I was reading through A Little Too Late, my current WIP when I came to a very physical scene and remembered how I worked out the details. I think I will always read this scene and remember the steps it took to write it, so just for you, dear reader, I will tell you all about it.
I've never been in a physical fight. Never. I would loose. Seriously, I'm a wimp. Verbal argument? I can hold my own very well, but physical? Nope. I'm a wuss and don't like pain.
There was only one time that my husband hit me, but it doesn't count. He was sleeping and in his dream was protecting himself. I just happened to be quite close to him in the bed as he slapped at the bad guy in his dream. It hurt, but didn't even leave a mark so there was nothing to give him shit over the next day. He still tells me I dreamed it. But I know the truth :) To be honest, I have wanted to hit him before but restrained myself. Just because I have an urge in anger to do something doesn't mean I actually follow through.
Which brings me to the scene I was working on. I wrote this scene and wondered if it worked, so after dinner one night I asked my husband to help me. I simply asked him to be still and I balled up my fist and swung. I wasn't going to hit him, I swear it, but he didn't know that. Geez Jenn,ever think of telling someone what you're about to do? Anyway, he grabbed my arm and kept me from hitting him. After explaining myself, we continued in the "research" and my arm was a little sore. But I figured out where a girl's punch would land and what part of the hand would hurt.
Moving on, I needed to know what would happen next. Let me back up and explain why I asked my husband for help - he was a bad boy in college and won bar fights so I knew he was almost an expert in this area. See the good things that can come from a checkered past?? Back to the scene...after we discussed what a guy who was punched by a girl might do (not that my husband ever hit a girl. Yes, I asked, I was curious, he might have been a bad boy and defended himself but never hurt a girl. Guess I need to ask if a girl ever hit him. Hmmm.) we discussed what another guy would do to stop that guy from hitting the girl back. And then practiced it..on me..big mistake...huge mistake!
My right arm was twisted behind my back and his left arm was wrapped around my throat. I yelped in pain, not bad pain but still pain. Told you I'm a wuss. And I tried to get away. If he would not have released me and would've been trying to hurt me, I wouldn't have gotten away. Time for self-defense classes. Seriously, I realized how I could be over-powered but that is beside the point I'm trying to make. Although, I must say I looked at my husband in a different light that day. I couldn't ever reconcile the man I knew to the man who got into fights. I just couldn't see it in him.
Needless to say, I have the scene and am very happy with it. I can't say the research aspect of that scene left me feeling happy, my arm hurt, for days, since it wasn't made to be twisted like that but knowing that the fictional character who not only got punched by the girl but had his arm twisted by the guy, that feeling is priceless.
Have you ever done anything not quite smart to research a scene?