The most wonderful drinking game, it’s one that you play while editing! It’s a drinking game that is supposed to discourage you from doing dumb shit, so all the drinking rules have to do with things that you shouldn’t leave in or do.
NOTE: This is not to be done while spell-checking.
DISCLAIMER: Please don’t die or suffer irreversible organ damage. (Reversible organ damage is okay.) (But we’re still not paying any medical bills or related costs.)
ADDITIONAL DISCLAIMER: If you do, it’s not our fault. If this improves your writing, we will take full credit (and 5%)
FINAL NOTE: All grammatical errors in this document are intentional self-parody. Go edit your own work, not ours. We wouldn’t let you edit ours, anyway. Too much shame still.
One Drink (Minor Mistakes)
- Adverbs. You leave one in, you passionately praise your woefully unyielding master and drink quickly and gratefully
- Continuity mistakes – one drink for every one
- Bad conjugation (tense, person, number) – one drinks
- Typos that somehow survived spellcheck – one dronk
- Where you clearly said “eff it” and started over in a new scene – one drink
- Every cliche – drink like a fish one time, but try not to drink your own kool-aid
- Out of character moments, for anyone – one drink
- Every sentence of purple prose – one drink, cool as the mountain air and as sweet as the fresh summer breeze
- Whenever you see obvious word count padding – one drink, but not one drink that is actually two, but it has to be at least one substantial sip or else it really just doesn’t count at all
- Any “WTF” moment you have while reading – one drink
- Inexplicably missing punctuation one drink each
- Accidental inclusions of song lyrics – One More Drink
Multiple Drinks (Bad Author/Life Choices)
- Any sentence where you have no idea what you were trying to say – one drink for every time you have to read it
- Every time you forget a characters name – one drink
- two if it’s the main character
- a shot if it’s also the title of your book
- NaNoisms – one drink. Two if you think they’re cute
- Parenthetical remarks about your own story – two drinks (isn’t this rule great?!)
- Previous character cameos – two drinks each
- Any inside joke to yourself or your region – two drinks (even/especially for pandas)
- Every arbitrary instance of wish-fulfillment – two drinks per paragraph
- Every time you have to look up a word to see what it means – two quaffs
- Every instance of the passive voice – two drinks shall be consumed by you
- Anytime you can tell when a sprint began/ended by your prose – one drink, two if it’s mid-sentence
Shots or Worse (This’ll Learn You)
- Scenes you just delete wholesale – one shot (or equivalent)
- If the amount of notes that you add to a page is more than the original writing – one shot (or equivalent (especially if the notes don’t mean much (but even if they do, your commentary on the writing should generally not be longer than the writing (you are writing a novel not an essay))))
- For every deliberately skipped scene – one shot (or equivalent)
- Whenever you find yourself thinking, “My goodness, that was artsy!” (or “literary”) – two shots
- If you have to drink before it makes sense or you remember what you were trying to talk about – waterfall until it makes sense
Final Rule (When to Stop)
If you become intimidated, unmotivated, insecure, or some other negative status and retreat to the forums/Twitter in order to hide from your novel – no more alcohol, a massive hangover, and a constant sense of shame until you drink some water and get back to work. (Blogs are safe places.)
If this is your second or higher time editing, all penalties for editing notes are doubled. So, if your notes (not main text) contain bad conjugation, drink twice. Please don’t get artsy with your editing notes; we don’t want you to die.
Please recall aforementioned disclaimers.