Margie Lawson

Make your writing soar


Make 'em Laugh - How to Write a Comedy Screenplay

So, you have an idea for a comedy screenplay? Are you in the middle of one? Have you completed several? Make ‘em Laugh is a class for both experienced and beginning writers. If you’d like to learn about nuances of feature-length comedy films and apply them to your own funny ideas, then you’ve found the right place. We’d love to have you join us.

In this class we will cover:

Week One: Unexpected & Inappropriate

  • What if?
  • Prewrite
  • Titles
  • Logines

Week Two: Theme/Plot

  • Theme
  • Plot
  • Beats

Week Three: The 5 C's

  • The Story
  • Where the 5 C's fall
  • More on Loglines
  • Silly is Serious Business

Week Four: Comedic Character

  • Character Building
  • Types of Comedic Characters
  • Protagonists in Comedies
  • Character Breakdown

Week Five: Physical Comedy v. Comedic Dialogue

  • Heart
  • Physical Comedy
  • Comedic Dialogue
  • Put them Together Like Shamalamalama

Week Six: Rewrite v. Polish

  • Rewriting a Comedy
  • Polishing a Comedy


Betty Kim Lierman with her dog

Betty Kim is a screenwriter, children’s book author, singer, songwriter, actor, and former ballet dancer. She has been active in the Northwest Screenwriters Guild, serving as president, vice-president, treasurer, secretary, and head of the compendium. She is featured in Save the Cat Strikes Back for her pitching method. She has taught her pitch method at TheFilmSchool, the NWSG, and SIFF. She focuses on writing feature length comedies and children’s books.


Wally Lane is a former Boardmember of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild (NWSG). He is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, a published poet, and has written articles and book reviews for several publications, including Journey. Wally’s film, “Winos & Pigeons”, was honored at WorldFest Houston. As long-time Chairman of the NWSG’s Compendium committee, Wally has mentored hundreds of new screenwriters by helping them write to “Industry Standard.”

Wally has been writing screenplays since 1990. He and his writing partner, Wash Phillips, have scores of screenplays completed or in development across a wide range of genres. Many of these scripts either have been or are currently optioned.

Wally is an alumnus of the U. of W. Extension Certificate Program in Screenwriting and The Film School, a Seattle-based institution of national repute. He is also a former panelist at the Pacific Northwest Writers Association’s and the Surrey International Writers Conference’s annual Writing Conferences.




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