anonymous asked:

How do you write about spies/ secret agents

There isn’t exactly a comprehensive guide to writing about spies/secret agents, as a lot of it depends on the context they’re working in. Spies for government agencies, for business competition, or in apocalyptic or magical/fantasy settings - spies will be written differently depending on each of these contexts. 

Things you consider when writing about spies:

  • How much is at stake - their lives, the lives of others, destruction of a business, a town, a planet ect.
  • What information they’re looking to obtain - details of the enemy’s plan, scientific/technological advances, crucial information that may assist their own investigations/plans
  • What tools they use to obtain it - audio/video bugs and hidden cameras, undercover agents, computer hacking tools, invisibility, magical gems that scan for info, or just sheer manipulation
  • Who they answer to - are they spying of their own accord, or at the direction of someone else? If they fail in obtaining their info, what will happen to them? And if they succeed, what rewards will they receive, if any?
  • If their loyalties will shift - some characters spy for the enemy, without realizing they’re spying for the enemy, and they switch to the other side once they discover this. Is this true/false of your spy character?

These are all things that could vary depending on your story’s setup and the universe you’ve created, so go through and think about how each of these topics applies to your story. 

Some additional general tips I can give you:

1. Don’t make it too easy 

Spies shouldn’t succeed on every assignment or task they take on. They should fail from time to time and have to deal with the repercussions, even if it means their identity is revealed. Sometimes revealing the identity of your spy halfway through the story shakes things up in ways you couldn’t have predicted and ultimately makes for a more interesting story.

2. Consider why your character became a spy

They may have believed in the mission they were working for, or perhaps were raised by their parents to take on the spy game, or maybe were threatened by a big boss who decided they needed your character. What motivated your character to do this, and furthermore…

3. Consider what would make your character turn on their spy duties

What action or event would make your character drop the charade? Would they reveal their identity to save a life? To prevent someone from experiencing emotional hurt? Or are they the type who would carry their secrets to the grave for the greater good of mankind?

4. Don’t neglect the story’s mystery

The best spy stories are also mysteries - spies are looking for specific information that will help them understand some greater problem. Don’t reveal too much all at once. Keep readers guessing at the significance of new discoveries, but don’t have them twisting in their seat until the last chapter. Think of each new detail as a Cheerio, and feed your readers one at a time, instead of the full bowl.

Hope that helps!


Unless the website you are visiting explicitly secures your connection with HTTPS – which many administrators have been too lazy to implement – any data you share with them is publicly visible, including browsing history and login info. For anyone who has ever reused passwords on multiple online accounts, this can open up a major security hole for data thieves to exploit. I bet you didn’t think that sticking with “batmandude07” for the past ten years would come back to bite you so hard.

When you are connected to a VPN, a lack of security measures on the sites you visit becomes irrelevant. Since all of your public activity is obscured, you don’t need to take additional precautions when accessing sensitive information like financial and medical records. So “batmandude07” can stay, but maybe think about changing it up to “batmangrownadultwithajobandamortgage07” next time, just for kicks.

Afraid Of The Government And Russian Spies? Get A VPN


The Clandestine World of Numbers Stations,

After the end of World War II and during the Cold War, there was a drastic increase in a phenomenon now known as “numbers stations”.  Numbers stations are shortwave radio stations which broadcast exceedingly odd and unusual broadcasts, such as a long list of numbers, a random list of letters, or a nonsensical list of words or phrases. It was not uncommon for such broadcasts to interrupt the communications of ham radio operators, truck drivers, air traffic controller, and shortwave radio enthusiasts.  Speculation grew as to what these numbers stations were used for, but the sudden increase in such shortwave traffic during the Cold War leads to only one plausible conclusion; that they are clandestine coded broadcasts used by governments to communicate with spies and other intelligence agents.  Today there are a number of shortwave radio hobbyists whose past time is to locate and identify the source of these numbers stations.  With certain equipment it is possible to trace a shortwave radio signal to its source, and with a given location it can be quite easy to infer whose is making the broadcasts.  For example, one of the most popular numbers station, known as the “Lincolnshire Poacher Station”, was traced to the Royal Air Force Base in Akritiri, Cyprus.  Thus it is logical to assume that the British Government had some role in its broadcasts between 1988 and its closure in 2008.  Over several decades scores of stations have been identified belonging to the US, British, Russian/Soviet, Israeli, French, German, and numerous other governments. All of course, deny knowledge of such broadcasts.

When the Cold War ended in 1989, the number of numbers stations decreased drastically.  While today numbers stations are still common, they are nowhere near as common as they were during the Cold War.  Along with the end of the Cold War, the invention of new communication methods which are more advanced and more secure could explain the decrease in the use of numbers stations.    More and more numbers stations are becoming commonly used by less powerful nations such as North Korea and Cuba.  Cuba especially has been known as a prolific shortwave radio user, albeit not a very effective one as dozens of Cuban spies have been rooted out and prosecuted using shortwave radio messages as evidence (see the Attencion Spy Case and The Miami Five).  In addition, many numbers stations today have been found to belong to non-governmental groups, such as rebel groups, freedom fighters, terrorists, drug cartels, and organized crime. 

I remember when I was a kid in the 80s I used to ask grown-ups things like, “Why are the Russians bad? Why are they our enemies?”  Some of the answers I heard:

Sounds vaguely familiar to me.  

can i just say as someone who’d never played overwatch i have no idea what the fuck is happening, story-wise

i think Overwatch was an elite government program of spies/ soldiers/ assassins/ etc, but half of them broke off and became Bad™, and now the people in Overwatch are like. Brazilian pop singers and Korean streamers?? and they all meet up once a week to fight each other in clearly designated spaces, 6 on 6?

also Winston is there and I can’t find anything to say about that but. he’s a talking gorilla.

Dream Themed Prompts

Anonymous said to alloftheprompts:
Hi, I went through your Dream Theme and I was wondering if you had more dreams-related prompts?

Here are a few :)

  1. Character is terrified to fall asleep due to reoccurring nightmares.
  2. Character has the ability to affect other people’s dreams.
  3. Characters steals other people’s dreams.
  4. Dreams are used as currency.
  5. Character has never dreamed but wants to experience it.
  6. A robot is programmed to dream.
  7. The government spies on people’s dreams or even controls them.
  8. A dream changes everything.
  9. Character can’t distinguish between dreams and reality.
  10. A dream enhancing drug becomes popular.
  11. A punishment/torture through terrifying dreams.
  12. Character sells customized dreams.
  13. Character wants their dreams read and explained.
  14. Character communicate through dreams.
  15. Character gets trapped in someone’s dream.

I think the most hilarious argument for guns (especially assault weapons) yet is this peculiar notion that conservatives NEED guns to fight off the government if it becomes tyrannical.


Our elections are bought buy the highest bidder, our government spies on us and pours trillions of dollars into a military industrial complex while our education and healthcare systems crumble and our populous has an increasing poverty rate that is shameful in the wealthiest nation on the planet, our legislature is dysfunctional to the extreme and works with banks and corporations to reward them for avoiding taxes and having low wage jobs overseas while they hedge our property, our discourse, and our well-being…

If ya’ll want to fight tyranny, what the fuck are you waiting for?????

Oh, yah. That’s right. Muh Constitution and Muh Freedoms. Muh Capitalism and Muh Free Market. Muh Military and Muh ‘Merica!

Sell off your liberty for a gun and tax cuts for wealthy corporations. Because guns put food on the table and offshore money creates jobs.

Good work.

Your guns have been so helpful to your country. Pat yourselves on the back.


Edward Snowden’s revelation that the US government had been spying on its own citizens came as shock to many people.

But maybe it shouldn’t have been such a surprise because during the Civil War, the Union did pretty much the same thing.

The Civil War was a battle on our own turf against our own people. Neighbors in the same community couldn’t be sure they were on the same side. An entire section of the country had already turned against the federal government and seceded and the Union army had to be sure there weren’t any further insurrections. 

So they started spying on their own people, going through people’s private mail, and getting concerned citizens to report any suspicious behavior.

The Civil War was our government’s first foray into mass surveillance–but it wouldn’t be its last.

I don’t care if they’re collecting my information for nefarious purposes via Pokemon Go what are they gonna do clear out the assets on my Wendy’s card………….I have nothing show me the Clefairy you government spies


February 23rd 1820: Cato Street Conspiracy foiled

On this day in 1820, the Cato Street Conspiracy plot to assassinate the British Prime Minister Lord Liverpool and his cabinet ministers was foiled. The conspirators were a group of Londoners who opposed with the policies of Lord Liverpool’s government and desired to see a revolution. They were organised by radical disciples of activist Thomas Spence, who pledged to work for an equal society, and met in pubs across London. The government became concerned about the groups, and sent a spy named John Castle to infiltrate the group. They became steadily more radical, as the militant Arthur Thistlewood gradually achieved control of the group. Their increasingly revolutionary ideas caused the government to recruit more spies. In February 1820, the conspirators learned that high-ranking government ministers were to have dinner in Grosvenor Square, and planned to execute their final plan and murder the ministers gathered there. They planned to display their victims’ heads on poles through the streets of London to inspire full revolution. The plotters gathered in a small building on Cato Street from which to launch their attack, but due to tips from the spies the plot was foiled and police officers apprehended the suspects. Eleven people were eventually charged with the conspiracy - five were found guilty and sentenced to death, and five others were sentenced to transportation to a penal colony.