You Should Read This: Surrealist Games

Image to accompany review of Surrealist Games

I use some surrealist techniques in the Literary Techniques for Genre Fiction class. Check it out if you're interested in adding more depth or texture to your writing.

I’ve been carrying this book around since days in Baltimore, when my ex gave it to me as a Valentine. It came in a charming little boxed set complete with temporary tattoo. Nowadays I have several real tattoos but I still draw on this book, particularly for the Literary Techniques in Speculative Fiction class.

What: Surrealist Games, compiled and presented by Alastair Brotchie is a compedium of games played by members of the Surrealist movement along with illustrations and surrealist quotes. Games include echo poems, provocations, and oral description of objects perceived by touch.

Who: Any writer is the better for a little dose of surreality from time to time, and any forays into the book will yield a few interesting phrases at the least, or perhaps even a whole new mind.

Why: Read it to find some writing games that you can play solo or with similarly-verbally-minded friends. Read it for the equivalent of a poetic whack upside the head. Read it for the creative sparks flung out by its pages.

When: Read it at a time dictated by the roll of a die or the motions of a lizard on the wall.

Where and how: Graze through the pictures and see what inspiration leaps from the paper to your brain. Don’t treat it like a manual, working your way through game 1, game 2, game so on. Instead, let it fall open and see where chance takes you.

Enjoy this writing advice and want more content like it? Check out the classes Cat gives via the Rambo Academy for Wayward Writers, which offers both on-demand and live online writing classes for fantasy and science fiction writers from Cat and other authors, including Ann Leckie, Seanan McGuire, Fran Wilde and other talents! All classes include three free slots.

Prefer to opt for weekly interaction, advice, opportunities to ask questions, and access to the Chez Rambo Discord community and critique group? Check out Cat’s Patreon. Or sample her writing here.


Facebook Twitter Email

Related Posts:

About Cat

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches by the shores of an eagle-haunted lake in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov's, Clarkesworld Magazine, and the magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. Her story, "Five Ways to Fall in Love on Planet Porcelain," from her collection Near + Far (Hydra House Books), was a 2012 Nebula nominee. Her editorship of Fantasy Magazine earned her a World Fantasy Award nomination in 2012. She is the current President of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA). She is currently working on Exiles of Tabat, the third book of the Tabat Quartet. A new story collection, Neither Here Nor There, appears from Hydra House this fall.
This entry was posted in you should read this and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.