10 Prompts to start your novel

Write 1000 words or less, capturing the tone of these prompts to get you novel rolling

  • You walk into a store and find no one there except...
  • The world could end tomorrow but you are stuck doing...
  • You're little brother goes missing so you call...
  • 10 reasons why you shouldn't go to school
  • Once upon a ordinary day, the doorbell rang, and when you answer the door your life will change forever
  • Flying through outer space at 200 light years and hour the intergalactic police pull you over and ask for your licence. What do you do?
  • You are the only witness to the murder of your next door neighbor...
  • 10 reasons why dragons should die in a hole
  • Write a resume for your charactor's ideal job, (e.g spy, crayon labler, belly dancer, nija turtle etc...)
  • Write an expert from the perspective of god, fate, death, or some other omniscient figure

Websites to find prompts

Planning, Planning, Planning

Despite what you may think, this is one of the most interesting steps of writing a novel, because the entire story unfolds before your eyes, and really it is not that much work, (Compared with the rest of the process.)

There are 5 ways to approach planning:
                                                            Skip It
Trust your imagination and just hit the keyboard, just don't run into any dead ends, (or brick walls. ) Keep in mind, you will need to edit, edit, edit. This method is great for horror stories.

                                                       Make a Backbone

So plan out some characters, a rough plot line, but leave room for the good old imagination to kick in. This is what I used to write my novel. Edit heavilly and plan out scenes after the first draft.

                                                       Plan out Scenes
If you don't know what a scene is, (Its okay, I didn't until I finished my novel), they are divisions of a novel anywhere from a paragraph to a chapter long. I will go more into them later. The idea is that every action that a character makes is followed by a reaction (set back,) and then the character has to make a decision, which leads to an action, and so the cycle continues. My novel had about sixty scenes and I scribbled them out on flash cards. If you don't plan them out before your novel, you will have to plan them out later for the editing stage, because scenes are essential to the plot of your novel or short story.

                                                     An Entire outline
Blahhhh. This is an entire outline of your story with all plot twists and characters planned out. This is ALL telling, so it is extremely boring. On the bright side, you might have to edit, maybe, once. Great for thrillers and mysteries. Robert Lundum's outines could reach 100 pages!

Work Sheets to help your planning process