Monthly Archives: July 2016

Aaron Sorkin’s Master Class: Adapting a Short Story.

Jack Reacher- Second Son

Aaron Sorkin .jpg

Aaron Sorkin .jpg press image from PR

I’m taking an online class from Aaron Sorkin on screenwriting. The attached is from the third lesson, in which we were asked to take a well-liked short story and turn it into a screenplay (the first 10 pages anyway).

I picked “Second Son,” a short-story by Lee Child, author of the Jack Reacher thrillers. Obviously, as an assignment, and not with permission of the author.

The story takes place on Okinawa when Jack Reacher, our hero, is 13 and his brother is 15, They’re the new kids at the Marine base, and have to fit in. It’s a great little story. Intention: Reacher wants to protect his family (his motivation in the novels is “to protect…” Always.) Obstacle: The local bullies; his big brother’s perfectionism. Writer’s choice: There’s an entire bit of business with Reacher’s grandfather dying in Paris, and Reacher’s mom flying there. I left all that out (sorry Mr. Child) because I wanted to hone in on the dynamic between Jack, his big brother, and their father.

My draft is attached. Remember: This is a first assignment for a class; be kind.

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