History That Never Was

Home of Dawn Vogel: Writer, Historian, Geek

Upcoming Awards Conferences Online!

| May 17, 2021

A lot of conventions and conferences made a quick pivot to online versions last spring, and now that people have tried various platforms to see what works and what doesn’t, many are continuing online events this year. The Nebulas Conference is online again, with the conference running June 4-6 and the awards presented on the […]

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 […]

Farscape: No One is Nice

| October 9, 2019

We’ve recently finished watching the first season of Farscape, and as we were getting toward the end of the season, a character from earlier on (Gilina) came back. In her previous appearance, she’d helped the crew, but I found myself expecting her to betray them at any moment. I took a step back and thought about […]

When a Story Doesn’t Work

| October 7, 2019

When I get an idea for a story, I generally try to see that story through to the end. I’m a firm subscriber to the maxim that “perfect is the opposite of done,” so I try my hardest to get a draft finished before I start poking at it. But sometimes, I get that story […]

Writing Lots!

| September 23, 2019

Last week, I hosted a guest post from Kurt Pankau, and he returned the favor by hosting a guest post from me! I wrote about how I’ve increased my writing output and the ways in which I get so much writing done. You can read all about it here!

Guest Post: I’m the Bad Guy, Duh

| September 16, 2019

Hi, I’m Kurt, and I’m doing a guest post here on Dawn’s blog. I write mostly sci-fi, most of it silly, and you can learn more about me here and here. Today, I’m going to talk about bad guys. Let’s say you’re writing a story about a grizzled space marine saving the day from aliens. […]

Growing as a Short Story Writer

| May 20, 2019

I started writing regularly in 2009 and lucked out by selling my first short story early in 2010. After that, things were a bit more hit and miss for a while. Between 2010 and 2014, I made a total of 11 story sales, some of them for no payment, and mostly for very small payments. […]

When Do You Write?

| March 25, 2019

During ECCC, I ran into one of my friends who I don’t see all that often, and we wound up hanging out for the majority of Saturday. While we were having a late lunch, he mentioned wanting to write but never having time for it, and he asked how I got so much done with […]

If At First You Don’t Succeed …

| January 28, 2019

In recent weeks, I’ve had a couple different stories that I’ve started writing, and then realized that I was approaching it the wrong way. Either the plot was going off the rails, or it was too close to something else, or it just wouldn’t really get to the meat of the plot in any sensible […]

Ignoring Bad Writing Advice

| December 17, 2018

If you search for writing advice on the internet, you’ll find all sorts of suggestions. But many of them aren’t applicable across the board, though they’re treated like they are. “You must write every day.” “You must not use ‘said’ too many times.” “You must only write what you know.” When writing advice is treated […]