She kept notebooks which piled up over the years filled with characters, poisons, locations, all kinds of murder notations, interspersed with household accounts and writing lessons for her daughter.
Her character Ariadne Oliver explained getting an idea a little differently. “Idea? I’ve got any amount of ideas. In fact, that’s just the difficulty. It always is my difficulty. I can never think of even one plot at a time. I always think of at least five, and then it’s agony to decide between them. I can think of six beautiful reasons for the murder."
Writers have different methods and approaches to their stories. Some will pick an idea, then outline and plot and write until the story has reached their satisfaction level-if a story ever does. Only when it's complete will they will cast it from their minds and begin a new project.
Others will have two or even more projects on the go at once.
I admit to belonging to the latter category. I can never settle on one story or set of characters at a time. Either they refuse to act the way I want them to, or go on a work-slow strike, refusing to be co-operative at all. That's when I say, "Okay to you Buster I'll just find some new friends." When the new story reaches a impasse, I've usually discovered what my problem was with the first and happily return to it.
Every writer picks the method that works the best for them. I think part of the reason I like to keep more than one work on the go is that I don't want to miss anything. It's like being invited to a birthday party and a day at the beach on the same day. You want both.
Besides, it's so lovely to wake up in the morning with choices as to whom you play with today.