Step Four: Take several hours and expand each
sentence of your summary paragraph into a full
paragraph. All but the last paragraph should end
in a disaster. The final paragraph should tell how
the book ends.
Not all of my paragraphs focus on a disaster. I’m still thinking about those, but I believe I have caught the general gist of the idea. I’ve gone ahead and done this exercise for the paragraphs I came up with for both of my main characters, Marcus and Gaius.
A. Marcus Vinicius Elerius
Marcus, a Roman soldier, gives up his sword and attempts to convert after witnessing the death of Christ. The events on Golgotha cause Marcus to realize that he has not been living his life righteously. As a member of the Roman Army, Marcus has channeled his devotion into what he thought was a noble cause. Recent events help Marcus realize that there is a higher and greater good to serve. With the help of Claudia Procula, Marcus is able to resign his post without forfeiting his life.
Marcus wants to live a righteous life, but realizes he doesn’t know what that means. Everything he has held true is now suspect. The Romans obviously made a mistake, but even the Jewish High Priest pushed for the death of God’s Chosen. Too late to learn from Yeshua himself, Marcus is unsure of where to turn. His resolve is continually tested as he struggles to survive without the backbone of the army to uphold him.
After turning to Yeshua’s followers, Marcus is discouraged to learn that they will not teach a Gentile. He attempts to prove his worth, but the Saints have more important matters than worrying about an errant Roman. Miriam Magdala believes the Good News is for everyone and is willing to share what she knows. But can Marcus humble himself enough to learn God’s Word from a woman?
Marcus must survive assassination attempts and religious persecution to realize his dream of preaching God’s Word. Marcus has made a personal enemy in Appius Pulcher, whose rapid advancement in the army enables him to attempt to kill Marcus as an enemy of Rome. The Romans and Jews won’t accept him because he’s Christian, the Christians won’t accept him because he’s not Jewish, and Appius just wants him dead because he’s a traitor.
Marcus puts aside his dream of preaching to fully focus on living the principles of Yeshua. He believes he can still reach people by example, and with less risk of death. Thanks in part to Paul of Tarsus, Marcus is sure he will one day be able to minister for the Lord. After the fire of Rome and resulting Christian deaths, the church gives Marcus its blessing and he moves to begin a new church in Pompeii.
B.1. Gaius Licinius Felix
A thief searches for the mother and sister who were sold into slavery. As a child, Gaius lived a happy life as the son of a vintner. Gaius’s father, however, loved his wine too much and had a penchant for gambling. His father indebted himself to his patrons and was unable to pay his taxes. One day in his eighth year, Gaius returned from a day of fishing to find his father slain and his mother and sister taken by debtors.
Gaius want to be a wealthy and powerful citizen – one who provides a safe family and home life. He had his share of struggles growing up on his own. Once he had his family, Gaius never wants to struggle again. He wants the power and respect that come from being wealthy, and he wants a beautiful estate to bring his family home to.
If he does find his family, how can Gaius provide all that while being a self-proclaimed enemy of Rome? After living most of his life as an outlaw, Gaius is often a wanted man. He’s made enemies of his own, who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him or his family if the opportunity arose. Gaius will also learn that having the respect of Rome does not mean having the respect of his family.
Gaius must not only find his family, but also discover the man he must become in order to win them back. His mother and sister will not be swayed by wealth and influence. It is righteousness and compassion that will win their respect. Will Gaius come to understand this before his friend Marcus takes his place in their hearts?
Step 3: Characters
Step 1 & 2: Story Summary