32 Squalor and Misery

Like all Writers of the Future Golden Pen winners, Matt Dovey's steampunk fantasy "Squalor and Misery" won both its quarter and its year, so it's well worth some study if you want to take a nastier bite at the worm.

In my Kindle reader, the story covers 432 locations, from 2688 to 3119.

The first table contains excerpts lifted from the exact locations indicated by my milestoning spreadsheet.

Stats Symbol Point Type Milestones # Milestone Division Location Content
Pre Calibration Hook 1a Enticing Incident 2688 Anna concentrated on the cold, on the freezing water around her feet and the bruising sensation in her toes.
2687 1b Exciting Incident 2714 The image of her brothers down a pit, terrified and sobbing flashed into her mind, and Anna gave a shudder that had nowt to do with the factory's winter chill.
First Threat Inciting Incident 2a a 2741 Anna set her foot down again and lowered her eyes as Sir John brushed past.
2688 2b b 2768 "Yes, Sir John. Proper fed and raised well."
End Decision Plot Turn 1 3a a 2795 She'd sliced off a dozen or more slices of bread in the time they'd been talking, but the loaf hadn't gotten any smaller.
3119 3b b 2822 Anna smiled weakly, but she couldn't shake the image of the boys down a mineshaft, frightened and alone in the closed-in dark.
Total Threat Pinch Point  1 4a a 2849 Sally was sobbing on her stool, cradling her hand, face paler than Anna had ever seen it.
432 4b b 2876 The door opened at last and Sir John stepped out, expression distracted and annoyed.
Av Dist Decision Plot Turn 2 5a a 2903 "Where are the boys? Where are the boys?"
27 5b b 2930 "Aye, in a moment. You lot need to vanish. Go on, all of you."
Division Threat Pinch Point 2 6a a 2957 "You've dragged them into your fight whether they wanted it or not."
Location 6b b 2984 Anna hunched low and ran across the lawn, a tingling fear at the base of her neck as she crossed the open space, praying against any guards rounding the corner.
  Decision Plot Turn 3 7a a 3011 "How did you do that, girl?"
  7b b 3038 He's calling the dead back! How in the devil's name is he doing that? Oh, this ain't no good thing. It can't be. I've got to get the boys out of here.
  Threat Deciding Incident 8a a 3065 "Get your brothers and get out. Go to the kitchen. There's a woman there called Nelly. She'll help."
  8b b 3092 It took Anna a moment to realize she wanted the lead handles.
  Calibration Conclusion 9 Conclusion 3119

A moment later, Nelly Ludd followed.

The second table contains descriptions of the events surrounding the excerpts.

Stats Symbol Point Type Milestones # Milestone Division Location Content
Pre Calibration Hook 1a Enticing Incident 2688 Anna uses Squalor to power a mechanical loom.
2687 1b Exciting Incident 2714 Sally tells Anna that in Sir John's mines, children use Squalor to lift buckets of lead.
First Threat Inciting Incident 2a a 2741 Sir John berates Anna for talking to her neighbor instead of powering her loom.
2688 2b b 2768 Sir John asks whether the boys in Mrs. Hobble's orphanage are healthy and robust.
End Decision Plot Turn 1 3a a 2795 Anna berates Mrs. Hobble for using her Squalor to feed the orphans.
3119 3b b 2822 Anna tells Mrs. Hobble about an impending inspection by Sir John and asks her to not let him take her brothers.
Total Threat Pinch Point  1 4a a 2849 Anna uses Sympathy to heal Sally's injured hand.
432 4b b 2876 Sir John may be leaving to inspect the orphanage. Maud challenges his abuses.
Av Dist Decision Plot Turn 2 5a a 2903 Mrs. Hobble tells Anna Sir John has taken her brothers and Anna sees the factory burning.
27 5b b 2930 Maud tells Anna her brothers were not in the factory and Anna discovers that Maud is Nelly Ludd.
Division Threat Pinch Point 2 6a a 2957 Nelly explains to Anna that because of how Squalor works, the  rich will keep the poor poor.
Location 6b b 2984 Anna is unable to open a back door into Sir John's heavily guarded mansion.
  Decision Plot Turn 3 7a a 3011 Anna uses Sympathy to open the kitchen door.
  7b b 3038 Anna realizes that Sir John is using her brothers' Squalor to project an image of Prince Albert for the Queen.
  Threat Deciding Incident 8a a 3065 Anna uses Sympathy to power the projector while her brothers escape to the kitchen and Nelly.
  8b b 3092 The Queen takes over from Anna.
  Calibration Conclusion 9 Conclusion 3119 Nelly follows Anna, who will change the world using Sympathy instead of vandalism.

 

 

 

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