J. Sevick

Just Write.

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Fostering Unpredictability

Similar to unoriginality, there is a certain amount of automatic backlash when something is predictable. This is mostly critical backlash, as opposed to mainstream backlash, as predictable stories like romances and action films can still be hugely successful.

But someone, somewhere, is going to sniff and say, “I knew what was going to happen.” And they’ll ooh and ah over a story with a twist they…

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Filed under plotting predictability unpredictability

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Embracing Unoriginality

There are two main things that got me to actually finish a draft. One was episodic structure (more on that… sometime).

And the second was embracing unoriginality.

There’s something very intrinsic-feeling about our reactions to unoriginality. Praise for a new novel will call it “original”; criticism will call it a “rip-off.” But why are these things necessarily good or bad?


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Filed under Ideas originality unoriginality

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The Pluses of Pinterest

The Pluses of Pinterest

Pinterest  has become a bit of a new fad in “social media”–although I hesitate to use the term, because I think you can use it without a bit of social interaction. It’s a website of images, often attached to links which may show you how to buy or make what’s in the image, and which you can “pin” to various boards of your own making.

I think it’s a fantastic tool for writers, particularly in…

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Filed under aesthetic architecture fashion images pinterest setting

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Planning Ahead

[I’m going to start posting only on weekdays—I need the weekends to write. :) ]

For the commitment-challenged, there may be nothing more intimidating than planning a series. It can also be great fun, and for those of us who enjoy reading series, it’s a tempting project.

But is it a disaster waiting to happen?

I can’t count the number of projects I’ve planned, and abandoned. I don’t believe any…

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Filed under commitment planning series

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The Two Writing Skillsets

The Two Writing Skillsets

I find a lot of comfort in the idea of a writer’s growth into skill. I believe that if you write frequently, practice, never give up, and try new things, you will eventually attain the skill you are meant to have. I believe that anyone can be as good a writer as they want (though, I suppose, certain artistic deities among us may have a talent we can never claim).

But I think that there are…

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Filed under growth skills writing psych

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Is It Ever Okay to Let Go?

Is It Ever Okay to Let Go?

Almost everything you hear from writing advice (my own included) is: just write. Don’t think. Don’t look back. Fight the doubt. Word vomit. Chained to the desk. Just stick with it. Don’t give up.

And I would say, for the most part, this is good advice.

But what about when it’s not? What about when an idea just isn’t working, and it’s not about doubt or insecurity but about your heart not being in…

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Filed under commitment doubt drafting Letting go

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Blog Award Nomination

Hello all!

I am extremely honored to have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by thepaperbutterfly!


Thank you SO much for the nomination, and I encourage you all to check out her blog!

As part of the nomination, I’ve got seven facts to think up… hmm…

  1. Embarrassingly enough, I like to talk to myself. It helps me to get my thoughts out verbally, rather than letting them bounce around…

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Filed under award facts about me

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The Friendzone and The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Friendzone and The Hunchback of Notre Dame

[I posted this on Tumblr, where it was promptly ignored, so I figured I’d put it here to be ignored as well. Just some random thoughts I had…]

So, on a whim, I watched the Disney movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame tonight.

And I noticed an interesting theme running through the film, though I’m not sure it was intended to come off exactly this way.


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Filed under disney feminism movies politics romance

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The Three Types of Drafting Doubt—And How to Fight Them

The Three Types of Drafting Doubt–And How to Fight Them

It’s a little premature to say I’ve mastered my doubt. Unfortunately, one finished first draft does not a career make. But the mental transition I’ve made in the last month has at least given me the confidence that I can conquer my doubts enough to finish a draft.

A month ago, I would have given anything to know how to banish the doubts and just write.

I’m afraid the advice I have may be obvious,…

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Filed under craft doubt drafting first draft Ideas process writing psych

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The Active Mind

I realized the other day that there is a misconception in the way we think about states of mind—that they are fixed, static, and once attained, never lost. Most of all, that they can be “achieved,” held, and maintained without any further work on our part.

My recent fluctuations in mentalities have proven all of this to be a complete myth. A “state” of mind is no more static and self-sustaining…

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Filed under mentalities state of mind writing psych