Last night I started watching a documentary about Agatha Christie’s life and work for the third or fourth time. She’s influenced me greatly in the way I think about plotting and writing in general.
I grew up watching David Suchet play Poirot
on TV, and eventually also started reading the books. Agatha’s stories have sold so many copies that the only literary work to surpass them is the Bible. When asked about her success, John Curran told David Suchet that he believes that it is so enduringly popular because she wrote such simple plots. “Doesn’t matter if you have no education or whether you’re a nuclear scientist, you can understand where she’s coming from”.
Add to that multiple layers of psychological complexity in her characters, and you can begin to understand why people love her work so much. She’s obviously one of my literary idols, and she’s taught me to focus on my plotting and to tighten it as much as possible.
Agatha also has an edge in a lot of her novels. Many are placed in exotic locales, something which inspires me a lot, because I love to travel and I like love literature as a form of escapism. My current novel is partially set in Moscow, bringing an international flavor to the plot which is mostly set in Trondheim.