Every wonder why so many of the short stories workshopped at your MFA program sound so similar? Probably because your lazy classmates opted to use Raymond Carver Mad Libs in lieu of creativity or imagination.
But seriously, this thing is fun and oddly accurate. If you need to quick refresher, Ray Carver (as blowhard Creative Writing professors call him) was one of, if not them most celebrated American short story writers, ever. While Washington Irving and John Cheever (usually) wrote about the first-class problems of the insular Northeast, the Pacific-Northwestern Carver delivered unforgiving, middle-class realism.
And now you can too! Thanks to Jesse Kavaldo over at Yankee Pot Roast, that "Journal of Literary Satire" whose motto is "Hastilly Written & Slopilly Edited" (wink wink), we can all be little Raymond Carvers. To help you get started, we've included the list of word types below. Then, for maximum effect, grab a scotch and a cigarette to enjoy while you fill out the Raymond Carver Mad Libs sheet.