History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Question: How Much Historical Research?

| July 26, 2021

I was talking to a newer author of historical fiction recently, and one of the questions they had for me was how much historical research do you need to do before writing historical fiction? My terribly unhelpful answer is, of course, it varies. If I’m writing a short story that’s tied to historical events in […]

What I’m Reading, Watching, and Listening To, Early March 2021 Edition

| March 3, 2021

Reading: I’m reading for book reviews, but I also recently devoured When Brains Dream by Antonio Zadra and Robert Stickgold, which is both research for a novel I’m planning to write that plays with dreams, but also just a fascinating read if you’ve ever had questions about dreams from a scientific perspective. This book does a […]

Head Full of Trivia

| October 29, 2018

One of Jeremy’s running jokes is saying “I don’t know what I had for dinner last night, but I can remember [insert random bit of trivia].” And it’s true, too. He has a huge amount of random stuff packed into his brain. It’s a valuable thing for writers to know a lot of random stuff, […]

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 […]

Writing with A Kernel of What You Know

| August 29, 2017

There’s a lot of advice for writers that says “write what you know.” For speculative fiction authors, that can be difficult–few of us have ever fought a dragon, piloted a spaceship, or escaped from certain doom at the hands of a horrific monster. (Your mileage may vary. I never have.) I think that perhaps the […]

Research for Alternate History Stories

| June 12, 2017

Because my background is in history, I wind up writing a lot more alternate history stories than anything else. I collected five of these to make Unfixed Timelines recently. But writing alternate history means doing some research, and it’s a different sort of research than authors do if they’re writing other types of stories. If […]