Improvised Weapons

In a fight, anything can be used as a weapon. If you’ve seen a Jackie Chan movie, you’ve seen many unique improvised weapons from ladders to bicycles to jacket sleeves. Why not make your fight scene unique too? Adding a little razzle-dazzle with an improvised weapon can make an ordinary fight scene exciting and memorable.

First, think about the setting of your fight scene. Make a list of what might be available in the scene to use as a weapon and then choose something interesting, something that hasn’t been done a hundred times before. If your scene is in someone’s yard, rocks and sticks can be easily found. But why not make it more interesting by having your character defend herself by smashing a clay garden gnome over the bad guy’s head?

Let’s use the standard bar brawl as an example. What’s available to use as a weapon in a bar? You’ve got all the old standbys: bottles, stools, chairs, tables, and pool cues. Maybe a pinball machine or a jukebox or a window someone can get thrown into. These have all been done before. Now, think of some unique bar items a character can use as a weapon. A fist with a roll of coins taken from cash register. A glass jar of pickled eggs. The cord of a Neon beer light to strangle someone. Think outside the box to make your scene stand out.

What if you’re not writing a bar brawl? You’re writing a middle grade or a young adult novel. What could kids use in a fight in the schoolyard? Depending on the their ages, the characters could make use of a jungle gym by grabbing the high bar and swinging both feet into their opponent’s chest. They could use a jump rope to strike or whip or even strangle. They could throw dirt or a clump of wood chips into the opponent’s eyes to blind them. How about hitting someone with a book-filled backpack, a tennis racket, or any kind of sports ball lying around? If they’re in the band, they could use their musical instrument to whack someone.

A weapon doesn’t have to be small enough to hold. You characters can throw each other into something large, like the side of the house, a tree, a car parked in the driveway, the rose bushes, a swing set. This is your chance to create an exciting and unique fight scene. Have fun with it!

Try this fun brainstorming exercise. If you were attacked where you are right now, what three things could you use as an improvised weapon? Bonus points for creativity. Leave your answers in the comments section.

Here’s a short excerpt from RENEGADE (Survival Race #3) with an example of an improvised weapon. Griffin is a scientist. Katana is a gladiator.

Griffin raced toward the screams on Pele cliffs. He careened to a halt at the sight of the new refugee, Katana—her nose bloodied, mouth bloodied, thermal suit bloodied—backing away from the biggest gladiator he’d ever seen. The hulk must have been at least six-foot-eight with a shoulder span that tripled his own.

Had the gladiator hunter come for the woman? Had he come to reclaim the recent escapees? Had he come to capture all the refugees?

Witty remarks and his usual charm wouldn’t stop a brute. He should leave right now, race to the nearest sentry, and make them ring the warning bell, but he couldn’t leave the woman in the hands of a damn gladiator.

How would he save her without getting himself killed in the process? He hadn’t raised a fist since the day he vowed nonviolence, an oath he refused to break.

The hulk punched Katana’s face. Her head snapped back, and for a suspended moment Griffin was a child again, paralyzed, clinging to Father’s bookcase, too scared to help Mother.

Katana stumbled backward and landed on her butt in the weeds. She scrambled to her feet and grabbed—

No! Not the telescope!

The hulk leaned away. The weapon flew past and the gladiator rushed her. In a quick movement, he had her disarmed, spun around with her back pinned against his chest, and a fist yanking her hair back exposing her neck, the tender white flesh streaked with crimson.

Weaponless, and without a plan, Griffin sprang forward. “Let her go!”

Renegade is available in print and ebook.

The last man alive wins! But what if your competitor is the woman you love?

A Survival Race Championship victory will award scientist Griffin the spaceship he needs to deliver his people to freedom. But when raiders attack his refuge and capture his appointed champion, Griffin’s last hope is to recruit the tough yet tempting female warrior they left for dead.

Injured and abandoned, genetically engineered superhealer Katana is rescued by a gallant scientist with an enticing proposition and an entry into the gladiator race of her dreams. A victory would free her from destitution. But how can loner Katana win an elite world championship when she’s never competed at the professional level?

As brain and brawn team-up in the arena, desires ignite and passions soar…and a game-changing secret is revealed. But the race masters demand a single champion in this blood sport, and the rivals-turned-lovers must choose between winning their freedom and losing each other.

**This enemies-to-lovers science fiction romance is a stand-alone book in a series, in which each book’s couple finds their happily ever after. No cliff hangers. No cheating.

Stay safe out there!

K.M. Fawcett

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