Joe Abercrombie Takes Questions
Over on his blog, Joe Abercrombie has begun answering reader mail:
When did you know an idea was good enough to pursue and when you started writing, at what point did you realize your novel was good enough to go public?
Good enough, good enough, when is it good enough? I think the quick answer to this is that every writer worth their salt always thinks their writing is the best thing evah. And that every writer worth their salt always thinks their writing is worthless shit.
Full Answer: HEREThe task of writing a novel is huge, complex and challenging far beyond any writing that most people will ever take on. When I sat down to write The First Law the longest thing I’d written before was my undergraduate dissertation. The First Law is some 50 times longer. There’s a certain arrogance required to think, ‘yeah, I’m going to have a go at that.’ There’s also a certain arrogance required to expect you can grip the attention of a fickle reader through the awesome power of you words alone, and to keep them entertained for hours, days, weeks at a stretch, to make them want to expend their valuable free time listening to you rather than watching X-Factor, or playing with their kids or, I don’t know, moaning about the ending of Mass Effect on the internet. You’ve got to think you’re one pretty goddamn entertaining motherfucker to pull that off, right? If you didn’t feel pretty damn clever about what you were doing you’d never get past page 1. You’d never deserve to get past page 1. If you don’t love your work, how can you expect anyone else to be even mildly entertained by it?