Welcome to the Process Project!
Week 2, Day 1
MEET J.C. DAVIS!
Welcome to Week TWO of the Process Project. In case this is the first time you’re hearing about us, the Process Project is a blog series compiling answers to questions all writers should think about when it comes to their process. Many of us just write...we don’t think about how, or why, we do the things we do. Thinking about your own process can help you be more productive, and hearing about other writers’ processes can help you hone yours, or make you feel like you’re not as crazy as you think you are. And c’mon, it’s just downright interesting!
For week two, I’d like to introduce to you J.C. Davis. A programmer by day, J.C. Davis writes Young Adult and Middle Grade fiction, the occasional short story and has far too many hobbies to keep up with. She lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, two kids and a hedgehog named Percy Jackson. A second-generation book addict, she has piles of books in her house and a serious picture book habit that's transferred to both of her kids. Family visits to the library are a frequent and necessary thing in her household. She adores Doctor Who, HarryPotter and has an unnatural affinity for Monty Python skits. Her short stories have appeared in Bastion Science Fiction Magazine, Writing Tomorrow, and Spark: A Creative Anthology among others. You can find links to all of her work here: J.C. Davis.
J: First and foremost, why do you write?
JC: I write because I love stories. I am an intense book addict and I love making stories of my own in addition to reading as many books as I can. I average around 100 books a year and read across several genres. Words are a kind of magic that wrap around me. I can't imagine not adding to that deluge of words. I also have amazing friends, betas and critique partners who cheer me on and keep me in-line when I need it.
I suppose most writers will say they always wanted to be a writer, but that wasn't true for me. In college, I toyed with a few book ideas but never started any of them. Later, when I discovered the Harry Potter books, I fell so deeply in love that I had to scurry online to find other Potter-heads to share my obsession with. That led to the fascinating world of fan-fiction. I read some, decided I could definitely write that and then jumped in with both feet. I wrote a novel length fan-fiction with original characters and that gave me the confidence to know that I could finish a novel, that I could plot and that, at least according to other fans, I was a decent writer with a bit of potential. I put the world of fan-fiction behind me and started writing original work. My first novel was an utter mess. It's locked in a drawer and guarded by attack trolls. My second novel is the one I am currently submitting to agents.
J: Can you talk to us a little about the environment you write in?
JC: Ninety-nine percent of my writing is done on the train during my commute to and from work. I love the motion and the background noise; it unlocks my muse. When I need to, however, I can write almost anywhere, though I prefer a bit of quiet. A nearby library, my bed, my writing desk, all are fair game. I never listen to music while I write because the noise distracts me, pulls me out of the story and drops me into a different world.
J: When you’re writing, and you get stuck, what do you do?
JC: This is where writing on the train comes in handy. If I get stuck, I people watch and jot down descriptions of my fellow passengers and make up stories about them. I sometimes try asking my characters open-ended questions and then writing down the answers. I've tried free-writing whatever comes into my brain. If I am really, really stuck it normally means there's a plotting issue I'm missing so I go back to my loose outline and fiddle with it, possibly leap ahead a few chapters if I need to, just so I can keep my momentum going.
Want to read more?? Tune back in tomorrow to see how J.C. Davis writes and revises!