This semester I’m teaching a brand-new class for Gotham Writers, titled Novel Draft 2. (As you might imagine, it follows Novel Draft 1.) This is a class designed for people who are embarking on the novel journey. Some have ideas, some have 200 pages of manuscript. Most are in that first-draft stage, which is to say they are feeling their way and are looking for inspiration and guidance. As opposed to my usual screaming and yelling. Not! The syllabus of the class is especially fun because each week we examine a different writer and discuss excerpts from his or her book and then do writing exercises based on what we’ve discussed. So, for example, last week we studied Ernest J. Gaines and focused on his novel, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. Gaines is a master of voice, so one of the exercises we did was to “write a brief passage from your novel from the first person point of view of a character whose point of view is never used.” I’m always floored by the things people come up with, myself include. There’s something so inspiring about sitting with a bunch of writers and writing. Which writers inspire you?