Webinar: Plotting Comedy with Paul Bassett Davies
May 8, at 8:00 PM Warsaw time, 7:00 PM London time
with Paul Bassett Davies
The craft of comedy writing is to turn a plot into a funny story.
The plot of a comedy, like any form of drama, is a series of events. What’s important is how you tell the story. Even the darkest material can be delivered in a funny way: murder, suicide, war, divorce, nuclear apocalypse – all can be the subject of comedy, from The Ladykillers to Dr. Strangelove. But think about the way you tell a joke: if you just deliver the basic information it’s not funny. It’s only when you know how to use comedy dynamics – set-up, expectation, misdirection, suspense, narrative rhythm, payoff – that you’ll make people laugh.
This webinar examines those dynamics under three headings:
- What makes comedy characters funny.
- How to use those characters to create and complicate the story.
- Why the worst thing that can happen is usually the best thing in comedy.
We’ll also look at the crucial differences between Sitcom, Comedy-Drama, Rom-Com and Comedy Caper, and why it’s vital to know them, and use them to your advantage.
Paul Bassett Davies
is a veteran comedy writer and producer for stage, TV, radio and film. He’s worked with the biggest names in British comedy, and had his own BBC radio sitcom. He wrote the screenplay for the feature animation ‚The Magic Roundabout’ and his one-man shows have won awards at the Edinburgh festival. His first novel, ‚Utter Folly’, topped the Amazon humorous fiction chart in 2012, and his new novel, ‚Dead Writers in Rehab’ is published by Unbound this April.
Paul has been running his acclaimed comedy writing workshopu for many years, and teaches students at several colleges and universities.