I've done it before, but this year will be the first time I've gone into the event without a fairly detailed outline.
This year, to keep my goal of posting to this blog every day, I'll be sharing the actual writing. It's not because I'm any great shakes as a novelist (otherwise, I'd be rich and/or famous). But it will be a way for me to think about the writing process, and for you to see how at least one person approaches the task.
Who knows? It may inspire you, too! (Jeez, I can do better than that guy.)
Below is the plot as it stands today. I could try to lock down my creative work with a bunch of copyrights, but I won't. I'll simply say please be nice and even though I'm aware that the market value of this book will be extremely low, please don't steal. Ideas are easy to come by. Really.
The official plot to this years NaNoMoWri entry, "The Crime Broker."
I explain how this story is another of my great-uncle's novels published in the 1930's. "The Crime Lord" was originally run in Raven Mystery Magazine in October/November of 1936. I fill in some background of the pulp hero magazines, and the career of the my great-uncle both pre- and post-war.
Note: also add some commentary about the story and the characters. (may be best to do after story's written).
Lieutenant MacGuffy’s with the Flying Squad. A rash of high-profile robberies has hit New York City. The alarm’s gone off at a jewelry store in Manhattan, and he’s rushing there to capture the crooks. Mac arrives as the robbery takes place, resulting in a shootout. But while that’s going on, another – and larger—heist happens on the next block. MacGuffey pulls back some of his men to respond, but the crooks get away. And in the confusion, the first group is able to escape, too.
Raymond, Carlton, Nancy, Jim Roland are sitting in a drawing room of a mansion, bored. Raymond and Carlton Barr are brothers, head of Carlton Industries. Because they can pass for each other, they also both don the identity of Raven, mysterious figure of the underworld when necessary. Although collectively referred to as Raven, when Raymond assumes the role, he and his brother refer to him as Raven (as does the narrator). When Carlton assumes the role, he's privately referred to as Crow. Jim Rowland is the police commissioner who knows their secret. Nancy Whittaker is a brash young socialite who grew up traipsing around the globe with her explorer father. She's somewhat sweet on Raymond, but he's having none of that!
They’ve been invited to a small gathering of potential investors by an up-and-coming firm. X is the young lion of Wall Street, amazing everyone with his successful investments and generous returns. He cuts a handsomd figure with his lush, brown hair and pencil mustache. Raymond and Carlton are having a hard time following his presentation.
Y is the host, one of X’s investors, and very excited to recommend him to his friends. The meeting ends, and several people express interest in becoming clients – but not Raymond, Carlton or Jim. They exchange small talk with Y’s young wife, along with Nancy. Jim is called away on police business, leaving Raymond and Carlton alone with Nancy. Raymond pleads an appointment, and pulls Carlton after him.
X leaves the meeting, pleased with the number of new clients. Z is his assistant, who’s somewhat sycophantic. Z is of a slighter build than X, clean-shaven, and has thinning light brown hair. X gives him vague instructions for investment. Z has another meeting to go to as well, one he does not want his assistant to go to.
In a foreclosed office building on the West Side, a sinister meeting takes place. Seated behind a large, ornate desk is a man in a pin-striped business suit and a domino mask. He has a pencil mustache, and lush brown hair. A large bodyguard with small eyes and a broken nose stands just behind him.
A crook is ushered in. He says that the plan was successful. By staging two robberies close together, his gang was able to escape with the big haul – and as a bonus, the diversionary loot as well. His men place both on the desk. The Crime Broker takes his 50% and dismisses the men. He pulls out a ledger and completes his notes on the crime.
Another criminal enters, and makes his proposal for a crime. The Broker explains the deal: funding for the gang, and in return, 50% of the take. The crook balks at the high percentage, and threatens to go elsewhere. The Crime Broker dismisses him and warns him not to. As he leaves, the Broker instructs one of his men to follow.
Stanley is meeting with Lorenzo. Stanley is a large, strong man who is usually very quiet -- but very dangerous. He works as the right-hand man to Spud Lorenzo, an oily mob boss who has run rackets in New York for some time -- but only risen to prominence after Stanley came to work for him.
Lorenzo’s worried. The rash of crime has been good in one sense – the police are now stretched so thin that his rackets can operate almost without interference. But at the same time, he’s worried. New bosses are rising up seemingly out of nowhere. How are they funding their mobs? Stanley’s heard some vague rumors, but nothing solid. The phone rings. It’s the disgruntled crook with a proposal for a can’t lose heist. He gives some details, but what really interests Lorenzo is the mention of the Crime Broker. He sends Stanley.
Stanley meets the crook at a neutral underworld dive. The place is crowded and noisy. They pick a corner table. The crook gripes about the crime broker. Stanley presses for more info, but he suddenly catches movement out of the corner of his eye. Two torpedoes reach for their guns. Stanley flips over the table and dives. In the gun fight, the crook is killed, as is one of the torpedoes. The lead escapes.
Rowland asks Raven to find out what they can about jobs. They meet with Stanley, who has a plan of his own. He now knows of the existence of the Crime Broker. He just needs an audience. He puts out the word to that Lorenzo wants to do something big.
X and Z are working in the office. The phone rings. Z takes the call, and hands over to X. X says mysteriously that he has to leave. Z watches him go.
Stanley receives a call. The Crime Broker will meet with him. As he goes to the meeting, Raven and Crow follow. They now know where the meeting place is.
Nancy has a funny feeling about X. She decides to do a little investigating on her own, and asks Raymond and Carlton for help. There’s just something about the financials that don’t add up. Nancy talks with Y and Y’s wife, who insist that everything’s legit and they’re happy with the service. Nancy tries to have a heart-to-heart with Y’s wife, but is rebuffed, making her even more suspicious.
X and Z are going over accounts. X talks vaguely again about investments, and wants to see the special account. He likes the numbers. He then says he has an evening appointment. Z asks where he can be reached , and X does not give a number.
The Crime Broker returns the office. The crook from the first job is back. The Broker wants him to do some hijacking. One of the companies X and Z were going over details for will be shipping some valuable furs out of the city to Chicago where they will be opening a new store. The crook thinks the heat is on, and is reluctant to take it. The Crime Broker reminds him of the ledger, which he will be glad to turn over to the police. It has all the details about the crook, but the crook has nothing on the Broker, save the meeting place, which he assures him holds no clue to his identity. The crook agrees.
A second crook is brought in. he badly wants to make the big time. The broker gives him a chance, saying that if he’s caught, he’s to keep quiet and all will be well.
Stanley is too distinctive in appearance to go undercover, but he gets information about the fur heist. He passes it own to Raven. Raven passes it on to the police, who will escort the furs in unmarked cars, ready for the heist. But as the truck passes bank, the alarm goes off. The car responds, and while dealing with the bank job, the truck rolls on. As it turns a corner, the street is sealed off and hijackers swarm over it.
The bank job is a diversion created by the Crime Broker, who used the second crook as a patsy. The crook is captured, and as he’s being lead to the squad car, he’s gunned down by the Broker’s thug to ensure his silence. The police pursue the murderer as he disappears into the crowd, further drawing them away from the fur heist.
Raven also followed the fur truck at Rowland’s request. As expected, the guards were drawn off. MacGuffy was along in a second car, with strict orders not to leave the truck. They’re under siege by the robbers, until Raven arrives. Raven and Crow break up the robbery, and saves MacGuffy, who joins them in stopping the hijack. Only one crook escapes.
The Crime Broker is in a rage. He wants results. He had passed on Stanley’s proposal before, but now may be the time to try it. He calls Stanley in. A bank will be bringing in a large amount of cash, so much that it will be brought in on two armored cars. The deal is struck.
Tipped off by Stanley, Reven thwarts another Crime Broker crime. This seriously cripples the Broker’s illicit income, which also affects the dividends paid out through the laundered sources. X is having a hard time meeting expectations with investors. The Crime Broker becomes desparate and puts out a large bounty on Raven.
The first Raven hears of the bounty is when they patrol the underworld. Suddenly they’re in a flight for their lives. Stanley is able to appear as the victim, so he’s safe.
Stanley rescues Raven at the last minute, but this just brings heat to bear on Lorenzo’s mob. The running fight continues throughout the city, with the Raven and Crow becoming separated. Crow escapes with Stanley into the city, while Raven makes a break for Long Island.
In the course of his battle, Raven is severely wounded. He crashes his car into is pursuers, and makes off on foot. He sheds as much of his disguise as possible, hiding it in a culvert. He journeys on through the night, collapsing on the grounds of an estate in the middle of the night.
Raymond awakens in a bed. He’s made it to Nancy’s home. Her servants found him and are nursing him back to health. She wants to take him to a hospital, but he asks to remain. He gives her a version of the story that crooks are after him (he hints at kidnapping) and would like to lay low for a while. Nancy asks about police protection, but finally agrees that with the force stretched thin, there’s not much chance of a round-the-clock guard. Plus, it gives Nancy a chance to be closer to Raymond (who instantly regrets his decision).
Stanley and Carlton hole up in one of the hideouts Stanley has prepared.
X is killed by Z, after he realizes that Z is the Crime Broker. Raven and Stanley arrive just a little too late.
Z is unmasked in final battle in the office with the rest of his gang, and is actually taken alive.
X acted suspicious because he was having an affair with Y’s wife. That’s why he couldn’t explain where he was. Z figured it out, and used those times to hold Crime Broker meetings. He used a padded suit to fill his frame out, a brown wig and fake mustache to further convince people that he was X (should the need ever arise).
With the death of Z, the Crime Broker’s reign is through, and without the Crime Broker to pay the bounty, the manhunt for Raven is over, too.