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Of Dust and Bone

STEP ONE: SELECTING YOUR TEXT

I chose to adapt the poems "Amanda Barker" and, to a lesser extent, "Henry Phipps" from Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters, because the concept of a man who purposefully impregnated his wife with the intention of killing her was immediately interesting to me.

My first task was to find out why, and when I discovered Henry Phipps, the Sunday School director who'd lost everything and no longer found himself in the particular care of God, I knew there was a story there. 

What else interested me was the fact that Henry was somehow able to keep his intentions secret from the town, which launched me on the idea of a story told through silence and the unsaid things that hover betwen disfunctional man and wife. 

Excerpts from Spoon River Anthology:

Amanda Barker

HENRY got me with child,
Knowing that I could not bring forth life
Without losing my own.
In my youth therefore I entered the portals of dust. Traveler, it is believed in the village where I lived That Henry loved me with a husband’s love
But I proclaim from the dust
That he slew me to gratify his hatred. 

Henry Phipps

I WAS the Sunday-school superintendent,
The dummy president of the wagon works
And the canning factory,
Acting for Thomas Rhodes and the banking clique; 

And then:

The bank collapsed.
When newspapers, judges and money-magicians
Build over again.
I was stripped to the bone, but I lay in the Rock of Ages, Seeing now through the game, no longer a dupe,
And knowing “‘the upright shall dwell in the land
But the years of the wicked shall be shortened.”
Then suddenly, Dr. Meyers discovered A cancer in my liver.

I was not, after all, the particular care of God Why, even thus standing on a peak
Above the mists through which I had climbed, And ready for larger life in the world,
Eternal forces
Moved me on with a push. 

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STEP TWO: DRAFTING YOUR SCREENPLAY

Final Draft

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STEP THREE: WRITING YOUR LOGLINE

Logline:

With only six months until a dreaded pregnancy claims her life, a devoted Sunday School Director's wife must discover if her vengeful husband has killed her intentionally.

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