My Editor

Mar 28th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 3 min read

My little series on influential people in my writing career wouldn’t mean nearly as much if I didn’t touch on my second biggest supporter – my editor and best friend. Who’s always in your corner cheering you on? That December that I began writing again, the first person I let see my work, was my best friend. It was bad. It was clunky and I…

Suzanne Collins

Mar 21st, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 3 min read

Suzanne Collins means something to me that Louisa May Alcott can’t touch. While Louisa inspired me, encouraged me, gave me the courage to write, Collins saved my life. When you read the book that changes your life there is a distinct before and after. Am I crazy saying that? Is it only me? I doubt it. I will never forget where I was, what I…

My First Critic

Mar 14th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 4 min read

Whenever you put yourself out there, you’re going to get some negative feedback. Depending on how you handle criticism and how it’s given you can either grow from it or die from it. I’m still learning how to push past critique. I have always been a sensitive soul. It drives me crazy. I’ve told myself to grow a thick skin and buck up a lot….

Louisa May Alcott

Mar 7th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 6 min read

My series for March is the four most influential people in my writing career. And what better person to kick it off with than Jo March? I remember learning to read and reading board books. The magic of letters having sounds and the sounds making words and words making a story. I remember realizing the way a character spoke gave them a voice all their…

Character Playlist

Feb 28th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 3 min read

When I started writing again, I found having music going in the background helped me to zone in. I was not a silent worker. I listen to music and I talk out loud. Most of my runs help me to plot out next the chapters. We started paying for Spotify and there was no going back. When I started writing Dandelion, I took the whole…

Character Binders

Feb 21st, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 3 min read

My favorite tool for creating characters is my character binders. I got this idea when I started writing my first novel. I had scraps of ideas all over the place and knew I needed to organize it all. I created binders and a BuJo for Characters When Dandelion started to come together, I began writing a lot of backstories. Dee’s relationship with Aaron was complicated,…

Character Boards

Feb 14th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 4 min read

I’m a visual learner. If I want to learn a new art technique, cooking skill, house repair, I look for videos and pictures to walk me through the steps. When I got serious about my writing I realized I could do the same for my characters. I used Pinterest to work for me. As I imagined my characters, I often got a “feeling” about them…

Character Series

Feb 7th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 3 min read

That Stephen King quote hangs in my old writing cabinet. The cabinet that used to house my computer before we turned the extra bedroom into my studio. It is one of my favorite quotes. I think about it when I begin a new book and often when I begin a new chapter. An opening line can hook a reader, but great characters keep them coming…

My Day

Jan 18th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 5 min read

My life is kind of boring. For all intents and purposes, we, I do the same things day in and day out. During the school year our routine is fairly set and, honestly, I like it that way. I have the kind of personality that enjoys predictable rhythms. I took predictability and made it work for me. This year our schedule changed and shifted and…

Process

Jan 12th, 2019 A.R. Stanley, A.R. Stanley's Musings arstanley 4 min read

My word for the year is Process. I’m excited to watch the year unfold and see where this word takes me. My word last year helped in my personal life a lot, but I did not feel it touch my writing much. I think this year will be a marvelous combination of both. I’ve spent the last six years trying to refine my process of…