Stephen Buehler CCWC2015 - 2by Stephen Buehler

I’m there. Just about ready to send my manuscript in. I have five small corrections and then it’s off to the publisher. I had sent DECTECTIVE RULES to this particular publisher before and she wrote back that she thought it was very funny and loved the PI’s POV, BUT, she didn’t like the main character that much. Say what?

She went on to explain that she understood that he was a new and inexperienced private investigator but she read him more as incompetent than inexperienced, doing things no PI would do. She thought it’s hard to root for a character like that. That was the first time I had received that note. Could she be right? I decided that since she felt this way, other readers, maybe not all, would agree with her.Detective Rules card


The publisher offered me a Revise and Resubmit.  She forwarded me detailed notes of her concerns and was most encouraging. I agreed and dove right in. As I made the changes she had suggested I found that I wasn’t happy with other scenes and chapters. I had written the draft she read 2-3 years ago and felt that I had become a better writer since then. (I have written a novella and ¾ of another novella, plus numerous short stories after Detective Rules.)

What I thought would be a quick fix became an almost total rewrite. Most of the action was the same but after reworking it, the dialogue became crisper and truer, not forced as it had felt before. The whole process took nearly a year. I sent the publisher humorous updates along the way to let her know I was still working on it. She sent back nice emails and kept saying, “No hurry. Send it when you think it’s ready. “Send button

Now it’s ready. With one click of a button it will be out of my hands. I don’t know if the publisher will like the changes, or even the rest of the story as she hadn’t read the whole book. But I do know that it’s a much better novel with her notes and inspiration and if she doesn’t want to buy it, there are more publishers out there. (But let’s hope she does.)

I’m glad I’m finally done with DETECTIVE RULES as I’m that at that point where I can’t read it anymore. I have my doubts that anyone will like it. All the negative thoughts have invaded my mind. Time to set it free.

What to do now? On to the next project…Convert my novella, The Mindreading Murders to a full novel.

Where are you on your writing project?


Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology and A Job’s a Job in Believe Me or Not An Unreliable Anthology.  His short story, Seth’s Big Move has been accepted in the LAst Resort put out by the LA Sisters in Crime in April 2017. He is expanding his novella, The Mindreading Murders about a magician into a novel. He’s just finished the latest draft of his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. On top of all that he is a script consultant, magician and dog owner.  http://www.stephenbuehler.com



27 thoughts on “I’VE COME TO THE END…

  1. I don’t think I will ever be done with any creation of mine, even if I am done… I look at paintings, even those I have sold, and think, “I can enhance that.” I feel that about all the stories I’ve written too, like my forever dusty furniture, they could always use a little polishing. Hopefully your publisher will like it, it is off your hands for now at least, and you truly are done! Blessings on getting it published. I think with all the work you put into it, luck doesn’t enter in, just great talent. I am still getting the courage to be done on a novel.


  2. Congratulations on finishing the rewrite. From reading this blog it sounds like the changes you’ve made will be good ones and I’m sure we can all relate to that moment where you can’t look at it another moment. Best of luck. I look forward to reading it


  3. Congratulations on getting to that stage, Stephen! Best Wishes for it being snapped up now. I wish I was at the end of my next creation but the truth is that it’ll be a while. I did major rewrites to my first Celtic Fervour historical novel after I’d submitted it to a publisher back in 2011. Their historical senior editor sent me a raft of guidelines for changes- and, when done, they made a huge difference to the end product. The novel was published by a different publisher in 2012, them having accepted it immediately – of course that was after the changes had been done.


  4. I’m in the early stages of a first draft. About 20k in on a book I anticipate will be a doorstop compared to my detective stories. I have no timetable for finishing it, as I’ve never written this particular type of fiction before. It’s somewhat daunting, but I won’t let that stop me.


  5. I always find something I could do better, and maybe in the future, if there are re-issues, I will. But sometimes you just have to let go and move on. Setting deadlines for myself help me to do just that. It may not work for everyone, but it does for me. Thoughtful and good ideas. I wish you the best and hope they buy it. Doris


  6. Very encouraging post, Stephen, and CONGRATULATIONS!! I’m now working on a manuscript I began 9 years ago — the time feels right to finish it, re-work it, and publish it. Sometimes it takes awhile for a project to be “ready” but as my WIP is about “there is a season for everything.” Best of luck to you! (and I like your new photo!!)


    1. Gayle,
      Thank you for the good wishes and the photo comment. Hopefully I’m not done with Detective Rules as I hope to get notes from a publisher some day. But I’m finished working on it by myself. Good luck on your 9 year project.
      – Stephen


  7. Woohoo. Congrats Stephen. I know you worked hard on this. Fingers crossed and knocking on wood. You’ve got an excellent MS. Can’t wait until it is published.


  8. Congratulations, Stephen. And good luck! But I love what you said, “What I thought would be a quick fix became an almost total rewrite. ” Yeah, they all start out as quick fixes and turn into lifetime (or so it seems) projects 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like you are quite satisfied with your rewrite, so I expect you’ll find a publisher even if it’s not this particular person. As to me, my midpoint chapters I have posted on the online workshop have three critiques each. They await one more from my favorite wordsmith… this reviewer is really good at offering suggestions for improving paragraphs and sentences. He really understands narrative flow. Right now I’m mulling buying a Facebook ad for my fantasy trilogy… seeing if it generates any sales.


  10. Congrats on finishing your rewrite and sending it off. Hope she likes it! If not, someone else will. I’m still trying to finish my #3, then will need some beta readers. Crossing my fingers.


  11. Congratulations, Stephen. I can’t imagine what you must be feeling. I’d like to, but at the moment I can’t. I set my novel aside a year or so ago and haven’t picked it up again. I suspect I’m trying to write the second novel in a series rather than the first, and I need to just plow on through and find out if I’m right. However, I’ve enjoyed writing short stories, and that may be what I should concentrate on.

    After writing that paragraph, I have a sudden desire to work on the novel again.


  12. I know sometimes we are just done. And it’s great when we”re done we have just typed “The End”.😉 It sounds like your book is interesting, and you have a helpful friend ,and a patient publisher. I know you can’t wait to hold it in your hands. Cher’ley


  13. Congrats, Stephen, and your m/s is in great shape and I’m thinking good thoughts for you! It’s a wonderful feeling to be done…yet a bit odd and “now what do I do?” feeling, I’m sure.


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