My Writing Process Blog Tour: Ramblings of The Great and Terrible Evey

by E.V. Jacob on March 3, 2014

I have no excuse Cee Martinez made me do it.

So apparently I’m supposed to tell you about my writing process.  I don’t know if anyone actually wants to read a cascade of ramblings about messy handwriting, but here we go.

ScrawlyBehold.  MESS.  Or art.  Let’s call it art.  Also, apparently I have serial killer handwriting, so I’ve got that going for me.

See, I like to write my first drafts by hand.

They are literally the messiest, craziest, least sense-making first drafts in the history of writing and they are TERRIBLE.  And I love them.

The above picture is of my baby.  “My baby” being book one in my series, whose title I have not yet revealed because I’m secrety and weird.  And also because I want to do a big dramatic reveal with the cover art.  You know…when I have cover art.

ANYWHO.  I’m supposed to write about my writing process.

So my writing process usually starts with an idea, tea, and a conversation with my mother/co-author.  What I usually do for this is write a REALLY basic outline—like, five bullet points of key things that have to happen.

Then I do this weird thing where I just start writing stuff.  Character histories, random scenes, little lines describing something that needs to happen at some point, dialogue, culture and history notes of the world we’re making…I’d take a picture of that, but honestly, it’s so scattered that I don’t even know where these notes go.  They disappear into the ether or something.  We talk and write and many sticky notes are involved.

This stage also includes a bunch of drawings of my characters, as such:

Character CollageLooks like some sketchy characters to me.

It then expands to what I like to call Book Seeds:

Book SeedIf you plant one in my brain, a book will grow.

This then moves to the cork board, where we get to rearrange and play with the notes.

cork boardReally I just want to stab things. With pins.

Another HUGE part of my writing process is Evernote—I make myself a notebook and store all my research, story notes, scraps, and random scenes that have to go into the story at some point in Evernote.  This lets me update, check, and add notes from anywhere at anytime and is basically magical.

Evernote Screen CapI can’t show you a picture of my Evernote file because it’s entirely too spoilery.  Sorry, kids.

OK, I can show you THIS: The NSA version of my Evernote The ——- ———- Notebook!

Then, I hand write the first draft, with much input from my Mum/co-author. And it’s amazing.  And also I develop The Claw but that’s totally worth it because I do my best writing by hand.

I kind of write with a very loose plan, and minimal research.  My idea is that I write the story I want to write, then I go in and fill out the gaps, holes, missing details, and necessary research.  Do I sometimes trip myself up by making huge mistakes I have to fix later?  YES.  But I’m stubborn and I like my way, even if it’s stupid.

Next, typed draft!  The typed draft is done largely with my Mum/co-author, and we discuss, edit, change things, and fix errors from the hand-written draft to the typed draft as we go.  Also:  SCRIVENER.


My story quickly becomes this:

Red Pen AttackEnid whips out her Red Pen of Doom.

And also some of this:

Coffe EditsCoffee shop edits with Mum 8D

Then I read The War of Art again, because it helps me hate myself a little less during the “I hate my work. I HATE MYSELF” stage of creation, which is very prominent both in the writing and editing phases of book writing.

self doubtAmazing.  Thank you, Steven Pressfield.

And then, after much editing, revising, rewriting, and rereading, FINALLY, we have a semi-polished draft, ready for beta readers!

Then I wait for commentary and try to distract Enid with shiny things so she’ll leave me alone.

And that is basically how it goes from idea to actual book.  I left out the pictures of where I cry, smash my head into a wall, and yell at my computer.  You’re welcome.


Next up are my dear friends…

Emily Toynton! “Starving novelist, tea connoisseur, book consumer, antique-spelunker, unapologetically deaf, dedicated stalker, and paradoxical human.”

Candice Montgomery! “Unhinged New Adult writer. Fulltime copy editor & shameless flirt. Good at making people uncomfortable & eating chocolate. This bio will have changed next week.”

Jenna Deviller! “YA fantasy romance writer (SOULREADER in edits now) // Met Matt Smith Feb 8, 2014 // I say eep a lot.”

Jason Cantrell! “Rowan U. Grad, Major in Writing Arts, Minor in Communication Studies. Blogger for Rowan U, Radiance Short Story.”

…They’re all comparably crazy, so that should be fun 8D

  • Steve A.

    You could always post the Evernote pic with giant black blocks drawn over all the spoilery text, or labels that say “Redacted!” Leave in a couple of random words like “the” or “and,” and censor the rest… Or maybe not.

    Also: I generally hand write my first draft too, but I tend to type it up as I go along. Typing is a big part of my editing process…

    • Eve Jacob

      HAHA I should!! Maybe I’ll update it tomorrow ;) (this was, by far, the most time-consuming blog I’ve ever written, so I’m a little tired now haha)

      I type once it’s all done. You’re right–typing up is a huge part of editing. I love it because it’s like an extra, built-in editing stage :D

  • Roger Dodger

    Sharing is caring.

    • Eve Jacob

      Indeed :)

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  • Katie Cross

    Wow! Impressive process. I’m just impressed that you can be somewhat organized about the whole thing. My Scrivener, and MY process, is a disaster. I get so involved I occasionally forget to eat. Maybe even wash my hair. ;) Can’t wait to see what this brings about!

    • Eve Jacob

      Thank you!! I totally forget to eat, too–if I didn’t live with people who feed me, I’d probably starve to death. XD It sounds much more logical than it really is when I lay it out like this, hahaha.

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