Week 5- 10/3/2012 – A First Draft on The Alchemist


What should a first draft look like?  Not like a final draft, that’s for sure.  Here below is an example of a first draft written by an experienced student and the new students he was working with.  You will notice that it is completely devoid of transitions, it has many grammar and mechanics mistakes.  Yet it is beautiful because the students used the information they gathered on their brainstorm to write.   (Notice that the students put in a working title!)  There are no introduction and conclusion paragraphs this time around. These are the most difficult and we will get to them later.

Now we will talk about the main character Santiago. Because this is an allegory, there is not much physical description. But, he is about 20 years old, and he carries a jacket and a shepherds crook. Santiago is the type of person you could see walking down the street in Spain because; he is an ordinary person searching for his personal legend. He also changes throughout the story from an ordinary guy to a rich man who wants to explore the world and answer life’s mysteries. Paulo Cohelo describes Santiago as a cautious Shepard because he never lets his sheep go out of his sight, and he also doesn’t give up easily because he follows his personal legend to its end. Santiago is rude in the beginning of the story but he becomes more polite as it goes on. At one point Santiago says “I don’t know the language of the desert, but my horse knows the language of life.” Other’s characters reactions were surprise and love. Santiago surprises people by telling people he knows how to read. And Fatima reacts with love by saying “… My present has arrived and it’s you.” Santiago likes to think about his personal legend and Fatima.

This paragraph will be about the setting of the story. The story happens in the early 1900s in Spain and Africa. The setting helps define Santiago because if he was not a Shepard in Spain there would be no story. The setting helps the plot because it would be confusing if it did the story did not tell us that Santiago was in Spain or Africa. The first few pages in the story tell us that it will be adventurous and that Santiago is going to learn some new things.

Finally, we will talk about the plot of this story. The problem of this book is that Santiago has a reoccurring dream about treasure. The first thing that happens is that on the way to see a girl, he talks to a gypsy about the dream. Then he meets an old king that tells him about personal legends and treasure. He gets to Africa and loses all his money to a friend. About a year later he gets to an oasis, and falls in love with Fatima. Later, he has a vision and then meets the alchemist soon the battle happens. Continues with the alchemist to the pyramids and gets captured by tribesmen. To escape he turns himself into the wind and meets The Hand That Wrote It All. He travels to a monetary then the alchemist proves his personal legend. Then he goes on to the pyramids by himself. At the climax Santiago is being beaten to death. The conflict of the story is Santiago vs. nature because he battles with the elements.


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