Mia Castile's Writing Process

Mia Castille Author of "The Ocean"

I was honored when Mia Castile –Author of “The Ocean” and Co-owner of “Entwined Publishing“– agreed to write a guest post for me. Her book “The Ocean” was released April 26.2011

You can purchase a copy of “The Ocean” at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Now, without further ado I leave you with Mia Castile and her writing process.

Thank you, Hiba for inviting me to WovenStrands.  It is a pleasure to be here.  You asked for insight to my writing process, and at first I thought, “I don’t have a process. I just write.”  But then the more I thought about it, I realized, everything is a process.  So this is mine, I hope it gives your readers a bit of insight into their own style, and they enjoy it.

Everyone is different in their writing technique.  Whether you go by a detailed outline, or just sit down and start telling a story, no two people do it the same way. When I first get an idea in my head, I begin thinking about it. It’s not just “hmm that’s a good idea.” but in an obsessive “I have to know everything about this character” sort of way.

I begin by making an overview.  This may be what some consider an outline, but I don’t like that word.  I break down each character.  I break down their appearance, style, their personality, and main arc.  If it’s a romance, I also spend time describing their feelings for their romantic interest.  After I have a feel for my characters, I find pictures of people who I envision they might be.  When I’m stumped or lose focus I return to my overview, and get the characters back on track. The final thing I do before I begin writing is put together a playlist in iTunes.  Usually at this point I don’t have a title for my story, so I will usually call the playlist an expression from a song. For example the playlist for Generations was called “Soundtrack of my summer”; but for Gods of Detroit it began as “Detroit” since I knew that was the setting.  The playlist evolves and changes as I write. A song may not move me as much as I originally thought it would, or I find a better suited song.

Then I write.  At this point I know in my head where I want to go and what I want to happen. Some people like to hand write their ideas and story first and then type it.  I prefer to do all of my writing on the computer.  I save and back everything up.  If you take one thing from this post, it’s this: Always back it up.

I don’t write my story in one document.  It can get confusing for me when I want to go back to review, so I keep my novel in a file with each chapter in its own document.  Once I feel confident in the story, I will compile it into one document.  This way, it’s also nice for tracking a daily tally of word counts. Less math is always good math in my opinion. I usually start writing at the beginning of the story. If I have an idea of something I want to happen, but not until later in the story, I will start a document called “future plot line”.  When I’m ready to insert the scene I’ve written, I cut and paste, easy as pie.

The advantage to writing this way, is the freedom I feel telling my story in a way that is a bit raw and truthful to me.  The disadvantage is there have been days I simply stare at a blank page racking my brain for what I want to happen next.  In those moments I may go back and read the chapters I’ve already written, or reach out to my inner circle to discuss the plot.  Sometimes a simple conversation is all you need to put you back on track.  Other times I have to set it aside for a few days and not think about it.  When I return to it, it’s fresh again.  I’m not saying my way of writing is the only or best way.  It just works for me.

My best advice I could give to the aspiring author is this:  Find the method that works best for you.  If you are writing it’s because you love it, so make it enjoyable.

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If you have questions for Mia, please feel free to leave a comment.