspect or scene of the story resonaates best with you so far.  That might help me understand which elements of the story are most valuable and deserve to be better drawn out.

Thanks again, all!
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