18 October 2009

Plot resolution of a sort

I've been really pushing the plot in directions it didn't want to go, especially when it comes to the mysterious "Voice." Everything has been a stretch from his ability to manipulate people to the crazy weapon to the ancient rivalry of two guilds of typeseters and printers. It is time to simpllify the whole shebang. Here's what I'm thinking.

I've already established that about the time of WWII, Frank and another typesetter were involved in a "top printer" competition, which Frank supposedly won. The other competitor is The Voice (TV), who I'll have to name now. The prize was to become a Third Degree Master. Frank, for reasons he will explain sometime, declined the honor. TV took the opportunity to claim the rite and became the third degree master. When he found what was in the strongbox, he stole one page of the secret writing that described the Library of Alexandria and Ptolemy I's creation of the Djinn. His intent was to use the description on that page to find the Library, whether he ever found the other book with the location or not.

Unfortunately, while he was exploring in Egypt in the 60s, about the time of the Israel/Egypt 7-day war, his page of the manuscript was torn apart and a bit of it was discovered by a radical Muslim scholar who passed information on to a cell of extremists bent on the destruction of non-Muslim books. The small cult arose out of the idea that Caliph Omar had ordered the destruction of the Library of Alexandria and therefore they needed to pursue the destruction of libraries and especially to find and dstroy the remaining volumes of the Library of Alexandria.

So, that sets up the search being handed down to his granddaughter, Maddie, and his apprentice. Maddie and the apprentice (who thinks one day Maddie will be his) hatch the plot touse Keith to find the other Gutenberg. Maddie intends to use Keith in anyway she needs to in order to get what she wants, but ends up falling in love with him and betraying the apprentice. With other complications to be disclosed.

That eliminates both the backstory and the whole inter-guild rivalry thing. That was getting too complicated and too essoteric. The idea that the guild is betrayed from within by the highest ranking master brings them into a deeper internal conflict and better motivation than warring secret societies. It still, also, brings in a reason for Homeland Security and the potential for deeper destruction of libraries than what is currently implied. They don't want to herd Maddie and Keith, "they" want to destroy the library. So much for the secret weapon.