The YA Paranormal Drinking Game

I have been sitting on this post for some time, like a hen on a very shy egg. No, wait. That’s a weird simile. Who says things like that? Weird people, that’s who. And I am clearly not one of those. ANYWAY. Before we begin, I must disclaim a few things:

First, this entire post is meant to be in humor, and good humor at that. I love YA paranormal books, and I love the people who write them even more. Hell, I write them. Many books I adore are guilty of at least a few billion things from the below lists. My books certainly are. And because this list is both somewhat-serious and somewhat-in-jest, it’d be pretty impossible for a book to not hit at a couple of these points somewhere along the way.

Secondly, consider this list interactive. I may add any particularly salient suggestions the internet throws at me as time goes on. If you’d like to keep score, count the number of drinks you take and add them up at the end to find your BAC! And please, share your results with the class.

Final disclaimers: This game should probably not be played with actual alcoholic beverages, or at least not point-for-point. I think you could probably have a jolly good time if you actually took a shot every third or fourth times you’re supposed to, but keep track anyway! Additionally, if you are under the age of 21 you should not be playing this game with alcohol at all because you are underage and I don’t endorse that because that would be a Very Bad Thing but I won’t tell your parents.

I am not responsible for any damage, physical or mental, temporary or long term, caused to you or your internal organs over the course of this post. With that said, let’s roll! Make sure you have your drink of choice handy.

THE GAME

* If your main character is a teenage girl, take a drink.

* If your main character moves to a new town or starts at a new school toward the beginning of your novel – or is returning to a town or place of residence she hasn’t been to in many years – take a drink.

* If one or both of your main character’s parents are dead, missing, or otherwise out of the picture, take a drink. If this is the backstory to why she’s moved (see previous point), take two drinks.

* If the majority or entirety of your book takes place in a boarding school for teens with magical powers, pour one drink for each named character enrolled at said school, and drink all of them in rapid succession. Repeat until liver fails.

* If your main character fulfills ALL of the following: white, able-bodied, heterosexual, vaguely non-denominational Christian and/or agnostic, take a drink.

* If there is a love triangle in your novel, finish your drink and pour another. Or a love any-geometric-object-with-MORE-than-three-points. (Ha, you thought you were being sneaky! Drink, motherfucker!)

* If there are vampires and/or werewolves in your novel, dial emergency services, step away from the screen, and play Edward 40-hands with yourself until the ambulance arrives.

* If either your main character or her love interest are over 100 years old, take a drink.

* If either your main character or her love interest are enrolled in high school for the second (or third or fourth or or or…) time as a result of their age, take two drinks. Yes, L.J. Smith and Stephanie Meyer, you may be excused to go to the bathroom.

* If your main character is a redhead, take a drink.

* If your main character comes into superpowers at some point, take a drink.

* If your main character’s acquiring of supernatural powers is due to either her reaching the appropriate but totally arbitrary age, and/or a paranormal family legacy to which she is totally ignorant, take a drink.

* If your main character only acquires supernatural powers as a result, somehow, of her love interest, take two drinks.

* If there is a supernatural reason why your main character and her love interest cannot make sexy times, take a drink.

* If your love interest is a quintessential bad boy who has never shown emotional interest in any girl before Protagonist sweeps into town, take a drink.

* If your main character is both strangely attracted to yet superficially repelled by Love Interest, take a drink.

* If there is a supernatural reason why their romance is pre-determined and/or inevitable, take three drinks.

* If Love Interest’s expressions of affection could, at any point, be mistaken for stalking and/or psychologically unstable behavior, take a drink.

* If there are other people in the world with the same ability as your main character, but she is or becomes the best at it despite having her powers for only a short time, take a drink.

* If there is a prophecy of any kind in your book, self-fulfilling or otherwise, take a drink.

* If your main character is, in any way, the Chosen One – whether by destiny, fate, or prophecy, take a drink. Since ‘prophecy’ is now on this list twice, take another drink for good measure.

* If there is, has ever been, or will at some point be a magical object your characters must acquire in order to advance the plot, take a drink.

* If your character and her love interest are automatically, instantly smitten with one another from the moment they meet, take a drink. Yes, L.J. Smith, you may go to the bathroom again.

* If Love Interest is dark and broody, sexy and angsty, misunderstood and a troublemaker, or some other embodiment of these qualities, take a drink (Acceptable alternatives include: disheveled and detached, emo and sexy-ugly, obnoxious and whiny.)

* “We’re in a terrifying situation and I know we need to run but FIRST I’m going to DEMAND an EXPLANATION about your backstory!” You. Yes, you. You know what you did. Just drink.

* If your narrative voice is somehow remarkably genre-savvy but your character is still a genre idiot, take a drink.

* If any characters contract a mystical or demonic pregnancy at some point, take a drink.

* If the pregnancy is a thinly-veiled attempt at promoting abstinence to your readers, take a drink, and consider writing contemporary instead.

* If Love Interest is foreign (but still white), and/or speaks with an accent (but a sexy one, of course), take a drink.

* If Love Interest or his family somehow has more money than God, take a drink.

* If Love Interest – or any character – is actually a god, take a drink.

* If there is a token minority character among your cast, take a drink.

* If the token minority character dies or becomes evil or was secretly evil all along, take a drink.

* If your villain at any point says “As you know…” or “Since I’m going to kill you anyway…” take SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS-SHOTS-SHOTS!

34 Comments

  1. K. E. Carson
    Nov 10, 2011

    Oh baby, would I be plastered. XD I hit 12 on the list.

    Great game. Too bad I don’t have any writer friends IRL I could play with.

  2. J.Lyn
    Nov 10, 2011

    I love this so much. And now I’m drunk. Yay drinking!

  3. KT Simpson
    Nov 10, 2011

    I. Love. This.

  4. Matthew MacNish
    Nov 11, 2011

    Wow. Good stuff. I passed out after the fourth one, because while the school in my book isn’t really for teens with powers, I’m still counting it, and there are a lot of characters who go there.

  5. Elizabeth May
    Nov 11, 2011

    * If your main character is a redhead, take a drink.

    * If Love Interest is foreign (but still white), and/or speaks with an accent (but a sexy one, of course), take a drink.

    Awww, but…but…they’re Scottish! :cries:

  6. Patty Blount
    Nov 11, 2011

    OMFG. Brilliant!

  7. Justin
    Nov 11, 2011

    Suddenly going to book club is fun again.

  8. bibliojunkies
    Nov 11, 2011

    I am working on a way to make this a game for readers as well. These are brilliant!

  9. Jessica Spotswood
    Nov 11, 2011

    This is hilarious. I love it! And I’d be so trashed.

  10. prerna pickett
    Nov 11, 2011

    this is hilarious! And so true! I love me some paranormal, and I guess there’s a reason certain formulas succeed.

  11. Pam
    Nov 11, 2011

    seven drinks. I am trashed.

  12. Julie@My5monkeys
    Nov 11, 2011

    that was LOL and so many are true

  13. Anonymous
    Nov 11, 2011

    Only 6 in mine, I’m feeling pretty good about that. :P

  14. anniekoconnor
    Nov 11, 2011

    Read my other comment on that other post. It’s accidentally funnier than I intended. Also, I suck at the internet. Gosh, I really hope this comment is in the right place.

  15. A. R. Kahler
    Nov 14, 2011

    FOUR! FOUR!
    I WIN.

    though I’m sober, so…fail.

  16. .jessica.
    Nov 14, 2011

    I’m not as think as you predictable I am.

  17. Rick
    Nov 14, 2011

    Y’all are too funny – and a bunch of alcoholics! Thank you for everyone who has commented and shared, and I’m so glad you enjoyed this as much as I enjoyed writing it.

    Now… *reaches for liquor cabinet*… where were we?

  18. angelhorn.com
    Nov 18, 2011

    *Burp* Oh, excuse me.

  19. Lori Ann Stephens
    Nov 18, 2011

    I and my WIP are tispy. tipssy. tispsy.
    Drunk.

    Great post. Love it.

  20. Kelley Vitollo
    Nov 18, 2011

    ROFL. This is great. Loved it. I write contemp so couldn’t play, but awesome!

  21. Jolene Perry
    Nov 18, 2011

    I only had to take 4 drinks. I think this means my agent might never be able to sell my MS :)
    This was HYSTERICAL.
    Love.
    and I’m not nearly as tipsy as I’d like.
    quarters will be next…

    Also, this post has turned me into a dedicated follower of your blog.

  22. Candie Leigh
    Nov 19, 2011

    Oh my gosh, too funny! :-) Thanks for the giggle.

  23. Jennifer Joseph
    Nov 19, 2011

    I’ve got 5, though the female main character and redhead ones may not count entirely as I have a group of main characters who are equally important and get near equal POV time. There are more male POVs and only one redhead.

    Still, this is too funny and I had to share it on Twitter.

  24. Fiona L
    Nov 19, 2011

    OMG!!!!! I loved every moment of reading this, half the time I was laughing my ass off. Seriously, EVERYONE who is considering or already writing paranormal romance should read this!!!!

  25. Denise
    Nov 21, 2011

    As god is my witness, I’ll never be sober again….

  26. Savannah Smith
    Nov 23, 2011

    Oh gosh. I got 15.

    And YA Paranormal isn’t even my genre!

  27. laurathewise
    Mar 13, 2012

    Hahaha! Half of these fit YA in general. :P

  28. Jessa
    Mar 13, 2012

    Sharing this! It’s Brilliant. And I’m drunk at 9am. Lol!!

  29. Laura W.
    Apr 5, 2012

    So…does strawberry blonde count as redheaded? Ugh. I’m just going to drink.

    I actually did pretty well. Only 6 drinks. No killing of token minorities.

  30. Erin
    Jun 7, 2012

    LOL These are great! Although, I think L.J. Smith should get a pass since she did all of this 20 years before contemporary authors. She’s pre-cliché :)

  31. Kathleen S. Allen
    Jun 8, 2012

    Uh, yeah. Twelve for me for my latest WIP.
    1. MC is a teenage girl
    2. If one or both of your main character’s parents are dead, missing, or otherwise out of the picture-her mother is dead.
    3. If your main character fulfills ALL of the following: white, able-bodied, heterosexual, vaguely non-denominational Christian and/or agnostic-check.
    4. If either your main character or her love interest are over 100 years old-love interest is.
    5. If your main character’s acquiring of supernatural powers is due to either her reaching the appropriate but totally arbitrary age, and/or a paranormal family legacy to which she is totally ignorant-yep. Both. Check.
    6. If there is a supernatural reason why your main character and her love interest cannot make sexy times-yeah. *sighs*
    7.If your main character is both strangely attracted to yet superficially repelled by Love Interest-uh, yeah.
    8.If Love Interest’s expressions of affection could, at any point, be mistaken for stalking and/or psychologically unstable behavior-yep.
    9.If there is a prophecy of any kind in your book, self-fulfilling or otherwise-uh,huh.
    10. If there is, has ever been, or will at some point be a magical object your characters must acquire in order to advance the plot-three things, actually.
    11. If your character and her love interest are automatically, instantly smitten with one another from the moment they meet-oh, yeah!
    12. If Love Interest is dark and broody, sexy and angsty, misunderstood and a troublemaker, or some other embodiment of these qualities-does riding a motorcycle and having a tattoo (or two) count? Then, yes.
    FUN GAME!

  32. Lydia
    Jun 16, 2012

    Yay! Only two!
    That was a lot better than I expected, but my first MS would’ve gotten twelve, so I’m not as cool as I’d like to think.
    But hey! I’m still sober, so that has to count for something.

  33. minervaK
    Jun 24, 2012

    Five. Does it count if I don’t write fantasy?

  34. Ambiguous_A
    Feb 6, 2013

    I just about died laughing while reading these. Awesome game!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>