Much has been said about my research into Molly, but little about the writing process. If anything, it has been even more manic than my time spent with The Reader. Most of the rough draft of my narrative’s first entry was written in a mere week. 76,000 words in seven 12-16 hour days.
If that sounds epic, consider that I have become so familiar with this story that it was just a matter of moving it from my brain to the computer. Plus, I have an interactive outline to work with–the documents on The Reader.
As soon as I had this draft prepared, I realized that a portion of the next events in Molly’s life deserved to be included as well. This brought the word-count up to 85,000. With only 50 pages left to edit, the final count of my first manuscript figures to be right at 100,000 words. If I were setting out to write a science fiction novel, I couldn’t have done any better.
In fact, the overall structure of this first entry is startling for its neatness and simplicity. Ten sections, each one composed of around 10,000 words, or roughly 30 pages if I ever format this for publication. That early events in Molly’s life could be detailed with such a beautiful layout is fascinating, even if coincidental.
The moment of panic came when I uncovered a document deep in The Reader which contradicted another report. I quickly went back and looked at my original source, and saw that a minor detail in a battle report could have been read two ways. I had read it incorrectly, reproducing this mistake in my narrative.
After a rough set of re-writes to reflect this new, and more accurate information, I feel that the events unfold in a more readable (and accurate) manner. The sensation, however, has not left me. What else have I gotten wrong? I’m beginning to think that I need a second person looking over my shoulder. Someone capable of catching any mistakes I might be making.
My wife, of course, serves as one line of defense. She reads my drafts and checks for inconsistencies and poor word choices. But any attempt to get her to look over The Reader leads to the little spiffs that we amusingly call “arguments.” She has, after all, seen what the infernal device has done to my life.