I’ve been working on covers lately. Part of that means I look at every cover I see and evaluate it. Do the colors make me want to buy? Is it too loud? Too soft? Too … weird? I saw a cover the other day where the lady on the front was in some kind of…well, let’s hope it was a fighting stance. It looked more like she had a really bad cramp or…maybe, yeah, she might have just crapped her pants. That could be a scene in the book for all I know, but it really isn’t what I want on the cover (of her book or any other book, frankly.)
Anyway, in my various evaluations, I keep running across covers similar to this one:
I have seen three or four or six covers where the woman is in heels and crouched in a similar position with a gun. These ladies have one leg stretched out and one leg in a crouch. Sometimes she’s in a mini-skirt, sometimes leather pants, sometimes jeans. The backdrop varies from a cityscape to waterfront or she looks like she’s balancing on a wall. No matter where she is…This is a silly stance. Yes, yes, I am *sure* it is sexy (it must be because that is the only possible reason to use this stance.)
Go ahead. Try it–and remember you’ve got to get into this position quickly and you have a gun in one hand (or have both hands around the gun). Then, when you’re crouched, use both hands to hold the gun.
Okay, if you can even GET in that position without pulling anything (I hope you’re able to get back up, too!) try holding your hands out with an invisible gun. Keep your hands steady! Did you fall over? How long did it take you to find your center of gravity?
When you hold the gun in a shooting position, are your arms moving as you try to keep your balance?? No rocking back and forth!
Yeah, it’s possible to get a shot off, and if you hold very still, you can maintain the position and find your center of gravity such that you can hold the gun across one knee.
But if you’ve ever shot a gun, this is not the position you’re going to rush to get into if you’re in danger.
See, if you’ve ever shot a weapon, you know that a major requirement is balance. Not just to get the shot off, but to handle the recoil. And if you’re in a hurry, crouching down to avoid getting shot, you’re scared. You’re moving, you’re looking everywhere, but the one thing you need to be is steady–fast. You go down on your knees–both of them. Maybe you even fall onto your stomach because from there, you can use the ground to steady your arms and you might be marginally safer. I’d sit on my butt before I’d attempt a crouch like the ones in these covers.
I *know.* It’s Hollywood. It’s imagination. It’s fiction. But yanno. If you really want some laughs, put on a mini-skirt and heels and try it… just don’t try it with a loaded gun!
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