BEST NOVEL WRITING PROMPTS

Join (probably?) the world's largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.

Showing 30 prompts reset

This week's contest:
Win $250

Magic in the Air

18 contest entries /
12 stories

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days

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hours

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Closes at 23:59 - Dec 16 EST

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Write a rags-to-riches story.

Novel – 20 stories

Win $250 in our short story competition 🏆

We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

Contest #176 LIVE

Enter our weekly contest!

This week's theme: Magic in the Air


$250

Prize money

18

Contest entries

12

Stories

--

Days

--

Hours

--

Mins

--

Secs

Closes at 23:59 - Dec 16, 2022 EST
View details

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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.