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I'm an author spreading the words. Read about my books at www.SeleneCastrovilla.com

Monday, January 23, 2012

Method to my Madness Monday: My Writing Season

Stephen King said that you should write a novel in a season.

Yeah, I get that.

You need to stay in that flow.

Up until now, I’ve written every novel in a period of about three months. The first two – Saved By the Music and The Girl Next Door ­– I wrote together in three months. (Not recommended – but good for a jolt to your writing process – akin to jumping into the ocean during winter.)

The thing is: when you’re feeling it, you’re feeling it. You have to go with it. The more you stop, the more time you have to waste getting started again. Warming up...and even remembering what the heck you were getting at when you walked away.

A sampling of my latest notes. (Scrivener doesn't work for me.)
Can you imagine trying to figure this out months or even years later?

If you stay away from your WIP for awhile, you have to figure out what points you already made, what you still have to work in...and you have to get to the heart of your purpose all over again.

This current novel is in its fifth year – but not really. I wrote what I thought was the novel five years ago – but it turned out to be the bones of the novel. It was the true grit of it – the deep emotion. But I had the structure all wrong – and I had to find a cohesive path for the character to feel all those emotions.

I  had to put some flesh on those bones - and pack some fat in between, too.

It took me the interim years to work up the nerve to do this. Piecing those bones together had been so painful!

As I’ve said before, this is my most ambitious endeavor timeline-wise. My other novels take place in a period of months. This novel has a forty year span. It’s almost as hard figuring out what to leave out as it is to write it.

So I took out the draft and I went over it and I rearranged and cut and added – and now I’m in the home stretch.

Finally, this draft, I’m writing my novel within a season.

Feels good!

And who am to contradict a master?

Read this book if you haven't.
You really can learn from a master - and his story of writing CARRIE is awesome!
Quite an inspiration!


  1. Can't wait to read the finished book :) I'm loving it so far as I have loved all of your work. Oh and Mr. King is the master. I am not a writer and I enjoyed "On writing".

  2. Thanks, Pascale. This has been some road - I appreciate your support, and of course your invaluable character input ;)

  3. Great! I would love to pick it (and others) up, too. Hope to find it in India when it is out. I have read three and a half lines from the draft already! :P