Sharp Objects and Cutting Words

I don’t have a great deal of experience with violence and even less with weapons, so I’m sure my search history is suspicious. Is she planning a murder? Or is she planning a murder mystery? The latter of course!

Once in a while I’ve drawn on my actual martial arts experience. Back in the day I received my black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Yes, little 5’1” me with nary a visible muscle and no sports background made it through the arduous black belt test after passing slowly through the ranks. It started with my childhood dream of growing up to become Mrs. Peel in the original “Avengers” and morphed into this idea that if I couldn’t be as tall and glamorous as Diana Rigg I could at least do Karate!

I also played around with fencing and Arnis (Filipino stick fighting). The first was fascinating. As I’d blown out my right knee in Tae Kwon Do, I was fencing lefty. This gave me an intense headache after every lesson. Arnis only gave me a headache when I got clocked in the head, but it wasn’t for me.

For my current work-in-progress, I did a little research on garrotes and in the past I’ve queried friends and the Internet about guns, knives, crossbows and even bombs. Still, I think I’m much more comfortable with cutting words and malicious manipulations so my most nefarious characters are more likely to talk their way into and out of danger than they are to dispatch each other in a violent manner.

Poison anyone? Yes. It’s the classic “woman’s weapon” of mystery fiction and I’ve dispatched a few characters by means of ricin or, even better, digoxin. Foxglove, the natural source, is so pretty! It’s almost an irresistible killer.

So, cutting words and pretty poisons… Maybe I’m being too girly and it’s time to write a gun battle?

Foxglove in a formal garden in The Netherlands.

Foxglove in a formal garden in The Netherlands.


  1. For research purposes, the Netflix series of Daredevil is probably the most realistic hand to hand and firearms combat you could find. Aside from it being their interpretation of the comics, I keep coming back to it for study because of its realistic fight sequences.

    • Candy Korman

      THANKS! I never would have considered a TV show based on comics to be a good source. This is a great resource! Years I ago I dated (very briefly) an FBI agent. He was a wonderful source for gun-related questions, but we lost track of one another. Long distance relationships are hard and nearly impossible when the people come from different worlds. If you have any other hints about realistic fight sequences, please share them.

  2. I am in awe of you Candy! A black belt is mind boggling. I am so going to pick your brains/memories for unarmed combat! So far I’ve had to rely on Bruce Lee movies and his wonderful martial arts book. Now I have a real, live resource. Mwahahahaha! 😀

    • Candy Korman

      My martial arts days are behind me, but if you need some help….I’ll do what I can do. I managed to survive the years of training and, more to the point, discovered that the same responsiveness needed for combat is needed to follow in social dancing. Yes, dancing and combat have something fundamental in common. They both require that you suspend anticipation and train so that your body responds BEFORE you have a chance to think about it.

      Now, can I figure out how to write a murder in with a Mambo or Quickstep cause of death? LOL! I think I’d better make some coffee and get going with my day.