Things that keep you up at night

Hi, all. Lovely weather we’re having, eh?

So. I’m writing a story that I hope to maybe one day turn into a book. The way the chapters are going to be titled is based off a list the main character makes of things that keep him up at night. I’m trying to come up with at least ten things – maybe more, depending on how much I’m able to produce – so that I can have at least ten chapters. Twenty would probably actually be better. I don’t know.

Anyway. I’m having a spot of trouble coming up with things, though, so my question to y’all is: what keeps you up at night?

I mean, it can be anything. The current list I have so far for my dude is as follows:

  • graffiti
  • history
  • loud noises
  • half remembered songs
  • Atticus (another character from the story)

I’m trying to stay away from anything too obvious (the loud noises bit is probably gonna go) but otherwise… Well, just chuck your ideas at me. Let’s see what sticks.

Thanks in advance~

(Another tangentially related question that I didn’t want to start a new thread for: for sharing bits and getting critiqued/ripped apart, what non-CoG writing communities do y’all frequent that would be welcoming and gentle to a timid stranger? Or, if the urge to share my bits gets too strong, should I simply post 'em on my blog, link 'em here, and hope for the best?)


A few medical reasons:
1: Migraines
2: Insomnia
3: Nom-24 (I see commercials about this every day now it seems, selling meds for this)
4: Back-pain
5: Muscle-aches

and few more of that nature …

My suggestion is to start a WiP thread of your own, where you can discuss your project with those interested in it. Some people don’t have any demo started yet in their WiP threads but they are discussing all aspects of their proposed games.

The community here is wonderfully supportive and a unique blend rarely found elsewhere.


My insomnia, and if that wasn’t bad enough sometimes the hallucinations I used to have because of sleep deprivation could also make me unable to sleep. It’s a vicious cycle.


Indeed. I love the folks here, and I think I’m going to open a thread when I get more of an actual story going on. I just sort of figured a non-Choicescript WIP would be teetering on the edge of verboten, if not firmly planted there.

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  1. Gaem
  2. Moar Gaem
  3. Watching certain anime
  4. Watching gaemplay of this year E3
  5. On certain occasion, working on my WIP can keep me up at night, although it’s really a rare occasion.

There’s actually Magium thread around here, although it doesn’t counts as WIP, technically speaking.


I do see your point - you’ll want to put it into off-topic or “other interactive fiction” if it is that … or if you think you might develop a Choicescript game in tandem with the story/book then it might slide into the normal WiP section.

Perhaps CoG staff would consider a new “writer’s circle” sub-fora but I’m not sure they’ll want to do that.


Things that would keep someone up at night…?

  • Hopes
  • Fears
  • Regrets
  • Nostalgia
  • Memories
  • A lover
  • Pregnancy related issues
  • Insomnia
  • A break in
  • A call from an institution (someone you know got jailed, or is in the hospital)
  • Ghosts / anything paranormal
  • Some sort of imminent threat (this can also play into Fantasy, like a zombie chasing you.)

Hope this helps!

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Circadian rhythm sleep disorder…it sucks.

  • Stupid things I did years ago but still embarrass me
  • getting readjusted to the timezone after being on the other side of the world for a month
  • the future and the fact that I still don’t have a steady plan and I’m paranoid and expect the worst to happen
  • (possibly) ghosts and spirits
  • terrible upstairs neighbors who play their music so loudly sometimes that I can feel the bass

What I could have said.

What people think of me.

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Neighbors, family, responsibility, self doubt, overactive imagination at night.

This is all the lighter ones I could think of

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Hot Dogs
Cooked Dogs
Cooked Cats
Eating Cats
Eating Dogs
Eating Octopus
Cooked Spiders
Eating Spiders
Unwanted/Unintended Voyeurism
Annoying Things
Overly Long Forum Post That Capitalize Every Word
Condemnation Of Your Values
Condemnation Of You
The Death Cry Of A Thousand Young
Death Cries Of Things Other Than Groups Of Young That Equal One Thousand
Not Wearing Your Tin Foil Hat
A Man In A Diaper
A Woman In A Diaper
A Dirty Diaper
A Clean Diaper
That One Dream Where You Got Choked To Death
Eye Scream
Tuna Fish


A joke that would be perfect for a conversation that happened a few hours ago

The regret that I didn’t come up with said joke earlier

The realization that my government is anti-science and that a bunch of people believe in anti-science BS

Lately, articles and papers about Chernobyl and Fukushima ecology


Random song that suddenly popped into your head
What clothes you’re gonna wear tomorrow
What are you gonna do tomorrow?
Did you lock the door tonight?
Did you close the gas stove?
Is your phone fully charged?
Waiting for an important email/text/call/whatever
Bathroom troubles
Fear of dreaming

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Imagination. I’m not afraid of the dark or anything horror related but I can always think up a situation that prevents sleep.

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Right now? Jet lag. But a weird reverse jet lag where I adjusted to the timezone I was in right as I came back home. Which sucks. Because I sleep in and then I’m awake until like 1 a.m.

Also rambling thoughts. They just kinda go on and on and on and suddenly I’m wondering what it’s like if the world were populated by bananas in the place of humans. That’s usually when I realize I should really be sleeping right now.

Ideas- because the best ones always come at inconvenient times!


My dog.

Oh! And to answer your tangentially related question:

While I haven’t checked them out and can’t speak to their merits myself, I have heard some writerly friends refer to AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler and I also have seen that NaNoWriMo has its own forums that people use outside of the actual challenge.

Other than that I would echo @Eiwynn as I know, personally, this forum has been something of finding a diamond mine for me in that it’s wonderfully supportive and everyone I’ve interacted with here has been absolutely amazing, and extraordinarily helpful.

I hope you find what you’re looking for, and wish you the best of luck! :smile:


French kissing a past boyfriend. He never tasted right. I still grimace about that taste.

  • nightmares

  • flashbacks/trauma

  • too much caffeine

  • too much sleep during the day

  • heartburn/upset stomach/sickness/diarrhea/etc.

  • hunger

  • too loud/quiet

  • too bright/dark

  • too hot/cold

  • wrong amount of pillows

  • can’t get comfortable/uncomfortable bed

  • nervousness/stress about an upcoming event

  • restless leg syndrome/sleep disorder

  • muscle cramping

  • that thing that happens where you’re doing something (like reading) and you’re like, “Okay. One last page and I’ll go to bed,” but you keep telling yourself that cause you can’t put the book down so you end up saying up the entire night finishing it

  • a pet you let sleep in your bed

  • bed bugs

  • restlessness

  • smoking

  • large meals before bed

  • alcohol

  • certain prescription drugs

  • environmental changes

  • falling into the habit of going to bed later so your day/night cycle gets messed up

  • lack of activity/exercise

  • any kind of pain

  • snoring

  • unpredictable work schedule (think most retail jobs–this was recently classified as a disorder to provide insurance coverage for people who can’t do anything about their irregular work shifts)

  • a nasty smell


Insomnia, stress, anxiety, nightmares.

Or for the more fun stuff, a boyfriend.

I hear you, I wish they’d legalize barbiturates as a sleeping pill again, much less side effects (unless you overdose) and sleep quality is far superior to the modern crap.

  1. Choice of games
  2. Songs that are stuck inside my head
  3. My neighbours
  4. Pain
  5. Things I should have done already
  6. Loud drunk people in the street
  7. Certain smells
  8. Loud parties
  9. Regrets
  10. My parents fighting

I haven’t slept in two days @_@