Today’s #CleanWIP theme and collaborative article is Skill. [More info]

Photo by Jon Kline

~ Steven F. Freeman ~
In my “day job” I’m a project manager. Needless to say, I use a “plotter” writing style. Nefarious, the first book of my thriller/mystery series, seems an appropriate fit for the readers of CleanWIP Magazine: no gratuitous violence, minimal swearing (only the softer words a few times), and no sex at all. It features a budding romance. I’ve had several reviews mention that Nefarious, being a clean read, was a nice change of pace.

Scott R. Rezer ~
Yeah, I got nuttin’… I can’t type. I don’t plot. Half the time it feels like I’m just winging it. The closest thing I have to a skill, is more of a gift—the gift of teaching. And it helps because as an historical fiction author, it gives me the ability to relay in story fashion what some might consider boring history in an interesting manner that brings it to life.

~ Margaret Skea ~
The nearest I have to a skill is knowing my limitations and what I should outsource in terms of the steps needed to publish – cover design, editing and formatting, rather than making a mess of them myself.

~ Kim K. O’Hara ~
Let’s see… I have a skill as a teacher, mom, and grandmother to make the kids in my stories come off pretty realistic. I have a skill as a yearbook adviser to edit and format my own books. I have a skill as a researcher to make my historical chapter books (as yet, unpublished) fit well with actual historical events (I found a map of actual roads and distances in 1838, for example).

~ Jessica Marie Holt ~
I started out as a poet, so I’ve always had a skill for lyrical writing that packed the most meaning into the smallest amount of space. Then about thirteen years ago, I became a copywriter. I’ve literally written thousands of product descriptions in very specific formats, with narrow word counts, in compelling language. So I’d say the skill that has helped me as a fiction writer has been balancing lyrical, vivid prose with really concise writing. That lets me layer a lot of meaning into stories, even if they’re shorter. It makes my books feel like a quick read, and gives them a hand-crafted, feel, where every word is very intentionally chosen. On the lighter side, my overall nosiness, wild imagination, and ability to leap headlong to unwarranted conclusions have greatly helped with my ability to write compelling fiction.

~ Laurean Brooks ~
I can’t think of any particular skill besides spelling and grammar that have helped me in the writing/publishing world process– unless it’s the ability to easily make friends. Maybe it’s my goofy sense of humor. I don’t know, but I consider it a blessing to have patient friends who’ve helped or encouraged me when I was at the point of tears and ready to quit. A couple of them helped me put books up on Amazon. Others have volunteered to be beta readers. If I hadn’t had these helpful friends (you know who you are), I would have given up a long time ago. Because honestly, I’m a technical Klutz.