Home > Writing > Blogs > RWA 2012: Dr. Debra Holland: Creating Fighting or Self-Defense Scenes by Jina Bacarr VIDEO
Have you ever wandered down a dark street late at night, your high heels clicking loudly on the cobblestones, when you hear a second pair of footsteps behind you?
Is someone following you?
Heart thudding in your chest, you stop.
You pull up your collar, keep walking, then you hearâ€”
Heavy breathing behind you.
Your pulse racesâ€¦the hair on the back of your neck stands up.
Heâ€™s right behind you.
What do you do?
Run or fight?
If you havenâ€™t experienced this scenario, I bet your heroine has.
Thatâ€™s what happened to my heroine, FBI Special Agent Breezy Malone, in my Spice novel, Spies, Lies & Naked Thighs, when she was on assignment in Paris:
“From my experience in the field, I know each fight is different and this enemy has his own agenda. Rape? Robbery? Could be, but I doubt it. They don’t operate this way when they want a woman. They act friendly, use pretty talk to pick up a girl, then knock her off her feet before she knows what’s happening to her.
I pull back, walk toward the rue de la Huchette, one step at a time, like all this is happening in slo-mo. As if the whole scene is a video game and someone else is at the controls, pressing the attack buttons and toggling my polygonal form to do what they want and I have no choice. Enemy contact. Kill’em. Kill’em. These words zap through my brain like a subliminal message from command center.
Keep going back. Left foot, right. My eyes scope out the environment. Stone buildings, windows shuttered. No escape. No one to hear the ruckus, the screams. The punks know that. They talk, egging each other on to see who’ll make the first move. Closer, closer they come, like maggots ready to feast on a warm corpse.
Not mine, you punks.”
I wrote from my first-hand experience when I constructed that scene. A similar incident had happened to me on that same street in Paris and I was lucky enough to get away. But I never forgot that fear pulsating through my veins. The icy chill that goes through you when you make that split decision that can determine whether or not youâ€™re going to survive. Pulling up the emotions I felt that night helped me write the emotions of my heroine.
This scene went through my mind when I attended Dr. Debra Hollandâ€™s Workshop: Creating Fighting or Self-Defense Scenes at the RWA Anaheim 2012 Conference. Dr. Debra presented an outstanding workshop showing how to protect yourself as a woman and also how to put your heroine through her paces. She gave members from the audience the opportunity to experience what it feels like firsthand to be attacked by a stranger.
Hereâ€™s a video I put together from the workshop:
Dr. Debra Holland — www.drdebraholland.com — teaches a karate class at the American Martial Arts Academy located at1027 N. Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 714 871-3898.