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A Novel Idea

Template NameAs several writers with Tufts ties can attest, the path to success as a novelist is paved with multiple drafts. But the end results, they say, are worth it.


The road from the creative spark all the way to the published novel is long and winding. It can begin in a classroom or a garden shed. It can make a pit stop at a coffee shop or percolate in an academic workshop. But for those who succeed—including many Tufts graduates and their teachers—the destination is the same: a bookshelf, surrounded by their estimable peers.

Tufts authors

Tufts authors from left to right: Jay Cantor, Chris Castellani, Michael Downing, Jonathan Strong, Ellen Sussman, Jonathan Wilson

Collected here are insights offered by some Tufts graduates and instructors who have spent their lives honing their craft. Consider this a master class in the art of creating novels.

Chapter One
Writer's Block: A Crock?
The Writer's Challenge
Finding The Reward

Chapter Two
Location, Location, Location
Shaping The Idea
Writing From Experience
The Analogy Garden

Chapter Three
Readers
Portrait Of The Writer As A Young Person
Writer As Teacher


Profile written by Ben Hoffman, Michaelann Millrood and Patrice Taddonio, Class of 2006

Photos by Tufts University Photo

This story originally ran on Oct. 9, 2006.