Once I had finished writing the first draft it amounted to approximately 120,000 words. I just wanted to tell the story that was the first real BJJ super hero book, in the hope that it could inspire kids to do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. I felt I had the raw materials for a good book even though I am not a trained writer. I would tell the story to anyone who would listen and the response was always really positive. So I knew I could tell the story verbally but was going to need help to tell it on the page.
I started to search for editors as every podcast I had listen to and book I had read on great books and films had a recurring theme- Great editing. It actually amazed me that when I started to search that 90% of literary editors are women. I had no idea about this profession but when I reached out to 15 or so editors most of them replied to me. Even if their response was that they were booked up and unavailable they still wished me luck and referred me to potential competitors. It was actually a really nice experience.
After a few weeks of back and forth I was able to find a firm that had a specialist in Youth Audience and teen fiction. I elected to have a Manuscript Review as I really wanted to better understand what needed to happen to make it a better story and improve the delivery of it’s key messages.
My Editor Connie who is a great human said from the start that 12 year olds are not likely to read 120,000 words. Fair play. She suggested it be split into 2 or potentially 3 books. I took the reports’ advice on board and started to restructure the Manuscript into 2 books. This was that hard to start as there are really 2 major story arcs.
- JiuGo vs Marcus the bully.
- JiuGo vs Nero Caesar Vieira.
But on closer examination rewriting and restructuring 2 books is more work than it might appear. This made everything more interesting as I had to change the way certain characters developed. Regardless this recommendation has helped me and hopefully will result in 2 great books.
At the time of writing this I have not yet resolved as to whether or not I will self publish or go the publishing deal path. I am leaning 80% toward self publishing but there is an opportunity in the works to put the MS in front of a major publisher, let’s see what they have to say? More on that next time in the Misadventure of JT in the world of writing.