History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Balancing Writing with a Work From Home Job

| March 30, 2020

When I’m working in the office, I’m able to draw a solid line between work and writing. I can get a little bit of writing stuff done in the morning before my work day starts, and during my lunch break. But now that I’m working from home full-time (and have been for a couple of […]

Productivity during Stressful Times

| March 23, 2020

Many authors I know have recently found it a lot harder to get any writing done. Whether they’re adjusting to a new work-from-home lifestyle, or have more of their family members in their previously quiet house, social distancing and self-isolation have an impact on productivity. So too do the frequent news updates and the overall […]

Finding Plot Holes with a Synopsis

| March 16, 2020

One of the things that I realized when I was working on the synopsis for my novel was that it’s a fantastic way to find all of those plot holes that still exist in your manuscript. When you have to break down all of the things that happen in the novel, you realize where you’ve […]

Poetry Forms: Cento

| March 9, 2020

The cento is a fun poetry form to play with, because it’s all about borrowing lines from other poems and turning them into something new. It’s a form of found poetry, a bit like a patchwork quilt. It can be a fun way to mix together a handful of similarly themed poems, or to take […]

Synopsis Construction

| March 2, 2020

Since I’ve been working on my synopsis for a novel recently, I’ve put a lot of thought into how to construct a synopsis. Thankfully, a lot of other people have thought about this too! Shalee McArthur offers a five-step plan for writing a synopsis that I’ve found helpful, particularly for coming up with a short […]

My Revision Wall

| February 24, 2020

I’ve been working through revisions on a novel since the beginning of 2020, and I’m finally reaching the end of those. But I wanted to show off the tool that I’ve been using to help with those revisions–my Revision Wall. Some people use post-it notes to do something similar, but I needed a) more space […]

Sentence Structure for Compelling Prose

| February 17, 2020

Writers are told to vary their sentence length to make their prose interesting, so that readers don’t fall into a rhythm or pattern with their reading. This article talks about the use of complex sentences to create compelling and emotional prose. There are a number of examples of famous writers who have done this, followed […]

Short Story Engines

| February 3, 2020

Most people use plot or characters to make their stories go, but this article presents some other options for short story engines. It’s a very interesting read that gave me some ideas for potential future stories. It also includes some exercises for trying out some of these alternative engines, which is a fantastic place to […]

When the Clothes Make the Story

| January 27, 2020

In one of the games I play, which is a sci-fi heist game, we’ve got a couple of characters who fancy themselves as fashion designers. I threw out the challenge that my character wanted a dress that mashes up Sarah’s dress from Labyrinth with rutilated quartz (as pictured here). I could envision exactly what I […]

Writing Your Back of the Book Blurb

| January 20, 2020

I was recently talking with another author about book synopses and back of the book blurbs, and while I don’t have a lot of experience with the former (yet!), I have written a few blurbs for my books and helped others write theirs. This article give a good list of tips for writing a book […]