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View Full Version : show don't tell: sick/hung over.



mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 12:27 AM
Agh! We all know what it's like to be hung over, but I'm having a hard time showing it in one of my characters. Any suggestions?

Shadow_Ferret
07-11-2008, 12:31 AM
Go get roaring drunk and then get up early the next morning and describe how you feel and act. :D

Is it first or third person?

The typical things would be the red-rimmed eyes. Aversion to loud noises. Quesiness, maybe even vomiting. A massive headache. Horrible aftertaste, with a pasty tongue and dry mouth. Maybe the sweats.

jennifer75
07-11-2008, 12:33 AM
Give us some insight into the night before the hang over. And then I'll work on it.

mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 12:37 AM
First of all, the MC is not the one who is hung over, it's her best friend. It's also written in first person, so I really only have to describe how the best friend is acting, not how she feels.

The night before, they were at a karaoke bar and the best friend got very drunk by sneaking sips from other peoples' beers. She's also 17, so obviously it's going to really affect her different than, say, a 27 year old.

mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 12:38 AM
Go get roaring drunk and then get up early the next morning and describe how you feel and act. :D

Ah! last time I was hung over it was for 3 days! Literally.

geardrops
07-11-2008, 12:50 AM
Standard symptoms are: headache, nausea, and an overwhelming desire for English brekkers.

josephwise
07-11-2008, 12:52 AM
She'd probably lie on the floor, moving from place to place trying to find a cool spot next to a vent or under a fan. Getting up now and then to splash water in her face. Attempting to eat but only picking at her food and lying down again. She would probably call in sick to school or whatever.

HeronW
07-11-2008, 12:55 AM
Squinting at bright lights, holding hand to mouth while rushing to get rid of stomach contents when offered food & going pale at the sight of anything greasy, walking as if you might fall you'll smash into a million pieces, speaking slowly and enunciating so your head moves as little as possible, wearing dark glasses, a hat and keeping the lights off. Asking the walls to stop moving. :}

Claudia Gray
07-11-2008, 01:29 AM
I don't know if "sips from other's people's beers" could get you that riproaringly drunk. You might drink enough that way to get silly or even drunk, but hung over the next day? I'm not sure about that one.

Soccer Mom
07-11-2008, 01:44 AM
Oh, enough sips on beer could eventually, especially if you're a flyweight. The lowest BAC I ever prosecuted for a DWI was a woman who was a .063- about the equivalent of three beers. But I saw the in car video and she was falling down drunk.

maestrowork
07-11-2008, 01:49 AM
First of all, the MC is not the one who is hung over, it's her best friend. It's also written in first person, so I really only have to describe how the best friend is acting, not how she feels.

Well, then get your best friend drunk and then observe what he/she does the next morning. :) Videotape him/her. Then put that to words.

soleary
07-11-2008, 01:53 AM
Bags under the eyes. Anxious. Guilty. If a blackout drinker a fear of the unknown. Forehead ache. Shakes. Aversion to light. Vomiting. Loose bowels. Oh, and the Margarittaville Buffet song playing in your head and no one elses :).

jennifer75
07-11-2008, 02:02 AM
Ah! last time I was hung over it was for 3 days! Literally.

And you still need our help? wink wink.

jennifer75
07-11-2008, 02:04 AM
She'll either be, hungry, thirsty for water, and lots of it, tired, grumpy from the headache, sick to her stomache but not quite enough to puke, just a very off kind of feeling. Sensitivity to the sunlight, her movement will be slowed, caused the bubble she will feel that she is in. She'll want to sleep or at least be horizontal most of the day depending on how bad she feels. Thats what I know, based on solely watching others cough cough I'd never know how it really is cough cough.

Lawfire
07-11-2008, 02:09 AM
Don't forget the smells. If she hasn't showered and brushed her teeth, the smell of alcohol could linger. That stale, next day, drank way too much stink could be amplified if there was vomitting involved. If it was a smokey bar, that smell would linger in her hair.

jennifer75
07-11-2008, 02:13 AM
Oooh yes, good point.....booze oozing out of her pores. Nice. Her hair also may smell like cigarettes.....hehe. Hey, just puttin it out there.

kuwisdelu
07-11-2008, 02:21 AM
That drunk from sipping from others' beers? Damn. What a lightweight.

I guess I could believe a first-timer or a real lightweight getting drunk from that, but I'm not sure that it would give anyone a hangover, which is from dehydration. Your girl would not only have to be a real lightweight, but I suspect she'd also have to have had barely anything to eat or drink that night, other than the beer. But then, a lot of hangovers are also very psychosomatic, so if she expects any drinking to give you a hangover, then she could possibly be hungover anyway.

There's only one sure cure for a hangover--stay hydrated. Really, you can be falling-down, pass-out shit-faced, and as long as you've been drinking water with your liquor, you'll be fine in the morning. Well, okay, if you drink too much, I suppose you could piss yourself, but...

san_remo_ave
07-11-2008, 02:35 AM
I'm always ferociously thirsty when I'm hungover. So dehydrated that I can see sheet prints on my skin when I first get up.

willietheshakes
07-11-2008, 02:56 AM
I've never been hung-over. Just doesn't seem to happen for me.

Which is a bit of a problem for one who so, so loves the drink as much as I do. My only negative feedback loop is financial. Well, that and having to explain myself come morning.

Mr. Fix
07-11-2008, 03:07 AM
When I was a kid, 12 or so, I went to a cousin's wedding. I really loved the flavor of the white fruit punch instead of the red fruit punch. When I told my dad that I was drinking the white punch he started laughing asking how many I had had, "alot, it's really good" I said. I actually only had about four or five glasses, and I'm sure you can see this coming, but the 'white fruit punch' was for the adults and contained alcohol. I know a 12 yr old is not a 17 yr old, but I was toasted, and then hung over - very much like above - looking for a cool place to rest on the next day.:PartySmil:e2drunk::e2thud:

Elodie-Caroline
07-11-2008, 03:28 AM
The prequel to hung over and after:
She hung her head over the toilet bowl and threw up, it was pink and lumpy and went absolutely everywhere. Over the wall, over the floor, over the toilet brush, and down her own bosom. On another retch, one of her cheap, plastic hooped, earrings fell into the toilet bowl. Was she really going to retrieve it? Not on your life!
She surrounded the bowl with her arms and waited for the next onrush of puke to appear, she knew it would, it always did. Now she wanted to fart too. Oops, up comes the puke again and she farted at the same time. Oh no, she shit herself too! But she wasn't bloody cleaning that up... It should be safe enough in her knickers and tights for tonight, looking at that would only make her throw up again. She was never drinking again, no more Newcastle brown, chased down with sherry for her. Yeah right, you said that the last time, didn't you.

She made it to the sofa. Oh yeah, the bloke she fancied was there, Dave, she'd forgotten all about him. They played hide the trouser snake for a while, but it was no good, she could never enjoy sex when she was pissed.

Five a.m. She got up, and as usual, because she was lucky that way, no hangover, yippee! Dave buggered off home. He was only using her anyway, she hoped he was covered in shit and didn't realise it before he went on his way to meet his mates in Birmingham.
She had better clean herself up now too. A quick bath and wash the clothes out. Then she had some explaining to her brother and his wife to do. She shrugged. Oh well, how else are you supposed to celebrate your twenty-ninth birthday anyway? :D


Elodie

mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 08:34 AM
What if she thought she wasn't hungover and it turned out she was still drunk from last night?

Seriously, that's happened to me before!

mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 08:36 AM
Don't forget the smells. If she hasn't showered and brushed her teeth, the smell of alcohol could linger. That stale, next day, drank way too much stink could be amplified if there was vomitting involved. If it was a smokey bar, that smell would linger in her hair.

I dated a guy that partied so much that he smelled like alcohol.... He'd started to emit it from his body! ha!

mirrorkisses
07-11-2008, 08:39 AM
That drunk from sipping from others' beers? Damn. What a lightweight.

I guess I could believe a first-timer or a real lightweight getting drunk from that, but I'm not sure that it would give anyone a hangover, which is from dehydration. Your girl would not only have to be a real lightweight, but I suspect she'd also have to have had barely anything to eat or drink that night, other than the beer. But then, a lot of hangovers are also very psychosomatic, so if she expects any drinking to give you a hangover, then she could possibly be hungover anyway.

There's only one sure cure for a hangover--stay hydrated. Really, you can be falling-down, pass-out shit-faced, and as long as you've been drinking water with your liquor, you'll be fine in the morning. Well, okay, if you drink too much, I suppose you could piss yourself, but...

You only build up a tolerance if you drink frequently. This is a 17 year old girl who does drink, but only in the way that 17 year old girls have a chance to--not very much. I am 27 and my tolerance is one beer; I drink very infrequently. When I first started drinking, it was only half a beer. I think it's completely believable based on her age and circumstance. ...And how I wrote the scene.

willfulone
07-11-2008, 09:36 AM
Crabby, I mean really crabby. Fighting at anything crabby. Snappish and ready for a good verbal spar.

Lack of humor

Lethargic

Dizziness

Shaking like out in winter without a coat

Sweating (the booze out)

Lack of comprehension in conversations

Lack of coordination for things like cooking breakfast or brushing teeth

Forgetfulness, misplacing things like keys after they have been in hand (although that may be always)

Constant dry mouth (no matter how much water drank)

Weird cravings to settle stomach (my sister swears by raw tuna IN OIL right from the can - yuck)

I have never been hungover, not even when drunk enough to puke the night before. Those are just things I noticed from living with people who drink and what they were like.

Hope this helps.

Nyna
07-13-2008, 04:51 AM
You only build up a tolerance if you drink frequently. This is a 17 year old girl who does drink, but only in the way that 17 year old girls have a chance to--not very much.

I've got nothing really helpful to add, because I don't get hangovers, but I thought I'd just point out that this generalization isn't entirely accurate -- I've always had a decent tolerance, and having grown up in a college town, I can say with some certainty that how much access a seventeen year old girl has to alcohol depends entirely on where and who she is -- I know a bunch of people who started heavy partying in middle school, and I myself was fairly experienced by 15. And we were yuppies.

However, my Aunt can get roaring drunk on one margarita, as I found out last Friday (oh my god, the horror), and I am certain that kids who grew up in other circumstances would have had different experiences than my own -- it sounds perfectly believable to me. Just keep in mind that as teenagers, her friends are almost certainly going to find the idea that someone can get drunk just stealing sips of other peoples beers -- not even hard alcohol -- hilarious and mock-worthy. I would have, at that age. I, uh, still kind of do. :)

kuwisdelu
07-13-2008, 05:45 AM
You only build up a tolerance if you drink frequently. This is a 17 year old girl who does drink, but only in the way that 17 year old girls have a chance to--not very much. I am 27 and my tolerance is one beer; I drink very infrequently. When I first started drinking, it was only half a beer. I think it's completely believable based on her age and circumstance. ...And how I wrote the scene.

That's only halfway true. You can only build up more tolerance if you drink frequently. People don't all start out lightweights. It has a lot to do with genetics, body-type, and mindset. The very first time I drank (to get drunk) I was sixteen, and I was with some people who certainly seemed like they had been around the bottle a lot more often than I had. At the ends of those nights--a few bottles of Jack and bad vodka later--I always thought I was pretty drunk, having had at least as much if not more than they, until I realized I could walk without falling down and they could not. Incidentally, it was the same thing the first time I smoked marijuana. Some hardcore stoners offered, and by the time they were baked, and I still wasn't feeling it, I asked asked "Damn, why is your tolerance so high, is all people do in Indiana is smoke pot or something?" Needless to say, I'm not a stoner, nor ever will be.

I accept it can certainly be completely believable how you wrote it, but just because a girl is seventeen and doesn't usually drink doesn't mean she necessarily has a low tolerance. Maybe it's just my experience, but I've know frequent drinkers who are trashed after a couple shots, and first-timers who can down a fifth of gin and think it's water.

kuwisdelu
07-13-2008, 05:48 AM
Just keep in mind that as teenagers, her friends are almost certainly going to find the idea that someone can get drunk just stealing sips of other peoples beers -- not even hard alcohol -- hilarious and mock-worthy. I would have, at that age. I, uh, still kind of do. :)

I don't want to sound like some kind of alcoholic and my tender age, but I do too...

But like I said, it's certainly believable for many people. It's just outside the norm for me.