It is said that we all have a novel in us. I'm not sure if that's entirely true, but I do think lots of people have flashes of inspiration that could be turned into a good novel, as long as that idea is honed, shaped and crafted properly.
Now, of course, I'm not suggesting that the following is the only way to write a novel. In fact, I'm not even saying that it's the best way to write a novel. Every writer has to find a process that works for him or her. It's different strokes for different folks.
However, this is a method that has worked well for me, and if you're new to writing or have simply became stymied by a particular story, you might find this technique very helpful.