The Most Frightful Muddle

Well, I’ll have to tell it you, then. Only I’m not very good at telling things. I mean if I write things, I get them perfectly clear, but if I talk, it always sounds the most frightful muddle; and that’s why I never discuss my plots with anyone. I’ve learnt not to, because if I do, they just look at me blankly and say ‘ — er — yes, but — I don’t see what happened — and surely that can’t possibly make a book.’

“I mean, what can you say about how you write books? What I mean is, first you’ve got to think of something, and when you’ve thought of it you’ve got to force yourself to sit down and write it. That’s all. It would have taken me just three minutes to explain that, and then the Talk would have been ended and everyone would have been very fed up. I can’t imagine why everybody is always so keen for authors to talk about writing. I should have thought it was an author’s business to write, not talk.”

Mrs. Oliver, Dead Man’s Folly, by Agatha Christie