• “The smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting 'Scrooge McDuck' comics.”—Salon.com
  • A time-hopping, continent-spanning salmagundi of genres.”
  • “These books have to be word-of-mouth books because they're too weird to describe to anybody.”
    —Jackie Cantor, Diana's first editor

BEES Update With Chapter Titles!

Social Media Hashtags: #DailyLines, #SortOf, #GoTELLTheGEESThatIAmGONE, #comingtogether, #noitsnotdone, #youllhearaboutitwhenitis

2019-02-honebees-on-lacetop-cropWriting a book (for me) has multiple phases. As many of you know (from having heard me talk, or reading THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION books), I write (for a long time) in small, disconnected pieces and scenes. Eventually these start sticking together to form Chunks, and in the latter stages, the Chunks begin to line up along a sort of mental timeline (composed of historical events I want to use and personal events that transpire with one or another of the characters), and—in the fullness of time, I begin to pull together related Chunks and scenes, to write bridges (where needed to connect the pieces, establish a time or place, or provide a quick summary of what’s been happening that I don’t mean to show directly), and… generally, come up with something vaguely resembling a novel.

I begin to see the shape of chapters, and to be able to put them—gradually— into a reasonable sequence and shape (though chapters do move around for awhile before settling into their final place in the story).

That’s where I am now, in terms of writing/assembling the book. I’m still writing it (naturally…), but a good deal of the daily work now includes the pulling together of pieces and the formation of chapters, sections, etc.

So, for your entertainment, here’s the Title list of chapters from Section One of GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE. (NB: Chapter titles do sometimes change—if I think of something better, which I do all the time—so this is by no means a guaranteed final list—but this Section is completely assembled. So is a lot more of the book, but I’m not showing you everything at once…)

Have fun!

SECTION I: A Swarm of Bees in the Carcass of a Lion

   CHAPTER 1: The MacKenzies are Here!

   CHAPTER 2: A Blue Wine Day

   CHAPTER 3: Meditations on a Hyoid

   CHAPTER 4: Home is the Hunter, Home from the Hill

   CHAPTER 5: Dead or Alive

   CHAPTER 6: Visitations

   CHAPTER 7: Animal Nursery Tales

Remember that there are almost fifty excerpts (aka “Daily Lines”) from the book on my official GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE webpage.

[And Many Thanks to Mardi Priest for the honeybees on Lacecap!]

This BEES update also appeared on my official Facebook page.

39 Responses »

  1. Thank you so much for the Daily Lines. It is a blessing. Your Methadone List has been a godsend as well. I’ve fallen in love with Patricia Finney (PF Chisholm (like you I am deeply affected by Henry Dodd but also Robert Carey)), Bernard Cromwell, Sharon Kay Penman and several others.

    You are amazing both in your work and in your care for your varied audience and seemingly to everyone around you.

    Many blessings and thanks to you and your lovely family.

  2. Hi Diana,

    This is GREAT news! Can’t wait for a publication date so I can plan my re-reading from the very beginning.

    You have not only turned me into a single malt drinker, but I’ve learned so much from you too. An example: John Burgoyne was a Jeopardy answer and I knew it! I also met a high schooler (while subbing in little Kelseyville, CA) with that last name and asked if he was any relation and he was a direct descendent. He was impressed that I knew the name. I gave you credit!

    I was wondering if the upcoming chapter “Home is the Hunter, Home from the Hill” is from Robert Louis Stevenson or A.E. Housman? I’m thinking the former as that is his exact wording and he was Scottish, but Claire is an A.E. Housman fan so…which is it? BTW, this line is also used in “Dove” by Robin Lee Graham.

    Stay well, keep up the great work and I look forward to the new book. Also looking forward to moving to Prescott! Hopefully I’ll get a chance to come see you at the Poisoned Pen. I had my first 4 books signed by you at the Scottish Games in Pleasanton, CA (it was a very heavy backpack!) but you haven’t been back in several years so we have to catch up!


  3. Hi Diana,
    I started using Scrivener for this reason but I’m still not fully onboard with the program (still learning its bells and whistles, of which there are many). Do you use it? Otherwise what is your method of keeping your work organized. And then how do you put it together? The collating function works great on Scrivener but only if you’ve been keeping that function in mind as you draft. Otherwise a lot of junk gets folded in.

    Thanks! I’m always interested in hearing about other writers’ processes.


  4. Thank you for the up date. I can’t wait to read the new book when it comes out. Reading this series, Outlander has got me into reading everything I can get my hands on.

  5. Dear Ms. Gabaldon,

    I have been a fan of your books since ‘Outlander’ first appeared and am excitedly awaiting the latest installment. When I discovered that the title of your next book will be ”Go Tell the Bees that I am Gone” it spoke to me so deeply that I just wanted to say thank you. I am from a family of beekeepers. My parents were beekeepers, as well as my brother and my brother—in-law. My husband was also a keeper of bees until his death two years ago at the age of 60. Our son has continued in his footsteps, enjoying his time with his father’s bees. So, as I said, the title struck a deep chord in me and brings me many memories (and a few tears).

    I wait anxiously to see what the title means for Jamie and Claire.

    Becky Bishop

  6. Being a huge fan of the books and the TV series and also a big Game of Thrones fan, please don’t let the series catch up and pass the books.

  7. i am so excited about book 9 bees ,i have reread all the other 8 lol, hungry for more,these books have reignited my thirst for scottish history , keep them coming diana and thank you soar alba

  8. Love the update. Looking forward to the new book. I hope that it will touch on William and Bree.

  9. I’m so excited to have a little peek into this book coming to life.

  10. So excited!!! Have loved the books a week before they were to go on the shelf (I worked at a bookstore back then) was able to read it as soon as they came in. Was required in case anyone asked about it.. So I can’t wait too see what happens next. Congrads.

  11. Can’t wait! As a french canadian, i’m not use to read in english… but since I can’t wait I’ll have to read that one too in is original version. But ou write so well it’s easy to forget i’m not in my maternal language!

  12. I am looking forward to the ninth book. I liked, read and reread the previous 8 books in French and English. It allowed me to revisit Scottish and American history. It’s fantastic, catchy and so close to reality. Thank you for giving me and still give me the joy of reading. Strongly following.

  13. Watch the Series with my dad and share the books with my mom. You are a wonderful writer and story teller. Thank you for sharing your gift. Joycee

  14. I finished reading the Outlander series, the first time, in January, 2016. Then, I started reading the series again because I missed Jamie and Claire. I tried to time the second time through with the release of the Bee book but that didn’t work out. I am now on my fifth reading of this series. I read 3 books at a time and one of them is always one of the Outlander books. I’ve gotten something new each time so far. I guess I put the fan in fanatic! Thanks so much for this wonderful series. (Way better than Game of Thrones:))

  15. I got into Outlander books 18 years ago, got addicted to them immediately & have re-read the last 8 books 3 times, every time I discover something new & truely enjoy them, but the last 3 years have been agony trying to wait on the little bits Diana feeds us, have read a couple of the other books (about Lord John) but they pale in comparison to the Outlander series.
    I am now 77 years old & feel the next book will be the last of them, so I will read it when it comes out (hopefully before my eyesight gets worse) Please Diana let us know asap when it´s coming out!!!

    • Hi, Elisa,

      “Agony?” “Little bits that Diana feeds us?” My goodness! You make Diana sound like Attila the Hun! Like all of us, she can be wicked when called for, but I assure you, Diana Gabaldon does not intentionally torment her readers. :-)

      Of course Diana will announce the publication date of BEES as soon as it is known; the release date will be announced on this website (Diana’s only official webpage), her official facebook and twitter accounts, and her publisher will notify the news media. She plans to finish writing the book this year.

      As Diana has said multiple times, her Outlander series novels are huge books and take a LONG time to write, and to do the historical and other research for them. There are no shortcuts to producing quality.

      Till BEES is out, I hope that you will try some of the excellent authors that Diana recommends in her Methadone List:


      And also ask people at your local independent bookstore for suggestions on good books to read in the meantime.

      By the way, Diana Herself is 67 years old, only a few years younger than you are. I’ve known her for almost 35 years, and she lives each day to the fullest, the way we all should.

      So hang on, dear; everything will be okay! You’ll make it! Just months to go for BEES. (And please go to the eye doctor if you haven’t already.)

      Diana’s Webmistress

  16. Can’t wait. Rereading my way through the books, treasuring the autographed copy of Drums of Autumn that my son (and family) gave me for Christmas. There is an inscription with your signature. I can’t quite read it. Is there an inscription that you always use?

    • Jeanne,

      I sent you an email over a month ago, and suggested that you take a photo of the inscription and send it to me by email. I’m glad to look at it and let you know what Diana wrote! No response from you so far.

      Diana often uses Gaelic greetings as inscriptions.

      Diana’s Webmistress

  17. Can’t wait for the next book, but the title makes me nervous

    In fact i’m anxious about the end of this saga, since the first book

    In this firts book, while Claire and Frnak are on vacation in Inverness, at one point she (or Frank sees) the blurred figure of a scotish men in tartan outside the Inn they are staying in, and the man is looking at their window

    I have a uneasy feeling about that weird event

    If ever this saga ends with Claire going back in 1945 and forgets all aboutJamie, or the time lag makes it that all their story never happened, it will be the worst end a serie has ever had; and i’ll never, ever again read or watch a serie.
    I deeply hope that I’m wrong about this

  18. Dear Diana,
    I saw you and your husband in the Inverness airport on March 20th.
    I couldn’t quite believe my eyes and I wasn’t entirely sure it was you, I couldn’t get on wifi at the airport to check.
    Then I was pretty possitive it was you.
    I am so kicking myself you have no idea how much I wanted to get a picture and your autograph but I’m afraid I was to much of a chicken. Lol!
    Hoping you had a lovely time in Scotland, I was thinking you might be there doing research for your book or maybe you were there to watch filming for season 5.
    Your mind is absolutely brilliant and I so enjoy your books,. I wasn’t much of a reader untill the outlander series came out.
    Looking forward to reading your next book with a cup of tea in the evenings. Your books transport me into a different place.
    I was in Scotland visiting family, I was born and raised there.
    It is always home for me. Lovely to see you even though we did not speak.
    Best wishes,.

  19. Thank you for the update! I can’t wait to read the finished product. I hope you’re enjoying the process.

  20. Because of being absorbed in your stories, I have gone berserk, returned to reading history, galavanted all over Quebec, done my DNA, and learned that my father was really an illegitimate Douglas whose great grandparents left Scotland for the states in the late 1700′s – and were catholics – hmmm…such fun! If I could write half as well as you, I’d tell that story. Keep spinning it, Diana. Can’t wait for the next book.

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