History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

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 […]

Fun for Friday: Interesting Plot Building Exercises

| August 4, 2017

As a bit of fun for this Friday, I found an interesting post┬áthat talks about adding layers to your plot. I am particularly intrigued by the Donald Maass workshop exercise, because I LOVE random things. So the idea of randomly drawing lines between characters, narrative elements, and places to see what might shake loose is […]

Fun for Friday: Kansas City Facts and a Story Idea

| July 28, 2017

I’ve been in Kansas City this week for work, so I decided to share this list of 30 fun facts about Kansas City! My favorite item on this list, which is something I never knew before, is that Kansas City ignored Prohibition. Digging a little deeper, it seems that the State of Missouri as a […]

Young Readers

| July 25, 2017

I read a lot of books that fall into the middle grade or young adult categories. I really love the middle grade books, because they’re the sort of fantasy books I remember from my childhood. I also write a lot of middle grade stories. The first story I published, “The Recondite Riddle of the Rose […]

Fun for Friday: Choose Your Own Adventure

| June 23, 2017

If you grew up in the 1980s, like I did, you’re probably familiar with the Choose Your Own Adventure series of books. Atlas Obscura has a fantastic article talking about the different decision trees that were used in the different books, including the very complex tree for┬áBy Balloon to the Sahara. I tried to write […]

Do you Pinterest?

| June 22, 2017

Several years back, my friend Sara convinced a bunch of authors on a writers’ retreat to join Pinterest, so that we could see her extensive boards of potential character pictures. After that, I went a little Pinterest-happy, making all sorts of boards for projects I was working on, crochet patterns I liked, and even clothes […]

Musical Inspiration

| June 13, 2017

Recently, while I was attending an event as part of DefCon One Publishing, one of the volunteers circulated among all of the authors and asked them a simple question: If they were to make a movie of your book, what song would be the opening song? I didn’t have to think too hard about my […]

Untethered Authors Disclose Their Story Inspirations for the Anthology (two involve Clippy!)

| October 17, 2016

Where do authors get their story ideas, anyway? In honor of the book release for Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology, four authors divulge their inspirations. Untethered: A Magic iPhone Anthology is a fictional collection of twenty stories about the intersection of magic and tech, so real life phone interaction must have meant something, right? Maybe. […]

Goals for the weekend

| September 7, 2012

So my friend Folly, posted about her goals for the weekend writing retreat. And I just spent a couple of minutes figuring mine out, in the form of a ridiculously formatted and color-coded word document. But I realized that while the color-coded word document is pretty, it does nothing to actually keep me on target. […]