Saturday, November 13, 2010

Duck...No, Weave!

So, I do a lot of research on things that I will (hopefully) never encounter or need in my real (housewife) life. To do this I have tons of books on strange subjects. I wrote about them in a past post called, Trickery, Deception, and Other Essentials.

Today we are learning how to dodge bullets! Yay for survival books!

The Worst-Case Scenario, a survival handbook by Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht, is one of my  "Go To" texts for situations that I know nothing about.  There is a chapter about surviving if you are in the line of gunfire where they have diagrams and everything.

In our scenario, our hero, let's call him Survival Stan, fresh from stealing a secret government vial of uber-doom, is confronted with evil henchmen-guards and fired upon. In the movies we would see him running across the courtyard a trail of bullets churning up dirt at his heels as he bee-lines it for the door...WRONG!!

See, according to my trusty handbook, running in a straight line across a clear open area is a sure fire way to get gone!  You are instead supposed to run in a zig-zag pattern while putting as many obstacles between yourself and the henchmen's bullets as possible.

Zig-Zag, people.  It doesn't look cool, kind of like an ostrich at a ballet, but most people do not have the training to properly track a moving target, much less a wavering one, to hit it.

Also, if there is a corner, use it.  Hide behind cabinets or doorways. Untrained shooters usually cannot hit a target more than sixty-feet away, so start running...fast.  Don't wait...run.

Also don't bother pulling a Dirty Harry  and counting the bullets. There is no way of knowing if the shooter has more ammunition and we all saw The Matrix...there's ALWAYS more ammo hidden in those trench coats.

If you are outside and there are cars around, get to a car on the opposite side of the street and get behind a tire. They will stop small caliber bullets, but armor piercing rounds will punch holes in the car like it was made of paper....so keep that in mind.

Finally, I want to remind all of you that this is purely a hypothetical situation for your characters...I'm in no way an expert. The point is to get you thinking about research and how the details of a scene can really pull the reader into the experience and make it believable.

I'd love to hear of any great books or research techniques you've used to create a vivid and riveting universe for your story.  Until next time...Go Write!

1 comment:

Francine said...

Hi,

Hee hee: you know I'm all for getting characters from point A - B in fastest time possible if bullets start flying. A zigzag route seems to me to be keeping a character in target zone longer than necessary, and you know if the shooter missed your character in straight run chances are the b*gger will get him/her if he/she deviates from straight run! ;)

Great post, and what a way to spend your days researching bizarre subject matter. :o

best
F