Fairy Tale Screenplay – Step 3 – Structure It (cont’d)

To learn screenwriting, the idea is to select a fairy tale and adapt it into a horrible screenplay in 7 days.
Step 1 – Select a fairy tale
Step 2 – Read it
Step 3 – Structure it.


Who is the central character?

Not as obvious as it sounds. There are several potential main characters – the Lord, the King, the Queen, Talia, the cook. You want the main character to be active – so a young girl that’s dead or asleep may not be the best choice. I’ll risk it though and choose Talia (Sleeping Beauty.)

What does she want?

Talia wants love – to marry the king, have kids, and live happily ever after.

How does the story begin?

A great Lord has a beautiful daughter.

What is the problem introduced?

Wise men prophesize a great peril from a stalk of flax. This sounds symbolic of the dangers of the desires of men. The Lord decides to burn all spindles to protect his daughter from peril.

How does the hero commit?

At age 15, Talia manages to come in contact with a dangerous spindle, and sure enough, she gets a splinter and dies on the spot. This could be symbolic of some kind of unsanctioned love interest, whereby the Lord basically murders her from shame. My interpretation.

Her body in state in an overgrown castle, the king arrives and can’t restrain himself. He rapes her then goes home, forgetting about the whole thing.

Still dead, Talia somehow births twins. One them suckles her finger, removing the splinter and bringing her back to life.

This reminds me of Psycho where Marion steals $40,000 and is chased by authorities and then murdered by a psycho.

Where is the point of no return?

The king arrives, they fall in love, he goes home, but can’t forget about the girl and his two bastard children conceived in rape and necrophilia. The Queen gets wind of this and kidnaps them all. She orders the cook to serve the children for dinner to the king.

What is the lowest of the low moment?

Well, the king comes home to find that he has eaten his children and his wife is about to burn his mistress to death.

Where does the hero enter the final struggle?

Talia stalls the burning by removing her clothes for the queen.

The king arrives and they burn the queen.

Where is the climactic scene?

About to burn the cook, they learn that he hid the children in his house.

What does the hero realize?

I’m not sure. When you get raped, beware of the rapist’s jealous wife? Don’t kill the cook because he might be innocent? Certainly, don’t trust your wife is a key takeaway.

What is the final moment?

The cook gets a prominent post and they all live happily ever after.


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