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Below we present the complete text of episode 4 of Rapunzel for Schools. Each scene is introduced with writer’s notes on the process of adapting the original fairy tale as an Audio Drama.

Rapunzel For Schools - Episode 4 - The Darkening Forest
Rapunzel For Schools – Episode 4 – The Darkening Forest

EPISODE 4 – THE DARKENING FOREST

Writer’s Notes

This episode will introduce us to Franz and Rapunzel. It kicks off their character arcs, and moves us forward towards the reversal at the end of Episode 5 (the conclusion of the second act).

The opening of Episode 4 is a continuation of the scene that concluded Episode 3. In it we see Franz encounter the disaster, dilemma, and moment of choice that complete the substructure of the scene begun earlier.

Disaster occurs when Franz comes across a boy’s grandmother and learns that the cry for help he heard in the previous episode was serious. Added to this, the bells of the castle peal out announcing the death of the King.

Franz’ dilemma is whether to stay and help the boy’s grandmother in her search for her grandson, or return to the castle.

His choice is to return to the castle.

 

SCENE 14:    EXT. THE FOREST – AFTERNOON
(HERMANN, FRANZ, OLD WOMAN)

  1. MUSIC: OPENING THEME – LET IT FINISH.
  2. SOUND: (WALLA) LIGHT FOREST AMBIANCE – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  3. NARRATOR: Once upon a time, so the old tales tell, in a land far away, a baby girl was kidnapped by a witch. Her father, Gustav, obtained the King’s promise that the child would be returned. But, eighteen years later, the dying King expresses fear that his son, about to ascend the throne himself, will not be as keen to fulfil his father’s promise.
  4. SOUND: TWO MEN WALKING – ESTABLISH AND FADE
  5. FRANZ: We didn’t get many fish out of this trip.
  6. HERMANN: (MUTTERING) No, your Highness.
  7. FRANZ: Oh dear.
  8. HERMANN: What?
  9. FRANZ: You usually call me Franz.
  10. HERMANN: So?
  11. FRANZ: So, Hermann, you only use my title when we are in company or you’re angry.
  12. HERMANN: (SNORTS) Hmpf.
  13. FRANZ: I guess you’re used to catching a few more fish than that, then?
  14. HERMANN: (ANGRILY) As a matter of fact, yes. Yes I am.
  15. FRANZ: You seem a little irked.
  16. HERMANN: Do I?
  17. FRANZ: .. yes. Is there something you want to say, Hermann?
  18. HERMANN: Well, your highness, it seems, putting it bluntly if I may, that you snore.
  19. FRANZ: What?
  20. HERMANN: Like a bull elephant.
  21. FRANZ: I mean to say…
  22. HERMANN: I don’t mind that you went to sleep. It’s a glorious day after all…
  23. FRANZ: But?
  24. HERMANN: But? But while asleep you were making noises that shook the earth and scared off the fish.
  25. FRANZ: I see.
  26. HERMANN: Do you? We’ve been friends a long time but I don’t think I ever truly realised you were capable of such a noise. (BEAT) I mean, if you’re like that at home, it’s a miracle the castle is still standing.
  27. FRANZ: I think I take your meaning, Hermann.
  28. HERMANN: I’ve seen bears bellow with less noise.
  29. FRANZ: Yes, I think you’ve made your point.
  30. HERMANN: There are rogue elephants in Africa that…
  31. OLD WOMAN: (NEAR TEARS) Wilhelm! Wilhelm! Answer me, please!
  32. FRANZ: (RELIEVED AT AN EXCUSE TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT) Oh, thank heavens! Madam, what is it? What distresses you so?
  33. OLD WOMAN: Oh my Lord Prince, it’s you.
  34. FRANZ: Yes, yes. Please get up. You’ll get all filthy grovelling in the dirt like that…
  35. HERMANN: (UNDER HIS BREATH) As if she wasn’t already…
  36. OLD WOMAN: Oh, my Prince. It’s my grandson. He came with me into the forest to pick mushrooms and something descended on us out of the sky. His mother and father are gone, taken by illness, and he is all I have left in the world. He ran into the woods and the shape followed. He did not come back.
  37. FRANZ: Did you see what hunted him?
  38. OLD WOMAN: No, your highness. It was a shadow, large and fast moving?
  39. HERMANN: A giant eagle, perhaps? It is said some live in the deep forest on the edge of the mountains.
  40. FRANZ: (DOUNBTFUL) Perhaps. Though few have ever come this far south. How long ago did the boy run off?
  41. OLD WOMAN: (THROUGH TEARS) It was morning my Lord, an hour or so before noon.
  42. FRANZ: Then the hunt is several hours old.
  43. HERMANN: (REPROACHFUL) We heard a child call out about that time, do you remember?
  44. FRANZ: (STERNLY) Yes, I do. Tell me, have you travelled far from where he was lost?
  45. OLD WOMAN: I have been searching for some hours, sire.
  46. FRANZ: A pity, it will be all the harder to pick up his trail. We’ll need to organise a search party, gather some troops from the castle.
  47. OLD WOMAN: Sir, Wilhelm isn’t the first child to go missing in these woods.
  48. FRANZ: What are you saying?
  49. OLD WOMAN: A number of children have vanished in the past few years, and in recent months the numbers have increased. I’m so scared for him. He’s such a small boy.
  50. FRANZ: But my father keeps these woods clear of predators.
  51. OLD WOMAN: (SOBBING) No sire, he does not. Or leastways, there is one predator that has so far eluded your father’s men. Please. Please help find my poor Wilhelm. Please (BREAKS DOWN).
  52. FRANZ: I see. Hermann, we need to…
  53. SOUND: DISTANT BELLS RINGING – ESTABLISH AND UNDER.
  54. FRANZ: Oh no!
  55. HERMANN: Franz! You’ve turned pale.
  56. FRANZ: The bells, Hermann. You know what they signal don’t you?
  57. HERMANN: The King! The King is dead. We have to get you back to the castle.
  58. OLD WOMAN: But my grandson. What about my grandson?
  59. FRANZ: I’m sorry, I want to help you. I want to help the boy. But this will have to wait. My little sister, Hildegard, will be on her own now. I need to be up at the castle. I need to be with Hilde. I’ll send out some men to help you as soon as I can.
  60. SOUND: FOOTSTEPS BEGIN RUNNING THROUGH THE BRUSH – FADE INTO DISTANCE.
  61. OLD WOMAN: (SOBBING) But my grandson? Who will help save my grandson?
  62. MUSIC: TRAGIC SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

 

Writer’s Notes

We are now introduced to Rapunzel, alone in her tower. Short of a voice over of their thoughts it is quite difficult to present a character who is alone in an audio drama. For this reason the cat was added. The cat gives Rapunzel an excuse to express her thoughts out loud.

Because the cat is quite expressive, it would probably be best for the cat to be a character voiced by an actor rather than a sound effect.

As I came to write this scene, I once again found it would be easier to split it in two. I broke the scene into two parts, one occurring from Rapunzel’s balcony, and the other taking place within.

The first part introduces Rapunzel and her character arc. She is revealed to us as someone with an implicit trust in her abusive mother (the witch). She is very sheltered, and despite wanting to experience a wider world, more than a little afraid of what lies beyond her tower. The call to change comes in the form of a boy running through the woods trying to escape the pursuit of the witch. Rapunzel resists the call, attempting to hide herself and refusing the child aid.

We also see a demonstration of the witch’s (admittedly warped) commitment to Rapunzel (advancing the witch’s character arc). She has raised her these last 18 years and loves her deeply if jealously. In her warped way, she tries to please Rapunzel, bringing her statues for her garden.

However, in her pursuit of the boy, the witch does not notice that he has entered Rapunzel’s view and turns him into a statue right in front of the girl. This event begins Rapunzel’s questioning regarding the true nature of her mother and her own past.

Rapunzel seems pretty aimless at the beginning. Her goal is to enjoy the day and break the boredom with a visit from her mother.

The obstacle is the arrival of the scared boy in the clearing below her window.

The disaster that shatters her equilibrium is witnessing her mother turn the boy into a statue for her garden.

SCENE 15:    EXT. THE TOWER – MORNING
(BOY, WITCH, RAPUNZEL)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) FOREST AMBIENCE – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. SOUND: CAT MEOWS – LET IT FINISH.
  3. RAPUNZEL: Oh, hello Felix. Back from your travels are you? Did you find yourself some nice birds to decapitate?
  4. SOUND: CAT MEOWS AGAIN – LET IT FINISH.
  5. RAPUNZEL: (SIGHS) I bet you did. I bet you’ve been having all sorts of adventures while I’ve been stuck here. And I’m still bored, Felix. (SIGHS AGAIN) For a moment I thought you were mother, getting ready to call out “Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair to me”. I do miss her when she’s not here. It’s just so dull. (SIGHS AGAIN) All day, every day, I’m stuck in this tower, surrounded by forest. At least you get to go out. I’m tired of spinning wool and silk. I’m tired of painting what I can see from the balcony. I’m even tired of looking at the statues in the garden down below… well, actually, I love the statues. I hope mother brings me a another one today, a nice one this time… the last one she brought was something of a fright. (BEAT) The expression on its face… so full of fear. Still you have to applaud the artistry. They are so life like.
  6. SOUND: CAT PURRS THEN MEOWS – LET IT FINISH.
  7. RAPUNZEL: Yes, yes. You want attention. (BEAT) The truth is, so do I. Mother visits every day, and she tries in her way. I guess I should be grateful. She gives me everything I ask for, I know… except the chance to walk around outside on the grass. But it’s only for an hour or so and then she leaves… and I know what she wants, but I can’t seem to give it to her.
  8. SOUND: CAT MEOW’S IN A QUESTIONING WAY – LET IT FINISH.
  9. RAPUNZEL: Every day it’s the same; “Rapunzel, how are your studies going?” I try, Felix, I really do, but I just don’t seem to have a talent for magic. It’s been six years since my twelfth birthday and I’m yet to manage even a simple bit of levitation magic… and she always looks so disappointed in me. She put me up here and told me I’d be free the day I mastered the spell, but it has been six whole years and I’m still no closer to getting out than when the test first started.
  10. SOUND: CAT’S SYMPATHETIC MEOW – LET IT FINISH.
  11. RAPUNZEL: (LAUGHS) Well, listen to me, whinging again. At least I get to enjoy some solitude. Mother says lots of people never get a moment to themselves and that I should feel privileged. She says she used to live in a house. That was before she moved to that fortress up in the mountains, and before she built this tower for me. She said she built a huge wall just to keep people out and give herself space to think. But you knew that didn’t you, you clever cat? You’ve heard me say it often enough. And mother tells me it’s all for my good. Still, I often wonder what it would be like to actually meet someone, anyone, even if it was just for a…
  12. BOY: (IN THE DISTANCE GETTING CLOSER) Help, Help. Please… Please help me.
  13. RAPUNZEL: What was that?
  14. SOUND: STARTLED CAT’S MEOW – LET IT FINISH.
  15. BOY: A tower! Hello, is someone there? Please help me!
  16. RAPUNZEL: (SUDDENLY AFRAID) Who’s there. Go away. You’re not allowed to be here.
  17. BOY: Please, miss. Please help me. Hide me. I’m being chased by a…
  18. RAPUNZEL: You have to leave. I’m not allowed to talk to strangers.
  19. BOY: But, she’ll kill me. Or turn me into something unnatural. Please…
  20. SOUND: WHOOSH OF BROOMSTICK THROUGH THE AIR – LET IT FINISH.
  21. ESMERELDA: (CACKLING) Ahahahahah. There you are, you filthy little brat. I’ll teach you to run from me. (BEAT) Calcify!
  22. SOUND: MAGICAL CHIMES – LET IT FINISH.
  23. BOY: No, I…
  24. ESMERELDA: (CACKLING WITH GLEE) Ah, there we are my pretty! You will make a fine new addition for my daughter’s collection.
  25. RAPUNZEL: Mother, what have you done?
  26. ESMERELDA: What? Oh, Rapunzel. (LAMELY) Are you here?
  27. RAPUNZEL: Mother, of course I’m here. Where else would I be? And what have you done?
  28. ESMERELDA: .. I was out shopping for a new statue… for your collection… surprise!
  29. RAPUNZEL: But mother, that boy? You… you… turned him to stone.
  30. ESMERELDA: Oh, that? Yes, well… perhaps I’d best come up and have a chat with you… Oh, Rapunzel, dear. Let down your hair to me!
  31. RAPUNZEL: Oh, mother, do I have to? You could just fly up here, you know?
  32. ESMERELDA: (SOUNDING PETULANT) There’s an order to these things dear. Tradition and so on.
  33. RAPUNZEL: Oh all right.
  34. SOUND: SOUND OF HAIR TUMBLING TO GROUND – LET IT FINISH.
  35. ESMERELDA: Ah, how lovely your golden locks feel. (BEAT) Are you ready dear?
  36. RAPUNZEL: (GRITTING HER TEETH) Yes, mother.
  37. ESMERELDA: ALL right, here goes. (BEAT) (GRUNTS OF CLIMBING THE TOWER).
  38. RAPUNZEL: (SIMULTANEOUS WITH CLIMB) Ow. Owwww. Ugh. Ooooh. Ow.
  39. MUSIC: TIME PASSING SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

 

Writer’s notes

The scene continues inside Rapunzel’s tower. Rapunzel is shocked at what she has witnessed but the witch explains that the child was bad and needed to be punished.

While the witch’s action of turning the boy to stone calls Rapunzel to change her assessment of her mother, she resists doing so.

Rapunzel has trusted the witch her entire life and is faced with the dilemma of choosing whether or not to believe her explanation.

Her choice, understandably, is to believe the witch… but the questions have not been resolved to her satisfaction and she does so hesitantly.

This scene also gave me the chance to demonstrate that, despite the witch’s commitment to Rapunzel, the witch remains selfish and emotionally abusive.

 

SCENE 16:    INT – THE TOWER – DAY
(RAPUNZEL, ESMERELDA)

  1. SOUND: DOOR CLOSING – LET IT FINISH.
  2. RAPUNZEL: I still don’t think I understand. You mean to tell me that all the statues used to be people.
  3. ESMERELDA: That’s right dear.
  4. RAPUNZEL: (HORRIFIED) But… that’s horrible.
  5. ESMERELDA: Oh, don’t be so squeamish. If it makes you feel any better, they were all terrible, annoying, people who needed to be punished.
  6. RAPUNZEL: (BRIGHTENING) Oh, but why didn’t you say so? If they were criminals, that makes it all right then.
  7. ESMERELDA: Well, if I thought it mattered I would have told you.
  8. RAPUNZEL: So, is it like a public service you perform?
  9. ESMERELDA: What’s that?
  10. RAPUNZEL: You know, mother, helping people by punishing criminals?
  11. ESMERELDA: (SOUNDING SHIFTY) Oh, yes… Yes, of course… helping people…
  12. RAPUNZEL: So, what were their crimes?
  13. ESMERELDA: Um… Oh, you know…
  14. RAPUNZEL: No, but I’d like to. I like to know about the things you do to help people… but I don’t think I want any more statues for the garden.
  15. ESMERELDA: Oh, now don’t be silly dear. Of course you do.
  16. RAPUNZEL: The thought that they were once people, even really bad people… well, it’s a little frightening.
  17. ESMERELDA: Oh, you’ll get used to it. Besides I’ve picked another one out for you. A pretty little thing that I think you’ll be very happy with.
  18. RAPUNZEL: Oh, what did she do?
  19. ESMERELDA: Pardon?
  20. RAPUNZEL: Why does she need to be punished? Did she murder someone? Or burn down her parent’s home? Or, or?
  21. ESMERELDA: Oh, such an imagination! Suffice to say she’s a horrible little child who is a complete waste of oxygen.
  22. RAPUNZEL: But mother?
  23. ESMERELDA: No, not another word. I want to know how your studies are coming along.
  24. RAPUNZEL: Well, I’m still stuck in the tower, as you can see.
  25. ESMERELDA: Don’t be impertinent! (BEAT) Oh Rapunzel, it’s such a simple spell. How are you ever going to complete your apprenticeship if you can’t even master a simple levitation spell?
  26. RAPUNZEL: (TEARING UP) I’m sorry mother, I try, I really do.
  27. ESMERELDA: (SUDDENLY ANGRY) I don’t believe you. I think you are a spiteful, ungrateful daughter who doesn’t care about the feelings of your mother. Didn’t I raise you? Didn’t I feed you? Haven’t I given you everything you have? And this is the thanks I get. You are a wicked, wicked child. I should leave you locked up here on your own and not come to visit you for a week. A week, I say.
  28. RAPUNZEL: (CRYING PROPERLY NOW) No, mother, no! You know I’m trying. I’ll try harder, I promise. You’ll see. I’ll figure the spell out. Please don’t lock me up again. I go crazy with no-one to talk to.
  29. ESMERELDA: (SOFTENING AGAIN) Oh, my poor Rapunzel. What am I going to do with you? You know that I’m only hard on you because I love you?
  30. RAPUNZEL: Yes mother, I know.
  31. ESMERELDA: And I only punish you because you deserve it?
  32. RAPUNZEL: Yes mother.
  33. ESMERELDA: Ah well, if only you weren’t such a disappointment. Still, it’s getting late. Maybe, next time?
  34. RAPUNZEL: Yes, mother. I’ll try harder, I promise.
  35. ESMERELDA: I’ll let myself out, dear.
  36. RAPUNZEL: Must you go, mother?
  37. ESMERELDA: Yes, I must. I’ll be back tomorrow, though. See that you save me some of that broth.
  38. RAPUNZEL: Yes, mother.
  39. SOUND: DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES – LET IT FINISH.
  40. SOUND: WHOOSH OF WITCH FLYING AWAY – LET IT FINISH.
  41. SOUND: CAT’S MEOW – LET IT FINISH.
  42. RAPUNZEL: Oh, Felix, there you are? You really, don’t like it when mother comes to visit do you?
  43. SOUND: CAT’S MEOW – LET IT FINISH.
  44. RAPUNZEL: (MUSING) I wonder what the boy did that was so bad? He looked so scared, Felix. And he had a pleasant sort of face. (STERNLY) But mother said he needed to be punished so I guess he must have done something fairly awful…
  45. SOUND: DOUBTFUL CAT’S MEOW – LET IT FINISH.
  46. RAPUNZEL: Oh, it must have been something terrible, Felix? (BEAT) Mustn’t it?
  47. MUSIC: NEUTRAL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

 

Writer’s notes

In this scene we return our attention to Franz. The aim was to give Franz a reason to attend to his responsibilities, a point of commitment, where he chooses to take action rather than avoid decisions.

He is once more trying to goof off. He has found a way to delay his coronation and is keen to go fishing but his friend Hermann is concerned that the number of children who have vanished in the forest can’t be accounted for as the natural result of accident. Franz listens and decides he will have to do something after all.

So, once again Franz’ goal is to goof off.

This time the obstacle is Hermann and then the Herald sent by the chamberlain to find him. Unlike last time, Franz doesn’t hide.

Disaster strikes in the form of news telling him that his sister has not been seen since the previous day.

Franz’ dilemma is that he must choose whether to return to the castle and loose time organising the search or set out on his own while sending Hermann to organise the search on his behalf.

His choice is to set out on his own.

In abandoning his fun and setting out in search of his sister Franz reaches the commitment point of his character arc.

SCENE 17:   EXT – THE FOREST – MORNING
(HERMANN, FRANZ, HERALD)

  1. SOUND: (WALLA) FOREST AMBIENCE – ESTABLISH AND UNDER
  2. HERMANN: (EXASPERATED) Franz, the coronation is only days away.
  3. FRANZ: I know. I wish I could’ve convinced the Chamberlain to make it even more lavish so it would take even longer to organise.
  4. HERMANN: This is childish, Franz. You have responsibilities now.
  5. FRANZ: And I’m fulfilling them. I promised to continue the search for that Rapunzel girl and here I am. (BEAT) Searching.
  6. HERMANN: With a fishing pole?
  7. FRANZ: It was just lying beside a tree. I couldn’t just leave it here. Someone might come along and steal it.
  8. HERMANN: It’s your fishing pole, Franz. I can see the royal insignia on it. Now, as your friend, I applaud your inventiveness… but as one of your subjects…
  9. FRANZ: Yes?
  10. HERMANN: Well, I had hoped you would step up to your responsibilities a little more once you became King.
  11. FRANZ: And after the coronation I will. You are beginning to sound like Father, and not a little like my sister.
  12. HERMANN: And how is Hilde?
  13. FRANZ: She’s coping well. She cried a great deal at the funeral, but I have been there for her as much as I can. She is behaving as a princess should.
  14. HERMANN: While you behave like a…
  15. FRANZ: Stop it. I’m beginning to regret having asked for your company on this outing.
  16. HERMANN: Then listen to me, please. I’ve been trying to raise this issue with you since we set out. Stop trying to avoid the topic, hear me out, and I’ll let it rest.
  17. FRANZ: Is that a promise?
  18. HERMANN: (SIGHS) Yes, it’s a promise.
  19. FRANZ: All right, get it off your chest… but after that I expect you to turn on the cheer. It’s too beautiful a day to hang on to gloomy thoughts.
  20. HERMANN: All right. I’ll come straight to the point. It’s about that boy who went missing the day your father died.
  21. FRANZ: (IMPATIENT) Yes?
  22. HERMANN: They didn’t find him.
  23. FRANZ: (DEFENSIVELY) I know that. I was the one who sent out the search party remember?
  24. HERMANN: Yes, I do. But I did some asking around. The old woman wasn’t exaggerating. There have been a lot of children go missing in these woods.
  25. FRANZ: So? I mean, it’s awful, but accidents happen. There are trees to fall out of, streams to drown in, etc. And the forest itself is large enough to get lost in. It’s not so unusual.
  26. HERMANN: But that’s my point. Even taking into account the loss to accident or injury, there have been far too many children go missing for this to be anything but unusual.
  27. FRANZ: How many children are we talking about?
  28. HERMANN: Twelve in the last three months.
  29. FRANZ: (SHOCKED) But that can’t be right! That’s more or less one child a week.
  30. HERMANN: That’s what I’m trying to tell you. Something bad is happening Franz. It’s happening right now. And it’s happening in your Kingdom, in your own forest. This is your responsibility now, it is your duty to do something.
  31. FRANZ: But what can I do about it?
  32. HERMANN: Oh, for goodness sake. You are the King… almost. If you wanted to, you could have every inch of this forest searched for whatever is hunting these children. Pass a royal decree or something. You didn’t have any trouble getting the coronation put off for a few weeks.
  33. FRANZ: All right. If it will satisfy you, I’ll get something happening on the matter as soon as we get back to the castle…
  34. HERMANN:
  35. FRANZ: But in the mean-time, come and help me enjoy the sunshine. I’ve found a little fishing spot that I’m sure you’ll enjoy. And I promise to stay awake this time.
  36. HERALD: (AT A DISTANCE) Your majesty! Your majesty! I have urgent news from the palace.
  37. FRANZ: (GROANS) Oh no. What is it now?
  38. HERMANN: (LAUGHING) The Chamberlain won’t let you out of his sight for a minute, will he?
  39. FRANZ: No, and if I try to hide, he’ll have the whole palace guard out scouring the countryside for me.
  40. HERMANN: And it wouldn’t do for his highness to be found somewhere hiding in a tree, now would it?
  41. FRANZ: (DEFEATED) No, it would not.
  42. HERALD: (CLOSER) Your majesty?
  43. FRANZ: Over here. What is it you squawking despoiler of sunny mornings?
  44. HERALD: (ARRIVING AND PANTING) A thousand pardons your majesty. I’m so glad I found you. I bring urgent news from the palace.
  45. FRANZ: All right, man. Recover your breath. What’s so important this time? Has the Chamberlain changed his mind about the color of the drapery to be used at the coronation?
  46. HERALD: No your majesty. It is your sister. She is missing.
  47. FRANZ: What?
  48. HERALD: She went into the forest for a ride yesterday and did not return.
  49. FRANZ: What of her guard? Where are they?
  50. HERALD: She convinced the head of the palace guard that her personal guard would be with her and convinced her personal guard that she was riding under the protection of the palace guard. Her absence wasn’t noted until this morning.
  51. HERMANN: She learned that trick from you Franz.
  52. FRANZ: And what is being done, quick tell me?
  53. HERALD: At the moment the castle is being searched in case she returned safely and has merely been staying in seclusion.
  54. FRANZ: Hermann, get back to the castle and take charge of the search. Call together the guard, palace, personal, all of them, and send them to that glade about a mile into the woods, the one that lies north of the old apple cart track. That’s where she would usually take her ride.
  55. HERMANN: And what about you, your majesty?
  56. FRANZ: (TO THE HERALD) Give me your sword.
  57. HERALD: Yes, sire.
  58. SOUND: JINGLING OF SWORD HARNESS BEING STRAPPED ON – DUCK UNDER.
  59. FRANZ: I’ll make my way through the forest and meet them there.
  60. HERMANN: Sire, is that wise?
  61. FRANZ: Don’t argue with me. Consider it a command. Just get the guard to meet me there. Hurry.
  62. HERMANN AND THE HERALD: Yes your majesty.
  63. SOUND: FEET RUNNING IN DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS – FADE OUT.
  64. MUSIC: URGENT SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.

 

Writer’s notes

I wrote this final short scene because I felt the need to increase the sense of jeopardy leading into the next episode. The scene helps reinforce Franz’ emotional state. My hope is that the audience will identify with him enough, despite his character flaws, to continue listening for the outcome.

One of the tricky parts of writing drama is to create a character who is flawed enough to develop but not so unpleasant as to be off-putting to the audience. Franz is irresponsible, yes, but ultimately, to be a successful protagonist, he must be someone the audience can identify and empathise with.

I needed to be rid of Hermann for this scene, but it did leave Franz with no-one but himself to talk to. It’s a little artificial but I think it achieves what it was supposed to.

SCENE 18:    EXT. – THE FOREST – DAY
(FRANZ)

  1. SOUND: CRASHING THROUGH UNDERBRUSH – LET IT FINISH.
  2. FRANZ: (PANTING) This is the spot. This is where she would have left the mare… There! Some tracks! I can see them disappearing into the underbrush… but it doesn’t look like she’s directing the animal. It appears to be wandering and grazing. Did she fall off? Did she stop and leave the horse?
    Yes, there. She got off the horse. It looks like she crouched to pick some flowers… but this doesn’t make sense. The grass is flattened as if she was weighed down heavily… and then… nothing. No other tracks, no sign that she got back on the horse. I don’t understand.
    Hildegard? Hildegard? Can you hear me? Hilde?
  3. MUSIC: SUSPENSEFUL SCENE ENDER – LET IT FINISH.
  4. MUSIC: CLOSING THEME AND CREDITS – LET IT FINISH.

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Lessons

Worked Example (Radio Adaptation of Rapunzel)