21 writing prompts to help you complete an entire novel this summer

Summer has officially arrived and now is the perfect time to start writing a novel. There is no school and lots of sun, which means this is the perfect season to focus on a new project. What could be more exciting than letting go and writing that book you’ve always dreamed of?

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

So, with all summer ahead of you, it’s time to finally write this novel. Open a brand 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 boost and get your pen moving. You’ll be releasing this novel in no time.


Write about the ultimate summer adventure.

Try to pass out!


Choose a historical event that has always fascinated you. Write one from the perspective of someone who might not be mentioned in the history books.

Think of it from a completely different point of view.


Invent an urban legend about your hometown.

Ooh, did you know there’s the ghost of a dead nun living in the church steeple?


The last words of your novel are “As the sun was finally rising, she was beginning to understand.” Now go write the rest.

What happened before this moment?


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

See where the music takes you.


Your main character has incredible super power, but he can only use it when no one is looking at him. How do they save the day?

Get creative with how they might get around the problem.


It’s 2030, and one invention has changed EVERYTHING. Tell your readers about this whole new world.

Also, what would happen if this invention stopped working?


What if a fictional version of your best friend was the queen of the world?

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


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

Plus, what’s going on now that humans know?


Write a novel from the perspective of your favorite fictional character if he or she lived in the real world.

What would it be like to be on their mind?


Two best friends were separated ten years ago, but now, miraculously, they’ve reunited. What happens next?

How did they come apart and how were they reunited again? Give us all the details.


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


Write a novel about a character who gives up everything in his life and travels halfway around the world.


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

What kind of shenanigans would they get into?


Write a short story that begins with the phrase, “She woke up to a sound she never thought she would hear again.”


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 begins with the worst day in your main character’s life.

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


Start your novel with a text that ruins EVERYTHING.

What incredible secret does it contain?


Write a novel from the perspective of four friends who share a vacation home … but each of them has a terrible secret.

Delicious drama is definitely about to ensue.


A painting has mysteriously disappeared 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 he hiding?


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

See what you will discover as the episode unfolds.


Begin each chapter of your novel with a scientific fact. Try to incorporate them into your plot.

It can be real facts, or you can try to invent the most wacky facts possible.

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