Last night, the other playwrights and I, or the P Dubs as I’ve dubbed us, gathered to discuss our writing processes, because we’re nerdy and awesome and are always on the lookout for a good reason to sit around an old table and drink boxed wine. And well, it was fascinating and informative and great. I don’t think I spend nearly enough time thinking about my process, or that of others. I just kind of do my thing, because I’ve been doing it so long. (That’s reason #1137 that the O’Neill is so great. You get the chance to pause the work and discuss it. What of fancy stage directions? What of form on a page? Is a play meant to be read and seen? How can a director prove to you she’s on your side? DISCUSSIONS!)
The other P dubs had incredibly specific and smart processes that they’d perfected over time, like drawing pictures of the play’s structure before they start, writing chunks of texts without character names on Stickies, doing extensive character and language studies before putting down a word. I’m inspired by fellow PW’s to shake things up a bit and try and new process for my next play, which will be about a Christmas Tree farm or John Edward’s daughter or Both? I’m challenged to slow down and to think deeply about what I’m doing, to start a play without knowing the ending, to write at 6 am, to just attempt change, in general.