Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Astoundingly—to me, at least—I finished a readable draft, which is now out with three readers. The first reader (writer, editor) already got back to me. He seems to think the thing is pretty solid as is, with just some minor edits needed, but we're going to talk more, so maybe there's something larger that will need work. I worked on it for several hours straight last night and sent it off without a final complete read-through, feeling simply done and ready to get responses. What a long process it's been. Within a week, I should have all comments back; I can then turn it around in a day or two, I hope (assuming there are no huge issues); then it's off to Asimov's, which I hope will take this next chapter in my tale of the Old Man.

Also, the Asimov's Readers' Award ballot is up. If you enjoyed "Clockworks," please consider voting for it:


Unknown said...

How long did it take you from end to end?

William Preston said...

Even longer than I thought. Looking through my e-mail, I see mention of my working on it in August 2010. Even before that, I know I had jotted down some notes and had some vague idea of the plot. I seemed to think I would finish it in 2010.

I wish it had taken less time, but I don't regret that it took as long as it did. My sense of the story changed tremendously over the months, and it's a much stronger piece for my having lingered (well, and dawdled) over it.

Calvin said...

Most of my stories get written over years. I do have one, now out on submission, that I started as a first draft in July 2011; but I had been thinking about the concept for several years. And starting from first draft to submission in five months, roughly, is unusually quick for me. (For example, my story "The Burst" I started in 2003.)

Good luck with the submission, although I'm sure Sheila will buy it.

William Preston said...

Thanks, Cal. I assume she'll take it, but there are no sure things. Good luck with the story you've sent out!

The only time I successfully completed a story quickly was with "You Will Go to the Moon," my first published fiction. I sped through the first draft, pretty much from start to finish, in a week, I think. It went through maybe two revisions in which I changed very little. And Bob's your uncle. Never was that process to be repeated.

In addition to one more (final) Old Man story, I have on my plate something else I've been kicking around for years and would really like to do, if I could be fully convinced that the story makes sense.