The Milestone Archive

33 Acquisition

I was so anxious to see what won this year, that I pre-ordered the anthology two weeks before scheduled release and jumped right to the Golden Pen story almost the moment the book downloaded to my phone's Kindle app.

Jake Marley's urban fantasy paranormal occult thriller is quite a good read. The milestones follow, in two tables, as usual: the first, of exerpts; the second, of summaries.


Writers of the Future Golden Pen Milestones

One very productive exercise has been working out how to win the Writers of the Future Golden Pen award. One line of research is the structure and content of the winning stories, of which there is only one each year: one story that wins first place in its quarter and beats out the three other quarterly first place winners for the top prize.

In this section of the Milestone Archive, I analyze the milestone structure of the Golden Pen stories from Writers of the Future volumes 25 through 32.

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.

Hero - Milestones

This artsy martial arts flick unfolds in an unusual fashion, but it still has the right stuff in the right places.

Assassin Nameless and conqueror King of Qin swap versions of Nameless's story as Nameless decides whether to kill the king or let him go on to rule China.

Rashomon - Milestones

This 1950 Japanese film by Akira Kurosawa proceeds in the form of testimony by three participants and two witnesses. A bandit is on trial for the murder of a samurai and the rape of the samurai's wife. A woodcutter discovered the samurai's body and a priest saw the couple traveling through the woods. The beggar questions the woodcutter and priest about the trial. The samurai testifies through a medium.

The Magnificent Seven - Milestones

This 1960 American film is a third shorter and two thirds less subtle than its 1954 Japanese inspiration. It's a cultural thing.

I've got two milestone charts for this one, because the opening credits begin on a static scene. The first chart excludes the opening credits. The second chart includes them. The important difference lies in the First Pinch Point. The second chart has a clear one. The first chart doesn't.

DM-001: The Heart of Texas 3: Caroline's Child - Milestones

I haven't actually read this book, just milestoned it, but the milestones are clear and bright.

Hook: Grady likes Caroline but is awkward around her.

Inciting Incident: Grady may have a rival in his brother Richard.

Plot Turn 1: Grady has managed to get Caroline on a date.

Pinch 1: Grady's enthusiuasm for Caroline might make waves at home.

Midpoint: Grady and Caroline become a couple.

Pinch Point 2: Caroline can't find her daughter (Maggie), who accidentally ended up with Richard, who turns out to be a jerk.