When we go to a party we look at the decorations, the food being served, the people who are attending and what they are wearing. And since characters are meant to be portrayed as real, I believe they should do the same thing if they go to a party whether it’s a birthday Party, Christmas party, New Years Eve party, or charity event.
However, you don’t have to say that your character stepped up to the food table to examine every appetizer or walked to every corner of the house to see every decoration. You’re the writer. When your character steps into the party, use that moment to tell the reader all the details that they need to know to perfectly envision the atmosphere.
What does the room/house look like? Are there hollies draped over the banister, streamers fluttering from the ceiling, a dance floor? Is there a performer or band?
Is there food? Indulge in your cravings by letting your characters nibble on decadent desserts and expensive treats. Is there popcorn, caviar, shrimp cocktails, or chicken wings? Are there waiters with flutes of champagne or a cooler stocked with beer?
Who is at the party? It wouldn’t be a party unless your protagonist knew people there. Let your characters mingle then tell your readers about the outcome. Does your protagonist spot their love interest or the person they believe is the suspect in a crime?
Once you reveal who is at the party, tell your reader what they are wearing. I love to do this because the dresses that my female characters wear are dresses that I have designed. Now, if you don’t have a knack for fashion, don’t worry! Describe simple attire instead. Example: “She wore a black dress that pooled at her feet in a puddle of silk.” If you are fashion savvy but don’t design, use fashion magazines to find attires that your characters would wear and try to use your crafty way with words to put those outfits into your story.
Now there has to be a purpose for the party other than the fact that it is Christmas or New Years, etc. Something needs to come out of the party for your protagonist.
For a romance, does he/she dance with the person who has caught their eye? In each other’s arms, with music swimming around them, do they sink deeper in love? Do they end up leaving together or do they have a lovers spat?
For a thriller, does your protagonist confront the person they suspect did a crime? Do they get into a heated argument? What words are exchanged? Does it get physical? Whatever happens, make it good! Make your readers want to jump into your book to defend your protagonist.
Lastly, how does the party end? Does your protagonist leave with their lover to have a passionate night, with a black eye from the confrontation with someone they dislike, or with hors d'oeuvres in their purse to feed to their cat?
SHARE: How you write about a party in your stories.