Thursday, October 7, 2010

Avoid Landing on the Jagged Debris!

Photograph by Chefranden

You never know when random knowledge might save your life. For instance, I was thrilled to learn that a woman escaped drowning when her car went over a cliff into a river because she knew from researching a book she was writing, that you need to open your door right away to avoid being trapped.  Excellent return on those hours of work!

I've blogged about my collection of weird books before. I have survival books, dare devil how-to books, secret society books, and the list goes on. I write a lot of suspense and action in my novels.

So I thought I'd impart some important information that might prove useful during a zombie apocalypse or a football fan riot.

Say you discover a secret plot to melt the planet, but you were caught spying and are now being chased across a bridge. You discover that somehow, the evil genius has trapped you by positioning his minions at the only other exit from the bridge.  You HAVE to jump.  What can you do to improve your odds of surviving?


  • If you see boat traffic below you...try to land in the channel where the boats go under the bridge. It is the deepest part of the river.

  • Try not to land near a support leg of the bridge...debris tends to gather there and you are more likely to get hurt by landing on jagged, rusty stuff.

  • Jump feet first, squeeze your feet together, and try to stay vertical.  Finally...spread your arms and legs out immediately after you hit the water to slow your decent.
All kidding aside, the more realism you put into the actions and behavior of your character, the more believable they become. Details are what make a scene come alive...even an action scene.

No one likes to get thrown from their "Fictional Dream" experience by coming across a glaring mistake. 
Part of your job as a writer is to research and be accurate.  It makes for a better story.

I hope that no one is ever actually chased by evil geniuses off of a bridge...but now you at least have a fighting chance.

Until next time...Go Write!


Roland D. Yeomans said...

Knowing my strange luck, Raquel, I'll probably need that information about jumping from a bridge!

Thanks for dropping by my post today and commenting. And as for Victor feeling safe in a cemetary at night. He's lived on the streets off and on for four years. In the cemetary, you won't find pimps, drug dealers, drug addicts, or thugs out for fun at someone else's expense.

Victor was afraid more of the natural than the supernatural.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Great information and I hope I never need to use it!

Olivia J. Herrell said...

Hi Raquel, loved this post. You always deliver, giving me fascinating tidbits that I remember when I'm in the middle of writing a scene. I am most thankful AND appreciative.

Jagged debris, indeed. I landed on some (figuratively) and the climb back off can be excruciating.

Thanks! that rebel, Olivia

Mary McDonald said...

Love the post and if I ever need to jump off a bridge, I hope there's a boat nearby so I can see where that channel is!

Cinette said...

Thanks for the advice! Let's hope none of us never need it;0)

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I hope none of us every needs to use it, but it is advice I am going to remember for a just in case. You have gathered a lot of positive karma, Raquel, by sharing it with us and potentially saving many lives.

J.C. Martin said...

Great advice! Will keep that in mind next time I need to jump off a bridge!

Francine said...


Hee hee, not planning on jumping anytime soon. :)

You've missed Jacee's blogfest!


Linda Glaz said...

Excellent reminder. Nothing worse than details that are incorrect.

Elena Solodow said...

Thanks for the bridge-jumping tips!

Hart Johnson said...

LOVE random stuff like this! And you know what--all those things on the bridge jump would have been instinct for me, even though I wouldn't have been able to say why--that is exactly how I would have done it... Though I might climb over and dangle first to get myself that extra 8 feet (height+arm span) closer to the water before I go--depends how close behind me they are...

Raquel Byrnes said...

You guys are so funny! I don't have any escape instincts at all. I'd probably land on a boat...or jump right in front of one and get run over. 0_0