THE CHARACTERS AND OUTLINE
More than two characters would complicate things, I kept it simple. The protagonist would be scared of the procedure (Garvey). The other would be a kind of intellectual type (Mavelle) who could provide helpful info along the way. Mavelle would also be the catalyst and general trouble-maker. I liked the idea of him trying to escape and pulling Garvey into it almost against his will.
I knew one challenge would be to make the reader empathize with a protagonist who is worthy of execution. I decided on Garvey being a reformed murderer who considered himself a completely different person than the one who committed the murderer. I also tried to make him likeable through the way he described things.
Working on the outline, I discovered that at least one turning point would require a major coincidence. I decided to push the weird rules of quantum events to make any contrivances more acceptable to the reader.
To help provide exposition, I made the beginning a lives news report where an interview could sum up the situation even as Garvey’s situation began to unfold. I stole the reporter character Fay Carson from a previous short story I wrote called "Formless and Void."
I wrote about 1,000 words and Garvey wasn’t even miniaturized yet. With only 3,000 words left before maxing out, I already knew I would have to do two things on the rewrite. Trim things way down, killing some “little darlings,” and try to consolidate exposition and action even more.
Once I got into the story however, I felt better about the possibility of it working.