10 October 2009

Back to the drawing board

Having decided that I will start over on November 1, I really need to settle the big questions and map out my characters and conflicts.
  1. Keith Drucker, principal male lead. Still not 100% happy with the name. Drucker is necessary (German for Printer). First name? Ready to take suggestions. Keith has to have a harder time of it all. Like Benjamin Franklin Gates in National Treasure, he has spent his life looking for Gutenberg's Other Book, thinking that it is the end of the search. He has even been ridiculed for believing it exist. Unlike Benjamin Gates, however, Keith is at home sifting through books one after another, tracking down collections and libraries. He is entirely a bookworm who makes his home among the books he loves and can't always separate reality from fantasy. I'm keeping the fact that he is a master typesetter and member of the oldest guild in that discipline. Keith is going to lose a lot in the process - possibly an eye, probably at least one finger (like his granddad), and his shoes.

  2. Madeline Zayne, principal female lead. She has to be harder and more calculating. she is a willing participant in manipulating Keith. Sex is a side benefit. she takes on the assignment intending to steal the prize and give it to the enemy. (More definition needed there.) The problem is that as she progresses in the deception she becomes truly attached to Keith, first sympathetically and then in love. She acts on principle to try to put Gutenberg's Other Book in her library's collection, but is not an evil person. Ultimately she will have to decide whether to betray Keith or to betray her cause. Though attractive, Madeline is no great beauty. She is tall, broad at the hips, and freckled all over. But that makes her more believable as the geeky Keith's love interest. He has already figured out that he isn't going to date a cheerleader.

  3. The Voice male archvillain. This whole commitment of Madeline to the cause takes a lot of unreasonable pressure off The Voice. He no longer has to have programmed her from infancy to be the perfect match for Keith and be manipulated by subtle references. He doesn't have to be omnipotent and we can actually give him some character. He has two big problems to deal with. The first is keeping Maddie on the team and providing momentum to get Keith moving. Left to his own devices, Keith would do an Internet search. We might not even need a new secret weapon, but that really provides the motivation for Homeland Security to get involved. That becomes The Voice's second major problem. He has to keep moving around and diverting Homeland Security's attention from Keith and Maddie. Of course, being an archvillain, The Voice has his own secret motivation that Maddie is not privy to. He plans to ultimately betray Maddie and profit from the adventure on his own. Ultimately he has no interest in preserving the result for mankind. got to figure his angle on that. Maybe he's actually moving the weapon to the Jihadists?

  4. Granddad - Francis (Frank) Drucker, the old mentor and idol of Keith. Got to settle in and call him one thing. Don't keep changing his name based on who is talking to him. Frank is going to die. The question(s) is (are) when, where, and to what end? This will rip Keith's only anchor out from under him. Without Frank he is easy prey for Maddie and The Voice. Because it is set up for Frank to be crucial to solving the problem, Keith has to rise to his own power while grieving for his grandfather. I will see to it that Frank meets a good end.

  5. Detective Robert Allen, the investigator working for Homeland Security who is always a step behind Keith and Maddie. Det. Allen has strong ties among the Kurds of Southeastern Turkey. His parents both immigrated from Turkey during or after the war. They became citizens and Robert - Kurdish name is Robar Allan - was born in the U.S. but his parents taught him Kurdish ways. Among the 5% of Kurds who are Zoroastrian, they are equally hated by the Turks, the Christians, and the Muslims. but because of his connections in Southeastern Turkey, it is he who actually is positioned to come to Keith and Maddie's aid when they are kidnapped.

  6. The amorphous Jihadists, a supposed threat who we never actually see, but suspect are the ones who kidnap Maddie and Keith.I have painted apicture that could justify their single-minded desire to destroy the library. They are radicals, convinced that their act, while contrary to Muslim teaching, can b forgiven on the grounds that they are carrying out Caliph Omar's instructions 1400 years later. (His instructions to Emir Amrou in Alexandria were as follows: "As for the books you mention, here is my reply. If their content is in accordance with the book of Allah, we may do wihout them, for in that case the book of Allah more than suffices. If, on the other hand, they contain matter not in accordance with the book of Allah, there can be no need to preserve them. Proceed then, and destroy them." -The Vanished Library by Luciano Canfora)

Now, on to the main plot lines.