Our Writing Processes: L.O. Nobi

Post by L.O. Nobi

Writing. Writing. Writing.

That activity that really makes one a writer. Not the conception of an idea. Not fantasies of the plot unfolding. But the actual process of marking symbols on a surface to express a plot line.

Happy New Month. Today, friends, I’ll be kicking off this month’s exciting theme by sharing HOW I write. Buckle up for this crazy ride that’s my writing life!

Before I joined the writing community, I only knew about my writing process. And then I joined the community and realized my process of writing in ways is pretty easy. I read of writers who take years to complete a first draft, or who celebrate if they write a hundred words in one weekend, and realized how lucky I am that writing just flows for me like water.

It’s A Frenzy!

It all begins with a fully formed idea. Once I have this idea I’m excited about, I prepare my laptop and tentatively get to work. Once I get into the flow of the story, there’s nothing else I want to do but write. And ‘nothing’ includes eating. I hate food and my stomach when I start working on a manuscript because they are diversions, therefore my enemies.

I write almost all day and for hours into the night until the letters start to blur and I have NO CHOICE but to sleep. Even asleep, I’m only halfway unconscious. Once I feel energetic enough to rise (usually at about 3am), I hop up and go on typing until daybreak.

I don’t like people or real life activities when I’m working on a book. I don’t want to chat or go out or interact. When I have to go out, I’m constantly in my head or scribbling ideas on my journal for when I get back to my laptop. In fact, my close ones groan when they learn I’m starting a new book because they know I’ll be utterly inaccessible until I’m finished.

I’m literally like Gollum in a cave when I start working on an idea. Inspiration and enthusiasm abounds, and most times my fingers can’t even type fast enough to get them out!

That rush, the high on these words pouring from my brain and these characters coming to life under my fingers, are part of the reasons I love writing so much. Nothing else gives me that kind of high.

Due to this, I finish first drafts very fast. Usually from one to two months. I’ve also been known to finish an 80k MSs in 3 weeks.

Outlining

A part of my writing process is Outlining. I have a post on my blog about why I love outlining. (Outlining A Book: Yea Or Nay?) Now, I wasn’t always an outliner. As I often share, I started taking writing seriously at age 13, so for years it was pantsing book after book.

I believe I first tried outlining in 2020, and since then I haven’t looked back. Having a detailed outline is the reason I can finish first drafts very fast. Working on the outline is also when I can figure out whether I really have a story or not.

It especially helps me when I get to scenes I’m not ecstatic about writing. Because rather than procrastinate indefinitely over tackling that scene (as writers tend to do), the outline guides me and helps me trudge past it. Of course, this trudge-through area always reads stilted, like something a robot wrote, but that’s the good thing about editing. It can be fixed! Also, knowing that there are scenes I’ll love to write coming up in the outline also helps me work through unexciting scenes faster.

For anyone interested in trying it, I really can’t recommend outlining enough!

Writing Snacks

What are those?

Hehe, nah I don’t snack when I write. How do people even do that? I need both my fingers to tap ceaselessly on the keyboard! Also, as mentioned above, food is the enemy 😈 when I’m lost in my own head writing. So nope, I don’t have writing snacks. If anything, I try to eat a hearty breakfast before I settle to write so that it would tide me over until dinner when I peel myself away from my computer—if I even.

My mum tries to feed me at my computer, this weird little writing being she sired, and when there’s a chance, she complains.

I don’t recommend this unhealthiness though! By the time I finally leave my writing cave, I always imagine I lose considerable weight. Then proceed to the healthy thrice a day eating.

Editing

This is a bit controversial, but I edit as I write. Proudly. And no, it doesn’t affect my process in any way. It works perfectly for me! If I write 4000 words during the day, I’m a midnight owl so when I wake up at 2am, I go through the rubbish I’d vomited during the day and edit the manuscript on my phone. At sunrise, when I officially wake up, I incorporate the edits on the word document, and then continue from where I stopped.

Once I have the first draft complete, I work on the prose first. I like my prose to read really prettily so I take time working on this. My brain niggles at me when a paragraph or chapter reads without rhythm. And I may not consciously clock this yet, just always feel twitchy when I read that paragraph. But once I give the sentences rhythm and add colors and texture to the tone, the niggling fades and I know then that the prose is as smooth as I like it.

Next, I edit for plot holes and such stuff. Although, this aspect also needs the insight of beta readers. I feel we writers can’t spot all the plot holes ourselves, but I may be wrong. Sometimes, distance from a manuscript is all a writer needs to be their own critique and editor.

And finally, I dive in for typographical errors, while recruiting my dear friend Grammarly.com to help out. No matter what though, I’ve never self-edited an MS to the point where it’s completely clear of typos. There are always tiny ones lingering when I do it myself and I’ve learned to live with that!

Writing Clogs

The only thing that clogs my writing tap is emotional issues. Not ‘oh I had a bad day at work. I feel sad hence can’t write!’. No, in those situations, writing is my source of release and joy. It takes my mind from reality and it’s pressures.

However, I remember the first writer’s block I had many years ago had been of course, because I’d broken up with my then teenage boyfriend. I’d tried to write through all my teen angst, and the result had been so bad/stilted I couldn’t open the book more than a couple times before trashing the whole thing!

Being on submissions also clogged my writing well for months. You’re in this place where at each hour of the day you’re hoping for good news. So by nightfall or every weekend when you don’t get that good news, the wave of disappointment drags you under. It’s a really emotional place for most, and it made me unable to write for the first time in years. When I finally got back to writing last month, it was a wonderful reunion with my creativity!

**

So there you go, my writing process—or should I say writing mania—squashed into one post. But I love my process. It’s what makes me come alive as a person and I wouldn’t want to write any other way!

Do you outline? Snack while writing? Let me know in the comments!


L.O. Nobi is an avid writer, with numerous books constantly blinking at her on her laptop. She’s a lover of words, reading, and Disney. You can find her tweeting here, or visit her personal blog here.

Published by Lucia’s Fiction

Novelist and Blogger

10 thoughts on “Our Writing Processes: L.O. Nobi

  1. I love this post so much and yes, this months theme sounds so exciting! I look forward to the rest of it!
    I really do think you’re lucky that writing flows for you like it does! What??? A draft in one month? Awesome post!

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  2. Love this post 🙂 I can’t believe you don’t have a writing snack hehe. I can’t write without a bag of sweets!

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  3. Happy New Month to you too, and thanks for launching it for us with this fun post! Likewise emotional issues are what clogs my writing well, but for me it can be even the smallest things. Such as burning a meal because I was too busy writing. Then I’ll feel guilty and lose the attachment to write for some time 😆

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  4. I enjoyed reading this! I outline sometimes and when I do it’s usually scene by scene, so there are scenes where I just run through them. I snack when writing because I don’t like taking breaks to eat full meals hehe. Also not the healthiest method!

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  5. I love that outlining works so well for you; I feel like it would really help me with those scenes I am not too enthusiastic about writing. 🙂

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