I say "beginnings" not so much because this is a first draft but more because it isn't, yet. I'm probably 10,000 words away from a full first draft so really won't be done till the end of December, but this is the meat of the story. And after some casting about and back and forth and circling and sniffing of butts (symbolically, like dogs do when they're trying to figure out if they like each other, not literally; Vinnie's not the least bit gay), he and I found a better, more Noir-ish voice for him. I don't think it will take away the fantasy, musical number sort of visions he has when he's still a teenager, but it does better suit the darker things he "sees" as he gets deeper and deeper into the morass of criminal life.
Needless to say, this will not be like "Serpico" or "The Fench Connection" or "Prince of the City" or any of those. It's more like a light-hearted version of "Heart of Darkness". Hm...is that sentence an oxymoron?
Now I'm going out for a nice long walk to clear my head. Then I have to deal with the mail piled up on my desk. Oh, joy.