"The best time for
planning a book
is while you're doing
- Agatha Christie
(Sept. 15,1890 - Jan. 12, 1976)
The quote above gave me food for thought - I know what Christie means and whenever I'm struggling with plot, dialogue or indeed any aspect of a project I know that taking in some fresh air, walking the dog over the mountains, gives me the boost I need. I work out most of my plot details while rambling over the Welsh countryside. There's something about the open air that clears my befuddled mind and new possibilities spring to me. For instance only this week I was bogged down with the second Arkansas Smith novel and I just didn't know how to proceed. The problem was that I'd gotten the characters into a situation from which I could see no remedy. And so it's on with the coat, out with the leash and onto the mountains. A few hours later I returned home with not only the answer to the current situation but also a far clearer idea of how the book will end.
Maybe Christie had similar moments of epiphany while scrubbing the tea and crumpet from her best china.