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.
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.
That is today’s project.