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LaPorte Caves

20 May 2016 05:57 #48023 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

twitch99 wrote: Howard on the other hand has lost nearly everything. Sure he is trapped in a world where all the women are goddesses, with strength, beauty and sexuality that are totally compelling. What man could resist them? But his value is nearly zero, let’s face it, men in this world are kept around because they are needed for procreation and to be used as fuck toys for the women who cannot control their sexual needs and like to have multiple partners at a time or in the course of a day. They are basically servants, valued at a level barely above the family pet and considered totally inferior. We don’t even know Ruth’s husbands name, he is so insignificant. Men know their place in the world because they are raised (brainwashed) to be happy only by serving women. Men accomplish nothing on their own and even if they did, it would be considered far inferior to what a woman could do. No wonder Howard just wants to go home.

I'm trying to decide if it might be even a little darker than that. Do the women just leave the menial jobs to the men, or do they go out of their way to make the men's lives more difficult that they have to be? Who does the menial but dangerous jobs; stuff that would present a risk to a man's life, but wouldn't even break a woman's nail? The fruit can't be consumed in its raw form, so the genders must have been roughly equal until they reached a level of development that wold allow for processing it on a large scale. Did the men happily accept their fate after that, or are there hints of intimidation, brainwashing, or even eugenics since then?

For that matter, I'm a little curious about the birth rates in this world. If you've got a million women who need four sexual partners a day, that's 4 million men. The nourishment seems to prolong a woman's active years, but I think it would also wear the men out pretty quickly. Add in the references to all the men who aren't lucky enough to find a woman and the men must vastly outnumber the women.

pansardum wrote: But I also really like all the discussions, especially around the crowbar scene. I really didn't like it the first time I read it, not my cup of tea. But the more I see the discussions I think I want to see that aspect explored more. Maybe how these new powers go a bit to Julia's head. I think it would be really cool if Ruth (for example) reacted negatively to how Julia treated a man, preferably Howard which then set Julia to a better path.

I think you have to include the whole evening leading up to the crowbar scene. Howard scrounged extra clothes for Julia, got their gear packed and ready, and waited for her for hours, all while Julia was at a party and a feast. Did Ruth, or anyone else, notice he was missing? Did Howard even have any dinner at all? Julia may say that she wants Howard to recognize her as the more capable one in the relationship, but he did everything she told him and still got utterly screwed over. If I was Howard right now I'd be livid. The way things have been escalating between them it's hard to imagine the tension ratcheting back down (assuming that this story is about Julia finding some responsibility and redemption) without reaching some sort of crisis moment. That could happen a bunch of different ways, though.

And I still haven't made up my mind about Ruth. Is she the concerned, gentle matriarch, or has she been pulling Julia's strings since chapter 2 to get things exactly where they are now?
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20 May 2016 13:35 #48030 by twitch99
Replied by twitch99 on topic LaPorte Caves
Sorry I have not figured out how to do a selective quote.

Pepper wrote:
For that matter, I'm a little curious about the birth rates in this world. If you've got a million women who need four sexual partners a day, that's 4 million men. The nourishment seems to prolong a woman's active years, but I think it would also wear the men out pretty quickly. Add in the references to all the men who aren't lucky enough to find a woman and the men must vastly outnumber the women.

I remembered somewhere that the ratio was 20 men to 1 women, but found the place in the story and its actually 10 to 1. So a man has a 1 in 10 chance of being Claimed, the rest can only hope they become a regular sex toy for someone, otherwise they can go months or years with no sex. No wonder men will do anything a woman asks, not only does she have infinite power over him, their only chance for sex is to somehow stand out above the rest of the unclaimed men to gain the attention of a woman so she can use him and then toss him aside when she tires of him. I do wonder why to ratio of men to women is so high.

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20 May 2016 15:48 - 20 May 2016 17:10 #48034 by Monty
Replied by Monty on topic LaPorte Caves

twitch99 wrote: Sorry I have not figured out how to do a selective quote.

Pepper wrote:
For that matter, I'm a little curious about the birth rates in this world. If you've got a million women who need four sexual partners a day, that's 4 million men. The nourishment seems to prolong a woman's active years, but I think it would also wear the men out pretty quickly. Add in the references to all the men who aren't lucky enough to find a woman and the men must vastly outnumber the women.

I remembered somewhere that the ratio was 20 men to 1 women, but found the place in the story and its actually 10 to 1. So a man has a 1 in 10 chance of being Claimed, the rest can only hope they become a regular sex toy for someone, otherwise they can go months or years with no sex. No wonder men will do anything a woman asks, not only does she have infinite power over him, their only chance for sex is to somehow stand out above the rest of the unclaimed men to gain the attention of a woman so she can use him and then toss him aside when she tires of him. I do wonder why to ratio of men to women is so high.


Perhaps the Nourishment acts as some sort of controlling medicine to pregnant woman acting to keep the number of female births low to protect the amount of Nourishing fruit in existence or I may have just wandered off on a tangerine ... errr tangent! It really is a brilliantly constructed story that is very thought-provoking! Can't wait for more Circes!
Last edit: 20 May 2016 17:10 by Monty.
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26 May 2016 05:25 #48085 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
I'm really gratified to see such a vigorous discussion on SWM, and all the more gratified that one of my stories was the trigger. This level of engagement really helps me, and perhaps other writers, stay excited about what we are doing.

Regarding many of the points that have been made so far, it's not for me to say whether Julia is more right or more wrong than Howard. I had intended to establish them both as imperfect people under trying circumstances, neither one a saint, neither one a villain. The fact that we're debating which member of this couple is more right than the other might be a sign that this aspect of the story is on track!

For the last two weeks, I've suffered a pretty bad case of writer's block, which is strangely similar to having a cold, except that it's behind the sinuses rather than in them. Thankfully, my case is now cleared up and that I will soon be writing again.

In my experience, these chapters are best written in clumps of 3-4 rather than one at a time. Therefore, it will be some time yet before I am able to produce Ch 12. But when I do, the next 2-3 chapters should be follow pretty quickly. Stay tuned!
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14 Jun 2016 14:13 #48551 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic LaPorte Caves
Hey circes, how's chapter 12 coming? Will we get to see Howard's perspective again? Can't wait to read more!
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14 Jun 2016 16:05 #48552 by twitch99
Replied by twitch99 on topic LaPorte Caves

Torque wrote: Hey circes, how's chapter 12 coming? Will we get to see Howard's perspective again? Can't wait to read more!


Plus 1 from me!!

Can't wait for more of this story
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14 Jun 2016 16:58 #48555 by jnw550
Replied by jnw550 on topic LaPorte Caves
+2! Chomping at the bit a little here.

Everyone wants to be a beast, until it's time to do what real beasts do.
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14 Jun 2016 17:22 #48556 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
Working hard on 12, as much as real life will allow. I write chapters in "clumps". So, there will be nothing-nothing-nothing for a while, and then 12-13-14 will arrive back-to-back. Will let you know a timeframe when I have it.
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16 Jun 2016 01:11 #48587 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves
I'm looking forward to the next installment as well, but with a bit of trepidation. The story could still go in a dozen different directions. I just see a lot of contradictions in it; I feel like I'm waiting for them to be resolved, or for someone to at least notice them. How that plays out will probably make a big difference for me.

circes_cup wrote: Regarding many of the points that have been made so far, it's not for me to say whether Julia is more right or more wrong than Howard.

With all due respect, if it's not your place to say, whose is it? I suppose I've already made my views on the subject known. And I'm not saying that Julia is not a believable character, but at this point in the story I don't like her very much.

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16 Jun 2016 12:27 #48595 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

Pepper wrote:

circes_cup wrote: Regarding many of the points that have been made so far, it's not for me to say whether Julia is more right or more wrong than Howard.

With all due respect, if it's not your place to say, whose is it? I suppose I've already made my views on the subject known. And I'm not saying that Julia is not a believable character, but at this point in the story I don't like her very much.


One of the things that makes writing different from other medium is that the reader isn't a passive part of the story creation, but rather an active and participating element of it. The way a person imagine the look, the voice, the landscapes are all elements that contribute to the development of his own personal story. Often an author may deliberately avoid to express a judgement on his own characters because, being all figments of his mind, he's not in the best place to judge their actions, hence he put forth a situation he imagined and ask the reader "what do you make of it?"
As readers we might all decide what to make of a character's decisions, motivations and interest. We might like or hate them, find them childish or too mature and so on. Our opinion as readers tell to the author something about the quality and effect of his narrative.

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17 Jun 2016 03:35 #48631 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

Woodclaw wrote: One of the things that makes writing different from other medium is that the reader isn't a passive part of the story creation, but rather an active and participating element of it. The way a person imagine the look, the voice, the landscapes are all elements that contribute to the development of his own personal story. Often an author may deliberately avoid to express a judgement on his own characters because, being all figments of his mind, he's not in the best place to judge their actions, hence he put forth a situation he imagined and ask the reader "what do you make of it?"
As readers we might all decide what to make of a character's decisions, motivations and interest. We might like or hate them, find them childish or too mature and so on. Our opinion as readers tell to the author something about the quality and effect of his narrative.

Good point, and very well said. But writers create villains all the time. The good ones have understandable motives, and their actions are consistent with who they are. Some may be amoral, some may think their actions are justified by some greater good. And yet they are still villains, and can be seen as such by their creators.

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17 Jun 2016 13:39 #48635 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves

Pepper wrote:

Woodclaw wrote: One of the things that makes writing different from other medium is that the reader isn't a passive part of the story creation, but rather an active and participating element of it. The way a person imagine the look, the voice, the landscapes are all elements that contribute to the development of his own personal story. Often an author may deliberately avoid to express a judgement on his own characters because, being all figments of his mind, he's not in the best place to judge their actions, hence he put forth a situation he imagined and ask the reader "what do you make of it?"
As readers we might all decide what to make of a character's decisions, motivations and interest. We might like or hate them, find them childish or too mature and so on. Our opinion as readers tell to the author something about the quality and effect of his narrative.

Good point, and very well said. But writers create villains all the time. The good ones have understandable motives, and their actions are consistent with who they are. Some may be amoral, some may think their actions are justified by some greater good. And yet they are still villains, and can be seen as such by their creators.


From a creator perspective characters serve a double purpose: on one hand they are living a breathing people that live inside your head (I have some friends that have been writing for living for the best part of 30 years and still have issues killing their own characters), but they're also a narrative function that is required to develop the story.
Often the "villain" is needed to start or further the plot -- although that's not always the case, Star Wars A New Hope comes to mind). What often separate a good antagonist from a cardboard cut-out is, for me, that the author doesn't perceive his/her just as "the villain", but rather as a complex character with questionable, but valid motivations.
Since I already mentioned Star Wars, let me use it as an example. The general consensus is that, in the classic movies, the Empire is the villainous faction and the Rebels are the good guys, but out point of view is more or less restricted to that of the rebels most of the time. Let's try to see things from the perspective of a common imperial citizen. Sure, Palpatine is a dick, but the Empire got rid of most of the corrupted burecracy, byzantine laws and convuluted decision-making that burdened the old republic. In many ways the galaxy under the Empire was a more stable and secure place. Clearly it wasn't all well and good, but neither was under the republic. From a common citizen persepctive the empire could be considered a better alternative and the rebellion just a bunch of terrorists.
This is the kind of thinking that a good story have to be built upon, the villains shouldn't be one-dimensional characters defined only by their morality (or lack thereoff).

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03 Jul 2016 17:23 #48957 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves
For those of you that are following this story, I wanted to let you know that I'm still working hard on the next chapters, as much as the rest of my life will allow. I wrote a draft of 12, scrapped it, wrote another completely different draft of 12, scrapped that one too, and am now on my third version. The good news is that the scapped material is not wasted effort: they were the right chapters, just sitting in the wrong part of the story, meaning that I should be able to use them later on. I have a very clear idea where I want to take everything, so it's not a case of needing plot ideas. But knowing the destination is not the same as knowing every step of the route. When I have a clear sense of the posting dates for the next chapters, I'll announce it here. Thanks to all of you who have prodded/urged/asked about the next chapters!
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03 Jul 2016 18:00 - 03 Jul 2016 19:28 #48959 by LustMonster
Replied by LustMonster on topic LaPorte Caves

the scapped material is not wasted effort: they were the right chapters, just sitting in the wrong part of the story, meaning that I should be able to use them later on


I know how that goes -- I probably have enough scrapped-and-saved scenes of my own to comprise several (very disjointed) stories now.

It's nice to have a pantry of written material you can reach into when you need a ready-made scene. :)

Looking forward to your next chapter!
Last edit: 03 Jul 2016 19:28 by LustMonster.

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05 Jul 2016 15:15 #48978 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

circes_cup wrote: For those of you that are following this story, I wanted to let you know that I'm still working hard on the next chapters, as much as the rest of my life will allow. I wrote a draft of 12, scrapped it, wrote another completely different draft of 12, scrapped that one too, and am now on my third version. The good news is that the scapped material is not wasted effort: they were the right chapters, just sitting in the wrong part of the story, meaning that I should be able to use them later on. I have a very clear idea where I want to take everything, so it's not a case of needing plot ideas. But knowing the destination is not the same as knowing every step of the route. When I have a clear sense of the posting dates for the next chapters, I'll announce it here. Thanks to all of you who have prodded/urged/asked about the next chapters!

When the story is finished it would be interesting to come back and revisit this post; what you wrote, where it eventually wound up, and why you felt it wasn't right for this point in the story.
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04 Aug 2016 13:20 #49430 by Torque
Replied by Torque on topic LaPorte Caves
How are the rewrites coming? Very excited to see what you've come up with!!
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04 Aug 2016 17:59 #49440 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves
Once or twice I've seen authors post that they have a new story (or a chapter in a continuing story) ready, but are holding off submitting it to the library while a workshop is going on. I think it's a courtesy to the workshop authors that they have the audience to themselves for a while.

Don't know if that's what circes_cup is doing, but I hope he'll have the next chapters for us soon.
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05 Aug 2016 15:13 #49458 by circes_cup
Replied by circes_cup on topic LaPorte Caves

Torque wrote: How are the rewrites coming? Very excited to see what you've come up with!!


It's still coming. Ch 12 has been through re-write after re-write as I've experimented with different possibilities. It's a good deal of brain damage, but I made a promise to myself that I would be putting out the best story I know how to write, not just volume of the sake of volume. So, hang tight. It'll happen.

To Pepper's point, yes, if the story were ready at this moment, it would be on hold for a bit due to the workshop. That's a voluntary choice but I think it's appropriate given the amount of effort workshop authors put into their own stories.

I'll let you know when I'm getting close. Thanks for checking in, guys.
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07 Aug 2016 17:34 #49484 by Woodclaw
Replied by Woodclaw on topic LaPorte Caves
First of all I own an apology to Circes, because I've often ... way too often didn't give him credit for his writing skills. My problem was that his first foray into this site was a story I didn't enjoy at all and, from there I simply skipped over most of his stuff, which isn't a good way of handling things.
I'm very sorry and, to Circes's credit, reading or re-reading his later stuff showed me how wrong I was.

Now, on to the topic at hand, this is a general impression, so I might be wrong, but I think that one of the key elements of this series (and to a different degree of all of Circes's work) is that a physical transformation usually coicide with a mental and/or emotional one. The mental seem to be either the trigger of the change or being deeply affected by it. Either way, these two element goes hand in hand, creating the timing of the story.
I might be wrong but the final change in Julia seem to be sorely missing some details in this sense -- I can't put my finger on this, it's just an impression -- and I'm wondering if this missing bits are what seem to have wrote Circes in a corner.
I know from experince how bad this can be and, if I got that one right, I think that going back and rewriting some of it wouldn't be a bad idea and I don't think that anyone here would mind. It's pretty damn hard to frame a scene right the first time, even if you played it in your head a milion times, and often rewriting isn't just a good idea, it's the only way to fly.
So, Circes take your time and enjoy what are you doing because that's the only way to get it right :)

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10 Aug 2016 03:26 #49529 by Pepper
Replied by Pepper on topic LaPorte Caves

Woodclaw wrote: ...and I'm wondering if this missing bits are what seem to have wrote Circes in a corner.

That's not necessarily the impression I got from Circes's posts. Seems like the story could go in a dozen different directions from where it left off.

Of course, I don't know where it's supposed to end, so maybe it is a matter of getting the plot from here to there.
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