History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Poetry Forms: Glosa

| January 13, 2020

The glosa or glose is known as a Spanish form, though I haven’t been able to find any information about its origins other than it being a medieval Spanish form. The basic rules are simple: take a quatrain (four lines) from another poem, and use each of those lines as the final line in a […]

Writing to Prompts

| January 6, 2020

Last week, I talked about writing to a theme. This week, I’m talking about writing to prompts. The two things are related, but not entirely the same. Writing to prompts comes up frequently if you’re looking to challenge yourself to write a daily, weekly, or even monthly story, when you don’t necessarily have an end […]

Writing to a Theme

| December 30, 2019

I write a lot of stories that are prompted by themed calls for submissions. These are often for anthologies, but they are sometimes for a themed issue of a magazine or for a magazine with a very specific genre/aesthetic. I’ve had fairly good luck with placing my stories in themed anthologies, so today, I’m talking […]

Poetry Forms: Paradelle

| December 23, 2019

The paradelle is one of my favorite forms of really ridiculous poetry. United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins made it up as a JOKE. But I latched onto it as an interesting and somewhat challenging form that I could logic my way through. And folks, I do love a challenge I can solve with logic! […]

A Question from the Audience: Dialogue

| December 16, 2019

It’s time for another question from the audience! How do you tighten up dialogue? How do you make dialogue that sounds right to a reader that’s not you? This is an interesting question for me, because I don’t know that I’m necessarily good at writing dialogue (and in fact, I wrote about not being great […]

Gifts for Writers: Ridiculous Post-It Notes

| December 9, 2019

If you’re shopping for a writer this holiday season, have you considered a fun stocking stuffer of ridiculous post-it notes? Not only are they fun, they’re also practical, because most authors I know swear by post-it notes of some sort to keep track of projects, plots, or even our mundane to-do lists. I personally have […]

Poetry Forms: Cascade

| November 25, 2019

Today, I’m talking about cascade poems. This is a relatively easy form by the “rules.” You write one stanza. Then the remaining stanzas have the same number of lines as your first stanza, and each one ends with a sequential line from the first stanza. There’s no rhyme scheme to worry about (unless you choose […]

Question from the Audience: De-Trunking a Story

| November 18, 2019

I’m back today with another question from the audience! Do you have any advice on trying to “de-trunk” and resuscitate a story you really liked? Like, how do I know if it’s time? How do I find the good bits without holding onto the ones that just aren’t working? So remember how I talked about […]

Poetry Forms: The Golden Shovel

| October 28, 2019

One of the early forms of poetry I played around with was the golden shovel. The form takes its name from a Terrance Hayes poem, which took its name from a Gwendolyn Brooks poem, “We Real Cool,” that includes the line “The Pool Players. Seven at the Golden Shovel.” Using Gwendolyn Brooks poems as the […]

Trunking a Story

| October 21, 2019

Previously, I talked about what I do when a story isn’t working. This week, I’m talking about trunking stories. First off, an explanation of this term. A trunked story, is, in simple terms, one you’ve stopped sending out to markets. I suspect the terminology comes from a point when you actually typed (on a typewriter) […]