As the 6th graders are busily writing their rough drafts for their year-ending novels, I have been telling myself that I won’t begin looking at their works until they get to the final draft stage. Too time-consuming.

Yet I snuck a peek. I had to.

I have already recognized outstanding natural writing talent among several students in the class, and I just had to see what this student was writing – even though she is only in the very early rough draft stages.

Here is the story opening (again, only rough draft):

Tania raced towards the park, her dark hair flying beside her. Only a few more steps, she thought as she ran jumped up the steps and headed towards the bridge. She had to dodge people as they ran, laughed, walked, or played.

And then there it is: The bridge right ahead. The bridge was always one of Tania’s favorites at the park. On both its sides, it was occupied with trees, their bluish flowers, swaying in the wind. There always seems to have a breeze blowing, and the best of all, you could get some snacks on the other side of the bridge and enjoy it, either sitting on the soft green grass, or sitting on the benches.

There was a figure up ahead, sitting on the grass, drinking a milkshake and peering around. Tania put on extra speed feeling as if there was a trail of smoke behind her. “Emily!” she yelled, suddenly collapsing on the ground.

Emily turned. “Tania!” She put down her milkshake and ran over to where Tania lay on the ground, still breathing hard, her face red. Emily laughed. “Get up,” she said gently as she helped her best friend stand and walk.