On Writing & Storytelling: Well, What’s Next?

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“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.”John Steinbeck

After Reunion: What Comes Next?

“Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.” John Steinbeck

What “Reunion” looks like on Kindle for PC. I kept finding things I didn’t like on this page….

Now that I have finished revising my novella Reunion: A Story, it is time for me to start writing a new story.

After all, literary success – indeed, any sort of artistic success – usually does not come from one’s first critically successful work, much less one’s sole published work. (This is especially true of self-published authors, and even more so of those who, like me, can’t afford to use pricey marketing techniques such as buying ads on Facebook or other social media.)

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” Robert Hughes

Self-publishing Reunion – either in 2018, when I rushed to do so to impress one specific person, or in 2023 – was a huge step forward. It was also both a leap of faith and a “let’s test the waters to see if I can hack it as a storyteller” experiment.

Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

(Plus, and I’ll be honest here, Reunion is a story I’ve wanted to tell since I took a creative writing course in 1987. Parts of it – especially the dream sequence in the chapter titled Forgotten Dreams – were written when I was 24 years old and memories of high school were still relatively fresh.[1] Most of Reunion came later; I wrote the rest of the story around Journey’s End (the setup to the dream sequence) and Forgotten Dreams in the fall of 1998. So…I’ve been working on this one story, in one way or another, for almost 40 years.)

No Resting on Laurels Allowed!

But unless a literary agent stumbles across the novella while shopping for books on Amazon, or some other ridiculously unlikely stroke of luck occurs, I’m sure that Reunion is not going to turn me into an overnight literary success. It could happen, yeah, but the odds are…astronomical, and not in my favor.

So, I can’t sit here passively and rest on my (modest) laurels. And I can’t wish for miracles of any kind.   I need to write and self-publish more stories.

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” Jack London

Image by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay 

Fortunately, I do have an inkling – a germ of an idea – of what I’m going to do next. I can’t say much about it today; it’s still in the I wonder what would happen if…? Stage, so it’s not like a story will pop out of my head, Athena-like – and jump onto the page fully written, beta-read, proofread, revised, and finessed.

I do know who the protagonists are, and I already know I want to set at least part of the tale in a bar with a Big Band music theme.

Of All the Gin Joints in All the Towns in All the World….

Image by Christian_Birkholz from Pixabay 

Which of course, brings me to a question that I asked yesterday: What do I name this establishment, anyway?

I have five names for a bar (classy, with a bartender, servers, and live bands that play Big Band music (and sometimes, it’s just a piano bar, like the one in Billy Joel’s Piano Man!), and I’m leaning toward one, but I’m not 100% sure if it will work.

I had a sixth name related to moonlight (my favorite Big Band song being Moonlight Serenade), but I ditched it because there’s already Artie Shaw’s Moonglow listed as a choice.

Hence, this poll:

Of course, the final decision is mine; I am, after all, the guy who’s telling the story, but I am willing to entertain your suggestions.

[1] Fresh, but not 100% accurate. I’m not sure if it was because I misremembered stuff or because the “Write a flashback/dream sequence” assignment for my CRW-2001 class was due soon, but I stated that the last day of classes at South Miami High was on Tuesday, June 14, 1983.  Well, it wasn’t; school was in session on Wednesday the 15th.  A look at my high school yearbook shows that quite a few inscriptions bear the date “Wednesday, June 15, 1983,” so…yeah. I goofed when I wrote the flashback in ’87, and I compounded that mistake 11 years later when I decided to adapt that old college assignment into my first novella.  


Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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