Snowflake method checklist. Maybe you'd rather work from the top down than from the ground up. Inspired by fractal geometry (really!), Randy Ingermanson's "snowflake method" grows an entire novel from a single sentence. Each step of the process methodically expands upon the one before, filling in detail until you have a complete draft.
World-building questionnaire. So far we've been talking about the what and who of your novel, but where and when are just as important. Whether you're writing about a fantasy world or the town you grew up in, this questionnaire will get you thinking in depth about the setting. Then you can write richer, more realistic scenes that draw the reader into your world.