History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Fun for Friday: Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

| March 5, 2021

Sometimes, it’s not about finding a source for specific ideas, but much more about finding things that will give you a wealth of different ideas. Two blog posts I’ve found that address this topic well include Brandon Andersen’s 7 Sources for Story Ideas and M.B. Keen’s 9 Ultimate Sources for Writing Ideas. Though there is […]

Writing Down Story Ideas

| September 14, 2020

I’ve got notes in a variety of places that are meant to be story ideas, but not all of them seem to work as such. This article has an explanation of why that might be, and advice on what you can do to make your written down story idea notes work even if they sit […]

The Importance of Notes

| October 8, 2018

When I’m not writing, I’m often gaming. Some of our games are bi-weekly or monthly, but I also run games at a convention once a year. And as I’m prepping my games for this year’s convention, I’ve discovered a horrifying thing. I didn’t take notes. What’s worse, neither did my players. And this in a […]

Degrees of Ideas

| September 10, 2018

How do you figure out whether your idea is a short story, a novel, or maybe neither? Sometimes, it’s really easy to figure out. Some ideas have a scope that you know from the get-go that it’s going to be something as long as a novel, or maybe even a series. But sometimes, you have […]

Fun for Friday: Random Prompt Generator

| July 6, 2018

I find that I get a lot of mileage out of really random generators. Today, I’ve found a random prompt generator on Tumblr, which gives you eleven potential prompts for the price of one. (For the record, the “price of one” is clicking on a link. So free.) There are all sorts of ways that […]

Research Tools: Climate Data Summaries

| July 4, 2018

One of my co-workers sent me a link the other day to the Western Regional Climate Center’s climate data summaries for the western United States. This is a great research tool if you’re writing fiction set in the western United States from the 1960s to the present day and need information on weather for your […]

Fun for Friday: February Writing Prompts

| January 26, 2018

As January winds to a close, it’s time to start looking at writing prompts for February. There are a lot of love-related things for this month, but you don’t have to make them part of a romantic story or poem. In fact, it could be interesting to flip some of them to their darker sides. […]

Fun for Friday Writing Prompt: A Fresh Start

| January 5, 2018

What would your character do if they had the opportunity to make a fresh start? Would they continue on where they were already headed, or would they do something completely different? If you’re stuck writing a character, try this out as a way to get unstuck. Write that character with a fresh start, and see […]

Fun for Friday: January Writing Prompts

| December 29, 2017

Starting today, I’m going to be creating my own writing prompt lists for each month! Here’s the first for 2018–January Writing Prompts! This month, I’ve got things about the new year, winter, social justice and government, and words that can be made from the word “January”. But you can take these prompts in whatever direction […]

Fun for Friday: Rethinking the Real World

| December 22, 2017

I’ve had a project keeping me busy at work recently that involves searching through abstracts for papers that were given at a conference over the past 70 years. It’s been fascinating to me as a historian in seeing what trends and themes appeared throughout the years, but it’s also intrigued my writer brain, because I […]