Elizabeth Goddard here.
I watched a behind-the-scenes clip of a recent movie where the main actors discussed working with the director. He made them act out each scene they filmed twelve or more times. Over and over they acted out the same scene. With each take he’d direct them, change things up. Maybe an angle here or an expression there. It wasn’t that they portrayed the characters wrong on the first take, but my impression was it was more about experimenting until they knew they had the scene exactly right.
And I thought wow, I could use that in my writing. I know plenty of people already do this. I’ve talked to numerous amazing popular authors who’ve told me they go over their story ten or more times, adding depth, fleshing out. I don’t know about you, but I can’t see anything after reading my story twice.
But listening to the actors on the clip inspired me to make an effort to experiment with my story scenes, whether I completely rewriting a scene or continue to flesh things out, I need to go through my scene ten, twelve, fifteen or more times.
I suspect this is one thing that separates the average writer from the exceptional. Okay, now go and try it.
Elizabeth Goddard is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than twenty romance novels, including the romantic mystery, The Camera Never Lies—a 2011 Carol Award winner. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated with a B.S. degree in computer science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of becoming an author. She lives in East Texas with her husband and four children.