The rain fell like a waterfall, and as a fish out of water, I tried to find home. Then evening was dark as hell, as if all heaven had taken a holiday. It was like someone pulled the stopper from a giant crevice leading to the netherworld.
It gets wearisome. Please watch how you form your sentences. Don't be heedless like a writer who takes no care. Write as well as a pro, because as our words go, so goes our acceptance rate. Maybe look into the metaphor? But again, anything can be overdone. Variety, diversity, is key, as is pacing, which I'll talk about another time.
2. Avoid the word "I" as much as possible, because it's so easily overused as well. An essay or prose poem becomes boring very quickly when the emphasis is solely our experience told with too many "I"s. Form sentences "I"-less, as often as possible. Make universal connections, thoughts that others can relate to, without "I"ing them to death.
I considered what to do with my life, but I couldn't decide. Would I be better off as an electrician or as a doctor? Or maybe I would simply become an artist and sell my work on street corners. I just wasn't sure. So I thought and thought about it, and one day I finally came up with a solution. I would be all three! I knew I was now on my way. I was so very happy. I can't tell you how happy I was.
Editorial selection is quite subjective, *I* realize, but for me, personally, something a little more universal, especially in the realm of creative nonfiction, and absolutely with prose poetry, is desired. *I'm* sure there are editors out there interested in a person who decides to become an electrician, a doctor, AND an artist. Even so, make the story a little more appealing, eh?
3. "Now" is a strong pet peeve of mine. Again, each editor is different, but this word attempts to bring the reader, I assume, into the moment, but all it does is point out a lack of originality. Saying that, to my annoyance, some of my favorite books have several instances of "now" in them -- I mark them with a yellow highlighter. Ha.
Now we're walking toward the forest, sunlight streaming down hard. Once inside, we look for a path, the one Robert Frost may have referred to. Now, having not found it, we retrace our steps and enter the sunlight once more.
4. Similarly, "Today I look..." or "I look" or "I peer" or .... Just a few of what some call "distancing" words, these are weak substitutes for creative construction of lines. Try a little harder? I won't enumerate them all, but you can do a Google search. But do remember that rules, in the hands of a skilled writer, are meant to be broken. But only in the hands of a skilled writer. Until some have put in the effort, it's often best to at least initially follow the rules.
Now I look for something as simple as a rock. I'll peer, I think, into the field first, then alongside the highway. I may even glance along a rural road or two.
4. Then there are what I call the "slack words," those which mean and do very little but fill up space. Yet at the same time we don't want our writing so tight that it can't breathe. The fine balance is what we seek, the strong writing and the good story in tandem. This is similar to pacing, but not quite the same. Maybe we could call this "the pacing of language" rather than line pacing.
Today I looked around at all the many fine birds flying through the air and I wondered how long before lunch. Isn't the sky lovely, I thought, as I gazed upon the wondrous blueness. (Too much)
Birds flying. Lunch. Lovely sky. And oh the blueness. (Too little)
Neither are lastingly appealing. But hopefully these give you a general idea of what I'm trying to get across. Little pieces always make up the bigger picture.
2. Why your work may be rejected: a) the sheer number of submissions -- choices have to be made, and often they're tough choices to make, but make them we must; b) the theme or fit within the whole may not be compelling enough; this is incredibly subjective; c) for EIR, the wide audience focus may be overlooked, and the material may be a better fit for another venue, especially if it contains very mature themes or rough language (swearing); d) your work isn't edited as well as it should be; for example, in Issue 12, we received at least 2 different author instances of "lightening" when "lightning" was meant, and a number of pieces of work had more than a few punctuation, spelling, or missing word issues.