Novel Ideas Writing Exercise

  1. Look through the front section of your morning newspaper. Find three articles that contain possibilities for novels. Take the original idea, apply the “what if” strategy, and expand them into one page ideas for a novel.
  2. Take one of your favorite novels and reset it in modern times and in your own town. For example, if you adore Gone with the Wind, you might take a young, spoiled rich girl and have her lover sent away to fight the Gulf War.
  3. Write a 500-word summary of a book you read recently. What worked for you? What didn’t work? What would you change? From now on, read like a writer and study published novels to identify what the authors did right (and wrong).

This creative exercise was taken from the course Focus on the Novel

Whether you write short fiction, nonfiction, memoir or poetry, chances are there is a novel yearning to get out. The idea of actually writing something as long and complex as a novel can seem overwhelming. You can set your novel free – by developing a plan with someone who has successfully negotiated this literary minefield.

You will learn:

  • The components of a completely developed novel idea
  • Character building and the selection of both your viewpoint character(s) and main characters
  • Functions of setting, and how to use setting to generate plot
  • To use dramatic and nondramatic scenes
  • To keep readers holding on until the very end.

Learn more about Focus on the Novel!