History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

How Do You Know You’re the Protagonist? The Weird Stuff Happens to You

| September 18, 2017

The other day, one of my co-workers came by my desk and asked about the plastic penguin that I have there. It came from the Mold-O-Rama at the Brookfield Zoo in Chicago, and I had to explain to him the backstory of WHY I had to have a critter from the Mold-O-Rama, which involves the […]

Keeping Track of Story Ideas

| September 11, 2017

My friend Nate has a Field Notes notebook obsession. He is never without at least one of them, and often has several of them between his pockets and bag. More than a couple of times, he’s grabbed one, flipped it open, said, “no, it’s not in this one,” and had to go hunting for another […]

Writing A Series

| September 7, 2017

I didn’t set out to write a series with Brass and Glass. But when the editors finished reading it, they asked, “Is there a sequel?” And by that point, I’d realized that I’d inadvertently written the first book of a trilogy. I’ve just finished writing the first draft of book 2 of this series now, […]

Writing with A Kernel of What You Know

| August 29, 2017

There’s a lot of advice for writers that says “write what you know.” For speculative fiction authors, that can be difficult–few of us have ever fought a dragon, piloted a spaceship, or escaped from certain doom at the hands of a horrific monster. (Your mileage may vary. I never have.) I think that perhaps the […]

Self-Editing

| August 28, 2017

A couple of weeks ago at Spocon, I was on a panel on self-editing with Kat Richardson, Alex Fedyr, Grivante, and Elizabeth R. Alix. Here’s a distillation of some of the wisdom we dispensed. First, finish what you’re writing, whether that is a novel or a story. There’s a lot of temptation to tweak as you […]

Gothic Literature

| August 23, 2017

One of the panels I spoke on at Spocon, with Rosemary Jones, Fallon Jones, and Kaye Thornbrugh, was about Gothic literature. At one point in time, I was thinking about going back to school for a Ph.D. in Literature, with a specialty in sexuality in Victorian literature. So this panel was just my cup of tea! […]

Undead in Mythology and Legend

| August 21, 2017

Last weekend, I was on a panel at Spocon on undead in mythology and legend with Grivante and Fallon Jones. Both Grivante and Fallon Jones have books featuring zombies, while I have a couple of short stories featuring zombies (“The Glorious Dead,” which can be found in Unfixed Timelines, and “Origin Story,” which appeared in Black Girl […]

Elevator Pitching a Book

| August 15, 2017

Since I was at Spocon this past weekend, speaking on panels, I had a few opportunities to tell people about my books. I only had two books with me this weekend–Sparx and Arrows and Brass and Glass. Because Sparx and Arrows is a small book of short stories, it’s pretty easy to describe as “short stories about […]

Story Ideas

| August 14, 2017

On Friday at Spocon, I spoke on a panel about story ideas with James C. Glass and Alex Fedyr. We wound up talking about a lot more than just story ideas (like outlining, parts of a story, and the different ways that screenwriters look at novels), but here’s some of what we talked about. One […]

Choosing Titles

| August 7, 2017

Whether you’re writing novels or short fiction, titles are important. For one thing, you need them in order to keep track of your stuff. But you also need them so other people can keep track of your stuff. And while you could just call things “Book 1,” “Book 2,” etc., that’s not really all that […]