Chosen Topic: From the first time Ray saw Sherry in her eyes, he knew deeply in his mind that he had already fallen for her. He has been turned down countless times in the past three years.
Teacher's Suggestion: If you go with this topic, I'd suggest really using Ray's past disappointments in love as a way to create conflict with Sherry, for example, maybe he has to overcome being clingy or jealous or...something connected to his past. I'd recommend going beyond the date into the actual relationship so that the stakes (what the character has to win or lose) become higher.
In this draft, you have one important task: the creation of an intriguing character or set of characters who are placed in a tense situation that requires a resolution. The narrative arc consists of a conflict, crisis, and a resolution, but first drafts are not required to have all of these. In fact, don't hesitate to put your characters into a major crisis just because you don't anticipate the resolution just yet. The process of critiques and drafts should clarify that resolution and may reveal aspects of your characters that you hadn't considered.
Your first draft should be 750-1250 words, about 3-5 double spaced pages.
We'll continually encourage character-driven stories. Drafts will be graded on the student's mastery of the elements of narrative (character, plot, setting, dialogue, style, etc.)