Co-Sleeping (Writer Style)

family of three lying on bed showing feet while covered with yellow blanket
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

Where: My bed

When: Midnight

Who: Me, Blissfully Sleeping Husband, and a Cast of Annoyingly Needy Fictitious Characters


(Rumblings of chatter and laughter)

Me: “Okay, okay, everyone. Settle down. You’ve been keeping me up every night for the past three weeks, and I’m exhausted. If you’re not going to leave me alone, at least we can all be comfortable together. No computer tonight.”

Sleuth Girl: “But, you still need to do research on those old amusement parks. I’m been stuck wandering aimlessly for two days!”

Sneaky Classmate: “Get over yourself! She’s only written one sentence about me, so far. One!”

Me: (Eyes downcast) Well…I’m not so sure about you anymore, Sneaky. You might be heading to the file cabinet soon, and–

Sneaky: (Faints, and rolls onto floor)

Me: (Pause. Stare.) Uh, she’ll be fine. (Clearing throat) Okay, as I was saying, it’s time to go to sleep. No more begging or whining tonight, please. I’ve given you all enough attention for today. Now, Good night. (Collapses onto pillow)

Boy Hero: (In hushed tones) “Hey! Hey, Amanda. Don’t forget that I love Oreos, OK?”

Me: (Sleepily) “Huh?” (Rubbing eyes) “Wait — that has nothing to do with anything. We don’t mention cookies in the book.” (Pause) “Who’s cold feet are on top of me?”

Bully: “Mine. You wanna make somethin’ of it? And, I’m gonna pound that Oreo-eating wuss.”

Me: (Sighing) You’re turning into Cliche’ Bully. Stop talking, and roll over.

Bully: (Rolling) “Heh heh…” (Whispering to Boy Hero) “I think I just touched her butt.”

Me: (Counting to ten) Okay, no Beavis and Butthead either! You’re a good kid who’s made a couple of bad choices.”

Disgruntled best friend: Sounds like After School Special meets Lifetime movie meets Punky Brewster to me.

Me: (Sitting upright) “Oh no. It does, doesn’t it?” (Eyebrows raised) “Hey! Didn’t I edit you out this morning?”

Disgruntled: (Flipping Hair) “Big mistake. Huge. You’re never gonna wanna let me go.”

Me: (Eye roll) “Okay, Julia Roberts.”

(Sudden singing erupts) Pretty Woman, walking down the street. Pretty Woman, the kind I like to meet–“

Me: (Looking around) Who let  Always Singing Grandpa into the bed?! You’re not even in this book. No story intermingling allowed!

Grandpa: (Head down as he exits the bed)  So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, goodbye…”

Bully: (Waving) “Good riddance.” (Pause) I think Grandpa needs his diaper changed.”

Me: (Shouting) “Okay, that’s it. Everybody out! Co-sleeping with you characters was a bad idea. Plus, there’s not enough room left in here for Financial Worry and What-Are-You-Going-To-Do-With-Your-Life, and they told me they would be dropping by. Now, OUT!”

Sleuth Girl: “I’ll lead the way.” (Glares) “I’m great at walking through dark, gaping plot holes.”

(Ruffling of covers. Footsteps. Slamming door.)


Me: “All right…nice and quiet now. I’ll definitely fall asleep any second. Yup. So cozy.”




Me: “Oooooh….Who am I kidding? (Getting out of bed) Where’s my notepad? Where is it? And, what did Disgruntled say before she left again?” (Frantic now) “Okay, okay, you can all come back. Please. Please?”

(Snickering. Laughter.)

Boy Hero: (Bursting into room) “Bully just burped in my face!”

Me: (Putting hands on head) “Ah, forget it. Let’s go downstairs to the computer. Come on. (Carefully stepping over Sneaky’s still unconscious body) Tomorrow, I’m co-sleeping with Ambien.”

54 thoughts on “Co-Sleeping (Writer Style)”

  1. Wow, your characters are really hard on you! You give and give and give to these kids, and THIS is the thanks you get!

    (Hang in there, friend. May sweet sleep find you as soon as possible.)


  2. The best ideas always come to me as I’m falling asleep or waking up…and are gone like a flash if you aren’t careful. They are never this forthcoming and cooperative when you actually have time to write.

    Great post 🙂


  3. “there’s not enough room left in here for Financial Worry and What-Are-You-Going-To-Do-With-Your-Life, and they told me they would be dropping by.”

    Perfect. Thanks for that.


  4. Do you have a hidden camera in our house? The Geezer, is up and down, out of bed, and back and forth to the old computer, when he’s in the middle of a novel, more times than a politician lies in a campaign speech. I wouldn’t mind, but I lay on top of him at night and that means I get evicted from bed 4, 5, 6 times a night.


  5. I wrestled with folks like this once when I hung out in the land of fiction. A pretty set nonfic guy these days, my late night visions are of great opening lines, a sleek 4 point structure, and a sweet application point or two. Not nearly as fun.


    1. Hmmm…who won the wrestling match?

      My blog posts will keep me up sometimes with thoughts of their potential writerly glory, but then I just go to sleep and wind up with something like this. Sorry.


  6. Good stuff! I thought Financial Worry coupled with How Am I Going get through Hockey, Soccer, Piano and Homework Tomorrow were bad enough!


  7. Oh, how I love this. I have noticed that it is so often at night, before I fall asleep or in my dreams or when I wake up, when my characters really come alive to me. I hear snippets of conversations or see images of their homes. It is truly amazing what important work the unconscious does and how often we do our very best work when we are not trying. Love this!


    1. As long as I can remember the snippets in the morning, I would much rather have the images come to me in my dreams. At least, that means I’m sleeping.

      Thank you for kind comments, Aidan!


  8. After reading this, I’m starting to think some of my characters are sleeping with other people…

    But really, dead on. Unfortunately, for me I can never get the whole putting on glasses and finding the pen in the dark dance down. I need lessons.


  9. Do you know what? I just found a blog where the writer says the following is a common practice:

    she has a huge board whre she uses post it notes to write character names and bits of plots and moves them all over the place to see what works best where. She says it’s common.

    I like that idea…

    I think, for me, that would quiet the noise down a bit. If they live on the board.


    1. That IS a helpful system which I’ve tried before. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how organized I am (or mostly not) — I’m still thinking, questioning, daydreaming about the information and placement of those post-its…which all equals not sleeping.

      The more characters in my head, the more bodies in my bed! 😉

      Thank you, Alexandra. Hope it works for you.


  10. I’m so glad to hear I’m not the only one! I sleep with a small pad of paper and a pen that has a small flashlight inside beside the bed. That way I can wake up, write stuff down, and then back to dreamland again.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting on my first line 🙂

    Christi Corbett


  11. Oh my, you have a crowded bed. Wait…that didn’t sound good. Let me try again:

    This was hilarious! As soon as my head hits my pillow, I’m out, but my characters bother me when I’m driving to work. Probably because it’s the only time when I have forty-five minutes uninterrupted. The only problem is that I can’t write my thoughts down while I’m driving on the freeway. (2blu mentioned that she got a digital recorder and I’m seriously thinking about it…but I’m not sure I can stand to listen to my voice :))

    Thanks for the laugh. I’ll be heading off to bed soon, so I’ll make sure I lock my characters out!


    1. Thank you, Janna! I’ve thought about the digital recorder, too, but I think it may actually be illegal in the car in some places(?). Anyway, I did have a small tape recorder several years ago, but the words in my head never come out the same if I just speak them. I have to write them down.

      I recommend a double bolt lock, BTW.


  12. Yes, why is it that they won’t shut up? They bug me at night, in the shower, when I’m out for a run..seriously! That’s why I had to step away from my NaNoWriMo stuff. I needed some peace and quiet! Love this post!


    1. Ah, yes, the NaNoWriMo book — I’ve recently taken that one out of its locked box, so no wonder the noise level has gotten out of control here.

      Thank you, Cheryl, and thanks for stopping by!


  13. So glad you found my blog through the first line contest — so I could find yours! This is a timely post as I couldn’t sleep last night and two characters in my next book wouldn’t leave me alone. I kept going over how they looked, how they talked, their families, where they lived… And I haven’t even started the book yet! (Finishing revisions on book 2 now). This was a great post. Thanks for sharing what we all go through.


  14. Ha ha.

    I’m not as attentive to my characters when I’m in the mood to sleep. I keep my Blackberry close to me, so I might type in notes in that device to remember what my characters told me.


  15. Wow, see this is exactly why I’m not rushing to start writing a book….okay one of the reasons. I have a feeling my characters would mostly interupt me in the shower though, that’s where I get my best ideas.
    Basically my ideas/characters are rude and pervy.
    Loved this!



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