Abisina is in the building

Yesterday, on p. 46 in my new manuscript, my main character finally showed up in the flesh. Undestand that she appears on p. 1 — and every page between there and p. 46. In fact, I have written 94 pages and she is on all of those too. But yesterday, I wrote a sentence that came directly from her. It’s not a good sentence. If anyone were to read it, sitting there by itself, they would say, “Huh? What makes that Abisina?” But I know it’s her. I’ve even pasted it into the first page of my MS so that it’s the first thing I read when I open the document. It reminds me that she’s arrived. 

And what a relief! I knew something was not quite right with the MS. I’ve been gutting chapters, trying new tacks, rearranging events, cutting characters to fix whatever was wrong. The fact that she’s showed up now makes me think I’m headed in the right direction. For weeks I’ve been really having to make myself write. Even when I’m at my computer with the intention of getting to work, I find myself checking facebook, checking e-mail, tidying my office. But I woke this morning, with one idea in my head. Today I get to write.  So now,back to it!

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~ by ellenjensenabbott on September 19, 2009.

6 Responses to “Abisina is in the building”

  1. Yay! So glad to hear Abisina showed up. What a relief that must have been. Keep up the good work.

    • Yes! A relief! It was funny because I didn’t really know that she was missing until she showed up. And then this vague sense that the MS wasn’t really there yet, made sense. Now I feel like I may be on the right track–though I hope I didn’t just jinx myself! Thanks for the support!

  2. Abisina, after years of abuse and shunning, has got to be struggling with the lose of both parents and who she is – yes – she was dealing with mom in the first book but let’s face it she was definitely distracted by the journey and focused on finding her dad…and death doesn’t hit you til time passes and you really feel they are not there – when mom or dad’s response would tell you the right thing to do. She’s on a journey to find her true self – lots of mistakes, wrong turns, but deep in those dark places she surfaces – it’s the oh yeah I can run out to my car to get something from the trunk and someone approaches…or the i’ve had a few too many and that guy i have been talking to said he’d walk me home oh how nice….and the tables turn quickly, this is that female rebirth book, we’ve all made those mistakes, thank fully without the horrible outcomes you read in the papers but stronger wiser and more aware of everything – but most importantly more aware of her inner soul/instinct/voice – good luck, ellen – that was my little pep talk to get you writing!!!!

    • Thanks, Wendy! It’s so nice to think that you are still thinking about Abisina and her struggle long after you read the novel. It’s an amazing process, getting a person down on paper and, as you say, the person’s struggles and issues need to feel real, no matter how fictional. So thanks for the pep-talk! I can always use a pep talk!

  3. I just finished your book, Watersmeet. I have to say its the type of book ive been looking for, for years. i cant wait for the sequel! in my opinon it is above and beyond sooo many books. the way you write makes it feel as if you’re Abisina.
    by the way how did you come up with those names?

    • WOW, Zaida! Thanks so much for your comment!! I’m so glad you liked the novel! And there is nothing better for an author than to hear that you felt like the main character!

      Names are tough! Especially in fantasy. I want the names to be pronouncable, but they can’t be too normal. Who would buy a fantasy character named Bob? Well, Terry Pratchett or Neil Gaiman could get away with “Bob,” but in my fantasy world, “Bob” wouldn’t really work! Anyway, some of them just come to me, but more often I use a baby book to find some interesting names. Then I change syllables or letters or consonant blends so it still sounds like a name, but doesn’t sound like a name that we all would recognize. Now and then, I come up with a name that is actually a name, but I’ve never heard it before. This past year, I had a student named “Alden” which was a name I thought I invented! I also take names from different languages and play with them. It can be fun, but if you have a crowd scene and you need to come up with five or six names in a row–whew!

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