(This is how journal after journal responds to my writing.)
(This part, the part in parenthesis, is not abstract.)
(This is the boring part, in my opinion, the part that, as a reader, I just slog through, which means, it’s the part that, as a writer, I try to avoid.)
What’s wrong with abstract?
People don’t like to read abstract. They like to read real. They like to read about the nitty, gritty. They want all the details. They want all the blood and guts and gore. They want the pretty sunsets too. They want to see it. They want the words to evoke images in their brains. They want to feel it vicariously. They want the emotions. They want intensity.
They want the words to glorify:
The sun dips low, a fiery orange against the broad expanse of Lake Superior. Sky and water meet, indistinguishable at the horizon, a mingling of elements. Gulls cry mournfully their last before night, wheeling in the sky like small, frenetic splotches of ink. Waves lap at the shore, repetitive but never the same, as if whispering secrets to the rugged stones. The pine trees stand as dark sentinels, silent witnesses to the ancient rituals of dusk. The air cools, filled with the scent of wet earth and imminent darkness. I stand alone on the shore. The world is simplifying, shedding details, until only the elemental remains: sky, water, stone, and the transient fire of the sinking sun. Soon, it will all be a velvet darkness, and the lake will lie there, immense and unknowable, like the weight of my conscience.
That’s what I think, at least.
I could be wrong.
I’m wrong all the time.
What I’m not wrong about though is that I don’t want that.
I guess I want abstract.
I don’t want to mess around with fancy words. I want to get straight to the truth, a direct shot at the human truth, and while there may be emotion involved, and some description, some measure of plot and character, the stuff readers like, I am not interested in that at all.
I am interested in Truth.
Yeah, so, what is that: “Truth”?