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.

Now, different authors perceive their work in different ways. There seem to be two main groups: product authors and process authors.

Strict product authors think of their narratives as objects which can be designed, constructed and analyzed. In a sense they are similar to architects, who are forced to think of their creations in this way.

Strict process authors think of their narratives as the result of creative action. In a sense they are similar to chemists wondering what a combination of substances will produce.

I imagine most authors are not strictly one or the other, though many begin with a process mindset and switch to a product mindset once the narrative has taken physical form.

The fact is, of course, that narratives are objects generated by whatever processes their authors happen to use to create them. It's just that some authors relate better to product than to process, or to process than to product. What matters is how the narrative turns out.

However, once a narrative has been turned out, it is an object with structure, dynamics and interplay that can be analyzed. In other words, I am not asserting by these analyses that any author intended to produce any particular object. I am asserting that particular objects are produced and that any object can be studied as such.

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