Sunday, September 20, 2015

Genre and Research

I have just discovered that my new WIP is, darn sure, a narrative non-fiction biography. This surprised me. I was thinking of it more as a story about strength of character shown through events in a child's life, with the child just so happening to be a real person. Brief note in the back about the real person to be included.

All that is still true. But framing it in my mind as a particular genre is helping me to better write it by giving me some more specific parameters, and will hopefully result in a stronger product.

I had hoped to have my first draft of this WIP finished by the SCBWI Carolinas Fall Conference (my birthday present to myself - I'm so excited!), but I am doubting that will happen at this point.

In the meantime, my headspace is set in 1932.

  • President Hoover suggests a 5 day work week. 
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Senator Franklin D. Roosevelt is on his way up politically and eventually earns the presidency in a landslide victory.
  • The Nazi party is positioning itself for power in Germany, as is Adolf Hitler.
  • A Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, is published.
  • Al Capone is sent to prison.
  • The yellow fever vaccine is introduced.
  • Dust storms begin in Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Texas, the start of the Dust Bowl.
  • Hattie W. Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
  • Jack Benny debuts on the radio.
  • The Good Earth, by Pearl S. Buck, wins the Pulitzer Prize.
  • The baby son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh is kidnapped and later found dead. Charles Lindbergh was the first person to be in New York one day and Paris the next with his 33 hour flight in the Spirit of St. Louis (1927)
  • Amelia Earhart becomes the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic. 
    Amelia Earhart
  • Bonnie Parker is captured by law enforcement, not indicted, and released.
  • Geneva Disarmament Conference begins with 60 countries. Many major world powers sign non-aggression treaties.
  • Japan attacks China.
  • Goofy first appears in Disney films.
  • Grand Hotel, starring Greta Garbo and John Barrymore, premieres in New York. "I want to be alone."
  • Tarzan, The Ape Man premiers starring Johnny Weissmuller.
  • The NFL finally approves players wearing numbers.
  • 1st class postage rises to 3 cents.
  • Depression hits a low point on the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
  • President Hoover cuts his own salary by 15%. 
    Bonnie & Clyde
  • WWI veterans march on the U.S. Capitol for veteran's benefits. Police fire tear gas on them.
  • White Zombie, the first feature length zombie film, starring Bela Lugosi, is released.
  • Clyde Barrow and two associates kill a deputy and sheriff.
  • Jazz composer Duke Ellington writes, "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing", a song that ushered in the the swing era of the 30s and 40s. 
  • Gandhi begins a hunger strike against the treatment of the untouchables.
  • The FBI crime lab officially opens. 
  • The Adventures of Charlie Chan first heard on the radio.
  • Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers release their first joint movie, Flying Down to Rio.
  • Groucho Marx performs on the radio for the first time.
  • Radio City Music Hall opens.

Will I include any and all of these historical references in my WIP. No. A few, yes. A very few. But it helps me to understand the larger picture of the world at that time and how the people in it might have navigated it.

And now I am going to see if I can watch Grand Hotel anywhere online (for free). I vant to be alone.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on discovering your WIP genre. I enjoyed your list of events from 1932. This will definitely help you wrap your head around the time period.


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