Every ten weeks or so, I go through the process. I drive an hour to the cool city. Park in the pay lot. Walk to the chic yet approachable salon and have my hair done by the girl with the mermaid tattoo. The hair is a process. She mixes the color. Grabs the foils. Then we process. Endlessly. About my kids, my job, my life, her acting, if her house has had any offers, and lately about her new girlfriend.
Today I learned about said girlfriend's process of writing plays. Yes, she is a local playwright. Her process hinges around pressure and a deadline. She will actually book a venue AND cast the actors, all before ever setting pen to paper. Then she writes her play in a frenzy. The girl with the mermaid tattoo says that the play then interrupts their lives at the strangest moments. They might be talking about who's cleaning the bathroom when said girlfriend will say "You know what could happen in the play..."
It got me thinking about my own process and how I get from first sentence to the end. Long drives in the car help. My characters come to life in my imagination as the wheels turn. I imagine scenes and situations. Sometimes I hear voice, though that usually happens when fingers touch the keyboard. I take notes. Little rambly squiggles that make no sense to anyone but me. Shorthand fiction. I don't verbalize very much about my writing ideas. Somehow they seem ridiculous when spoken out loud.
When writing I have to act things out. I have to put my hands on the imaginary steering wheel and turn the car. Then stop and think "How do I write that?" More and more I'm doing research ahead of time. That's new for me. It helps some. Sometimes I wonder if it gets in the way.
So what's your process?