[Introduction by Rhyming Narrator Chick. Followed by Prince Charming walking along on a bright, sunny day. He sees a bridge, with a short man (Gnomus) as the bridge-keeper.]
R.N.C: A long time ago in land that was fair
Lived a handsome young Prince with stylish (insert colour) hair.
This Prince he lived, and was happy with life
Except for the rather obvious lack of a wife.
It's not that he's ugly, or smelly, or dumb,
It's just that he hasn't quite found the right one.
But one day the Prince heard tell of a maid,
Who was in peril and needed to somehow be saved.
So our hero readied his sword, armour, and horse
And without delay, he plotted his course.
He traveled for weeks, day after day,
And somehow even lost his horse on the way.
One day in a forest he was a-walking
And this is where our story begins…
[Exit Rhyming Narrator Chick. Enter Gnomus, to Bridge, and Prince.]
PRINCE: (Walks toward Bridge) Good day, fair Bridge-keeper. Would you be so kind as to let me pass across your bridge on this fine day?
GNOMUS: That would really depend, fair stranger. I'm not in the business of just letting any old sword-wielding, armour-clad outsider wander past. I wouldn't be much of a bridge-keeper if I did do that, would I? Tell me, what is your name, and what reason do you have for wanting to cross this fine specimen of a bridge?
PRINCE: I am the Prince of a well-known, yet curiously unnamed, kingdom in the west. I come this way because I have heard tell of a fair Princess who is in dire need of rescuing.
GNOMUS: You... what?
PRINCE: I said I am a Prince, and I go to rescue a Princess!
GNOMUS: You're telling me that... you're going... to rescue... a princess?
PRINCE: Yes that is indeed what I am telling you... for the third time now. (Gnomus laughs) And may I ask what is so funny about that?
GNOMUS: Oh, nothing at all, nothing at all. After all, who am I - a humble bridge-keeper - to argue with a Prince? But don't you think that the 'Damsel in Distress' idea has been overdone a little bit?
GNOMUS: Yes, overdone. (whispers) People have paid good money to come and see this show. The least you could do is provide them with an original story. If they wanted to see some brainless hero beat up the bad guys and get the girl, they could've just stayed up late and watched a Tarzan movie.
PRINCE: Brainless?! I don't thi-
GNOMUS: Don't worry. I know you may feel a bit lost, but I'll help set you on the right track. What did you say your name was? I didn't quite catch it.
PRINCE: Er... Prince Charming.
GNOMUS: (slight pause) You're serious, aren't you? You really are the king of Cliché. Pleased to meet you anyway, I suppose. The name's Gnomus. Okay, now listen up, Charms. Firstly, you seem rather set on the idea of rescuing a girl, but to do so the first thing we gotta do is come up with a new and exciting reason for your princess to be in trouble. And I mean new. No poisoned apples, or sleep curses. No evil step-mothers, step-sisters, brothers, cousins, aunties or dogs. We need something fresh. Something innovative and thrilling.
PRINCE: Something new? Something fresh?
GNOMUS: Yes! New! Fresh! We need...
That is all I've done for now. I'll leave the song-writing up to the rest of my excellent writing team. But please, tell me what you think.
(cross-posted in fictionwriters, and in my journal)