all that jazz

As of this evening, I’ve written the first 15,000 words of this year’s NaNoWriMo. I made what might be an ill-advised decision to write historical fiction—it’s an m/m romance featuring a vaudeville actor and a mobster in 1927. It’s tough because I’m researching simultaneously. That is, I did a bunch of research in October, but I’m also currently reading two books and have a gazillion tabs open in my browser with info about slang and fashion. But now that I’ve gotten into the meat of the novel, it’s really fun to write, so I have high hopes.

I’ve found a lot of really great photos. The above is a photo of Times Square in 1920. Most of my novel takes place in or around Times Square, which at this time was bustling both with Broadway theaters—more shows opened in 1927 than any year before or since—and nightclubs and speakeasies. And this, of course, is Rudolph Valentino, the epitome of male beauty in the ’20s. Good-looking men were referred to as “sheiks” after Valentino’s best-known character. In my head, my mobster character, looks a bit like Valentino. I’m not really new to the Jazz Age or writing historical fiction (though all of my attempts at the latter are unfinished or otherwise languishing on my hard drive) and I’ve been wanting to write a novel set in that era for a long time. One of the things NaNoWriMo is really great for is forcing oneself to write that thing you’ve always wanted to write.

Anyone else participating in NaNoWriMo? Any strange discoveries or triumphs?