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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Aaron Sorkin Interview

   
Author Topic: Aaron Sorkin Interview
rich
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A screenwriter, but he started as a playwright. He's got some good insight into writing, and his particular process.

Plus, The Social Network is a great film so if you haven't seen it yet, do so. It's like eating your vegetables: it's good for you.

http://moviecitynews.com/2011/01/the-social-network-screenwriter-aaron-sorkin/


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KayTi
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Aaron Sorkin is a genius when it comes to writing snappy dialogue. That movie was definitely one of the best of 2010, was pleased to see it win so many Golden Globes.

Thanks for posting the link, off to bookmark it and read now!


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Robert Nowall
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Aaron Sorkin is anathema to me, for reasons that could best be summed up as "politically unacceptable," but does not either begin or end with politics.

[This message has been edited by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury (edited January 22, 2011).]


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Robert, that link has nothing to do with writing, except, I suppose, that it's written.

Sorkin's writing may be "politically unacceptable" to you and others, but we're not discussing politics here, remember?


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philocinemas
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He is a brilliant writer, especially with dialogue. There is no question that he will win the Oscar - I would make any bet offered (somebody, please take me up on it).

Very interesting interview. Thanks for posting, Rich.


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rich
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quote:
Robert, that link has nothing to do with writing, except, I suppose, that it's written.

KDW, I'm not sure I understand this. Should I not have posted the link?


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Rich, your link was fine.

Robert Nowall posted a link to an article talking about Aaron Sorkin's politics, and I deleted that link.


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Robert Nowall
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He can't plot.
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rich
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Ah, ok. Thanks, KDW.

And Robert may have a point. I don't think plot is a primary motivator for Sorkin. However, he does approach it from a character viewpoint, much more than plot. Since I tend to write that way myself, I'm more biased towards Sorkin's "style" of writing.

I think most of Stephen King's success, for example, is because plot is almost secondary to King's primary motivation: characters.

Or, maybe The Road, is a better example. Whisper-thin plot-wise, but a captivating read for me.

On the other hand, I just can't get into Updike. I've tried, but just doesn't do a thing for me. (Perhaps Updike isn't the best example of that though, since he consciously comes at character from a certain, WASPish viewpoint. Got nothing against WASPs; some of my best friends are WASPs, but I really don't care about their marital problems.)


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Robert Nowall
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I've been brooding about this for the last day and a half, and I've come to the conclusion that I can't discuss anything about Aaron Sorkin's work, and his plusses and minuses as a writer, without discussing his politics. The two can't be separated.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Sorry, Robert.
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rich
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I promise, Robert, that Sorkin only mentions West Wing in the linked interview, and that's all. Almost all of it has to do with how he approached writing The Social Network, and how he approaches writing in general.

Here's what I'm trying to say: My political and (probably) philosophical outlook on life is 180 degrees from OSC's, BUT I don't discount what he says about writing because he's a successful writer with great insight into the process. If someone says something about the craft of writing worth listening to, I don't care what their personal or political beliefs are.


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Foste
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I agree rich.

I disagree with OSC and Dave Simmons on all things political, but they are both great storytellers.


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Reziac
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Right, you don't have to be a fan to find value... I'm really not a fan of most of our Uncle Orson's fiction (and have paid no attention to his politics) but his How To Write SF/F is still my Single Most Useful Howto book.

Side note to the topic: I wonder if Aaron is related to Arleen Sorkin? I recently met her son Owen, he's a real sharp and responsible kid for any age (11 going on 30).


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philocinemas
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There are many writers I enjoy reading with whom I imagine greatly differ from me regarding political sentiment. There are even more people with whom I differ when it comes to television and movie personalities. People's political beliefs often seep into the subtext of their work, but that doesn't bother me very much. I find that there is a certain degree of truth in most everyone's beliefs - even the most objectionable. I can often strongly disagree with someone and still understand his/her point of view. Besides, it would get pretty boring if I agreed with everything I read, watched, or listened to.
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KayTi
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quote:
Side note to the topic: I wonder if Aaron is related to Arleen Sorkin? I recently met her son xxx, he's a real sharp and responsible kid for any age (11 going on 30).

Just a thought, Rez, most parents of children under 18 (myself being the responsible party for two of the little 'uns) don't wish our children's names to be presented online with first and last name and age.


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Robert Nowall
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Even if I exclude The Left Wing, the bulk of what remains is political---up to and including this Facebook movie thing. I can't rip him to shreds without discussing his politics. (Or the politics of Hollywood in general, for that matter.)
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Reziac
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The kid's name is on his parents' entry in Wikipedia; you can't get much more public than that.
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Robert Nowall
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Ah, there's something I can comment on: It's not likely the guy put the info on Wikipedia himself.

At the risk of being "political" again, you should see what goes on with the entries of various politicians and / or political figures. I heard they had to close off Capitol Hill from making and changing entries.


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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Well, OSC has some things to say about Aaron Sorkin in one of his essays:

http://www.hatrack.com/osc/reviews/everything/2011-01-20.shtml

but you have to scroll about halfway down the page to find it.


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