Here is the chapter outline for my novel. I really wrestled with this, trying to figure out if I had enough of a story to make it ten chapters and how to resolve it. I’m not sure if I’m completely satisfied yet, but I think I’m finally starting to understand where I’m going with this. And if you have any suggestions as to things to add or parts to make it better or different chapter titles or anything else you can think of, please, comment away!
And also, if you are interested in following my novel more in-depth, please visit my novel blog where I’ll be posting probably all my actual chapters.
Chapter One: Capernaum’s Potter
As his daughter twelve-year-old daughter Abihail watches, Jairus carefully finishes spinning a vase for her on his potter’s wheel. After completing this and closing up his shop just before sundown, Jairus and Abihail return to the adjoining house for Sabbath dinner and discussion with Keturah.
Chapter Two: Seeking Truth
The Sabbath passes peacefully, and Jairus takes Abihail with him for to drop off a pot at the shop of his brother-in-law, Mordecai, in exchange for a pair of sandals. The two get in an argument over their two different styles of seeking truth: Jairus, through the Law, and Mordecai, through action.
Chapter Three: The Stones of Rome
In the midst of this heated discussion, two Roman soldiers come into Mordecai’s workshop and demand to do business with him. Mordecai vehemently insults these symbols of Caesar’s rule, and his brashness results in a fray. Jairus tries vainly to keep the peace while Mordecai is arrested, and Abihail accidentally cuts her leg on an awl trying to get out of the way.
Chapter Four: Now Mine
In shock from this drastic turn of events, Jairus takes Abihail home to have her wound tended, consults with Keturah as the best course of action to free Mordecai, and struggles internally with his circumstances. The conflict he has gone out of his way to avoid is now his.
Chapter Five: Confrontation [Subject to Change]
The next afternoon, Jairus goes dutifully to the barracks of the soldiers to see the centurion about Mordecai. A God-fearing man, the centurion works with Jairus to arrange Mordecai’s release. He also tells the potter how Jesus healed his servant, planting a seed in Jairus’ mind. The centurion orders Mordecai to be brought out.
Chapter Six: Thunder and Silence
The soldiers bring out Mordecai, and just as the two walk begin to walk home, the sky grows dark with a sudden, Galilean squall. The two men struggle to make it to Mordecai’s small house in the gale. They make it in the door and dry off. Mordecai grudgingly thanks his brother-in-law and invites him to stay until the storm abates. Suddenly, the storm dissipates as if God had bid it be still. [I feel like this chapter needs further development.]
Chapter Seven: Pieces
In the stillness, Jairus returns home to his family and realizes it is only the calm before the storm; Abihail’s wound is not healing. A few days reveal that, despite all her parents’ attentions to her, her cut is severely infected and a fever sets in. On examining her, the physician pronounces her case hopeless with only days to live. On hearing this, Jairus drops the vase he made so carefully for Abihail, and it shatters to pieces at his feet.
Chapter Eight: Seeking Him
Jairus’ desperation is mounting; the meaning of Abihail’s name, ‘a father is strength’, seems to mock him everywhere he turns. The only possibility he can think of is the rumors he has heard that Jesus of Nazareth can work miraculous healings. Overcoming all his scruples about his public reputation, he goes to find this traveling Teacher. As it turns out, Jesus has not yet returned from across the lake, and Jairus waits impatiently for his arrival. Finally, Jesus and his disciples pull up on the lakeshore.
Chapter Nine: Life and Death
Pushing his way through the crowd, Jairus throws himself at the feet of this Man and begs Him to come and heal Abihail. Jesus consents, and they begin to make their way through the mass of people to Jairus’ house. A suffering woman touches Jesus and is healed; He stops to identify and talk to her. Jairus is desperate, knowing every minute is counting if his only child is to be healed. Then Mordecai arrives with word that Abihail is dead, and Jairus’ desperation becomes despair. Jesus comforts and challenges him, saying, “Don’t be afraid; only believe, and she will be well.”
Chapter Ten: Arise
Jesus, along with three of his disciples, comes into Jairus’ house, bids the mourners cease, and quietly raises Abihail. Her parents are amazed and overjoyed, and Jesus charges them not to tell anyone what has happened. Jairus begins to see what Jesus means by, “Don’t be afraid; only believe.”
[And I have yet to figure out exactly how this will resolve and show the changes in the characters as well as how I will tie up the loose end with Moredcai.]