Authors, Writing Tips

Bacigalupi: try, fail, learn

If you’re not familiar with Paolo Bacigalupi, then allow me to make the introduction.  He’s the author of the excellent and highly critically acclaimed novel The Windup Girl.

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.

(You can also read my review of The Windup Girl at Goodreads.)


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