History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Leaving Book Reviews

| February 25, 2019

Indie authors and traditional authors alike get a lot of benefit out of people leaving reviews of their books on Amazon, Goodreads, or other book selling sites. On Amazon, in particular, once a book has a certain number of reviews, it’s more likely to be recommended to shoppers. Leaving a book review doesn’t have to […]

Breaking Rules of Spec Fic

| February 18, 2019

Some rules are made to be broken. In this article from io9, written by Charlie Jane Anders in 2015, she suggests 10 rules of speculative fiction that she wishes more authors would break. And while some of these rules are already ones a number of authors are breaking, there are some that still need more […]

The World is Soft and Quiet

| February 11, 2019

We’re in the midst of some of the heaviest snow I’ve seen since I moved to Seattle, and because the temperatures are barely climbing above freezing each day, it’s sticking around for a while, too. It basically shuts down the city because we don’t have a good infrastructure for dealing with snow, since we normally […]

Guest Post: Catherine Schaff-Stump on Acceptable Anachronism

| February 4, 2019

Acceptable Anachronism By Catherine Schaff-Stump Sometimes when you look at visions of the future, you cannot help but see the past. The two examples that come immediately to my mind, child of the 1970s that I am, are The Jetsons and EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth. The future comes in flavors of mod miniskirts, polyester jumpsuits, and […]

If At First You Don’t Succeed …

| January 28, 2019

In recent weeks, I’ve had a couple different stories that I’ve started writing, and then realized that I was approaching it the wrong way. Either the plot was going off the rails, or it was too close to something else, or it just wouldn’t really get to the meat of the plot in any sensible […]

Prewriting, or The Writing Before the Writing

| January 14, 2019

How many times have you been working on a writing project, only to have to stop to figure out some tiny detail, without which you can’t go forward? (Granted, there are some authors and advice-givers who say “go forward anyway, and figure it out later.” I’m talking more about the “this is not something I […]

Authors Love Book Reviews!

| December 24, 2018

If you’re struggling with a last minute gift for an author in your life, or even one who isn’t in your life, have you considered reviewing their book? If you’ve read a book by an author, they’d love to know what you thought of it. And other readers appreciate it as well! Even if you […]

Ignoring Bad Writing Advice

| December 17, 2018

If you search for writing advice on the internet, you’ll find all sorts of suggestions. But many of them aren’t applicable across the board, though they’re treated like they are. “You must write every day.” “You must not use ‘said’ too many times.” “You must only write what you know.” When writing advice is treated […]

The Writer’s Book of Doubt

| December 10, 2018

There’s a book of writing advice currently funding on Kickstarter called The Writer’s Book of Doubt. It includes essays by a number of up-and-coming and well-known speculative fiction authors, and it looks like it’s going to be a delightful read. It won’t be out in time for holiday gift giving this year, but it might be […]

Rewarding Yourself for Accomplishments

| December 3, 2018

Last week, I came upon a really inspiring thread on Twitter about rewarding yourself for your accomplishments as a writer. This thread in particular was by a novel author who had wrapped up ten presents, each one to correspond with the completion of 10,000 words of a novel. In this author’s case, most of the […]