And now, THE RUBY KEY (and funny cats) (and a software evaluation)

Today and the rest of this week (and perhaps some of next week), I’m going to bury myself in backgrounding the MOON AND SUN series, starting with The Ruby Key and working my way through to a planned ending. I want to finish off the language work, map, culture-build, and create a timeline of past through future. I’ll be doing a lot of work on moonroads, and what inhabits them, and how folks get on them, and more importantly, how they get back off.

I got Letrin’s Hunt yesterday while eating lunch. I was—seriously—staring at my food, and the mashed potatoes had in interesting look about them.

Letrin has these hunting dogs. I discovered that the dogs are enormous, gray or fog-white with white eyes, blind but endowed with supernatural senses of hearing and smell. Lord Letrin (still debating his title; I think I can do better with something in Osji) is one of the primary villains in the series, a nearly-immortal nightling who murdered his wife and all children save one to cast a spell that, when he kills the last kid, will give him true immortality.

The story’s young heroes have been forced to promise to find and bring him his last child in exchange for the freeing of their parents from the moonroads. Letrin doesn’t intend to play fair, and the Hunt is part of how he’s keeping track of their movements.

Completely off-topic, Paul Auldridge sent me another YouTube link. This one is simply funny: World’s Dumbest Cats. I like cats, I have cats, but … yowza. These, my friends, are cats with Issues. Subscriptions, even.

ADDED NOTE: I’m currently evaluating WriteItNow Novel-Writing Software. Currently I can say that it has some features I love, some I like, and some that frustrate the bejeezus out of me; my question is whether the likes and loves will overcome the frustration. (It does some seriously cool things for world-building, character development, tracking—in these areas, it beats Word into the pavement. It does NOT offer a convenient word count. I need a convenient word count. It does not let you see your manuscript in double-spaced format (I need this), or permit you to change the color of your type (though it does permit background color changes. It does autoformat your manuscript. Nicely. And save in RTF, making it useful to any other decent word processing program.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

13 comments… add one
  • eitje Nov 15, 2006 @ 18:56

    you rarely hear about dancing bears. i recommend working that in somehow. 😀

  • hollylisle Nov 15, 2006 @ 7:56

    eitje–I ignore “this plot/backstory/etc. sounds familiar to me” comments. Over the years and after writing more than thirty novels, I’ve discovered that every five-sentence story summary sounds familiar, no matter who is writing it. I’ve also discovered that one of my writing strong suits is that I don’t think like anybody else, and another is that I don’t write like anybody else, so everything that sounds familiar in summary comes out unique when I’ve written it in its finished form.

  • eitje Nov 14, 2006 @ 19:52

    also, the backstory to Letrin sounds familiar to me. Do you like, dislike, or disregard feedback on similarities to existing works?

  • eitje Nov 14, 2006 @ 19:51

    http://www.ravensheadservices.com/faq.php
    How do I get a word count?
    The word-count is part of the readability score. This shows the readability of a selected block of text. If no text is selected it shows the readability of all the text in a section. You can check the number of words in any block of text. To check a chapter go to the chapter. Click the ‘Edit’ button and select ‘Readability’ To check a story go to the ‘Overview’ tab. Click ‘Options’ and select ‘Readability’

    how much more convenient do they need to get? 😛

    😉

  • pugh7755 Nov 14, 2006 @ 15:55

    Rose,

    You can keep it as long as you like. You just can’t save any files or use add-ons. Which, by the way, renders it useless unless you keep it open all the time and never close it. I just downloaded the demo, and from what I can see I will be purchasing it very soon. Like Holly said, there are some drawbacks. However, I have been using NewNovelist and I can tell you that I will not be using it anymore. WriteItNow is the way to go. It is well worth the price…at least to me. I’d wait to see Holly’s final opinion before making a final decision.

  • The English Rose Nov 14, 2006 @ 15:11

    Question: I’ve been all over the WriteItNow site, but I can’t find this. How long can you have the demo w/o registering? I’m tempted to try it but I’m not starting writing my next project yet and I don’t want to waste the demo while I have it.

  • hollylisle Nov 14, 2006 @ 13:16

    NewNovelist only runs on Windows, so I can’t try it out. But from the overview, it doesn’t look like it offers as much as WriteItNow.

    I’m not in a position to offer an objective opinion, though.

  • pugh7755 Nov 14, 2006 @ 13:05

    Funny Cats made me realize that I missed having a cat. Thanks Holly, You’ve put an end to my animal free life. I’m going to have to get me a cat now.

    I have been checking out NewNovelist writing software. Are you familiar with this product. If so how does it compare to WriteItNow?

  • hollylisle Nov 14, 2006 @ 12:11

    The “check readability” screen is simple to find, simple to use.

    I’m about to start gushing about this software, actually. I’ve been working with it all morning developing THE RUBY KEY, and I’m starting to fall in love.

  • shawna Nov 14, 2006 @ 11:36

    Cats are crazy sometimgs. The kids’ grandma has a psycho-cat that would fit right in with these… lol.

    Is the “check readability” screen that’s shown on the website hard to get to? Or not accurate?

    Can’t believe there’s a writing program out there I haven’t played with. That is NOT what I needed to know this week, lol.

  • The English Rose Nov 14, 2006 @ 10:54

    Ditto, TinaK. But it’s so cool to watch the books as they take shape; as noted in the comments for the entry about this being a writing diary, that’s half of why we all come! *learns* (And Ruby Key sounds really neat.)

  • shay Nov 14, 2006 @ 9:41

    the cat vid was funny, they do some funny things at times, especially my little fuzzball 😛

  • TinaK Nov 14, 2006 @ 9:10

    Nice to hear you are working on something ‘new’ rather than just the edits. The Ruby Key sounds like an exciting and fascinating book. Another book I have to wait years to read. *sigh* This is the biggest drawback to reading your blog. Getting teased with new books we have to wait and wait and wait for…. *grin*

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