My rough draft for Assignment #1 is finished! I'm happy to report it has a beginning, a middle, and an end. It has a believable protagonist with a real conflict, and the conflict gets worse before it gets better. The protagonist's actions and character--not coincidence, not her 2nd cousin's dog--create the story line. It has a climactic moment, and it has resolution. In other words, it is a real story, not an anecdote or a literary experiment.
Now, that may not sound like much. And it may not be much. But for me, it really is a breakthrough. A bite off the elephant's big butt. I told myself I could not plot, and I had to work my way through that mental block. It took a week or so of anguish. But now that I'm on the other side, it won't be as hard next time. That's the way I'll get through this course. One bite at a time.