I was driving down to San Diego to watch the final show choir competition of the school year and I had the radio on. The annual Coachella Music Festival was happening somewhere out in the desert and I was hoping to find out who was there. It's kind of ultra-cool to go to Coachella and so, not being cool myself, I have never been. But if you are into up-and-coming, awesome bands and the like, then sweltering out in the desert for three days of concerts is the place to be.
But again, I was did not go. I went to the show choir competition.
However, the DJ on the radio was interviewing the members of a British band called Foals. I have to admit, I am a sucker for an accent. So, these two boys were talking about their artistic process (I am a sucker for artistic process) and saying that they were changing the way they were creating music*. In the past, they took a very calculated approach. They knew just what they wanted in a song. They knew just what there needed to be in that song for it to be "successful." But they were frustrated because they weren't creating. They were just producing stuff.
The gist of their conversation was that they stopped thinking so much about what the song needed and instead tried to let the music unfold itself. They said the music should emerge Elegantly, Ruthlessly and Honorably.
Of course, it made me think about writing. I want to write elegantly, ruthlessly and honorably. And I want my books to reflect that. I don't want to list ingredients and pour them in a bowl and hope that a book comes out. I want to rely on the format** less and the story more.
* I am paraphrasing.
** yes, ironic coming from a writer of easy readers. But I am nothing if not a contradiction.
Now that you sat through my weekly inner-writer turmoil, you get a prize. In January at ALA, I got some great ARCs and I promised to pass them on (but I had to read them, first!) so that other folks can read them and get the word out about them. This week, I am giving away these three books:
If you would like to be entered in the drawing for these three books (that's right, winner take all!) then just leave a comment below. I read and enjoyed all three of them, however please note that they are from my stack of YA ARCs. YA stands for young adult. Middle Grade ARC giveaway to come soon.