July’s #JustWrite prompt: soporific


This month’s prompt has been motivated by one of the latest So You Want To Be A Writer podcast (episode 114) by Valerie Khoo and Allison Tait. It was Valerie’s word of the week, and seemed a good one to have a go at for this #JustWrite exercise.

It is… *drum roll*… soporific and means:

adjective: tending to induce drowsiness or sleep: the motion of the train had a somewhat soporific effect • sleepy or drowsy: some medicine made her soporific • tediously boring or monotonous: a libel trial is in large parts intensely soporific

noun: a drug or other substance that induces drowsiness or sleep

So, have a go at writing up to 500 words with soporific as your prompt. Don’t think about it too much, just write and see what comes out. Put your piece in the comments, and feel free to comment on mine. Here’s my take on it…


She sat in the uncomfortable seat, her sweaty legs sticking to the plastic. Glancing at her takeaway coffee cup, she sighed, knowing that it no longer contained her precious caffeinated drop to get her through the next half an hour.

“Following on from point A, we can see that the corresponding factors of…” Her eyes glazed over as Professor Darwin droned on in his monotonous voice. He stood in one spot and had barely moved from there since he started speaking thirty minutes ago. He occasionally moved his arms, but then he seemed to remember that that was getting a bit more excitable than need be for a class on epic narratives from Ancient Egypt, and would quickly drop them back to his sides.

Robin leaned forward, elbows on knees, chin on her clasped hands. She felt herself relaxing, and figured if she had to listen to Darwin’s dreary voice for a while longer, she best not get too comfortable. She sat up straight again, crossed her legs and started to doodle in her book.

“Whatcha drawing?” Ben said.

She looked over at her neighbour and replied, “Anything to keep me awake.” He snorted quietly and shook his head. “This guy is a bloody joke. Do they want us all to fail?”

A small murmur of agreement came from the back of her throat, but it was all she could manage. She felt her eyelids gently closing, and she figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a quick five minutes. Besides, Ben could wake her, and they were at the back of the lecture theatre. Her head dropped and her shoulders relaxed, the pen fell from her fingers.


      She opened her eyes and it took a moment for her to realise where she was. On the ground, wedged between her seat and the row in front of her. Oh, the shame! she thought. Her face became hot and she could tell it would be the same shade of red as the strawberries on her notepad that was beside her. As she managed to get to her feet, the Professor was suddenly next to her. “I apologise that this lecture is so uninspiring to you, Miss Rogers,” he said in his voice no different to the one he used for his lecture.

I just cannot deal with this today. “Soporific, Prof. Sop-or-if-ic. I suggest you look it up.” She picked up her things, shoved them into her bag and stumbled out of the room and towards the coffee cart in the hallway, to a slight rumble of hand claps behind her.

Don’t forget to have a go yourself. Happy writing!

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