Hands | Skillshare Projects

Emily Duncan

Freelance Writer




Step 1:

I've chosen the story of Wing Biddlebaum from Winesburg, Ohio. I think it has a strong and interesting narrative that will be a challenge to translate into film. I was drawn to it because I think the main character is fascinating and the story has a way of feeling current despite being written almost 100 years ago. Anderson paints Wing as a warm and harmless man who, accused of relations with one of his students in another town years before, lives in a sort of exile in Winesburg, haunted by being beaten for the movements of his hands.

The moment when Wing touches George and then recoils had a real visual, visceral power for me. Here's the passage:

Wing Biddlebaum became wholly inspired. For once he forgot the hands. Slowly they stole forth and lay upon George Willard's shoulders. Something new and bold came into the voice that talked. "You must try to forget all you have learned," said the old man. "You must begin to dream. From this time on you must shut your ears to the roaring of the voices."

Pausing in his speech, Wing Biddlebaum looked long and earnestly at George Willard. His eyes glowed. Again he raised the hands to caress the boy and then a look of horror swept over his face.

With a convulsive movement of his body, Wing Biddlebaum sprang to his feet and thrust his hands deep into his trouser pockets. Tears came into his eyes. "I must be getting along home. I can talk no more with you," he said nervously.

Without looking back, the old man had hurried down the hillside and across a meadow, leaving George Willard perplexed and frightened upon the grassy slope. With a shiver of dread the boy arose and went along the road toward town. "I'll not ask him about his hands," he thought, touched by the memory of the terror he had seen in the man's eyes. "There's something wrong, but I don't want to know what it is. His hands have something to do with his fear of me and of everyone."

Check out my vision board.

Step 2

Second draft is done, hoping to do a third one and looking for thoughts on where to take the script next and what the weak points might be.

Here's my first draft for reference: 


Any and all feedback and impressions will be greatly appreciated! I'll do my best to return the favor. Thanks so much! 

Note: June 28 - I got a new job this past week so I'm sorry I haven't been as active, I promise to get back to everyone as soon as I can! You're all doing wonderful work!

Logline: An ostracized former schoolteacher yearns to connect with a young man, but he is haunted by trauma after an alleged affair.


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