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Arts & Entertainment

Closing Thoughts

Aaron Sorkin

Lesson time 14:45 min

In the final lesson, Aaron offers his parting wisdom and leaves you with one more assignment that will last the rest of your life.

Aaron Sorkin
Teaches Screenwriting
Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting.


So the good news is that you, none of you, none of the five of you are fooling yourselves. You are all professional writers. You're very good. Even better news is, is that as a writer you get, it's the opposite of being an athlete, you get better as you get older. Not just because you've lived more, but it's practice. You've done it a lot, and you've found your voice. You've found your stride. And you know what works for you and what doesn't. Now, you have to get used to tuning out other voices. OK, as a writer, whether you're writing a 30-minute TV show, a 60-minute TV show, or a screenplay, in this day and age, and I mean because of social media, you're going to hear from a lot of people. And what you don't want to do is to try to write in order to change someone's mind. OK? Let's say this show is on the air, or your show is on the air, and three or four episodes in. And you're reading a critic, whether it's the New York Times or Dumbo at, has a problem with your script. There is a very human instinct to write the next episode trying to address that person's concerns. It's going to be a fool's errand. First of all, it is impossible to try to-- it's impossible to make everybody happy who is watching your thing. Second of all, Dumbo at doesn't know what they're talking about, OK? That's why they write a blog and you write what you write. You've got to have Corey-level of confidence in yourself. Now, that's not to say that you should tune our voices of people you trust. Hopefully, you're working with a director who's a real partner, or a producer who's a real partner. Hopefully, you have friends in your life. You just need one, two, three who you can show the pages to and they'll be encouraging and honest. When you're doing that, it's helpful if you ask them questions, rather than just giving pages and saying, well, what did you think? OK. Ask questions like, did you get it? Did you understand this and this and this? Did you feel anything when this happened? And then the final piece of wisdom I want to impart to you. I know that you guys are living in a tricky area that exists between-- listen. I'm Basically, you guys want to be professional writers, right? You want to pay your bills writing. That is your goal right now. I caught a lucky break. I never had to write anything for someone else. I never had to be a staff writer on a television show I didn't really like. But I could do the work and get a paycheck. And I was a professional writer. My first play was A Few Good Men. Like I said, it was a fluke. It opened on Broadway. I was brought out to Los Angeles to turn it into a movie. That was a hit, and from then on I just got paid to write what I wanted to write. Careers generally don't happen like that. So I don't blame you for if you have-- for tryi...

Your script starts here.

Aaron Sorkin wrote his first movie on cocktail napkins. Those napkins turned into A Few Good Men, starring Jack Nicholson. Now, the Academy Award-winning writer of The West Wing and The Social Network is teaching screenwriting. In this class, you’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you’ll write screenplays that capture your audience’s attention.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Helped me improve intention in my characters and to take criticism, yet own the confidence to not give a shit what others think when you're driven to tell a story you need to tell.

Watched this little by little as I was completing my latest screenplay. Entertaining and enlightening.

Writing aside listening to Mr. Sorkin speak was just good television.

This class is perfect for all experience levels of writers. You get so much value and insight out of this class. Highly recommend!


Mick F.

I purchased this class not to become a screen writer but to enjoy the process procedures that Mr. Sorkin uses to write and develop his scripts. I am a huge movie and tv fan so his insights are amazing. My all time favorite series on HBO and maybe in general was The Newsroom. The dialogue and performances were the best! This class was definitely worth the time and money/. Thank you Aaron Sorkin!


Although, I definitely appreciated all the great writing tips I recieved. The ad for this class seemed to offer much more than is actually delivered. That board never gets filled up with ideas! Instead we listen to the ideas for screenplays and TV shows from the five writing novices. But besides hearing from them about their scripts, we're also treated to the wonderful speaking style from Aaoron Sorkin, which is difficult to listen to, to say the least. (You would think that for someone as accomplished with dialogue as himself would be able to express himself better in words verbally, without a lot of "ums" and "uhhs" in their speech. I used to do that but then I focused on learning how to not do it and became a much better communicator. You can too, Aaron Sorkin.. I encourage you to grow!)

Martina A.

Aaron Sorkin is an amazing teacher. Amazing. Mind blown. He approaches the art of screenwriting in an accessible, one-foot-after-the-other, practicable way. His masterclass has impressed me to the point I came to comment on it and I would like to thank him for a very substantial set of notes and tips on how to overcome the frenzy around the subject. He is humble and kind in his deliveries and, joint to his sharp sense of humor, his messages seem to really make an impression. He has made it even more exciting for me to want to improve this craft. I am immensely pleased with the course and strongly recommend it to anyone interested in screenwriting.


Quick update, you should now be able to access the full class - so sorry for that inconvenience!

C C.

A lot of work and preparation went into this class. Fantastic class. Lots of wisdom.


It was great to spend time with and experience the thought processes of one of the greatest screenwriters of our time, and the wizard of dialogue! I wish the class continued on to Aaron's process with feature writing, but the dissecting of West Wing scripts was super valuable. Thank you!

A fellow student

Absolutely Awesome! All advice given by Aaron is precise and I am so happy to continue to finish my script and follow my dreams!


Amazing class. I am overwhelmed. I am taking the classes just for entertainment. Scriptwriting was never my career and will never be. But the words of wisdom from Aaron Sorking can be used in real life and in any career you have. Thank you!

Harsh A.

I am a 22-year-old guy, who has just finished writing his first novel ever and is about to published soon. After looking at things I was very sure I wanted to get into Screenwriting. And after completing this master class in the first 7 hours of buying it, I couldn't be more than happy to say that I am excited about what's to come next and also that I have found my calling. Aaron Sorkin couldn't make this easier for me to choose my path, and also the directions I needed.

Ananda G.

I loved every moment of this class with Aaron Sorkin. His teaching has depth and substance, his approach is personable, effortless and humble; his examples and anecdotes are relevant and incredibly interesting as well. I am relatively new to Masterclass (this is the first one I have watched in its entirety) and I hope they will all be as informative, fun and engaging as Aaron's. Thank you!