"The Project" needs an ending

"The Project" is what I'm currently calling my attempt at an original piece of fiction, and like most of my stories when I start them, I haven't thought of an ending, yet. This, I have noticed, is one of my major faults when writing (apart from my occassionally poor spelling and grammar). What point is it to start a journey when you have no destination in mind? You wander aimlessly and wind-up back where you started.

Of course, the beginning is a little vague at the moment, too. I'm thinking that the main story-line will be about a religion that has dominated (not ruled, mind you) a small planet for millennia, but when a new prelate (as opposed to a pope, that's very important to the structure of the story) is chosen, a rival bishop (not cardinal, mind you) accuses the new prelate of fixing the selection process (mainly because he tried it and it didn't work). In an unexpectantly violent confrontation, the rival is excummunicated (is that the right word?) from the Order. Vowing revenge (or something sinister like that) the rival creates his own Order, a sect that worships God in completely different, far less pious ways than the original Order. Why they worship and honor the same God, their philosophy on how are completely different.

This is where the theme of White (the original Order) versus Black (the new Order) comes into play. You know how a prisum divides white-light into the colors of the rainbow, correct? The obvious conclusion is that if you blend all the colors of the rainbow, you would naturally get white-light. Still with me? But take those colors in paint and put them on an artist's palate. Blend them together and what do you get? Black.

So here's the tag-line that has got me started on this story: "Light divides, Dark unites."


So back to the story, a thousand years past before a new prelate needs to be selected. The theory is that the more enlightened you are, the more magic you learn/know, so it is apparent to the bishops that the prelate was a very enlightened man to have lived a thousand years, but much to their surprise, the rival has lived that long and shows-up at the "White" Order's "Vatican" to participate in the selection process for a new prelate.

I should probably explain how the selection process works. Each bishop, elected representatives from parrishes (not exactly the word I'm looking for) across the globe, place their left hand on the Holy Book of Armicus (the founder of the Order, and the first tome(?) of recorded history), and if the book begins to glow (or something like that) the person with his or her hand on the book at the time becomes the one chosen above all others: Prelate.

The main catalyst for the story is that after the rival and all the bishops put their hand on the book, it doesn't glow! Thus begins the search for the new prelate. I would say that chaos ensues, but that's not quite what I'm looking for.

Now that I've typed that all out, I've come to realize that the ending of the story should be the prelate being found, but who is the next question.

Again, your input is very important to me, so please let me know what you think, or what you'd like to know more about, or if you'd like to add any more ideas, please don't hesitate to comment.
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The right word is excommunicate. (And if you don't mind my asking, what is with all the Catholic Church parallels?

Anyway, I just left a few ideas here .

I think in terms of plot and structure, you could have the book in two or three parts. The Schism could be the first part; and the second and/or third parts could be about the quest for the new er... leader.
This sounds like the science fiction version of the Protestant Reformation/schism.
Excommunication is these days used as a way of trying to get the person to see the error of their ways not just as a punishment.You are still considered Catholic & suppose to attend services ect.
You can also excommunicate yourself!!!
Maybe banishment would be a better word.

Years ago i succeeded in finishing a story where i wrote a plan for the whole & then divided it up into chapters & wrote individual plans for the chapters. I still changed things along the way, but it didn't end up such a big mess.
The new Prelate should be a child. You know, just to shake things up.