Editing a first draft can be horrifying. So let’s dull the pain with a good ol’ drinking game!
1. Drink every time you use the same word too many times in one sentence.
His hand grippedthe handyman’s hand, which was a warm hand, a firm hand, a sensuous hand, the king hand of all the hands – and to be honest a bit of a handsy handful of a hand.
2. Drink when you’ve forgotten what a period is and find a sentence that runs on into infinity and beyond.
3. Drink every time you’re required to hold down the backspace button for longer than it takes to top off your drink of choice.
4. Drink every time you use several adjectives/adverbs that mean the same thing to describe a single thing.
He was beautifully gorgeous in a pretty kind of way.
5. Drink when you discover a metaphor you may have already used in several other stories, but it sounds soooo artsy fartsy and sooooo smart you wonder if any readers will notice if you reuse and recycle a perfectly good piece of religious symbolism.
6. Drink every time you need to open dictionary.com because you’re not quite sure you used that word correctly. Does the word ‘dog’ really mean what you think it does??
7. Drink every time you use the wrong tense.
“This sucks,” she said. Then she climbs the tree and grabs a coconut. She had thrown it at the robot’s head.
8. Drink when you find an all too convenient plot device.
Protagonist finds a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow to pay off all her debts just as she was considering filing for bankruptcy!
9. Drink every time you’ve clearly abused the use of commas and dashes.
And, then, she ran – into the blissfully dark night, the shadows enveloping her – but, then, she tripped. She tripped over her own feet – what a clumsy thing she was – and then, a rock – fuck, that hurt – a dog – sorry dog –, a pothole – when would they fix that goddamn, awful thing, dang it – and the gruesome, yet blissful, tragic, grief that weighed down her soul,,,.
10. Drink every time your writing makes you cringe with embarrassment and you begin to wonder whether this pile of nonsense can ever become a half coherent plot.
Congratulations! You are now drunk and everything you write sounds like Pulitzer Prize winning material! You are an editing boss!