David Maine: Creative process
David Maine was born in 1963 and grew up in Farmington, Connecticut. He attended Oberlin College and the University of Arizona and has worked in the mental-health systems of Massachusetts and Arizona. He has taught English in Morocco and Pakistan, and since 1998 has lived in Lahore, Pakistan, with his wife, novelist Uzma Aslam Khan.
Question: What is your creative process?
David Maine: I don’t really get writer’s block. I don’t know if that’s good. Maybe I should. I’m somebody, who just…my mind is just going all the time. It doesn’t look that way, I know. But, I am just, when I am writing something, I just think about it constantly. I go to sleep thinking about it, and I wake up thinking about it, and I’m not bragging, it’s just something that happens to me and I sort of can’t control it. That’s kind of weird. What happened with this book which was different from anything else I've done is that I started it years ago and then I stopped for some years while I was writing other stuff and I would from time to time, go back and look at it, loot at the first hundred pages and think, oh yeah, this is really good and then I would go do something else and then I finally came back to it, and I thought, yeah, I need to do something here because this could be great and that was sort of that period marked the shift from it just being a monster movie retelling to being a monster movie retelling with extra stuff pulled in, not extra I don’t think but with surrounding, contextual stuff, pulled in. And to me that what a go much more interesting, and, but that happening that way, I wasn't blocked so much kind of the opposite, I was wondering if I was just sprawling. I did second guess my self pretty frequently about the proposition of how much of this versus that. Can I take this conversation between these two nothing characters, and can I run with it for ten pages or am I really losing the thread here? Or is this the thread? I mean, is this the whole point? I was going on digressions. Somebody would just be walking down the street, and then I’d have a two-page parenthetical digression about, what this grandkid, this guy’s grandkids were gonna be doing 40 years from now and I, I just all over in the map, and it was really fun. It was pretty much just unedited stuff, and I had to sort of pull that back and shape it and think, okay, I want some of this and some of this, but mostly I want this, I want to be moving in that direction and paying attention to that kind of structural stuff was new for me. Because usually I just, I figured the structure out or whatever, and I’d just go.
Live the work.
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