The best novel writing prompts
Every novel springs from the seed of a story idea. So, where is your story idea going to come from?
If you’re struggling to let loose your imagination, let a creative writing prompt help you. Writing prompts for novels can provide the inspiration that writers need to come up with ideas for their next book. Best of all, they’re multi-purpose: you can use them to develop your characters, practice writing from a different perspective, explore other genres, or simply overcome writer’s block.
If you're looking to cut to the chase, here's our top ten list of novel writing prompts:
- Start your story with two characters deciding to spend the night in a graveyard.
- Write a story about a TV show called "Second Chances."
- Write a story around the theme: Be careful what you wish for.
- Write a story inspired by the most recent text message you received.
- Write a story that starts from the perspective of the antagonist.
- Write a story that starts in one time period and ends in another.
- Write a story where the protagonist dies in the first paragraph.
- Write a story where the readers are in on a secret that the characters are unaware of.
- Write a story where the villain is the protagonist. Try to get readers on their side.
- Write a story about a professional hypnotizer.
If you're interested in learning more about how to write a novel, check out our free resources on the topic:
- How to Write a Novel 101 (free course) — All novels, including the great ones, have the same basic components: plot, structure, and characters. Take this free course to learn more about these all-important elements of a story—and how you can subvert them to make your own book great.
Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.