Has anyone else been indulging in a bit of Agatha Christie over Christmas? Crikey, that lady could plot. She wrote close to one hundred books and she made it look so easy. It's not. In her autobiography, Christie said,
|Agatha, hard at it.|
"There is no agony like it. You sit in a room, biting pencils, looking at a typewriter, walking about, or casting yourself down on a sofa, feeling you want to cry your head off."
50 AGONIES à la AGATHA
- Is my opening sentence strong enough?
- How is my story arc?
- What is a story arc?
- Is my latest idea even slightly original or have I inadvertently rehashed an episode of SpongeBob?
- Which publisher should I target?
- How many months until I get a rejection?
- What’s the elevator pitch?
- How many elevators do I need to take before I find myself riding with someone even remotely involved in publishing?
- Should I write my next book in the first or third person?
- Should I invent a completely new narrative form instead?
- If I do, will I win a prize?
- Did that last sentence really need a comma?
- Why are the voices in my head all telling each other to shut up?
- What are the rules of my new fictional world?
- Is my email even working? *refresh, refresh, refresh*
- Where does the action take place - do I need to draw a map?
- Why didn't I pay more attention in geography?
- Do I own an eraser?
- Do cats die if they swallow erasers?
- Am I showing or telling - and which is the good one, again?
- Surely there’s an app that writes bestselling novels?
- If I invent the app will I win a prize?
- Where did I leave my glasses/pen/notebook/laptop/valium?
- Does Googling my own name go toward my word count?
- Admin, research, reading or Netflix?
- Why does the doorbell only ring when I'm in my pyjamas?
- Why are my deliveries always for the neighbours?
- Which cardigan is my lucky cardigan?
- Can I afford to go to my publisher’s summer party?
- Can I afford to put the heating on?
- Are Tesco’s recruiting?
- Tea or coffee?
- Toast or ice cream?
- Scrape the mould off the bread or walk to the shop?
- Are cardigans tax deductible?
- May I punch the next person who assumes I want to be ‘the next JK Rowling’?
- May I punch the next person who tells me they have a great idea for a children’s book?
- May I punch the next person who says ‘must be nice, having a hobby that pays’?
- May I send a computer virus to the next person who emails me expecting a free professional critique?
- Which chat show do I most want to appear on when I win the Carnegie?
- When will I have my own dedicated shelf/department in WHSmith?
- If Blue Peter knew about me would they give me a badge?
- If I nominated myself for children’s laureate would my mum vote for me?
- Will my next book be the one?
- Which window is best for staring out of?
- Does JK Rowling still stare out of windows or does she pay someone to do it for her?
- If I bump into JK Rowling at my publisher’s summer party might we become pals?
- Is it too early to go back to bed?
- Are there prizes for that?
- Am I a figment of my own imagination?
Read more from Michelle at www.michellerobinson.co.uk
Quote: 1977, Agatha Christie: An Autobiography by Agatha Christie, Part 9: Life with Max, Quote Page 458, Dodd, Mead, & Company, New York.