This past weekend, my family and I tried to get a decent portrait. So many pictures. So much chaos.
No one can ever smile at the same time. And if they do, the smiles are creepy or weird. Someone inevitably blinks when the camera clicks. Another person is looking away. Someone's fussing with their hair. Stand still. Put your hands down. Then the frustration sets in. Grumpy faces and sneers. Finally, exhaustion.
This is how I feel when it comes to writing. (Because everything I do, I compare to writing!) Your characters are not going to cooperate. One of them is doing what he's supposed to be doing but then another is off screwing things up. Two people are growling at each other when they're supposed to be a couple. It's especially difficult when you have a big cast of characters. How do you get them to do what they're supposed to do?
Take multiple pictures.
Yup. That's the one and only trick. Keep rewriting until it's right.
Eventually everyone will be looking at the camera, standing still, and smiling nicely. Okay, someone might be fidgeting and there might be an odd twinkle in another person's eye, but the tiny quirks are okay. Keep those. That's what makes it unique.
Wait. We regressed and lost two smiles.