"The best time for planning a book is while you're doing the dishes."
Agatha Christie wrote 66 detective/mystery novels (including my favorite mystery of all time: And Then Their Were None/Ten Little Indians/Ten Little Niggers), 6 romance novels under the pen-name Mary Westmacott, dozens of plays (both theater and radio), and innumerable short stories, poems, and unpublished works. She's considered the queen of plotting, and has influenced countless adaptations and inspired countless authors.
Fun Facts about Agatha Christie:
- Best-selling novelist of all time, with roughly 2-4 billion books sold.
- Third best-selling books of all time, ranked only behind The Bible and Shakespeare.
- Made a Dame by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
- Her character, Hercule Poirot, is the only fictional character ever to have an obituary printed in The New York Times.
- During WWI, she worked as the equivalent of a pharmacist assistant, thus the in-depth knowledge of poisons apparent in many of her novels.
- She was deeply involved with theater, an accomplished photographer, a world traveler, and attended many archeological digs with her husband.
When Christie says to plan a book while doing dishes, I'm sure she meant it literally. However, based on the full and fascinating life she lived, I also believe she meant to have ideas churning in your head always, even while going about the mundane duties of life.
If you're a writer, you're always a writer--when you're noticing small details such as crunching leaves and sunshine filtering through trees on a fall day; when you're people watching and stealing snatches of interesting dialogue; when you're dozing off and an evasive plot point finally jumps into your head.
I think she's saying that when you're writing on a regular basis, it becomes part of everything you do. And as an added bonus? Washing the dishes just got more interesting!