Beat is a word that has many different connotations ascribed to it. Even in writing, it can have multiple meanings. For instance; A beat sheet or the Beat Generation.
A beat sheet is an outline structure used by writers in various different ways. It can be broken down into different types of points. Points like every scene or plot points or even all the way down to action by action, dialogue by dialogue. It is up to an indepedent writer how specific a beat sheet is. Whatever works best to get the story complete.
A meaning for beat is the rhythmic motion of an instrument. Apply this to writing an outline and you can figure how to find the beat of the story that you are creating. This will help in figuring out the flow and pacing of a story or plot outline before tackling or structuring the actual narrative itself.
Music is partly what inspired the term beat for the Beat generation, especially the beats of jazz music. The Beat Generation is an interesting influence to look at when considering to apply it to modern-day literature. It is an artistic way of approaching how to handle rhythm in writing and structuring sentences in ways that attempt to describe sensations of consciousness.
The influence of the Beat generation also suggests inclusion of spiritual matters when approaching, and relating to, our writing. To not just write for the identity of being a writer but writing to develop our senses, expand our minds, and delve into our own consciousnesses to further our understanding of reality and the worlds around us.
So whether in technical outline or in spiritual exploration of the self, the term Beat can inspire us to develop writing our stories.