WIPpet Wednesday: Party Time

Happy Wednesday! It’s been quite a week, in a good way.  I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, but for now, I’m going to enjoy popping around to read all the great WIP snippets.

As for mine, I’m very sad to say goodbye to Phin and Company, but it’s time to move on.  If I don’t, I’ll just keep finding things to fix.  In the interest of not obsessing, I’m going to pick up my next story starting in April.  Which means I’d better get a move on writing it!

Last week when I took a poll, most people wanted to see Phin squirm, so here it is.  In this scene, Alex and the others have brought Phin to a weekend arts festival. They’re at a private party for one of Eunice’s friends. Despite his people-reading skills, I’ve always seen Phin as an introvert; this party is his (and my!) idea of hell.  Also, several people have been giving Phin alcoholic punch but telling him it’s “not strong,” and misfortune ensues.  I may or may not have been present for the real-life situation on which this is based.  My advice: Do not drink the punch unless you know exactly what’s in it.

My WIP math: 3/26/14 = 3+2+6+1+4 = 16 paragraphs, a nice long section in honor of my last post from this novel.

Phin relaxed and finished the second drink then tried again to find any of the people he’d come with. It shouldn’t have been hard, as it wasn’t crowded. For some reason, he seemed to be getting further away from the center of the house where he assumed the others had ended up. Before he could accomplish his mission, another guest handed him a cup of something similar to his previous two. Phin protested, “I really don’t drink.”

The man, who looked like he might have been trying to relive his parents’ hippie adolescence, dismissed him. “Nah, there’s nothing in this one. It’s the one with the blackberries you want to watch out for.”

Just as he was about to move on, the man grabbed his arm. “Where’re you going, babe?” He leered and leaned in a little too close for Phin’s comfort.

Phin had had enough and deemed the man an ass. “Oh, fuck off, will you? I’m here with someone else.” He shook himself free and tried to disappear, not checking to see if The Ass was following him.

On his way through the crowd—which seemed to have grown exponentially since Phin’s last attempt—at least three more people offered him a drink. Someone finally just shoved something at him, and Phin had to take it in order not to slop liquid all over himself. He frowned and looked for a place to get rid of it. What was wrong with people at this party? He couldn’t find a table, so he sipped some off the top to keep it from sloshing over the side while he weaved among people. At one point, he thought he spotted The Ass and quickly ducked behind someone to hide. Unfortunately, his legs didn’t seem to be working properly, and he bashed his shoulder into the wall.

“Ow,” he said loudly enough that a couple of people turned to look at him, puzzled frowns on their faces.

By the time Phin reached Alex, he knew he needed to get out of there. Whatever he’d been drinking was already causing him to feel fuzzy. He hadn’t had nearly enough to eat, and he wasn’t much of a drinker—intoxication tended to mess with his ability to manipulate situations in his favor. This was definitely not pleasant.

“I’m really not feeling great,” he managed. “And a pretend hippie who apparently finds me hot might or might not be looking for me.” The hand holding his cup shook, and Alex took it from him. “What the hell is in that punch?” Phin rubbed his face.

Alex’s eyebrows shot up. “I don’t know.”

The Ass, who obviously had been looking for Phin, appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Phin groaned, and Alex shot him a look of confusion before addressing the other man. “Oh, hey, Dave.” He leaned in, and they exchanged a quick, chaste peck on the cheek.

Phin felt slightly nauseated at the sight. “Wait, you know The Ass?” He hadn’t meant to say that; his private nickname for the man just slipped out. “Shit. Sorry.”

Dave laughed. “Nice. Alex, tell me this isn’t your date for the night.”

Alex glanced over at Phin. “Sort of, yes.”

“You might want to get him out of here before he does something stupid.”

“I’ll keep that in mind. Speaking of that, I think I’ve reached my limit for the night. Would you mind telling Renee thank you for us? We’ll see ourselves out.”

Later, Phin couldn’t recall how he’d gotten back to the townhouse. The details were blurry, in part because he spent the entire car ride trying not to throw up.

And there you have it.  You’ll just have to wait to read the whole thing now if you want to see these characters again.

Feel free to join us by connecting a bit of your WIP with the date and linking up here.  Thanks again to K. L. Schwengel for hosting us!


19 thoughts on “WIPpet Wednesday: Party Time

  1. Ugh! Poor Phin. Yes, sadly, I can relate. And yes, parties are my idea of hell unless they’re small and I’m well-acquainted with everyone. Fifth paragraph: “the Phin’s last attempt” Now, if you want to refer to him as ‘the Phin’ that’s cool. 😉 But I’m guessing that’s a typo. Good scene, though. The way in which his private nickname for Dave comes out is priceless.

    • Argh…fixing that now. It’s because I shortened that paragraph and cut out something that’s important to the story but not the scene. My cut-and-paste wasn’t entirely accurate. Blech. And now anyone reading the comments after I fix it will be like, “huh?”

      I truly hate most parties, and there’s a good reason I don’t drink. LOL!

  2. Haha, love Phin’s internal and external dialogue – Dave, the Ass does seem like he’s a bit of a troublemaker.Nice meaty piece here. It’s helpful to get more than a line or two sometimes, to get the sense of rhythm that the story conveys. A smooth and enjoyable read – although I do feel for Phin, too. Tomorrow morning he will not be feeling good, I think!

  3. I’m actually pretty good at parties. 🙂 But I can still relate to Phin’s losing the friends he came with and the uncomfortable situation. Great interaction between the characters here!

    It will be fun to see what you come up with next. 🙂

    • I’m ok if it doesn’t feel too crowded or if I can stick with a few other people and just stay in a corner somewhere. LOL!

      I’m already plotting and planning my next adventure. 🙂

  4. Parties… hmm, I have a few “interesting” moments I could relate. Usually I only go out with people I know well though. Too many sorority adventures in college….

    I wondered a bit about the way you phrased Phin’s internal dialogue at this point. It sounded more like authorial intrusion:

    —intoxication tended to mess with his ability to manipulate situations in his favor.

    From what I’ve seen in people, most people (even when they’re really trying to manipulate others) don’t tend to call what they’re doing manipulation. They like to think better of their own motives. It would be interesting to see a character who really considered himself a master of manipulation played out sympathetically. though.

    • That’s a fair point, and I may change it. Though he’s not referring to social manipulation–he’s talking about his work. He KNOWS he’s manipulating people when it comes to business; it’s intentional.

    • Hahahaha! Yeah, you have the advantage of being able to see the other 2 scenes that I offered in my poll last week. Hm, should I be mean and not tell you which ones? LOL

What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s