Ashley C. Darling

POSTHUMAN (Vol. 1) — new project

Hey y’all! Now that my novel THE ADEPT is complete and in the hands of my trusted beta readers, and I have to constantly remind myself NOT to edit while its out, I’m finally working on a new project.

Basically this idea came to me fully-formed during a dream (after binge watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones, go figure!) about a pair of siblings who find out they have super powers. Its morphed into something a little more complicated than that, but I think its going to be so much fun.

I touched on the idea a little in my last post, but I wanted to use this as an opportunity to showcase the way I plan my novels! The Adept’s planning was a little different, so I’m going to show what I do here for what I’m calling POSTHUMAN. I’ll include pictures where I can and talk about what kinds of research/prompts/etc I’ve done for it.

I’m using a traditional notebook to plan this project, using Susan Dennard’s For Writers—which has all sorts of excellent advice, I must say!

So far I’ve brainstormed a little in the notebook, but most of my ideas are still in my head. I’m trying to write them down as I generate them, either in the notebook or in Scrivener. In the notebook I have the following sections: characters (primary and secondary), scene ideas, super power ideas, setting, and planning. I also have those sections in Scrivener, as you can see below.

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Here is a screenshot of my Scrivener binder for POSTHUMAN. This section is for the characters themselves. So far I have the main family—the Vanhooks—which consists of the parents and kids. I do have more characters in my notebook, like Nova and Rudo’s best friends, but I haven’t transcribed them into Scrivener just yet.

Tonight I’ve been researching super powers and their limitations. This research has given me lots of ideas for other super teens in this world and even perhaps a villain, too. 😉 I’ll let you know how that goes!

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I even started drafting a (terrible) query for this project. Really that’s there to help me brainstorm ideas for the story and the tone I want to write in. So far, I’m in love with Nova’s voice; snarky teenager who suddenly finds herself in the middle of events she can’t control. I’m looking forward to writing this more each day, but I want to have the bones down before I delve into the world.

Next week I’ll go over how I create the plot of the story. I’m by no means an expert, and this story is likely to change a few times before I’m done, but I’ll go over the beginning stages and would welcome feedback on the story and my process.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below! I’ll happily include them in my next post.

Until then, write like the wind.


Saturday Chats — My Writing Journey

Hey y’all! I’ve had some ups and downs lately, and I decided to post about them here for y’all to read. I know not many people follow my blog, but I wanted to start writing about, well, my writing. So here it goes!

These past few weeks have been spectacular in my writing world. I finished–yes, FINISHED!–the third draft of THE ADEPT and sent it off to my critique partner (CP) and a few trusted beta readers. I should be getting their feedback by June 1, so I’ll let you know how it goes! I’ve been itching to start editing, but my CP forbids it! (Thanks, Alyson! 🙂 )

I finally wrote THE END on draft 3 of The Adept!

I finally wrote THE END on draft 3 of The Adept!

So instead I’ve been working on a new story. It arrived in my brain pretty much fully formed one night. Its about SUPER TEENS. 😀 I’m super (haha) excited to work on this, since its a new concept for me, and super humans are hot right now (when are they not??). I can’t wait to flesh out more of their world and bring it to life!

I’ve been on an agent hunt for a few weeks now. I’ve got a list of around 30 agents I’ll submit to once I get my CP and beta reader’s feedback and any revisions completed. This part scares me, but at least I’ve got the bulk of writing finished. After I land an agent, there will of course be more revisions with them, and then even MORE with the editor/publishing house. So I’ve got to get used to editing!

That doesn’t mean I can slack on this new idea, though. I’ve been trying to do this draft the right way: planning, outlining, fleshing out primary and secondary characters, etc, all BEFORE I start writing. I’ve been following Susan Dennard’s For Writers website and I’m loving it. Her advice has been extra helpful in setting up this new world, which is contemporary and a new genre for me. I’m excited about this idea, and I hope it’ll be a fun adventure story.

Lately I’ve been feeling a little down about my job. It’s been pretty stressful at work and I don’t like feeling stressed about things, especially things I can’t control. I decided yesterday that I’m going to work on not letting the little things get to me, so I’m not so stressed. And if there are things I can change, I will. But for now I’m just going to chin up and remind myself that life isn’t perfect, and this job pays my bills for now. If nothing changes in a few weeks, I may have to do something, but for now I’ll deal with it.

I think that’s all I have for today. If you have any questions about me or my writing, please leave them below and I’ll answer them next week!