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Going for Gold

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Contest #256 LIVE

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This week's theme: Going for Gold


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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:

  • Top tips for crafting your first novel (blog post)— All novels, including the great ones, have the same basic components: plot, structure, and characters. 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.


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