The other day I took one of my late night walks (it's been super rainy here lately, which is weird for us, and the other night was actually clear!) While I didn't observe anything fascinating, I did walk by a party. On the one hand, I was happy they were out on the porch, as it meant there were people who were a) conscious, and b) in a position to hear me, say, scream should anything happen on this late night walk. Yes, I think about those things, and I know I shouldn't go on late night walks, but they soothe me and open up my creativity. And sometimes that is my only opportunity to get out for a walk or any type of exercise.
|Courtesy of Stephanie, clker.com|
A party scene can also help you introduce several characters at once, giving us a hint about who it is we should follow and become invested in. Harry is highly personable, organized the entire event, and was the life of the party. Betty skulked in the shadows, cast fake smiles at anyone who spoke to her, and left early. Ramin was friendly, albeit reserved, chatted with folks and showed interest in what they had to say, but was relieved when the evening came to a close. We've just met three characters, and if you write the scene properly, you should actually have been able to show their personalities through their actions and reactions, rather than telling us their personality traits or situations.
|Courtesy of Camaher, clker.com|
Interactions between folks can also lead to the sharing of quite a bit of information. Conversations can reveal backstory, establish relationships, and lead the story forward. A character can discover clues or additional information they might not have gotten otherwise. Discoveries can be made.
Not only can information be established, but so can relationships. Did Betty glare at Ramin the entire time she was there? Did Harry look at Betty with lustful eyes or with deep love that isn't returned, because she never notices him or pays any attention to him? Is Ramin carefully studying Harry out of the corner of his eye, maybe reporting into a hidden microphone?
I'm sure I could keep going, but the point of it is, parties can be a great tool in your writing toolbox. If you're struggling with presenting some information, consider throwing a party! In your book, anyway.
Have you used a party in your writing? What did it help you establish? Can you think of other ways it could be used to help your story?
May you find your Muse.