Aaron Sorkin is one of the most celebrated and accomplished writers working in Hollywood at the moment. He writes for film, TV, and theatre. He is the creator of “West Wing” and “The Newsroom” and the scriptwriter behind “The Social Network” and “Steve Jobs”. In 2017 he directed Jessica Chastain in “Molly’s Game”, which I personally loved.
1. In order to create a solid screenplay, focus on developing strong intention and obstacle in your story. That will help you create friction and tension you need to hold the audiences’ attention. Once you have a strong, formidable intention and obstacle, you’re ready to write at least the first scene.
2. If you are writing for a feature film, you have a few minutes to introduce your intention and obstacle. If you are writing for a TV show, you can’t waste any time and need to introduce intention and obstacle right away.
3. To keep your story compelling and believable, make sure the stakes in the character’s life are high, urgent, and believable.
4. The characters are defined by the way they overcome the obstacles that are thrown in their way.
5. A character is born from intention and obstacle. A character wants something (intention) but something stands on the way of them getting (obstacle) what they want.
6. Don’t write unnecessary character bios, just focus on their intention, obstacle and the conflict that this creates.
7. Have confidence in your story and your writing. This is the key to writing with conviction.