Our last draft of the screenplay Haugtussa has been resting in the drawer for a couple of months. This weekend we’re going to have a readthrough with a handful of friends.

We did the table reading on our previous project, Vinland, as well. In many ways it’s something that has been with us since our theatre days. You don’t really know a text until you hear it read out loud.

This is the way we approach it: The writers concentrate on listening, so we don’t have a copy of the script in our hands. A scrap of paper and a pen to take notes. But sparingly. The most important thing is just to hear the words, and listen to the flow of the storytelling and the dialogue. Our invited readers all have acting experience, and they know us well. We make sure the readthrough is an enjoyable experience with snacks, wine and a relaxed atmosphere.

After the reading we get response and feedback from our readers. The feedback needs to be constructive, of course. At this point we’re lucky enough to have readers that know the groundrules of proper feedback to a work in progress. If you don’t, you need to establish some rules for a proper feedback session. Think about what you need to know beforehand. But remain open to discovering new things about your story, things you didn’t realize until somebody says it.