Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sorkin on writing

Say what you want about Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, but you've got to admit the guy knows how to spin a good yarn--in real life as well as on the big screen.

I saw him a few weeks ago on Conan when he showed up to promote his new film Steve Jobs (and let's take a moment to appreciate the fact that he's probably the only screenwriter working today who gets invited to appear on late night talk shows).

Conan asked Sorkin about his writing habits, and Sorkin described how he likes to act out his scenes while he writes them. One time, when he was working on a fight scene, he forgot where he was and smashed his face into a bathroom mirror, breaking his nose. But the injury wasn't the worst of it. No, the worst of it was when people asked him how he broke his nose and Sorkin was forced to answer "writing".

I think that's a great model for us writers. If we're not viscerally involved in our writing, if we're not living our characters' lives and fighting our characters' battles, then we're not pushing ourselves hard enough.

Writing... it's not for sissies.

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