Wednesday, March 25, 2009



Well, some of you asked me to post one of my writer's beat sheets on the blog. Basically, it's a very minimal breakdown of the book per chapter which I work from as I write. A sort of crib notes of the book Death's Daughter, if you will. Note that when you read the book, some stuff is changed or not in there at all!

Hope you enjoy:

DD breakdown 7/15/07

Hell is full of musical amateurs. GB shaw

Chapter 11- callie walks Cerberus. Gets one of the pups.

Chapter 12 and 13 – tries to get to Indra, but gets waylaid by the detective who thinks she’s responsible some how for her father and sister’s disappearance

Chapter 14 + 15 – escapes police custody – without jarvis, and goes after Indra (goes into tv and into a bollywood musical), only to find that he’s good friends with the devil’s protégé and he won’t give her the sea foam.

Chapter 16+ 17 – calls on Kali to come and help her convince indra. Kali uses her feminine wiles, tells Callie how to block her attraction to the Devil’s Protege. Callie thinks maybe the Devil’s protégé is the one who kidnapped her family

Chapter 18 + 19 – with the sea foam in hand, she goes after the cup of jamshid

Chapter 20 + 21 – the devil’s protégé beats her there, tries to talk her into ruling Death together. She scoffs at him. Finds out he is indeed part Siren.

Chapter 22 + 23 – bests the Devil’s protégé, wins the cup of Jamshid, but can’t make it work, so she goes back to jail break Jarvis. The cup of Jamshid is with Monsiuer d!!!

Chapter 24 + 25 – but finds that Jarvis isn’t at psychical police headquarters, and that the “detective” isn’t on the force. Thinks the detective and the devil’s protégé are in cahoots.

Chapter 26 + 27 – clio helps her figure out the cup of Jamshid, divulging the whereabouts of their father. Clio and Callie take off to rescue their sister and dad and hopefully Jarvis

Chapter 28 + 29 – they get there and find the Devil’s protégé. They think he’s behind the whole thing, but it turns out he isn’t. he’s had his hunch who the baddies are, and he’s right…it’s Callie’s older sister Thalia and her boyfriend the wannabe detective. They were stop Callie from collecting her birthright…the mantle of Death. It seems that unbeknownst to Callie she was the one who was rightfully supposed to be death, but since thalia wanted the job, she would just get Callie out of the way, and then she would be magically released, and takeover the job of death.

Chapter 30 – callie saves her dad and Jarvis with the help of the Devil’s protégé and her younger sister, and maybe even Kali and Cerberus’s pup.


  1. Thanks so much!!! Oh I actually work like that too... Well only with Broken Dolls, that's when I started to work that way. Now if I could write outside of an express train... it would help! :)

    Yay you're a woman who keeps her promise! But then I had noticed. :)

    By the way I've finished DD and I loved it, I had some hard times to get into it at some points, but afterwards it was wonderful.

    Take care!

    (am listening to you on the call/chat thing.. but I don't get what you say at all! lol)

    Bye Lady Amber!

  2. Those are massive spoilers. Oh No! You should warn people.

  3. oh crap. please delete the above and this. sorry. blind.

  4. Hihi after reading your book, it's fun to see how your mind worked on it while getting it all together. Thanks for sharing and good luck on the call-in!
    I should be in bed but I got a funny feeling in my tummy so now I can't sleep while it's 4am here... Hope you have a better night time soon!

  5. Amber Benson, you are the best! :D
    Thanks so much for taking the time to post this.
    Doing things like this for your fans is part of why I admire you so much.

    Now I need to finish reading Death's Daughter so I can at least attempt to have an intelligent conversation about the beat sheet. I really like what I have read so far. It has made me laugh out loud a LOT.

    I wanted to see what a beat sheet is in an effort to help get this novel constructed that's been floating around in my head for 5 years. I am so used to writing short stories, which are quick and lean and to the point. Now I have this big sprawling book with all these interweaving stories and character development and world-building and stuff that needs to happen. How do I expand the story out and make it rich and full and not just the bare bones? And how do I keep track of it all, because, dear god, I can hardly keep track of what I had for lunch today!

    So, I'm going to finish reading your book, then take a close look at the beat sheet and see what I can learn.

    What I also need to learn is who will pay me to sit in a bungalow on the beach and write for a year, 'cause those silly "job" and "making a living" things keep eating my life and my writing time. *sigh*

    You know, I can't seem to talk to you when you are standing in front of me, but I sure can blather on in writing, can't I? Hmmm...

    Thanks for humoring me. Running away now.


    ps: Blogspot keeps eating my comments, so apologies if this shows up multiple times.

  6. Thanks for posting this. I read that u did this and i was totally confused, so this post is extremely helpful. :D

  7. LOved the Book. PLEASE tell me there will be a sequel, And SOON!!
    I really like the Kali Character, would love to see more of her in the next book. (Fingers Crossed)Runt and Clio are great as well.
    Keep up the great work!

  8. I don't normally post on blogs or do Amazon reviews- but am on this occassion. I have only written to 2 authors in my life (so this will be my third). I only write when someone's work has had a profound impact on me personally. I'm sure you have heard this a million times- but the groundbreaking work you did as Tara on Buffy is something special. Not only how well acted the character was- but more importantly with how much class you have handled yourself in regards to the character. I'm sure you understand on some level how big it was for a whole community of "hidden" people to have such a cutting edge character and relationship on a prime time TV show. This will be something that will live in cultural history for a long time- how cool is it that you got to be in on it. There are times when I see fan posting and cringe thinking you may well think gays and lesbians are a bunch of obsessive stalkers (heck I think that some times :)) But I hope you can understand that we don't have alot of people to identify with in the mainstream- so you get alot of the attention/energy (kinda a big thing to shoulder at times I am sure). But, hey, at least you have the L Word and Rachel Maddow to take some of the heat off :).
    Not meaning to ramble on and on (couldn't find a direct e-mail address to send my thoughts privately- so noone else had to listen to my ramblings- so I cluttered up your blog). But anyway- thank you for the way you have carried yourself with such class and dignity when it comes to your respect for the Tara character.

    It is because of this that I picked up Death Daughter and read it. I have been rolling around what I was going to say in my Amazon review for the last week- wanting to make sure I got it right. It took me so long because I wanted to give you the most honest and fair feedback that I could. I didn't want to give a glossed over rah rah review because I am a huge fan of you personally- actually in my eyes that would be disrespectful to you. I wanted to make my review as constructive and helpful as possible- I hope I accomplished that.
    I so don't know what I'm doing on this high tech blog stuff- I can't get it to post with just my name- so I will post as anonymous and just sign this thing the old fashioned way (so you will at least know what review is mine).

    Rita P

  9. I am always fascinated by the mechanics of writing, and how an author goes from a germ of an idea to a completed work. Thanks for sharing this!

  10. Just found your blog, and I'm so happy to be here! I had not idea that you were writing, but I am definitely going to check out your book.

  11. I love the idea of sirens. I'm using the concept as part of my cartoon script. Siren witch casts a spell over the King so she can become Queen and rule over the King and his people!

  12. Hope mine gets here by Saturday (and I will love it for your signature, personalized or notskis) I'd love to do soem comparing, too.

  13. I wrote this for you last night. It's a little "drafty."

    The weaver's common loom any may learn,
    And throwing clay could find many a hand;
    Bending metal is taught that youth man earn,
    So's laying brick, turning wood, seeding land.
    Simple craft hides its master's better art,
    As trees disguise their Maker's sleeping shoots:
    Awaking only as their plan's green heart
    Fills the ridge and holds dark soil in its roots.
    Even masters, as doctors'robes have donned,
    The phial, mortar and crucible call
    Their past to inner present and beyond,
    And magi start to scale forever's wall.
    You, poet, and I must veil our best tricks;
    As our creating their interest pricks.

    Gulp! That last rhyme ... .

  14. Tried a feminine rhyme. Works well enough to leave it alone! :)

    We poets must encase our movements' traces;
    Let others mark time from our sapphire faces.

  15. Check it out! The blog post of someone who just met you at a book signing :)

  16. Hey amber - you should send a shout out on twitter to alyson for having her baby! that would make buffy fans go crazy!

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  21. I still have to finish a couple books before I can start Death's Daughter. Actually, I may push a couple aside and read DD after the one I'm reading now. :)

    Also, I've honored you with the Zombie Chicken Award. I hope you enjoy it.

  22. We poets must our movements' circles case,
    Let others' moments mark the sapphire'd face.

    I'm done. (*wipes brow*)

  23. Hi Amber,

    Are your books going to be available in Australia? I hope so, buying books direct from the US ends up being very expensive - what with the exchange rate and postage.

    I'm a children's fiction writer myself so I'm particularly interested in hearing more about The New Newbridge Academy book.

    Good luck with sales on Death's Daughter.



  24. Hi Jeff and all Aussies

    If you didn't happen to catch Amber while she was in Sydney this week the Galaxy Bookshop has Death's Daughter. You can buy online or at the store.

    I met Amber on Tuesday and she was just so lovely - I don't know how she stays so upbeat at signings meeting fan after fan. Frankly I can't remember much of what we talked about - I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to say anything - but I apparently didn't make an ass of myself.

    If I wasn't completely smitten before I am now!!

  25. Hi Amber, great show on BTR the other night. I would love to have you on my show. Let me know if you are interested.

  26. Hi Amber,

    I just finished reading your book, I loved it. I look forward to the next ones. Thanks for not having Runt killed! I was like no not the dog...very happy when she was fine. LOL

    take care!

  27. Howdy AB, I just started reading death's daughter, I'm liking it so far,good job,I saw on Twitter( i'm one of your stalkers,,,err I mean followers,,,,lol, you have some East Coast book signings coming up, any chance your gonna make it down to Tampa Bay area? please, please, please? (too much?), Hope to see ya in Tampa Bay someday.

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  33. Done ...


    The weaver's common loom any may learn,
    And throwing clay could find many a hand;
    Bending metal is taught that youth may earn,
    So's laying brick, turning wood, seeding land.
    Simple craft hides its master's better art
    As trees disguise their Maker's sleeping shoots,
    Awaking only as their plan's green heart
    Fills the ridge and holds soil dark in its roots.
    Yet for masters, as doctors' robes have donned,
    The phial, mortar and crucible call
    The past to inner present and beyond;
    Then, as mages, they walk forever's wall.
    We poets must our movements' circles case;
    Let others' moments mark the sapphire'd face.