Actually, what I really want right now is a computer with a 3-D display. I've been re-reading The Count of Monte Cristo and got the notion to diagram the characters' relationships in a flowchart. OH MY GOD. So far the results have looked like something spun by a spider after five Turkish coffees.
The problem is that I'm trying to combine genealogies, romantic entanglements, and killer/victim pairings. It would be so much easier if it weren't for that asshole Villefort: see, his first wife, Renee, gave birth to a daughter, Valentine, who loves and is loved by Maximilien Morrel; meanwhile, his second wife, Heloise, kills the parents of his first wife as part of a scheme to secure a large inheritance for her son, Edouard; then there's Benedetto, Villefort's long-lost bastard son from his affair with the woman who would eventually marry Baron Danglars, whose daughter, Eugenie, Benedetto is wooing under the name Andrea Cavalcanti; and years earlier, Villefort's father, Noirtier, killed General d'Epinay, the father of Franz, who Villefort wants Valentine to marry, and this is the point at which my eyes go crossed.
Does anyone plot like this, nowadays?