The secret to Paolo Bacigalupi's success: "The willingness to write four novels and f#@k them all up"

Don't miss this terrific interview with science fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi on Techland, talking about his journey to publication:
I wrote four novels that I never sold before I wrote The Windup Girl. So I've been writing for, now, it's been about 15 years. I guess it was 13 when I sold The Windup Girl. I wrote a science fiction novel that did get a low-ball offer that I ultimately passed on, on the advice of my agent. Thinking, well, my first novel got an offer, I can write another, and that one's gonna be a sky's-the-limit type of thing.

I wrote that second novel, but I actually pushed over to historical fiction. That one treaded closer to what we'd call mainstream fiction, as opposed to genre fiction. And then the next one after that was straight out literary fiction. You know, love of landscape. This thing about the rural west. I don't know. It was what it was. And then after that I wrote a mystery-slash-western sort of novel. A modern western, a postmodern western, really. And then I started writing short stories and science fiction again.

...When I went to college I could write essays and all that stuff—really tight, clean stuff. And having the raw was meaningless, ultimately. It was the willingness to write four novels and fuck them all up and keep going that was the definer. It wasn't the ability at all. Yeah, the willingness to accept failure and not let it stop you, and to not let that define you.
Read the rest of "This is What it Takes to Write a Novel.


Colleen said…
If that's the key to success, I believe I'm in business! LOL. Loved this! Thanks for sharing. And thanks to Paolo for this bit of earthy truth.
nomoreptc said…
Impressive!... I love business too.

go public

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