Ashley C. Darling

It’s okay to give up reading a series—I did


So, I’m not usually one to give up on a book. There are very few I will actually delegate to my DNF pile, and only if I really, *really* can’t get through it. Two books spring to mind immediately from the last year that I DNF’d—VASSA IN THE NIGHT by Sarah Porter and RIVERKEEP by Martin Stewart. I don’t know if it was the style, genre, or some strange combination of the two, but something just put me off these books.

But I’m not here to talk about individual books. I’m here to talk about when you should quit reading a series. Or, well, when *I* decided to quit reading a series. And I know I’m going to catch so much flak for not finishing this series. It’s not YA (which is my genre of choice), but it is a beloved series by an equally beloved author—the SHADES OF MAGIC Trilogy.

I know, I know. Schwab is a master at her craft. I adored the first book, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC. I loved Lila and Kell. But as I was reading through the first 50 pages of A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, I was *bored.* That’s not a good feeling to have that early in a book. And I know its a second book, so it’ll have that middle syndrome, but really. I’m pretty sure I stopped well before 100 pages and I haven’t picked it back up in weeks. It’s still sitting on my bedside table, gathering dust and ice cream droplets and who knows what else. (I should probably put it back on the shelf…)

Maybe I’ll pick it back up in a few months. I adored the first book and its characters. Maybe 2018 isn’t quite the right time to pick up a book about magic and mayhem and darkness encroaching on the world—that lands too close to home. For now I’ll put AGOS back on the shelf with its buddies and find another book to read.

Sometimes the timing isn’t right, and that’s okay. Sometimes you need some space to really ready yourself for a heady book—and that’s totally valid, too. Whatever your reasons for giving up on a series, just know that it isn’t an irrevocable decision. There’s always the library. Or—heck!—even your own personal library where you can find the book or series again. Just because you set it aside for now doesn’t mean you can’t return to it when you’re ready. It’s not like the series will disappear.

Have you ever DNF’d a series? If so, which series? Can you pinpoint what put you off (timing, genre, characters, plot, etc)? Let me know in the comments!

2017: Writing Goals


Hey y’all! I know I haven’t blogged in a while – since July 2016! – but one of my goals for 2017 is to blog more often. Here’s a list of writing goals I’d like to achieve or be on the way to achieving in 2017:

  1. Finish a first draft of something new
  2. Edit/revise THE ADEPT (with help from my awesome mentor)
  3. Query THE ADEPT
  4. Sign with an agent 🙂
  5. Blog 3-4 times a month (more if possible!)
  6. Sell THE ADEPT (this is dependent on #3 & #4, plus other factors)

That may be about it. I’m already starting on #1 – its a fantasy with magic and war and espionage. I’m super excited about it! 🙂

As far as blogging, I’m not sure what types of post you’d like to see, so please let me know! I’m happy to oblige.

I think that’s it for this post. Have any questions? Post them below and I’ll gladly answer!