I got my own introduction to Bacigalupi only recently through the io9 book club. If you visit the book club’s ‘ask Paolo‘ page you can see where I questioned him about how he plotted his intricate, multi-character novel. (Actually, what I said was “Where did you start?”). And he explained that plotting was indeed a challenge.
“One of my big concerns about the book was that it didn’t have an overarching plan or structure to guide it for a long time. I just kept writing drafts until the elements that interested me seemed to bind together,” he told me. It’s a process I know a lot of writers can relate to.
In an interview posted Monday at Techland, Bacigalupi decribes writing as a “try, fail, learn cycle. You have to be able to take that again and again. And those failure moments, you have to go, OK, why did I fail? What did I learn from this? How can I reapply this and go again?” Words to live by, if you ask me.