Fantasy Romance LGBTQ+

Dancing Alone Together

Feb. 13, 2019
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Average Rating: 2.8
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In life, many people often refuse to dance. They refuse to dance because they’re afraid of embarrassing themselves; they’re afraid to be stuck dancing alone, making a fool of themselves in front of everyone. But sometimes, when they have that special someone, whether it be a friend or lover, their fear suddenly disappears. Because it’s so much better, when you’re dancing alone together.

 

~


Observing the crowd of dancing people from afar, Pippin studied them curiously as he leaned up against one of the nearby trees of the surrounding forest and tapped his foot along to the slow, steady beat of the music.


Pursing his lips, Pip furrowed his eyebrows as he began to wonder why he was just spectating. He had shown up to the party at least an hour ago, before the sun had set, and so far all he had done was trip over a rock and pouted about it near the trees. This was his first party he had ever gone to, and he already felt like he was wasting it. Though, in all honesty, the party wasn't that big of a deal in the first place. It was hard to consider it as a party at all, really; it was more like a gathering, with snacks and upbeat music. But that didn't mean it meant any less to Pip than a "real" party would. He had expected to be dancing at this point in the night, enjoying himself with everyone else like any normal person would, and yet he still couldn't muster up enough courage to do so.


Eventually, Pip grew bored of feeling disappointed in himself, and he instead let his mind wander off to other things. Subconsciously, he glanced around the area a bit more, and eventually his gaze fell on the pale blond elf beside him. Tilting his head, he focused in on the elf: His name was Barnaby, and he was considered to have a rather close relationship with Pip. Often times, it felt like it was just them against the world, and Pip didn't mind that. Smiling softly, he was glad to know that, even though he was too anxious to dance with everyone else, Barnaby had stayed by his side.

 

Snacking on some seeds from the brown satchel at his side, Barnaby stared boredly at the partying crowd before him. Sighing quietly, he began to regret ever showing up; it made him think back to when he used to dance when he was little. He was always practicing, trying to so hard to get every movement just right for his parents, but it was never enough for them. No surprise there. But now, as he watched everyone dance so carelessly, he felt a pit of resentment form in his gut towards them. He couldn’t stand how he was reminded of such times. But seeing the joy in their faces prevented him from hating them entirely.


Suddenly, he sensed a change in the air beside him. His ears twitching, he quickly shifted his gaze towards what was triggering his senses. He prepared to draw his weapon, assuming someone was sneaking up on him, but quickly came to a halt. It took him a moment, but he realized it was only his friend. Staring at him… Wait- Pippin was staring at him.


Coughing awkwardly, almost choking on the seeds in his mouth, he took a step back as he averted his gaze from Pippin. He covered his mouth with one hand, brushing a lock of hair behind his ear self-consciously as he swallowed the seeds he had been chewing earlier.


“What?” He grumbled after clearing his throat, sounding more passive-aggressive than he had intended.


Smiling warmly, Pip tilted his head. “Why aren’t you dancing with everyone else?” He questioned as he took a small step forward, getting closer to Barnaby.


The tips of his ears reddening, Barnaby hesitated for a moment; clearly caught off-guard by the question. Awkwardly, he shrugged in response. “I… Well- I didn’t think we had to,” he murmured. Coughing, he crossed his arms before shifting his weight onto one foot. He scratched the back of his head, then suddenly retorted with, “Why? … Do you want to dance now?”


His face heating up, Pippin rubbed his arm as he hunched over slightly. “I wouldn’t mind dancing… With you,” he answered sheepishly, the last part of his sentence being barely audible. His ears lowering from his statement, he tapped his arm nervously as his heart thumped loudly in his chest. Chuckling, he added, “Do you want to?”


Freezing up, the blond high elf struggled to process hat Pip had just said. His arms falling back at his sides, he gazed up at his taller partner. Though it took him a moment, he eventually answered: “I… I-I guess,” he muttered as he glanced don at his boots. He bit his lip, then quickly brought his attention back up to Pip shortly after. “Why not,” he went on in attempt to make things less awkward than they already were.


There was a brief moment of silence, until Barnaby suddenly felt Pippin’s hands grabbing his. He gasped quietly as he was suddenly pulled forward into the fae’s chest.


Smiling widely, Pippin gazed down at his partner as he gave him a moment to calm down before intertwining their fingers. “Let’s dance together, then,” he chuckled lightly as the music in the background slowly got louder.


Sputtering flusteredly, Barnaby blushed heavily as Pippin began to dance with him; swaying their bodies to the music as he led them into the nearby crowd. Letting out a small huff, he did his best to ease into the dance as he leaned his head against Pippin’s chest. Though, he began to fidget nervously the closer they got to everyone else.


Once they were among the crowd, Pip took a short pause. He then suddenly rose their hands up just a bit more to get Barnaby’s attention. When the high elf lifted his head to see what he was doing, Pip began to spin with Barnaby as he grinned cheekily at him.


Unprepared to spin with Pip, the blond nearly tripped several times as they spun. His face nearly as red as a tomato at this point, he quickly got closer to the fae and buried his face in his chest again. Groaning, he snickered through his flustered embarrassment as he kept his face hidden.


“What are you doing?” Barnaby muttered, chuckling under his breath as he calmed down somewhat.


Continuing to spin and sway with Barnaby in his embrace, Pippin giggled along with his partner. “Dancing! What are you doing?” He retorted playfully as he danced more energetically with him.


Grinning in response, Barnaby shook his head. After gathering enough courage to do so, he lifted his head and readjusted his posture. He intertwined their fingers once more as he gazed up at Pippin, before suddenly starting to take the lead. Stepping forward, he took the dominant role in their dance as he sorted them into a waltz.


Though he had been humming along to the music before, Pip stumbled on the tune as Barnaby took over and lead their fun yet messy dance. Smiling awkwardly, he began to blush as the high elf chuckled in response to his abrupt fluster. Though, he too laughed as he stumbled back a few times and interrupted the smooth pace their dance had grown into. Listening to the music as it gradually sped up, he resumed humming along to the beat again as he remained as close as he could to Barnaby.


As their dance proceeded, they weaved their way through the crowd; becoming too caught up in their own little world to notice they were going anywhere. Eventually, they parted from the crowd as they continued to dance. Soon, they found themselves within the forest. Though, they figured they couldn’t be too far away from where they originally were, since they could still faintly hear the music.


Slowing down, Barnaby shifted his gaze out towards the crowd in the distance; they were even further than before they had started dancing, now. Sighing quietly, he shrugged it off. “At least we’re not surrounded anymore…” He mumbled before focusing back on Pip.


Smiling tenderly, Pip tilted his head. “More room to dance, right?” He agreed, letting out a small chuckle afterwards.


Nodding in response, Barnaby returned to slowly swaying with Pippin. Glad to be alone with him, he smiled softly as they returned to dancing with each other.


Resting his head on Barnaby’s Pip let out a content sigh as they swayed calmly to the beat. Sliding his hands down, he rested them on his partner’s waist and pulled his body closer. After a few moments, he abruptly swooped them up and swung them around in the air; smiling mischievously as he did so.


Cackling, Barnaby did his best to reach out to Pip as he struggled to hold back his laughter. Shaking his head, he gazed down at the fae lovingly as he was held up in the air; admiring his sweet, joyful expression as the music in the background became slow and quiet. Closing his eyes, he finally relaxed as he enjoyed their blissful moment alone together.


Grinning from ear to ear, Pip was also admiring Barnaby. Studying the beauty of his pleasant expressions, which he rarely ever showed off to anyone, and listened to his amazing laugh. Barely anyone else had been blessed to hear Barnaby’s laugh. No one except for him, and he couldn’t have felt luckier. Giggling, he felt so happy that he began to emit small flurries of gold, glowing pixie dust. It lit up the forest space around them, like the lights closer to the crowd.


After a few more minutes of holding Barnaby in the air, Pip set him down and intertwined their fingers again. Holding him close, he went back to resting his head on the blond’s. Quietly, he started humming again to the now soft music in the background.


Swaying along with Pip again, going at the same pace they were dancing at before, Barnaby let out a small yet pleased huff as he danced slowly with his partner. Then, as the music became energetic and upbeat again, he took the dominant role once more and rose their hands in the air; spinning Pip around as he took a step back, only to come back and wrap his arms around the fae’s waist and suddenly dip him.


His eyes widening greatly, Pip gawked at Barnaby in shock. As his face became completely red, his ings slowly rose up from underneath his cape as he sputtered out flustered nonsense; struggling to form an actual sentence.


His eyes trailing to Pip’s now erect wings, the high elf stared at them for a moment, then burst out into a sudden fit of laughter. Shaking his head, he held onto Pip tighter as the fae began to laugh along with him.


Blushing like mad, Pip tugged on Barnaby; managing to make them both fall onto the ground. However, his mischievous plan backfired on him when he ended up falling on his ings. Yelping when they went down, he quickly rolled on top of Barnaby to avoid laying on his back.


“You’re an idiot,” the blond groaned playfully as he wriggled underneath Pip. Sighing loudly to exaggerate his point, he glanced off to the side. He was barely capable of hiding his smirk at this point. “Dumb fairy…”


“Snooty elf,” Pip shot back in the same teasing manner. He laid on top of his grumpy partner, grinning cheekily again as they both laid on the forest floor together; concluding their dance.


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Worthy of Revisions
Flounce rated this work:

Feb. 27, 2019, 9:41 p.m.

Dancing Alone Together is about finding the right dance partner. Pip and Barnaby watched dancing pary goers longing for dance partners. Once they find each other, they dance the night away.

In this story, the author makes use of description and pacing to move the story forward. However, the awkward POV shifts and overwriting makes this beautiful story difficult to read.

In revisions, the author may want to consider addressing overwriting issues. For example the second paragraph is one sentence. “Observing the crowd of dancing people from afar, Pippin studied them curiously as he leaned up against one of the nearby trees of the surrounding forest and tapped his foot along to the slow, steady beat of the music.” Here the author is overwriting. The use of the observing suggests Pippin is studying the people. There’s no need to make use of both “observing” and “studied curiously.” The use of “from afar isn’t necessary if Pippin is in the “surrounding forest.” Also having Pippin “lean up against” a tre is way too much overwriting. The author may want to consider this instead. “Leaned against a tree in the surrounding forest, Pippin observed dancing people.”

This is a valuable piece worthy of revisions.

Point of View Voice

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dayahorne rated this work:

Sept. 1, 2019, 8:55 p.m.

The ending was my kind of ending. I love when two characters (romantic or platonic) can be goofy and funny with one another.

Originality

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Good Flow and Descriptions!
haeun_logos rated this work:

Feb. 18, 2019, 11:30 a.m.

You describe the settings very beautifully - you make good use of your adjectives and the whole piece flows very well together. Nothing was jarring enough to take me out of the story. You show the narrative very well - the metaphor for their whole interaction following a dance is a nice skeleton for the story to follow.

However - there's not much in the way of conflict and plot. It feels more like a description of something that happened. It's well written, but it doesn't utilize its potential to discuss the topic of romance. I think it'd be interesting to elaborate on the conflict of between liking someone as friends and liking someone as a romantic partner. Right now, there's not much to anchor me to either character.

When writing, it's important to make the audience feel what you want them to feel - in essence, answering the question, "Why should I care about this story?"

A couple of other things to keep in mind: continuity - I was confused as to who Pip was at first. Instead of using Pippin only once, either introduce Pip as a nickname or just use one name for the entire story. You also have some grammar-related and spelling errors - especially in regards to quotations/dialogue. Double check those, please :)

Overall, the pacing was good and you describe the setting very well. It doesn't deviate from point of view and consistently remains in third-person omniscient. I hope to see this story written with more depth, as it has the potential to really say something about romance.

Best of luck!

Plot Pacing Conflict Originality Character Motivation Dialogue Grammar

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Nice ideas, unclear execution
laughing rated this work:

Feb. 20, 2019, 2:47 p.m.

While the ideas and many of the images you describe are nice, it's a bit hard to get into due to how they are presented. We are told a lot of things that might have been better to show. We don't learn what Pip is or looks like until we're deeper into the story; I had no reason to doubt that Pip was human until suddenly he had wings – large, surprising physical details like this might better be introduced immediately, so your audience can get a clear mental picture of who he is. Also, Barnaby appears in the same way; the line "Subconsciously, he glanced around the area a bit more, and eventually his gaze fell on the pale blond elf beside him," made me go "What? When did he get there?" Pippin has already had multiple paragraphs of action, placement and monologue – we know he is at the edge of a party, is quietly observing, and is reflecting on his past lack of experience at parties. With this, I visualized "Young man, alone at the edge of the party, physically human because no non-human features have been mentioned." Then, two paragraphs in, we realize there has been someone else next to him the whole time.

I would suggest setting up the whole physical seen as soon as possible, and setting up all the visual details at the same time. There's a party. A forest surrounds it. Our POV character is on the outskirts, leaning on a tree. Someone is next to him. POV character possesses wings. Your first sentence, "Observing the crowd of dancing people from afar, Pippin studied them curiously as he leaned up against one of the nearby trees of the surrounding forest and tapped his foot along to the slow, steady beat of the music," is very good, because it sets up the location, environment, and POV character – but it's phrased as if this is the whole description and might be misleading. Simply adding the fact that someone is beside him + the fact he has wings would immediately place the audience in a magical world and not take them by surprise when Barnaby shows up.

There were also odd POV shifts from Pip to Barnaby that made it unclear whose point of view this scene is supposed to be from. If you want third-person omniscient, maybe pull back from their inner monologues and try expressing them through dialogue instead. If you want third-person limited, maybe make a clearer switch between the two characters.

Plot Setting Point of View Show Don't Tell Dialogue

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Dancing Alone Together
Thedude3445 rated this work:

March 3, 2019, 9:11 p.m.

At this moment, this is a fragment that needs a whole lot more context around it to feel like it is anything. It's a scene of dancing and cute romance but aside from a bit of introspection from Pip we don't get enough sense of character, and the setting is extremely vague so we don't get a sense of the world at all. These two characters are different species, and are gay, but I'm not sure if that's of any relevance in the world or not.

Also, while romantic scenes that flow between multiple POVs at once can be neat, this one feels like it should be fully in Pip's POV to make his character stronger, especially from the way it starts solely with him.

Setting Point of View Conflict Character Motivation

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