Monday, April 6, 2015

Research and Writing

Cassiodorus Letters, writing research, research details for writing, the used virgin

Research and Story

The Letters of Cassiodorus prompted a short story.  Among the many letters Cassiodorus wrote for the Ostrogoth king, Theodoric, was a punishment that did not make sense. 

Idea Prompt

Originally I read the letters as background research for a novel. When I came across the letter banishing a man for six months which has prompted scholars to ponder, I had an idea. Who better to solve this mystery than the hero of the novel? 

Build the Story

The idea was born. I placed the character in time two years before the novel begins, 512 C.E. Populated the world with people, from our hero to the self-absorbed and venal governor. Created minor characters. Enlarged the setting of the governor's villa. Gave him a penchant for being a wine snob. 

Format the Story Structure

The beginning and the middle lead to the punishment mentioned in the letter. Along the way, our hero practices reading Greek, the governor's treachery is revealed, a teenaged girl is used as a foil, a thunderstorm triggers a fall from a horse, a rooster attacks our hero, big guys start a fight, the caldarium of the bath soothes wounds and spirits. 

The End

That is today's project.

Zara Altair

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