The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I picked this up because there was a breakdown of this book in one chapter of Larry Brooks’ Story Physics. So I was hoping that by reading the actual novel first and identifying the key structural moments and then turning back to Brooks’ chapter it would enrich my understanding of the 3 Act structure. It didn’t quite turn out that way. Larry Brooks didn’t really subscribe to the 3 Act structure as I learnt about it but rather to the model of a story being composed of 4 parts held up by 3 major plot points (which is basically cutting Act 2 as I learnt it into half but the 3 major plot point system was a bit different from the set of structural moments that I learnt holding up the 3 Act structure).
I’m not quite sure what I’m taking out of this book, personally. I had started a book analysis group and I nominated this for our first book to study (we are taking turns at nominating books and by alphabetical order of first name, I came first). So perhaps I will be singing a different tune later since we are analysing this book for the rest of the year.
Da Vinci’s Code by Dan Brown
I got to this book via almost the same source: Larry Brooks’ other book Story Engineering. He didn’t have a whole chapter devoted to this book but just used it as an example to illustrate his points here and there. So I got curious about it (and from this, you should be able to deduce which is a craft read and which is a curiousity read).
Besides the controversy factor, I think I actually prefer the first book of the series which I personally felt like had more stakes involved. I did get unusually curious about various paintings reputedly by Da Vinci, enough to actually Google them.