View Full Version : Formal college party

March 21st, 2014, 01:47 PM
I started work on this. It's a good way to see how I do party scenes. It's not completely finished yet, but I think it's mostly done.

More of this is based on actual events than you want to think. It's actually not that crazy of a party.


Heinrich saw one of his friends from English class outside of their dorm one evening on a Friday night during freshman year. His name was Fritz, and he had long straight brown hair and glasses with a high pitch voice. Heinrich approached Fritz, who walked with a forward bend in the shoulders and a scissor like step. Fritz said out "Hey..." with a slight smile. Heinrich asked if Fritz knew if anything was happening that night.
"I heard that there's a party at the apartments near by." He answered.
"Do you know when it's starting?" Heinrich asked.
"I think it's about to get started. From what I heard it's going to be dressed up."
"So I should go put on something nice?"
"Yeah, I think that would be a good idea. Are you going to go?"
"Yeah, I will. I can go get changed and meet you out here and we can go over there together."
"Yeah! That sounds good." Fritz replied.
Heinrich quickly walked toward the door to the dorm to go back to his room to get changed. When he was inside, he called Alex as he was walking up the stairs.
"Hey, Alex!" He said as she answered.
"There's going to be a party at the apartments near the school tonight. I'm heading over there with Fritz from English class."
"You are?" Alex said, surprised. "When is it?"
"I heard that it's starting now."
"So are you going there now?"
"Yeah, I'm getting changed and I'm going to meet Fritz outside."
"You're going to go over there with him?"
"Yeah, unless you're going to meet us outside."
"I can if you plan to wait." Alex was with several of her friends.
"How long do you think it will take you?"
"Just go over there when you're ready."
"Do you want us to wait?"
"No... It just seems kind of weird."
"It's just seems kind of weird that you're walking over alone with a creepy nerd..."
"You think he's creepy?"
"Not threatening creepy... I'm just saying... People might think you're gay."
"What?" Heinrich exclaimed.
"It just would look weird for you to walk over there with a creepy nerd with you."
"Are you saying we should head over separately?"
"No. Just do what you want. I don't think it's a big deal. I'll be over there."
Heinrich hung up as he approached his room. He unlocked the door and found a suit and tie to change into. He also grabbed a condom from his desk drawer.
Once Heinrich had changed, he quickly walked to the stairwell and outside to where he had met with Fritz. Heinrich asked Fritz if he was ready to go over to the party, to which he replied that he was. The two of them began walking the distance to the apartments. They talked occasionally on their way over there, mostly Heinrich mentioning how glad he was that he was getting to go to a relatively big college party, considering his experiences being misplaced into a low level special education class in middle school and subsequent flameout near the end of eighth grade as a result. Fritz mentioned that he was also excited, and that it was not something that was expected of him as a nerd.
When they got to the party, Heinrich knocked on the door. A large older boy in a tuxedo answered the door and invited them in. He explained to them that the cost of the party was four dollars per person for unlimited champaign and vodka. They each enthusiastically paid for the alcohol and were then served glasses of champaign. They began drinking them as they stood near the wall together at the back of the kitchen. Alex later described them as "attached at the hip." They talked about school and about writing, and each had a few more glasses of champaign.
A while later, one of the people running the party took out a handle of Aristocrat vodka. Heinrich was not experienced with college enough to know better, and like a freshman, expressed enthusiasm when the boy serving it brought it over to them to poor them the first shots from the bottle. He poured the shots into their champaign glasses. Heinrich and Fritz then drank at the same time, and both reacted like nerds trying to stay masculine at the burning texture of the cheap liquor. After a few more minutes, they were each offered another shot, which they gladly accepted.
Eventually Heinrich saw Alex enter with several of her friends. They were all wearing winter dresses, except for Alex, who was wearing a Soviet Uniform with cheap replicas of her grandmother's medals and a large fur ushanka with a red star and hammer and sickle. Heinrich laughed to himself, since he knew that Alex thought that she was presenting herself as a "Russian girl" when she actually looked like a World War II nerd. The boy in the tuxedo asked Alex about her uniform, and then gave her a glass of champaign. He was evidently impressed because he continued flirting with her.
After entering, Alex walked over to Heinrich while her friends headed into the living room. She told him to stop literally staying by the wall and to get out and mingle. He was already beginning to get drunk. Fritz followed Heinrich who followed Alex into the living room, where she began dancing with her friends. As Heinrich and Fritz watched the girls at the party dancing, the boy who was serving the vodka came around to them and offered them more shots. They each took two more. Fritz then began to talk to Heinrich about the writing project that they had for English class. After several minutes of standing among the boys in the living room, they were offered the final two shots from the bottle of vodka. After drinking them, Fritz and Heinrich walked outside the apartment, where a crowd had formed. They mingled with the freshmen from their classes who they saw. Heinrich had fun as he briefly talked to people and stood with Fritz at the party.
Eventually Heinrich followed Fritz back inside where they took two more glasses of champaign as they walked to the living room. They watched the dancing from the side of the room for a moment before Fritz saw that one of the bedrooms was open and that there where people playing video games inside. Heinrich followed Fritz inside where they then sat down on the couch in front of the TV. After a minute they were given controllers and made an attempt at playing.
Outside in the living room, Alex had been talking with several of the boys about various things, including the origin of the uniform that she was wearing. She was laughing and having a great time. Once she was drunk and offered another glass of champaign, she proposed a toast "to all of the brave men and women who fought for your freedom today in the Reboche Kresyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya against the fascist hordes!" Alex succeeded it getting several people to follow her with the toast, after which she began to sing the Soviet national anthem. Someone quickly handed her a microphone, which resulted in more people trying to join in with singing with her. When Heinrich and Fritz heard it as they were playing video games, he blurted out "is that your girlfriend?"
"Yeah. She's a huge World War II nerd. We should go in there and sing with them."
Heinrich got up to go into the living room and Fritz followed. Heinrich followed along with Alex and watched Fritz's attempts to pronounce the words. Heinrich was glad that Alex's nerdiness had gone from socially awkward to socially awesome. Heinrich felt amazed to be part of such a party, especially from his earlier struggles in middle school and high school.

March 22nd, 2014, 04:19 AM
I think you need to break up your dialog and make it part of what is happening. You go from straight dialog right into a long description of events. I may be way off base but that was my first thought while reading. I would fine way to describe your characters without being so obvious, subtle things that would give you hint of who they where rather than 3 adjectives. I think you could change up just what you have and still keep the story but make it much easier for the reader to envision.

March 23rd, 2014, 07:37 PM
This definitely seems like a slice-of-life type of a story. I know you said that it wasn't completed, but I do wish it came to a resolution. Did you just want to write it just to write? Did these events (real or otherwise) impact you?

I like all of the details, such as the friends' quirks and traits. However, I don't recall much about the main character. I think that with a few more descriptive lines, you can really pull people into the party scene. For instance, when the girls were dancing, I had background noise, but I had to make it up. When the characters got drunk, I didn't quite see how that impaired things. I liked the earlier description of the "nerd" character, his scissor-like steps.

Video games, singing, that feeling of camaraderie was the end result of my reading. And that's a good thing. It's like going to a bar and not knowing anyone, but there's a connection, whether the musicians, sentiments towards certain people, or the way the bar is run. That's the style it gives.

March 23rd, 2014, 09:30 PM
I'm not really sure what to make of this. The dialogue at the beginning is realistic but really too much so, and as a result not very interesting to read. It doesn't say much about your characters so for it to go on for so long felt a little pointless, it could be trimmed a lot or even skipped. After that, the story was more a recital of events than a story. I'd like to see you put some emotion/excitement in; it is a party after all.

I'm no expert on alcohol, but by the sounds of it, they drank a hell of a lot. Given that at the beginning of the party they were already trying to hide that they were tipsy, I found it strange that they seemed entirely unaffected at the end. Also "champaign" is a place/archaic verb. "Champagne" is the drink.

I didn't really care for the throwaway gay comment, it might be realistic but it seemed unnecessary from the mouth of what I think is intended to be a likable character. You can alienate a lot of readers with things like that, which I'm sure is not your intention. I'm not having a go if it sounds like that, just being honest :p

One last minor thing- I know there is a lot of nerdiness in your story, but you use the word "nerd" too often for my tastes. Rather than saying "this person is a nerd", let the reader infer it from their mannerisms, for example the guy that walks like scissors. That was a great image, and I'm sure you've got plenty more you can use. I can see a lot of potential in this, just needs a bit of livening up, and there's the odd grammatical error (found one or two near the beginning but I've lost them, I'm afraid).

Hope some of this is useful :)

March 28th, 2014, 03:42 AM
Thank you for your input. I will use it to improve the story.

I'll add more descriptions like with the creepy nerd doing the scissor step, what Alex would call in other stories a "Jungfrauschritt."

The "style" of the story toward the end is what I was going for.

The characters did drink a lot. I'm thinking about having cause some sort of problem near the end. The gay comment is realistic, but I see that it could put off a lot of people. I think that at least something there is going to be needed to portray Fritz as creepy or in some way strange. Heinrich is spending time with him thinking "oh look, another computer internet culture type friend" without realizing that people might consider him to be a bit of a recluse. I went to the dorm room of his inspiration one evening and saw that his roommate had a poster of a girl above his bed. I assumed that he was just a southern type who put it up, in contrast to his roommate, who was an IRC and imageboard nerd, but I rethink that now and I think they might have been more similar. I always found it really, really strange any time I saw an introverted loner type with posters of girls. I don't know why; if anything, they're far less likely to be predatory. It never really bothered me when the southerners put them up.