Ideas for Novels and Stories

Here are some ideas for novels and stories to spark your imagination and help your fiction stand out. At the bottom of the page, you'll find links to hundreds more story starters and prompts.

Your character's desire...

Stories are more interesting when the main character wants something intensely. Readers will keep reading to find out if the character achieves his or her goal. Below are some ideas for novels or stories based on characters who have powerful desires.

Write about...

  1. a reader of romance novels who wants to live a love story of her own.
  2. an amateur naturalist whose dream is to discover a new type of animal.
  3. a character who wants to achieve a world record -- he doesn't care for what.
  4. a character who dreams of starting a new life in a foreign country.
  5. a character who wants to rob a jewelry shop and has a foolproof (s/he hopes) plan to get away with it.
  6. a character with no living grandparents, who wants to adopt a grandmother.

20 professions for your main character

Here is a list of interesting professions for your main character. See what story ideas they bring to mind.

  1. Inventor
  2. Taxi driver
  3. Magician
  4. Scuba instructor
  5. Marriage counselor
  6. Prison guard
  7. Beauty pageant contestant
  8. Cookbook author
  9. Computer hacker
  10. Archaeologist
  11. Lead singer of an unsuccessful rock band
  12. Astronaut
  13. Gossip magazine journalist
  14. Divorce lawyer
  15. Animal trainer
  16. Video game designer
  17. High school football coach
  18. Exorcist
  19. Flight attendant
  20. Stunt actor 

Think about: 

  • What kind of person would you expect to find in this profession? See if you can play against stereotypes and surprise the reader.
  • What kind of interesting situation might someone in this profession encounter? What kind of trouble might they run into? How might they react?

10 great story settings

Here are some setting ideas that you can use as story starters.

Write a story that takes place...

  1. in a tattoo parlor
  2. at the zoo at night
  3. in an abandoned mental hospital
  4. in a submarine
  5. in a magnet factory
  6. in the vault of a bank
  7. in a bridal shop
  8. in the kitchen of Buckingham Palace
  9. on the edge of a cliff
  10. entirely in the dark

woman writing down ideas for novels

Story Ideas - Next Steps

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