by 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.
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. “
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