Fruitless Cultivation | Skillshare Projects



Fruitless Cultivation

Step 1: For my screenplay, I have selected the poem titled "Nancy Knapp" from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters. I have included the poem here:

Nancy Knapp

"Well, don't you see this was the way of it:

We bought the farm with what he inherited,

And his brothers and sisters accused him of poisoning

His fathers mind against the rest of them.

And we never had any peace with our treasure.

The murrain took the cattle, and the crops failed.

And lightning struck the granary.

So we mortgaged the farm to keep going,

And he grew silent and was worried all the time.

Then some of the neighbors refused to speak to us,

And took sides with his brothers and sisters.

And I had no place to turn, as one may say to himself,

At an earlier time in life;

"No matter, So and so is my friend, or I can shake this off

With a little trip to Decatur."

Then the dreadfulest smells infested the rooms,

So I set fire to the beds and the old witch-house

Went up in a roar of flame,

As I danced in the yard with waving arms,

While he wept like a freezing steer."

This is a rollercoaster of a story which is what makes it so appealing to me; the unrelentless conflict eventually becomes unbearable for Nancy and she ends up snapping and taking control of life in her own way. As I start to work out my screenplay, I would like to develop the rift that begins to grow between Nancy and her husband as the things that should have brought the couple happiness ultimately brings them to an unfortunate end. 

Step 2: 

Fruitless Cultivation - DRAFT 1

I just finished the first draft about ten minutes ago, so I'm sure there's plenty of technical errors that need to be fixed. I'm also willing to bet that I will probably end up rewording some of the dialogue.

Fruitless Cultivation - DRAFT 2

In draft 2 I have made a LOT of changes, mostly in execution. The story is still essentially the same. Minor changes have been made everywhere, but some major changes include the dialogue/actions between the siblings in the house near the beginning, a completely new scene between Nancy and Beltram/Amelinda has been added, the scene with Mrs. Pantier has been completely reworked, and the ending is almost the same but has been rewritten, with the voice over being placed differently as well. This draft goes a few lines over the maximum page requirement, so any advice on how to reword something/ cut out something would be appreciated. I'm not sure how to trim the fat on this one to get it where it needs to be. Again, Celtx was used for the second draft as well and with the final draft I will be going over some of the more minor, but important, flaws and fixing them. 

Fruitless Cultivation - DRAFT 3

Draft 3 is now up- I think I might be close to being done. I would still love feedback because I didn't receive much on number 2 :) For this round, I just trimmed some fat and then added a reason for the smell that Nancy can't seem to shake. Let me know your thoughts on this- the reason I provided is symbolic, and I would like to know if it is effective. 

Any feedback at this point is welcome. I used Celtx to format my draft so any errors it created that you catch and are willing to share would be wonderful. 

I will be trying to visit other peoples projects again- I had to put it on a temporary hold due to the fact that I got in a car accident last week, and now my cat is at the vet hospital with jaundice :/ 


Fruitless Cultivation - Final Draft

Yay, I'm finished! 

Step 3:


A lonely woman struggles to live a happy life alongside her husband's childhood dream of being a farmer when family strife, marital troubles, and withering cornfields push her over the edge.

Extra info

photo credit: 

Text added by me. This image is not intended for profit but for educational purposes only. I do not plan to use this image outside of class.


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