The Ascending Mage series has many subplots and characters. We use spreadsheets to outline and keep our descriptions consistent while keeping the overall story arc on target.
One of the aspects we track for each book is what we like to call the “Emotional Intensity” of each chapter. It’s subjective, but allows us to ensure we aren’t including too many low-key scenes in a row–or conversely, too many high-intensity scenes without an emotional break so our readers can catch their collective breaths. Essentially, the goal is to create an escalating saw-tooth pattern.
Below is a screenshot for the Emotional Intensity we’ve mapped for Ascending Mage 4: Nothing Broken. I’ve blurred the chapter descriptions to avoid spoilers.
Ascending Mage 4: Nothing Broken is releasing on June 16th. Pre-ordering is available.