People recommend all sorts of things to overcome writer’s block, and at Bubok, we know that you might need some kind of external stimulus to jump start your next book. That’s exactly why we’ve written this article with 15 creative prompts for writing a novel. In this article we’re focusing on threeÂ literary genres: Mystery, Horror and Romance.
In this publishing company, we know that life can get in the way, and you can spend hours attempting to write on your laptop or notebook and hating every sentence, or you might end up simply sitting in front of a blank page and not being able to write anything.
- Finding inspiration for your genre novel
- Writing novels in the Mystery genre
- Creative prompts for Horror or Suspense novels
- Useful prompts for a Romance novel
- Final thoughts
15 creative prompts for writing your novel
In order to avoid that awful feeling when you doubt if anything you do is any good, we’ve written up these helpful prompts which might give you the boost you need to start writing. We’re going to be talking about what makes a book great, being emotive, having an engaging plot, with real heart, characters you want to return to and unforgettable settings.
Without further ado, here are the best 15 ideas for writing a novel and conquering writer’s block once and for all.
5 prompts for writing novels in the Mystery genre
If you about to start writing a book in this genre, perhaps we can help you.
It can be difficult to start writing a mystery, but once you have worked out the central idea, then you can delve into the human psyche and tap into something hugely popular.
Human curiosity can make it impossible to put down a book if we haven’t yet solved the mystery inside. However, we know that that kind of tantalization doesn’t arise from nowhere, so here are our five suggestions for writing mysteries.
- Make your main character suffer from perpetual insomnia, leaving them restless and on edge.
- Describe their exhaustion and desire for rest, the effort they’ve put in to seeking a solution. Perhaps they have tried out various medications without success. When they do manage to sleep, are their dreams troubling or even terrifying? Is your character haunted by a painful past. Why not have your character find out that they have been regularly sleepwalking, except they appear fully conscious when they do so. They might wake up in a strange location, or wake up with some mysterious clue that they have no recollection of discovering.
- Write about your main character’s financial troubles. Out of desperation to earn more money, perhaps they rent out some rooms on Airbnb, and at first it’s uneventful and a good source of income.
- Perhaps one group of tenants stay for longer than usual, and strange events start to occur in the house.
- Why not come up with an interesting backstory to why your main character needs a larger income suddenly? Maybe they, or one of their loved ones, have a mysterious illness, and the medical costs are draining all their funds. Or perhaps, your character is a bitter loner, but their unfriendly and direct attitude cost them their last job, meaning they urgently needed some way to cover their expenses.
- There is a tree whose leaves have all turned black, but the leaves seemingly won’t fall off the tree, and whenever anyone touches them, a strange black liquid comes out.
- Write a story about your character waking up to the sounds of a girl outside. Your character runs outside to help, but there appears to be nothing wrong with her physically. Then you both realize that she has no idea who she is, where she’s from, or how she got there.
- Your character starts to receive letters addressed to someone they don’t know. They try to find out their identity, but can’t find any record of this person. After weeks of these letters piling up, your character finally decides to open one up and read it.
- The first letter doesn’t have anything inside other than a set of co-ordinates, but the rest contain disturbing photographs of dismembered body parts.
5 creative prompts for Horror or Suspense novels
Horror is a genre which, just like its subjects, often refuses to die! On the contrary, it has become ever more popular.
So, if this is your preferred genre, and you are feeling a little more inspired already, here are some creative and dark ideas which might help to serve as further inspiration.
- Write a suspenseful story in a community under a lockdown where there have been 8 murders in the last 8 weeks.
- Each week, at the same time on the same day, the police are notified of the next corpse. When your main character is kidnapped after breaking the new curfew, they only have 48 hours to work out why this is happening and how they can escape, all while the murderer intermittently returns to torture them.
- Start writing a thriller set in a little coastal town where strange and inexplicable events have been reported. Your main character has been sent to find out the truth about whether these occurrences are really happening. What they find is even weirder than they had heard, but now, it seems that they aren’t able to leave.
- Your character visited a new bookshop in town, and loved the books they got there. When they come back to buy another, the owner insists on them purchasing a very specific book. They start reading it, only to start to realize strange parallels with their own circumstances. The book is set 50 years ago in the same town where your character lives, and concerns a bookshop owner who murders their clientele.
- A boot, a broken beer bottle and a diving mask appears one day in the front yard of your character, the morning after a street parade in their city. Your character thinks nothing of it and throws them all out, until the same items reappear the next morning.
- People told them not to visit the museum at night. They said that strange things would happen. Your character never imagined how right they were.
5 writing prompts for a Romance novel
Although Romance is a hugely popular genre, that doesn’t mean that you can’t come up with something fresh. You might need more than the basics of creative writing to develop a fully-fleshed out romance.
Remember that people read romance to escape, to feel something real, moving and unforgettable. Here are some suggestions of ideas you could use in this genre:
- Your character runs away from their tribe in the middle of the night. However, after escaping, they break their ankle in a terrible fall, leaving them out in the open all night. An unlikely ally from a rival clan saves his life. Over time, they both learn that there are more things that unite than divide them. While their former enemy slowly and secretly nurses them back to health, the two develop a deep and passionate chemistry.
- Â Mind-reading might seem like an advantage in the dating world. But when your character starts to hear everyone’s every thought, it becomes overwhelming. Can they find someone genuine and sincereÂ to help them, against all the mental cacophony? That’s the challenge!
- Write a story about a broken-hearted character looking to escape their past who is invited to an adult summer camp. They decide to go, and they spend 6 weeks in paradise, with a bunch of complete strangers.
- Your central character is a cynic, a journalist who doesn’t believe in unconditional love. They interview a kindhearted charity worker, who shows them that you before you can experience real love, you first need to believe in it. But once you have found true love, how can you let it go?
- Â In a distant time, your character is getting ready for their wedding ceremony. Their partner, someone they have known their whole life, has been chosen and it is time to seal the deal. But when a foreign stranger shows up to challenge the arrangement, they find out a lot they didn’t know. How will they choose between the person they always knew and the truth they never knew existed?
How do you feel about us starting with these three genres? Do you feel like any of these prompts might inspire or encourage you to write?
We plan to comment on some different genres that we didn’t cover in this blog post in a later article. If you haven’t subscribed to our blog, we invite you to do so to find more articles for writers like you. And don’t forget that here at Bubok, we have all the requisite tools to help you in your writing project. All you need to do is write to us, and we will be happy to help!
TranslatedÂ by Gregory Walton-Green from the article on our Spanish website.