The next chapters deal with recognizing the “undead” and escaping them, outwitting a Sasquatch, and giving birth under pressure. Huh? Giving birth under pressure? They cite Dana Scully of the X-Files as an example and urge the reader to remove as many external stressors as possible. Then “dim the lights, light candles for focus, put on some soft music,” and “ignore external distractions such as gunfire, aliens, and flowing magma.” The rest involves two clean shoelaces, a clean sock, some scissors, two baby blankets or large towels, and a large drop cloth. I had to quit reading at the drop cloth.
Moving quickly on, I learned “how to make yourself into a hottie in five minutes or less”. . . which seemed a little optimistic and involved additional mascara, hair gel or hair spray for “action heroine volume”, using bright red lipstick to emphasize your mouth, and using bronzer to better delineate your cleavage. Then there were a few quick dance lessons. . . tango (which is NOT simple– I know, I had lessons!), fast “maniac” dancing, and of course striptease. By then I was really ready for instructions on “How to hook a millionaire,” which involves identifying millionaires by their watches and shoes and then playing coy and letting them pay for things until they fall madly in love and insist on showering you with information and/or material goods. Alternatively, the next chapter is titled “how to turn a man into a sex pawn.” (Shrug.) Different strokes, I guess.
I began to suspect the guide might not be as good as advertised when I got to the section on profiling a serial killer and found it consisted of three pages and six easy steps. Hey, why hasn’t anybody shown this to the FBI? This is where I skipped ahead to the “choking a man with your bare thighs” part, which was why I bought the book in the first place.
Imagine my dismay upon learning you have to knock the guy to his hands and knees (doggie-style position) before you can start. Then you straddle his shoulders, taking his head between your thighs and pulling his head up by the hair. They caution you not to sit on his back. . . bad form, I guess. For additional “stunnage,” box your opponent’s ears while he’s under your control. . . like you’re clapping your hands, only his head is in the way. Hmmmm. If I could actually get a guy down on all fours, I would be able to run away right then. . . so, who needs the whole choking thing? If I do it this way, it seems like gratuitous choking. And don’t I lose reader sympathy if my heroine is too eager with her thighs?
Then there was the “how to fight with your hands cuffed” section. . . where I learned I should– I mean, the heroine should– kick her opponent in the throat. Go on. . . just stretch up there with your hands cuffed behind you and kick that 6 foot 4 inch baddie in the throat. Or kick him in the groin or head-butt him in the bridge of his nose. Also, the front teeth are sharper for biting through skin than side or corner ones. . . and can easily bite through an ear or the end of a nose. . .
Ewwwww. I stopped right there. Before I even got to “how to win a chase across rooftops”. . . which was based on the moves in “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.” And, after paging ahead, I had been looking forward to learning how to do that flying stuff.
But, maybe I’m not cut out to be an action-adventure writer.
Or maybe I just need a different kind of guide book. Yeah, that’s it.
Okay, I’ve decided to collect my own set of moves for action-adventure heroines. Starting now. So what mad skills does a gal have to have these days to survive big adventures and dangerous thrills? If you were a heroine, what would you need/want to be able to do to survive in the big story? I’ll put ’em all together, figure out how to do them, and make the list available. . . I promise!