Author Archives: Pamela Stewart

When I first started writing, like eons ago, people told me, ‘you have to find your voice before you can be published’. And I always wondered what they meant by that. For me, writing was telling the story in any way possible — using declarative sentences and internalizations like I had read in books.

Well, that’s part of it. 

Voice is how a writer structures their sentences. It’s what nouns they use. The length of their sentences. It’s how they decide space between paragraphs or write a single word paragraph to evoke emotion. 

Understanding voice is the difference between people loving your work or finding it derivative and not reading it at all. 

So, how do you find your voice?

These are some techniques that I used to find my writer’s voice:

At first, I studied other author’s work to learn their style. I would take a page from, let’s say Anne Rice’s “Interview with a Vampire” and copy it verbatim, by hand, (which makes a difference if you use long-hand or not because it affects your brain differently if you write something.)  

I learned how Anne Rice paced things — like how many words she devoted to describing a room or a time period. How she evokes Louisiana in the 1800s? How did she keep the plot moving by using short sentences or long sentences? How does she get me to feel sensual with her word choice?

Today, I identify other writers, like George R.R. Martin or Stephen King, that possess a skill I want to add to my storytelling arsenal. And as you examine another’s writing style, you begin to absorb the author’s rhythm —  how they break up paragraphs, their choice of nouns, verbs, etc.

NaNoWriMo

Another technique I used to find my writer’s voice was joining NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writer’s Month), which happens annually each November. NaNoWriMo is an online community of people who encourage each other to write at least 1,667 words a day for 30 days. You get those words down and don’t worry about editing. In fact, you’re discouraged from going back to edit at all. Even if it’s a story you’ll never use.

My first NaNoWriMo, back in 2008, ended up being a story I never used, but it freed my muse and made me excited to sit down and write every night because I had a defined goal and my voice emerged. 

There’s a camp NaNo coming up in July, which is a bit more flexible than the November NaNo. Join up and see if you like it or not. 

The organization provides a ton of motivation and resources.

Craft books on writing

First, I read On Writing by Stephen King. In the book, he reveals that he wrote under a pen name for a few years in the ’80s, which I recall was Richard Bachman. King wanted to see if he could still hit the best seller’s list again after Carrie. But, people knew his writing style so well that they immediately drew the lines in between the two names and figured out it was Stephen King. 

So, what is it? How did they figure it out? The words he used. The short sentences and graphic, horrific descriptions. The judicious use of adjectives. The very pattern of his stoytelling became like a familiar song. Everyone knew the tone, timbre, and styling.

Why do some people still struggle to find their writing voice and how to combat it

When someone is having trouble finding their writer’s voice, it’s usually because they are worried about judgment or not being grammatically correct. 

There’s a craft book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, which guides readers through unearthing their creative blocks, offers techniques to work through it, and ultimately, opening up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.

In the book, Cameron recommends morning pages to artists struggling to tap into their creativity. To use this technique, first thing in the morning grab a pad of paper or have your computer ready, and for 10 minutes or longer, just write whatever comes to mind. For at least three months on a daily basis, get words down on paper or on your computer before doing anything else.

And I gotta say, they are pretty freeing.

morning pages topics

Morning pages allow you to find your own way of describing things without worrying about its comprehension level or if someone will ever read it.

Conclusion

Writing is like baking — at first, you throw ideas into a cake using a trusted recipe and the cake is okay but not exactly yours. Then you learn enough about your taste to add a bit more chocolate and beat the batter a bit more, you go from being a cook to being a chef. And to have your own flavor, your own special recipe. That is what brings people back to your bakery. 

Find your own way of telling a story, find your voice. It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. 

The inspiration for the last book in my series “The Ionia Chronicles.” Featuring me and my book babies out and about.

I’d like to share with you how I came up with the kooky idea of making a slightly awkward spy-droid who grows a conscience. Take a peek into a writer’s mind…

 Zee, also known as “Destroyed” is the last in the short story series branched from the Ionia Chronicles

While I was writing my book series, the Ionia Chronicles, there was a large gap of time between the first and second book because I’m a slow writer. In this time frame, I still wanted to provide my audience with content. And in the second book of the series, there was a character that I liked, Zee. She had a rich history to delve into.

So I shared the idea with my newsletter subscribers.  The short-story was so well-received that I decided to write it as a series instead of a one-off book.

So “Defective,” the first book in the short story series, takes place in Taiwan about 50 years before the Ionia Chronicles begin. I did that as kind of a wink and a nod to all of the items that are mass produced overseas in Taiwan. You can flip them over, and it says “Made in Taiwan” or “Made in China.” Some of these products aren’t known for their quality — as they are poorly produced plastic. 

I wanted to use Zee’s story as a way to turn that assumption on its head and make Taiwan a Mecca for industry and technology, so Zee was created there.

What came to the forefront when I thought about Zee was the movie Miss Congeniality, which stars Sandra Bullock. In particular, the main character in that movie, Gracie, inspired me. Gracie is awkward and unaware of her power, yet she’s the most caring character in the movies. So I drew from that fish-out-of-water perspective because I felt that Zee would be that way, especially at the beginning of her existence. 

Similarly, Zee believes that she is defective since she isn’t like everyone else. And she is very resourceful, as she finds interesting ways out of problems and all of the death-defying situations she gets into. Above all, she makes a point to do the right thing, regardless of how difficult that may be.  I really identify with her character because I try my best to do the same as well. 

CONCLUSION
If your interested in science fiction that’s a bit different and you liked Cinder, Alita, and Data from Star Trek, try out my stories where adventure, romance, and humor await.  Just click on any of the links to get started.

Hey Ya’ll.

I’ve finished Destroyed, and it’s at the editors! I’m digging deep into my YA sci-fi and catching up on all my wonderful nerdy obsessions. (I also started a YouTube channel and have lots of cool things like my thoughts on tv/movies/books, writing, and behind the scenes. It’s a lot of fun. I added a link here and a transcript below. Leave a comment here or on YouTube. I LOVE hearing from you and watch for DESTROYED in the next month. (SO EXCITED!)

Hello! I am Pam Stewart, and I am an author of Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, and today, I am going to be discussing (if I had the license for the music I would be playing it)

No, I’m sorry — that’s bad. Actually, I just wanted to discuss what I think, better yet, who I think, has got the Iron Throne.

Please feel free to share your comments below about who you think has got the Iron Throne. I watched the first episode of season 8 and of course, it was a triumph in visual cinematography as well as script writing. I know it doesn’t have the same bite as when George R.R. Martin’s books were the source material, but I feel like the characters are so strong that it has carried onto the last two seasons. It’s still very enjoyable to watch. And I think they still have the heart of what George means to write. I hope he gets busy.

Ya hear me, George? Get busy.

I identify with him as a writer, totally, you know give him the time he needs, but get busy dude.

Okay, so before watching the last episode, I thought Dany had the throne locked up. She had the epic story, coming from nothing, and basically pulling herself up. She basically creates these three dragons, and overcomes death and destruction with fire and blood. The Dragon Queen was going to claim it. She hasTyrion on her side. She has Varys on her side. She has half of the characters that are intelligent and badass on her side. And now when she has finally joined up with Jon Snow, I thought there was no stopping her.

After watching the last episode, it came to my mind that Dany had some issues with anger management. In my opinion, she needs to get a hold of her temper. (It must be the fire, in the fire in the blood, I guess).

I found that she had a lot more empathy earlier on in the series when she was trying to release the slaves. As she progresses, she’s becoming eager to claim what she feels is hers. Dany isn’t thinking what’s best for the little people and for the Westero.

Here’s where my opinion comes in. George R.R. Martin probably has something that I have never thought about in his bag of tricks. He’s probably going to come up with something that I haven’t even considered. But after watching the last episode…I want Jon on the throne. Not only because he has the birthright (which he does).

And I think sleeping with his aunt is going to produce more problems than solutions because now there is a romance and he’s definitely going to have a rift. Hopefully, there’s no baby involved because I feel like Jon was going to marry Dany. I believe that was his plan because if you think back to like season 1 or season 2 when he met Sam. One of their discussions was why Jon had never been with anybody sexually. The reason that was because he didn’t want to leave any more bastards in the world to be raised as bastards as he was. He would have never slept with anybody that he didn’t plan on being with.

Anyway….getting back to basics, this is not Targaryen land. Even though Targaryens often married brothers and sisters. And that type of marriage is acceptable in other countries, and maybe even a few hundred years ago it was acceptable in Westeros. But judging from the way people approved of Jaime and Cersei’s relationship, and how negative a thing it was for the country, I don’t think the common people are going to allow that.

Also, the North is not going to agree with a Targaryen on the throne. I think it’s going to have to be a Stark and the only person who has Targaryen and Stark blood is Jon Snow. He has the legal right, he has the backing of the North, and he has the backing of the South once he saves them from the freaking White Walkers and crazy Queen Cersei.

When there was no hope, Jon was willing to die for them over and over again. That’s the kind of leader that Westeros needs after all of the selfish pretenders to the throne. From Stannis, who was willing to kill his own daughter, from Dany, who was willing to kill any Lord and burn them because they wouldn’t bend the knee to her. We need a new kind of ruler in Westeros, (WE-because I’m part of the country now because I love the books and the show.) I feel like they need Jon Snow, and I believe in him. Hopefully, GRRM won’t do some big switch-a-roo, but I think that Jon’s got it.

I might do more videos concerning this as the season progresses and as we find out more appalling and beautiful facts about our people and our favorite characters.

What are your favorite scenes from Game of Thrones in season 8? What you’re looking forward to? Who do you think has the Iron Throne?

If you’d like to follow me on social media, I share lots of nerdy things, everything from Star Wars to Game of Thrones. I write science fiction and fantasy books and those are also available on Amazon. Just click and follow me, and I would love to hear from you. Also, subscribe if you would like to see more videos like this. I look forward to hearing from you. Have a good day.

Hi! My site has been sort of BASIC for the last two years so I am giving it a fresh coat of paint. Still nothing fancy, but I think it looks a lot better. What do you think? Easy to find what you’re looking for? All the links working? Let me know!!