Workshop Drinking Game

by wjw on May 30, 2012

I’m up the mountain at the Rio Hondo workshop, hanging out with eleven other talented writers, talking deep into the night, enjoying hot tub parties, critiquing their work, and grooving on the spectacle of the natural world.

This also means my posting here might be scant for the rest of the week.

We— well actually some of them— have invented a drinking game specially for writers’ workshops.  Here’s how it works.

You slam down a drink whenever you hear any of the following in critique:

  • I’m not your audience for this story.

  • The story wants to be longer/shorter.

  • You’re obviously an Analog writer.

  • The story really starts on Page 6.

  • Here’s the story you should be writing.

  • I seem to have read a different story from everyone else.

  • You can do without the frame story.

  • What this scene needs is a dinosaur.

  • I don’t know how to read this story.

  • Too many adverbs!

  • You’re guilty of using said-bookisms.

  • I think you should cut the prologue.

  • You’re a better writer than this.

And, ultimately . . .

  • Robert Silverberg wrote this story in 1961.

Happy critique!

Michael Mock May 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm

How about:
* Not bad, but it needs more zombies.

DensityDuck May 30, 2012 at 8:12 pm

“You can’t expect the reader to (do something) for you.”

Josh English May 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm

“I can hear dice rolling in the background.”

Kathy May 31, 2012 at 3:37 am

What this story needs is a car chase. (Substitute spaceship battle as needed.)

Cecilia Tan May 31, 2012 at 6:13 am

Ahhhahaha….! If only I’d known this game before I went into a grad school writing program. Well, perhaps it was better for my liver that I didn’t, since pretty much every class would have meant at least 12 drinks… but… oh, my sides hurt from laughing now.

Oz May 31, 2012 at 10:54 am

I heard a lot of those at Clarion in ’96. Obviously, some things never change. That and I AM an Analog writer. It’s not a slur.

Ken Houghton May 31, 2012 at 12:37 pm

At least three of those (page 6, framing, prologue) can be translated as, “If this weren’t a workshop, I wouldn’t have read this thing.” (The last explains why I gave up on Ben Bova novels. Having to start on the second chapter after the Writing Exercise in Which You Make and Kill a Sympathetic Character gets tiring.)

“Robert Silverberg wrote this story in 1961, and there’s a reason everyone forgot about it until now.”

David Sobeck June 3, 2012 at 12:07 am

This really cries out for Buzzword Bingo:

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