MY WRITING: THE JOURNEY SO FAR (PART 2)

If you haven’t read part 1, check it out here.

A new idea was born in 2011. It followed Special Crime Investigation Unit Agent Tom Smith (Very original character naming) as he is assigned a case that has seen the previous two agents assigned to it, vanish. The case is to investigate a secretive society linked to multiple attacks and fatalities of criminals. As Tom digs deeper into this society and its members, he uncovers a culture that has fought for humanity for thousands of years, dealing out justice to criminals that see the rest of society as being unwilling to deal out.

The members of this society were called Venators, and each Venator, in the timeline of the stories, was genetically enhanced, providing an advantage as they hunted down criminals. Five sequels stories were written in the same year, still following Tom, who had now been gifted the same genetic mutations as the Venators, and his ongoing collaboration with the Venator society as a liaison between there culture and human law enforcement.

I was also studying at Te Kura, a correspondence school in New Zealand, through which I became friends with a fellow student and writer. Together, we co-wrote a story, combining the worlds of her stories and mine, in this case, an agency of assassins and my own Venator stories.

The world I had crafted continued to hold up and in the following year, a further 8 stories were written; 5 that featured Tom as a supporting character (although one story wasn’t completed), two spin-off stories who followed Walter, a young man who is a Venator by birth, but living in a time where the Venator society has been destroyed, and a sequel crossover story with my friend.

2011/2012 was also significant for me as it was around this time that I started exploring poetry, and had begun writing poems as well, only sharing them with a group of fellow students studying at Te Kura.

It was in 2013 however, that my writing took a huge leap forward, as I discovered and joined the online writing community, Scribophile. Learning to read and critique the writing of others, and in turn, having my own writing critique was a huge learning opportunity, as it highlighted the many shortcomings of my works to date. The site also facilitates writing groups that allow for focused discussion and critiquing of genre or topic-specific writing, a handful of forums to discuss writing, publishing, books and everything in-between, as well as a few dozen writing resources that teach key writing concepts.

To top it off, I found the community on Scribophile to be incredible friendly and helpful, as well as very self-regulating, thus there were very few negative personalities floating around, as they simply couldn’t swim in the waters that the community nurtured.

Inspired by my newfound knowledge and experience, I took the core idea of the Venators and went back to the drawing board. As this reinvented story began to develop, it naturally grew bigger than any of the stories that I had written before; where the original set of Venator stories had averaged about ten and a half thousand words each, this new take reached the dizzying new heights of 70k! And objectively it was an altogether better story too – the dialogue was more natural and structured better, as well as more of it, creating scenes that flowed and flew like conversations people would actually have. The world was more fleshed out and shown rather than told.

That reworked story has gone through 4 separate rewrites to date, incorporating new feedback from friends, family, and other writers, as well as new lessons learned along the way. One of my goals is to continue the development of this story, as I would like to become a published author one day. My current WIP is a sequel to that reworked story, which I feel I’m currently half way through and sitting at the 50k mark currently. And that, in short, is my writing journey to date, and hopefully it will continue to develop and grow, leading to who knows where 🙂

My Writing: the Journey so far (Part 1)

So here I find myself, at the start of a new year. And, as many of us do, we make resolutions and set goals for the things we’d like to achieve in the year to come.

I’m setting quite a few goals this year, one of which is to get this website up and running (and to actually use it), but two of my other goals are to a) improve the technical quality of my poetry and b) to make more consistent progress on my current fiction WIP.

As I’ve starting thinking about these goals and how I want to develop my writing, I thought it a good opportunity to reflect on my writing journey thus far, where I started, and where I’ve managed to get to.

I started writing somewhere between the ages of 11 and 14 – I can’t remember exactly when – but I’d written my first story by 2008. This first story was told over the course of 9,801 words, and was dubbed “Sivhardar: The Dawn”. Its protagonist was a boy called Dino Sivhardar, a member of a race of super-powered humans, known as Wild Humans (naming conventions of an 11-year-old :/ ). Each member of this race was imbued with a range of powers, the full range of which was known, and each individual having some combination of those known abilities. Our MC, was special (because chosen one cliche) and had all of the known powers. As such the story followed Dino and his sibling’s journey as they ran from a villain trying to exterminate Dino while he was young, fearing the power he would learn to use with time.

That first story was followed by four sequels, each story averaging around eight and a half thousand words, and they followed Dino’s adventures into adolescence and then through adulthood, as he faced off against one villain or another.

Another year lead to 5 spin off stories, four of which followed the adventures of Dino’s nephew. These stories were shorter compared to the original stories they had grown from, and one didn’t even get finished off, both of which were perhaps symptomatic of an idea going stale.

At 15, a new story came to mind: Futuretech was set in an alternative, future New Zealand, and followed Norman Ironsditch, whose inventions started to revolutionize the world and accelerate humanities technological development. From handheld, multi-functional smart devices to small spacecraft capable of flying in and out of the atmosphere without rockets, Norman was creating it all.

Three sequels followed Futuretech’s adventures as they made first contact with aliens as a battle-damaged mother-ship limped its way through the solar system, moon colonies, time travel, personal fight suits, mind-control devices and for the grand finale, the colonisation of another world.

After those stories, I came up with an idea for a new story, and that idea, broadly speaking, has been my working focus for nine years. But the details about that idea will be coming in part two, so stay tuned!