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Arts & Entertainment

Group Workshop: From Here to Alli by Corey Wright

Aaron Sorkin

Lesson time 18:21 min

After workshopping Corey's script and learning about his background, Aaron discusses the importance of having confidence as a writer, and shares his own origin story, starting with his days as a struggling New York actor.

Aaron Sorkin
Teaches Screenwriting
Aaron Sorkin teaches you the craft of film and television screenwriting.
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Corey? Yes. You're up. Already? "From Here to Alli," is that how it's pronounced? Ah-ee. Ah-ee? Yes. So that's not at all how it's pronounced. At all. So I couldn't have missed any more than I did. "From Here to Alli." Let's read the first couple of pages of it. And then I have some questions I want to ask. I think it's fantastic. I think it's terrific. As you know, I was hoping that you'd tank, but just out of spite, you know? I hear you. But let's read the first couple pages. Go ahead, it's all yours. "Interior nail salon, day. Maddie Lynn Hollingsworth, a middle-aged Caucasian woman who hasn't worked a day in her married life is sitting in a chair in a spa. She's wearing yoga pants with a matching top and sporting a ring that could fund a small business. Chance, a male nail worker is firmly filling away at her toes. Maddie Lynn is on the phone sipping a kale juice. No, Olivia, I'm telling you. It's the absolute best. It was the most gentle colonic I've ever had. It was like he wasn't even there. It was like I wasn't even there. Wait, hold on. She taps Chance on the shoulder. Hola. Um, you're digging into my pinkie toe-y, mucho hurt. Mucho, OK? I'm Asian, and I speak English. Sound good. You just keep it up. Keep at it down there. Big tip-o. Big tip. Yeah. Chance rolls his eyes. Olivia, sweetie? What are you doing over there? Well, it sounds like you're trying to push a car out of your vagina. A what? Honey, a master cleanse on Monday is never something to explore, especially with the way you drink. You're all done. Thank you. Muy [? zapatos. ?] Olivia, honey, I got to go. She slurps down the rest of the kale juice and hobbles out of her chair. She goes up to pay. Over her shoulder on the television screen-- --could be the biggest embezzlement and Ponzi scheme to hit America in the last 100 years. All employees are being indicted and will be brought in for questioning. Meanwhile, Cromwell says it's not his fault. So who's right? More details coming up. But first, Janice with the weather. Such a shame. Thanks, Tom. Well, today's going to be another hot one here in Los Angeles with temperatures ranging in the high 90s. So if you're thinking about hitting the pool-- Meanwhile-- Your card no working. Your machine no working. Swipe it again, please. She does. The machine beeps and seals her fate. Nope. The salon cashier, Hannah, an older Asian lady in a muumuu, holds out her card. Maddie Lynn snatches it back and starts to dig in her purse. This is obviously a mistake. And I can't believe that as a loyal customer who pretty much keeps you in business, you can't figure this out. I'm sorry. Well, me too. Here, try this one. She hands her another card. It works....

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.

Basics of what makes a good screenplay work, the process, the pitch. It was inspiring and thoughtful. Makes me understand fully why I started writing and making films in the first place

I really enjoyed Aaron Sorkin and listening in as he gives us tidbits of his knowledge. I learned a lot from him.

I loved the time Aaron spent to explain the craft of writing. Thank you for sharing your invaluable knowledge with us.

Really great to get advice from one of my favorite screenwriters. Before my next script revision I'll take his advice and read Aristotle's Poetics!


Starla B.

This script reminded me a lot of "Little Fires Everywhere" on Hulu. This was a great lesson, probably my favorite so far! I loved hearing Aaron Sorkin talk about his beginnings as a writer. I was similar it that I didn't become interested in writing until I took a screenwriting class as a film student, and ever since then, I've been writing. Love these classes!

Seema I.

I really loved the diversity of story and range of voices in this table read. Sorkin is a good listener and lets them speak and elucidate where needed before delivering the advice which I respect. No cutting them off, no "this won't work". Everything he is asking and getting them to explain/explore will help. I really want to get writing.

Tolga C.

I - am- blown - away. So good; these guys. With all group discussions - I was sitting infront of the computer, full of excitement, making notes and feeled movie-vibes all over the place. And this last guy really touched me - how he allowed himself to be a writer, even in tough times. In Joyce Carol Oates´s masterclass her teaching skills are one of a kind, but this kind of deep relating group discussion is one of a kind in another way; a well functioning "star treck crew" ready to conquer the universe. This team should meet again, hopefully has. Thanks for these moving insights. Bam!

A fellow student

I love the wayAaron encourages the young writers and also how vulnerable he is as he explains how he became a playwright.


This lesson is shorter and way more about the writer than, the script but it was still very interesting though. It felt like Aaron and him knew each other.

A fellow student

I enjoyed all of the lessons! I liked the detailed feedback and suggestions--I can't wait to finish my script to send in for feedback!


Corey's story was so beautiful. I relate so much to his point about the hardest "No" being the one you give yourself. I used to constantly create stories as a kid, both those I wrote down and those I simply imagined. I've developed about 9 unique screenplay concepts throughout my life that have sat in my head for 7-15 years because I was too afraid to put them on paper. This same fear kept me from pursuing professional writing courses and completely committing to my dream. Aaron's class is my first step towards pursuing television screenwriting and finally letting that "No" get out of my way. Corey, thank you for sharing your gift and your story with the world--let's work together sometime!!

Apple C.

Why was Corey's table read so short? I would have loved to hear how that scene ended. The "L" vs "R" joke would have worked even better if, at the end of the scene, when Maddie Lynn leaves the salon, the Asian cashier actually pronounces her name correctly, along with other "L" names. This will show that the Asian lady was trying to get a rise out of Maddie-Lynn because of her behavior. Just a suggestion.


Hi everyone! Message from the MC Community team -- make sure you join Aaron Sorkin's Class Community! There you can discuss writing techniques and other class material, network with other students, trade tips and reviews, and stay up to date on class contests & activities. Link here: Also, FYI! We recently launched a contest to win 2 tix to Sorkin's latest screenplay adaptation on Broadway, To Kill A Mockingbird. Learn more and enter here: Contest closes this Sunday, Nov 24 at 10pm PT. Can't wait to see your submissions!

M. Casey M.

Good critique of opening for The Merc. Show us, don’t tell us what this “other” moneymaker place looks like. Liked the cmments about naming v.s. just descriptive character notes, after the read — for actors.