Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Master's Master

Aaron Sorkin's secret? Like all first class professionals he is humble. "I kind of worship at the altar of intention and obstacle. Somebody wants something. Something's standing in their way of getting it. They want the money, they want the girl, they want to get to Philadelphia — doesn't matter. And if they can need it, that's even better. Whatever the obstacle is, you can't overcome it like that or the audience is going to say, "Why don't they just take the other car?" or "Why don't you just shoot him?" The obstacle has to be difficult to overcome. And that's the clothesline that you hang everything on — the tactics by which your characters try to achieve their goal. That's the story that you end up telling. These rules are all in a sixty-four-page pamphlet by Aristotle called Poetics. It was written almost three thousand years ago, but I promise you, if something is wrong with what you're writing, you've probably broken one of Aristotle's rules." Good advice. Unfortunately we aspiring playwrights will never become an Aaron Sorkin, even if we stick to the rules meticulously. First step is to know the craft. Then it all depends on what you do with it.

1 comment:

  1. I accompany the main character in overcoming the craft up to a specific point, and then to allow the view from a higher perspective. So it is possible to see what happens to the main character and his/her craft, and why it happenes like this.