WHY IT ALL COMES DOWN TO ARNOLD ROTHSTEIN
(But first: with apologies to everyone, I think Facebook readers will have to go to my blog at http://robnyc.blogspot.com to see the graphic in question. Also, everyone will have to click on the picture to see it in all its glory. Now, moving on...)
You know how I've been mentioning for, oh, three years that I'm trying to write a novel about the 1920s? Well, tonight -- stymied again -- I thought maybe diagramming the relationships between the more significant characters would help. This was my result:
Pardon the childish handwriting. I'd blame it on the booze, but I'm too drunk to make excuses.
The thing you should know is that only the circles outlined darkly are fictional characters. The rest were very real people and important to the story, whether their names are still famous or have fallen into obscurity. Hubert Fauntleroy Julian, for example, was called "The Black Eagle," and it would be unconscionable to write a book set partly in 1920s Harlem without including him. Walter White was a writer and an early leader of the NAACP; Jackie Mason (no, not the one that you're thinking of) ran the city's most popular gay speakeasies in the decade; Mae West stole her routine from Bert Savoy, one of the early female impersonators. (Savoy died a particularly dramatic and flamboyant death, by the way. But buy the book when it's published; I don't want to ruin things for you.)
Also, pardon the fictional "Girl" character; she will be a young black female, but I haven't found a name that works for her yet. As for my other creations on this chart, I know every thing about them. And here's a tip I can share: in keeping with my writing tradition, assume the character of "David Carlyle" becomes the grandfather of the David Carlyle III who was featured in my first four books, and also expect to learn the origins of the Morelle/Stendardi crime family feud that was still playing out 75 years later in my first book, The Night We Met. Which -- *cough* -- is still in stock. Just sayin'.
Anyway... I had a point, didn't I? Oh yeah! What the hell am I doing? I mean, I can barely remember to take clothes to the dry cleaner! Why am I juggling dozens of characters? Am I insane?
I guess we'll find out sooner rather than later, because I am going to write this sucker.
Oh, and Arnold Rothstein? Yeah, it's impossible to not put him in the middle of the chart. That man had his hands in everything. Unless you've read a dozen books -- ow, my head hurts -- you can't imagine.
Okay, back to your quiet night at home. I just wanted to share...