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 🙂