How To Write A Novel Set In The 1920s

1) First, get in the mood by watching this terrific video by Aaron 12

2) Now listen to a 1920s pop singer like the fabulous Ruth Etting, (she’s the clam’s garters) or the endearing, sweet and lovable Annette Hanshaw until you start to Get Hot!

Lovable and Sweet by Annette Hanshaw

When the music stops sounding quaint and you’re thinking “Hey, I want to go Leona Wilderson’s house party and dance the Charleston (Charleston?) all night with a red hot hopper!” then you’re getting there. You’re almost ready to write.

3) Memorize stories about how much fun your ancestors had in those glory days. Like here’s my Dad in 1924 with a few intimate friends…

and here he is on the way to a costume ball with his incomparable cousin, the reigning princess of Haight-Ashbury radio…the unforgettable…Miss Margaret Hancock.

Now, when your hot tamale is ridin’ the trolley, when your goose is on the loose, your cherry smashes have strawberry rashes and your cuddling cutie’s shouting Rootie Kazootie, start typing! You can’t miss.


4 thoughts on “How To Write A Novel Set In The 1920s

  1. Chris, You crack me up!! And that’s without even daring to watch the film clips. I’m in the library – quiet and serene. I dare not activate those clips for fear that there just might be lurking there loud and riotous hilarity, that quite possibly would disturb the other patrons reading quietly.

    But your language – really – fabulous. Were does your mind go to come up with this hilarious verbage? Or more precisely nounage. I’m still laughing after looking up these non-exist words in the dictionary.

    Thank you!


  2. Silky, I hope you have access to another computer somewhere where you can turn up the sound and party! Here’s what happens when the Ponderer gets going with his research: a lot of screeching and hooting comes from his “office,” so of course I have to go investigate. There goes all my mundane chores like balancing the checkbook and paying the bills. To h– with responsibilities! Let’s dance!


  3. Patrushka, you are right. I learned a long time ago to tread carefully on the groundwork that the Pondering Pig lays when it comes to media. A seemingly innocent link to a video could suck you into the Irving Thalberg driven intensity of a Marx Brothers scene or the cacophony of some garage band named “Spoke Norton and the Wheelies” or the like, playing “Louie, Louie” in the key of Ab. You never know what you’re gonna get or who’s gonna show up. Talking cats and chickens and the occasional cow… Neal Cassady or Edith Piaf.

    By the way, I thouht the gals in the opening video of this post were the “oyster’s ice-skates”! Oo-coo-ca-choo!


  4. I love that Isadorf put Edith Piaf and Neal Cassady’s names in the same sentence. That would have been an interesting meeting between those two!


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