History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

And then there’s The End

| May 28, 2018

Last week, I talked about getting lost while writing a story. This week, I’m back to talk about endings. Figuring out where to end a story can be tricky. I like to have my endings all tied up neatly, and I like to end things with someone saying or doing something really clever. But that’s […]

Falling Off the Map

| May 21, 2018

Last week, I talked about getting stuck in the middle of a story. A similar, and yet different problem can be when your story takes on a life of its own, and somehow falls off the edge of your map. Many folks who fall into the “pantsers” camp of writing insist that they just let […]

Beginnings are Hard

| May 7, 2018

Time and again, I return to the same problem: starting something new is hard. I often have story ideas in my head, or in hastily scribbled notes, where I know exactly what needs to happen. But I don’t always know how that story starts, or where it starts. I worked on a story recently where […]

Anthology Construction

| April 30, 2018

The final writing panel that I was on at Norwescon was about anthologies–both editing them and writing for them. I’ve had a number of my short stories published in anthologies, with more scheduled, and I’ve also edited all of the Mad Scientist Journal Kickstartered anthologies. I shared the panel with K. G. Anderson, Jennifer Brozek, and […]

Norwescon General Recap

| April 9, 2018

Easter weekend in Seattle always means Norwescon to me! I attended a little bit sporadically the first few years I was in Seattle, but now I pretty much go every year. In many cases, we have a table for DefCon One Publishing, my Scary White Girl Designs craft business, or both businesses in the dealer’s […]

Tips on Reading Aloud

| March 26, 2018

This past week saw me at two separate readings. The first was my friend Amanda’s solo reading for her debut novel, Rites & Desires. But we also put together a Cobalt City group reading, where I read one of my unpublished Cobalt City stories, along with four other authors in the shared universe. And I’ve got […]

Travel to Recharge

| March 19, 2018

We’ve just gotten back from our vacation with friends in Philadelphia. And while sometimes when I travel, I come back with ideas, this was not one of those trips. I got way behind on things I needed to work on, and spent most of the time just relaxing. And that’s the kind of vacation I […]

Writing Good Villains

| March 12, 2018

How do you make your villain not a cardboard cutout, stereotypical villain like the guy pictured to the right? Monica M. Clark has a great article at the Write Practice about how Killmonger from Black Panther is a masterful example of a good villain, and breaks down the points about the character that make him so […]

Figuring Out When to Stop

| March 5, 2018

Late last week, I had to make the difficult decision to stop working on one of my novel projects (the rewrite of Camp Haunt). The process had been going very slowly, and in order for me to get it done within my self-imposed deadline, I would have had to write a lot in a limited amount […]

Things I Love: Research!

| February 26, 2018

One of the things that I love most about writing is actually doing the research. Some people might think this is odd, but to me, doing research is a bit like being a detective. You’re pulling out the little pieces of information, or clues, and turning them into a story, or solving the case. My […]