What does an advanced beat diagram look like?

Significant events in a story are known as “beats.” Identifying your story’s beats is like building a table of contents.

IOffice Worker with Mountain of Paperworkn our commercial-writing exercise, the beats might be:

  1. Margie scrubs the floor.
  2. Hank introduces a new mop.
  3. Margie introduces Hank and his mop to the floor; while he mops, she pours him a cold beer.
  4. Margie happily hugs Hank, who happily guzzles beer, admiring the shiny clean floor.

I understand that a good story has a main plot and subplots, each with a unique table of contents. That would mean a good story needs, say, three separate tables of contents; but how to merge them into a single table without creating crazy spaghetti that’ll drive you nuts? Suggestions?

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