Chapter 1 of 35 from Aaron Sorkin



Meet Aaron. He's an Oscar winner, a TV hitmaker, and the writer of some of the smartest dramas ever to hit the screen. And now, he's your instructor.

Topics include: Introduction to the class

Meet Aaron. He's an Oscar winner, a TV hitmaker, and the writer of some of the smartest dramas ever to hit the screen. And now, he's your instructor.

Topics include: Introduction to the class

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.


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

He finds it hard to speak in a straight line, very familiar with that.

FEEL NO PAIN makes me have power to move on.i love the final advice.

i feel like I know Aaron Sorkin after this. Very helpful.

I want more from the Sorkinator! Soo bad ass!


Matthew C.

I am exciting in learning an idea of a process to screenwriting because most of the time I feel like I am just throwing ideas on paper.

Klancy B.

Loved his honesty with the fact that he struggles with speaking out load. Makes him relatable and makes me trust him more.

Victoria D.

Excited to write in the form of screenwriting, and learning the difference from novel context.

Hugh T.

Intention and obstacle. He got to it right away. So I'm two minutes into this class, and already know this guy is at the top of his game.

Pamela A.

Just a little inspirador. Just a line to star, i hope was just the kick off. I need to write now.


I've wanted to do this for so long! I can hardly contain my excitement to delve in and learn from you, Aaron!

A fellow student

When you said, "Grip it and rip it," I really thought you were talking about band-aids at first.

Alison M.

I like it already just to point alone about intention and obstacle if you don't have a good strong intention and a formidable obstacle you will not have a good drama.

Peter K.

Intention and Obstacle. I like the way he distills the point and hammers it home.

Ben A.

"There are things about writing that can be taught, and things that cannot be taught." We can learn all we want, but when it comes down to it, it's grit, I think, that sets the many apart from the few.


You wouldn't be Sidney Ellen Wade by any chance, would you? There's always bit of concern about the two Bartlets. You want answers. I think I'm entitled to it. You want answers? I want the truth. You can't handle the truth. This is the voice demo. The voice demo is flaky. I've been telling you that. This thing is overbuilt. It worked last night. It worked the night before that. It worked three hours ago. It's not working now, so just skip over the voice demo. Fuck you! Everything else is working. In future, if you're wondering, crime, boy, I don't know is when I decided to kick your ass. for hard luck guys. May I continue with my deposition? You know, you really don't need a forensics team to get to the bottom of this? If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook. Writing, like any other artform, there are chunks of it that can be taught, and there are chunks of it that can't be taught. So we're here for the parts that can be taught. The way you're going to be taught these things is, there are teachers. You can be a playwriting major or screenwriting major. There are books of varying quality that you can read. You can listen to schmucks like me talking. Every writer is different, so it's entirely possible that the way I work and the way I approach it, another person would not be able to relate to at all, and they're going to do their thing. But my hope is that I'm able to say something in here that will be meaningful to some writer, and will allow them to do what they want to do and get better. Here's what we're going to talk about. Unfortunately, and I apologize for this in advance, when I'm speaking out loud as opposed to writing, I swerve all over the road. I can't go in a straight line from the beginning of the sentence to the end of the sentence. And I would much rather communicate with the world on paper, where I have an opportunity just to be alone in my room and get it right. I communicate much better on paper than I do when I open my mouth. So I apologize in advance. But we're going to talk about intention and obstacle, which is the most important thing in drama. Without that, you're screwed blue. Without a strong, clear intention and a formidable obstacle, you don't have drama. We're going to talk about success and failure and the importance of failure. I'm going to try to give some examples from things that I've written that you might be familiar with. There are mechanics. And then there's, as a golfer would say, there is the grip it and rip it part. What golfers mean by that is, a golf swing has a zillion different components. And if you're learning how to play golf, you're going to be told, well, your hips have to be here, and your left arm has to turn here, but this has to swivel through first. This has to go to-- it's...