Hump Day Writing Prompt: Sleepless Night

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Someone posted in our Facebook Group this week about how regular old everyday stuff hardly ever gets written about.

You know, the boring stuff like eating breakfast, using the bathroom, and . . . sleeping.

Except, is it really boring? I mean. Really?

The normal, everyday stuff is what makes your hero human. It’s what helps your reader connect with them. You probably won’t want to write in every meal, every middle of the night trip to the potty, or every nap–that would get boring–but sometimes the human stuff can also move the plot forward.

So, let’s work on that today.

Write a scene where your hero sleeps, or tries to.

What do they think about when their mind won’t shut off at night?

What thoughts keep them up when they should be asleep?

Are they worried? Scared? Frustrated?

My Turn

This scene is from my work-in-progress, The Undergrounders. It’s a Robin Hood retelling set in modern day Las Vegas. This scene is between Rob and Mattie (my Robin and Marion characters.) I’m not actually sure it’s going to make the final cut, so I’m excited to get to share it here.


After a minute, he rolled to his back and she curled against his side, one arm wrapping around his waist, her head just under his chin. He felt her relax against him, slowly, inch-by-inch. Finally, her breathing changed as she fell asleep.

His brain kicked back into high gear. Approximately twelve thousand on a scale of one to ten.

Mattie slept with Guy. He poked at this truth, like he might poke at the edges of an infected wound.

Guy wanted to marry Mattie. This was so ridiculous; it was the comic relief in the tragedy of the last forty-eight hours.

He was in love with his best friend. Even if she had slept with Guy, who’d lost his mind and decided he wanted to marry her.

His dad was dead. He had to keep reminding himself, and then breathing through another hard bubble of pain in his chest.

Frank was on some kind of bad trip. Back burner, but boiling away.

Guy Gisborne had put Mattie in the hospital. This one made him nearly incapacitated with fury and self-doubt.

He had to protect Mattie.

How was he supposed to keep her safe, when his whole world had dissolved while he was busy studying for his stupid finals?

Frank had lost his mind. His dad was dead. Philip Mark had somehow managed to steal his legacy from under him. Guy was making fucking reservations for himself and Mattie.

He’d been out of touch for six weeks, and all hell broke loose.

He kissed the top of Mattie’s head, softly, then eased away from her and out of her bed.

Your Turn

Are you writing this week’s prompt? Leave a comment and let me know! Come on over to the Ninja Writers Facebook group and share your work. Get some feedback, leave some feedback–get involved in the community. I can’t wait to read what you come up with!

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