So today is Friday which is when I post the music I've found during the week but today I read a great blog post and it made me think that I wanted to post about slightly more than music. Using music as, you know, a segue. The blog post was by Mary Kole (an agent) and it was about ideas versus execution. Which was better -- a novel with a great idea or a novel that was written well.
Well, her post says that part just like I would. But it's the closing bit that she brings up that interested me, because I get a fair number of e-mails about it. She says that ultimately, execution wins, and that's why you don't need to worry about people stealing your ideas. And that's what I want to talk about. Because I get absolute wads of people discovering that I'm an author and telling me that they have an idea for a novel. And then I get more wads saying that they want a critique partner but they're afraid that someone will steal their novel idea.
Which is where MUSIC SEGUE comes in.
Let us look at two examples here.
Boys and girls, that is "Don't Walk Away, Renee," first by the Left Banke, and the second by the Four Tops (I own both, thanks very much)(one of my favorite songs -- it aches).
It's the same tune -- the same "idea" -- but the execution is what's different. They're more similar than a lot of remakes, though. Think of Johnny Cash's version of the Nine Inch Nail's song "Hurt" or Marilyn Manson's version of Soft Cell's "Tainted Love." Jose Gonzalez's "Teardrop" versus the eerie original by Massive Attack. You go on youtube and search for those songs, you'll find those, but you'll also find a bunch of rabid fans with badly tuned guitars (why does no one tune their B string? Ever?)(why do I keep using parathenticals today?) singing their versions of those songs.
If you're like me, you'll groan if the latter is all you find. You want the real song -- a real version by a real band. It's not just about the idea. It's the execution. It has to be professional, and to your taste at that.
We can take it a step further and talk about this in movies too -- fairy tale retellings are a great example. Disney's Cinderella and Ever After are both the same story of a hot girl pressed into menial labor before busting out into happy ending land. The idea is exactly the same. (Actually, in Hollywood, this happens a lot -- did you notice that Pixar's Cars and Doc Hollywood are the exact same plot/ idea, with different trimmings?)
Okay. So my point. My point is that a good idea is a wonderful thing to have. A great idea's even better. But
1) it's not enough. Otherwise you're just the fan video on Youtube, not the real thing. It's like . . . there are a million Harry Potter fanfiction stories out there, but you'll notice fans were still dying for the last book by J. K. herself. Execution. You have to learn how to make that idea shine and fill it out as good as it can get. Nothing worse for me than picking up a novel with a glowing premise and no follow through.
And 2) no one's going to steal it. And even if they did, they'd have to learn how to execute it amazingly. And even if they did know how to execute it amazingly (in which case, why aren't they writing their own damn ideas?), it would look entirely different from your version of the thing. So. Don't let fear of theft get in the way of finding you a critique partner. There are much better things to be afraid of, like crappy critiques.
Wow, I am so helpful today.
I think I better just post the music I found last week. (as usual, if you love it, go buy it legally, or I'll be extremely vexed and hex your family pets).
1. "A Homeward Bound Overture" - Bruce Broughton
2. "Anitra's Dance" and
3. "Arabian Dance" from Grieg's Peer Gynt (I used to write creepy faerie stories to the first as a teen)
4. "Playing Tag and Magnificent Horse" - Carmine Coppolla (from the Black Stallion soundtrack"
5. "The Legend" - from the Black Stallion soundtrack
6. "The Prince of Persia" - Harry Gregson Williams
7. "Waltzing Matilda" - Ophelia of the Spirits (I have a million versions of this song, which is the saddest happy song ever)
8. "Ashokan Farewell" - Jay Ungar (replacing a disc)
9. "Fate Has Smiled Upon Us" - Marc Streitenfeld from Robin Hood
10. "There is a God in You" - Ramin Djawadi from Clash of the Titans (I listened to "release the kraken" too, because I realllly wanted to like it, but it wasn't what I needed)
And my favorite, because it sums up everything important about FOREVER, "Welcome Home" by Radical Face. (The video is beautiful too).
The lyrics - OMG - the lyrics on that song. When he gets to "ships are launching" I perish every time.