As I'm writing this, I have already decided exactly what my story is, so I'm going to have to start from the beginning with how i got to this point, and how my original idea was a big cliched bag of arse. (my current story is still a little cliched, but i don't think it's nearly as bad as it was) In the original story, my main character and plot focus was going to be the boss of a mafia that operated during the prohibition era, basically trying to take over as the 'kingpin' of organized crime through a series of delightful murder based japes.
But after a lot of research on the subject of prohibition, i realized that organized crime wasn't really all that organized back in 1920, as the Cosa Nostra (Sicilian Mafia) had only been active in the United States since the late 19th Century, was made out of poor Italian immigrants running away from Mussolini and made relatively little profit from protection rackets and robberies, it was the huge profit made from bootlegging that propelled many small time thuggish criminals into something resembling the modern day 'mafia' archetype. The closest thing to a Godfather style 'Don' would probably be Arnold Rothstein, who was basically the Steve Jobs of organized crime, and was supposedly the first of many individuals to look at prohibition as a business opportunity.
After all this research, i decided to shift focus to a younger character who begins with nothing, as many did in 1920, gain his riches through bootlegging and a light sprinkling of murder, only to lose it all through a combination of too much bravado and basically being a dick to those closest to him. He would then grow old filled with regret at how he destroyed his life, and die feeling bitter about his life choices.
I have kept that basic plot line, but it has been altered many, many times, with characters being invented, designed, scrapped and replaced several times a week. For SEVEN MONTHS...