What I’m Reading 15th April


Woohoo! I managed to carve out some time to read last week–a nice change to previous weeks where I’d had little to no time set aside.

This week, I’ve decided to go with just one book as I’ve upped my writing output, and it’s turning my brain to sausage.

Last Week’s Reads

Spycraft Rebooted

I’d been desperate to read how spies dealt with the modern world of CCTV and always-on surveillance and had hoped this book would hint at how they circumvented it.

But it doesn’t.

Usually, I’d have been disappointed with a book that didn’t meet my expectations, but not this time.
Instead of hinting at ways around technology, Edward Lucas highlights the hurdles and stumbling blocks that tech presents spies in “closed” and “open” societies. Some of them I’d never even considered.

It was these hurdles that made me love this book. My mind started to race with how my guys in the Deniable Unit would get around some of them. What counter-surveillance tech would I have to develop for a particular issue?

I highly recommend this book. Well, not if you’re already paranoid. But if you’re not, you’ll find examples of real-life spy stories from 1900s Russia to Milan in 2010.

Midpoint Magic

I just finished, and I mean literally just finished, reading H. R. D’Costa’s Midpoint Magic writing guide.

In previous weeks, I shared some of what I’d learned on her Smarter Story Structure with regard to what I’d learned about midpoint fulcrums (the topic of her book) and how I looked forward to learning more.

Boy, did I get what I asked for–and then some. Not only did I get the refresher I’d hoped for, but I learned about how to weave multiple (and I mean multiple in double digits) fulcrums together to create a genre filled middle.

A bonus story point that isn’t mentioned on the front cover is what she calls the fork in the road. I’ve used this great wee plot point in Running the Asset to deepen and test Adam and Elle’s commitment to the mission and each other. But, an added benefit highlighted in the book is that it can be used to show theme.

This is not a read and discard book. No. This is one to read again and again.

This Week’s Read

Book 3 in H. R. D’Costa’s Story Structure Essentials is my only book this week. It focuses on the end of Act 2B–the big disaster before the climax of a story.

This is actually the point I’ve just hit in my writing, so I thought it was wise to give all my reading attention to this book.

Like all of HRD’s books, this one is chock-full of examples from movies and novels. (The book description mentions the main ones.)

[FYI: The book links are free from affiliate codes.]

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Trough of Hell on Kindle (£6.99)

Trough of Hell on Kobo (£6.99)

What are you reading this week?

Until next time, take care, and happy reading!


4 responses to “What I’m Reading 15th April”

  1. I just skimmed through the sample of this week’s book. I like the examples, although being me, I’m sure I’d get side-tracked by them. Definitely some good material for digging the way out of that particular story pit!

    • I need examples for learning new things, and her examples are always so well explained–I love her for them. Though, every time she mentions a movie, I end up having to watch it! (Sherlock Holmes–Robert Downie Jr; The Mummy; the Pirates movies… I’ve seen them so many times because of her examples.)

  2. […] Last time, I shared that I was starting the third book in H. R. D’Costa’s Story Structure Essentials Series. I mistakenly assumed that the book was aimed at screenwriters and novel writers, like the previous two instalments–my fault for not paying attention to the description. Alas, this one is aimed at screenwriters, but don’t let that put you off reading this superb book. […]

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