21 Writing Prompts To Help You Finish An Entire Novel This Summer

by Melissa Ragsdale

Summer is officially here, and it's the perfect time to start writing a novel. There's no school and plenty of sunshine — which means it's the perfect season to focus on a new project. What could be more thrilling than buckling down and writing that book you've always been dreaming about?

During most of the year, I fantasize about having the time and space to work on my own writing projects. Even if you're not in school, there's something about summer that just makes everything seem more possible. I don't know if it's the same for you, but I always get a burst of energy when the weather gets hot and the days get long. At the beginning of the summer, it feels like anything and everything is possible.

So, with the whole summer ahead of you, it's time to finally write that novel. Open up a brand spankin' new Word file, pour yourself your favorite summer drink, and let your imagination run wild. This summer, there are no limits—just see where your mind takes you.

The hardest part of writing a novel is getting started. So, here are 21 prompts to give you a little push and get your pen moving. You'll be churning out that novel in no time.


Write about the ultimate summer fling.

Try to make yourself swoon!


Pick a historical event that's always fascinated you. Write a from the point-of-view of someone who wouldn't get mentioned in the history books.

Think about it rom a completely different perspective.


Make up an urban legend about your hometown.

Ooh, did you know that there's the ghost of a dead nun living in the church's bell tower?


The last words of your novel are "As the sun finally rose, she was starting to understand." Now, go write the rest.

What happened to lead up to that moment?


Pick a random playlist and name the chapter titles after each song.

See where the music takes you.


Your main character has an incredible superpower, but they can only use it when nobody's looking at them. How do they save the day?

Get creative with how they could work around the problem.


It's the year 2030, and a single invention has changed EVERYTHING. Tell your readers all about this brand new world.

Also, what would happen if this invention stopped working?


What would happen if a fictional version of your BFF was the queen of the world?

Would it be a utopian paradise, or would it be a total disaster?


The human race finally encounters alien life. But when they make contact, they discover that the aliens have known about them all along and have chosen this precise moment to reveal themselves. Why did they make this choice?

Plus, what happens now that the humans know?


Write a novel from the point-of-view of your favorite fictional character if they lived in the real world.

What would it be like to be in their mind?


Two best friends were separated ten years ago, but now miraculously they've found each other again. What happens next?

How did they get separated, and how were they reunited again? GIve us all the deets.


Pick ten adjectives at random. Write about a main character that embodies all of them.

Try choosing from this list of character traits.


Write a novel about a character who quits everything in their life and travels to the other side of the world.

What do they discover?


Write a novel about a strange new club that starts at a high school.

What kind of shenanigans would they get into?


Write a short story that begins with the sentence: "She woke up to a sound she never thought she'd hear again."

What comes next?


Write a short story that takes place entirely in a canoe.

Why are they in the canoe? Where are they going?


Write a novel that starts with the worst day of your main character's life.

Be creative with how truly terrible you can make this day.


Start your novel with a text message that ruins EVERYTHING.

What unbelievable secret does it contain?


Write a novel from the perspectives of four friends who are sharing a vacation home...but each of them has a terrible secret.

Some delicious drama is definitely about to ensue.


A painting has mysteriously gone missing from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. But what the authorities don't know is that it was far more important than they could have realized...

What secrets is it hiding?


Start your novel by writing an imaginary episode of a podcast.

See what you discover as the episode goes on.


Begin every chapter of your novel with a science fact. Try to integrate them into your plot.

They can be real facts, or you can try to make up the most outlandish facts possible.