History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Writing Tools: Reckless Deck

| June 21, 2021

I’ve accumulated a large collection of card-based writing tools, each of which is useful to different parts of my writing process. So I’ve decided to do a series of posts about the various decks I own and how I use them in my writing. Though it was originally envisioned as an artist prompt deck, Reckless Deck, […]

Cool Name Matching Tool

| June 16, 2021

When you’re working on coming up with names for characters, particularly characters of a specific ethnic group or age range, you could poke around a bunch of baby naming books or sites to find other names that go along with ones you’ve already picked out. Or you could check out the Name Matchmaker site. This […]

Interesting Panels at the Nebulas

| June 14, 2021

The first weekend in June was SFWA’s Nebula Conference Online, and I took a day off work so I could attend a few panels, hold office hours for authors looking for critiques, and watch a little bit of the Nebula Awards (I would have watched them all, but we were gaming during the second half). […]

Poetry Form: Luc Bat

| June 7, 2021

I’m back to writing some new form poetry, so it’s time to talk about another form! Today’s form is the Vietnamese Luc bat (the proper rendering includes marks that I can’t render here, but you can see them if you click that link for the Wikipedia article). The name means, simply, “six eight,” which refers to […]

Keeping a Writer’s Notebook

| May 31, 2021

Writers love blank books. We hoard blank books sometimes, like we’re dragons. We like to have a stack of blank books waiting around for just the right project. For some authors, suggesting that they use one of their precious hoard to write notes is anathema. But I’m suggesting just that–picking one of the notebooks from […]

Writing Tools: Story Forge Cards

| May 24, 2021

I’ve accumulated a large collection of card-based writing tools, each of which is useful to different parts of my writing process. So I’ve decided to do a series of posts about the various decks I own and how I use them in my writing. My oldest deck is Story Forge, which I posted about nine […]

Upcoming Awards Conferences Online!

| May 17, 2021

A lot of conventions and conferences made a quick pivot to online versions last spring, and now that people have tried various platforms to see what works and what doesn’t, many are continuing online events this year. The Nebulas Conference is online again, with the conference running June 4-6 and the awards presented on the […]

Using Comics Script Techniques for Outlining

| May 10, 2021

As a firm believer in writing to an outline, I’m always interested in seeing ways that other people approach writing their outlines. In this article, the author advocates for using comic script techniques for outlining. It looks like an interesting way to set up scenes for writing later, as they hit the various beats that […]

Synthesizing Writing Advice into Your Writing

| May 3, 2021

There’s a lot of writing advice out there in the world, and while there’s plenty that is just reiterating what’s been said dozens of of times before, you may also come across new-to-you pieces of advice. This has been happening to me a lot lately, as I’ve been reading writing craft books specific to structuring […]

Book Recommendation: Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody

| April 28, 2021

Save the Cat! Writes a Novel by Jessica Brody insists frequently that this book is not a formula for writing a novel, but it provides a ton of information on novel structure and pacing that could be used as something like a formula, or at least a strong set of guideposts. This approach is marvelous […]