Ashley C. Darling

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!


My Favorite Books of 2015

Last year, I set a goal to read 30 books. In the end, I actually read 27 books. Not bad considering I also worked full-time, wrote a few drafts of my first book, was an editor for a pop culture website, and had a personal life outside all of that.

Even though I read close to 30 books last year, there were only a few that stood out. Here are my 10 favorite books I read last year:

Top 10 Books 2015

Out of all those, four were young adult fiction (historical/fantasy), five were adult fantasy, and one was cross-marketed as young adult / adult science fiction (Red Rising).

That ratio definitely fits in with my normal reading style: I read about half young adult and half adult fiction, usually fantasy or science fiction. I enjoy some historical and contemporary novels, but my heart lies with fantasy and sci-fi. Its also interesting to note that six out of ten of those books were new reads for me, while four were re-reads.

What were your favorite books from 2015? Did you set yourself a goal? Did you meet it (or not)? What about this year?

What book(s) are you most looking forward to this year? Let me know!

Under Construction!

I am in the process of setting up my website. If you have stumbled here on accident, please feel free to look around. However, please excuse the mess while the site is under construction!