Chapter 35 of 35 from Aaron Sorkin

Closing Thoughts

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

Topics include: Aaron's final advice

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

Topics include: Aaron's final advice

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting

Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting in 35 exclusive video lessons.

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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. You’ll learn his rules of storytelling, dialogue, character development, and what makes a script actually sell. By the end, you'll write unforgettable screenplays.

Watch, listen, and learn as Aaron teaches the essentials of writing for television and film.

A downloadable workbook accompanies the class with lesson recaps and supplemental materials.

Upload videos to get feedback from the class. Aaron will also critique select student work.

Reviews

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

This class was the best way to learn how to do screenwriting. And learn about screenwriting from a genius like Aaron Sorkin. This class has helped me to feel more confident to continue screenwriting for my projects.

So far, it's been absolutely amazing and I've learned a lot! Not to mention strengthening self-motivation skills!

When you get to learn from one of the greatest screenwriters in the world, you suddenly realize you didn't know what you didn't know. Aaron Sorkin takes you from the fundamentals of Aristotle's Poetics to the nitty gritty of a writer's room where he shows you how the sausage gets made. Great class.

Inspired! Such a relief to hear the great Aaron Sorkin speak about his writer's block. Now mine doesn't feel so bad.

Comments

Don McHaney

I especially liked the advice to write in your own voice and have a trusted few who "get" you to bounce pages off. At this point in my life, if I get even the smallest interest in producing something I write it would be a milestone.

Lisa

Thank you Aaron Sorkin for your words of wisdom. I will remember to take chances, write in my own voice, keep the people who will read my pages and shed the ones who don't have my best interest at heart. I'll power through and I know I'll never make everyone happy.

Jacqueline D.

Thank you Aaron Sorkin. You have really helped me to build on the ideas I have, how to make them fuller, better, interesting and appealing. You have also given me confidence in myself, how to use my voice and how to be a better writer. Thank you.

A fellow student

Thank You, Mr. Sorkin. This was such a valuable addition to the courses I've taken while getting my BA. Beyond all your insights and inside information about the making of scripts for stage plays, TV & movies, I was especially impressed and grateful for your good humor, self-effacing honesty, and your unswerving thoughtful, kind and encouraging regard for those fortunate writers in this production with you. Now, I would like to have what the students with Aaron had -- an in-person, supportive and sometimes collaborative group of peers who already know the craft and are eager to have equally invested screenwriters as sounding boards, encouragers and whip-masters to ensure those deadlines don't keep sliding past. Anyone here who lives in Marin County or SF, CA, who would like to co-create such a group? I've got the venue and a flexible schedule.

Jason G.

Excellent class by Aaron Sorkin. A lot of great advice and interesting group workshops.

Glenda M.

Thank-you, Aaron. This course has been a place of great help. I am currently working through a very difficult script. My self confidence is a battle some days. I know I am a decent writer, but want to be a great writer. Your transparency has bee​n a great encouragement. Your advice and wisdom has guided me in many ways. Again, thank-you for this course.

Carla C.

I think these classes are great motivators. I took James Patterson's writing class first and wrote a book. Since I haven't been able to add attachments here, though, I haven't gotten any feedback. I'm wondering if I should just write another book rather than trying to do a screenplay, but I like writing dialog. One of the comments made about my book, Higgins Hotel, was by a girl from Africa, and she said that I relied too much on dialog and didn't provide enough description about the location.

Cecilie

I learned a tremendous amount in Sorkin’s masterclass. I also feel encouraged to trust in my own voice in addition to being much wiser to the whole writing process. Loved the specific chapters on craft and the tips on getting physical and acting out the dialogue. I will highly recommend this class to any new screenwriter. Thank you.

Melissa N.

I enjoyed this class, it was my first Masterclass. I learned a lot of valuable information and I feel better knowing that it is perfectly fine for my writing to be filled with a lot of dialogue. Whenever I write, I feel like there is too much dialogue and not enough action, so I stop. Now I know that it is perfectly fine and just re-read and rewrite to make it all come together cohesively. I have always enjoyed writing but as life happened I have not been able to get to it as I would like to. Some days I feel that I am too tired to be creative but I continue to carry a notepad and my chrome book with me in case something wonderful pops into my head and I can write it down and create. Thank you Masterclass and Aaron Sorkin for this amazing class and to help open the creative pipelines in my head. I cannot wait to just get writing again. Good luck to everyone and I wish all of your great success and continued creativity in your careers.

A fellow student

Enjoyed this class -- definitely helpful --he is a really talented instructor as well as a writer!

Transcript

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 dumbo.com, 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 dumbo.com 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...