(…) I tend to work up ideas when they’re needed in a relatively laborious and unglamorous way.  I’m in the process of thinking about my next (sixth) book now, in fact, and it goes something like: What shall I write?  Always liked westerns, so – a combination of epic fantasy and western?  Who shall be the characters, what the settings, what the situations, what the themes … I work it through bit by bit, think it out, read a lot of western history and a few novels for inspiration, plan it in some detail, then write it (which obviously takes a few man hours), then revise, revise, revise.  Not to say that good ideas don’t sometimes come in a flash of inspiration, but they’re usually certain bits of dialogue, or neat ways to resolve a plot or set a scene, rather than whole notions for a story.  I think there’s an idea that writers must be fountains of creativity, and maybe some are, but that’s not really my experience.

– Joe Abercrombie, in an interview on Examiner.com