I was desperately proud of the way she behaved during and after the incident and was very happy to talk to the magazine about it (and promote the current novel at the same time). About five minutes into the interview the journalist stopped. 'Your relationship with your daughter was good before?' Oh yes, I agreed. She sighed. It wasn't a good sign. She explained that she'd thought there had been serious problems between us, and the mugging had brought us together. Instead we were obviously a normal, affectionate family and normal people weren't news, unless really dreadful things happened to them. This didn't count.
So that was that. I didn't mind. After all, I could see that we were normal, and the mugging, while horrible at the time, hadn't been disastrous for us - if anything the opposite. There was no conflict for the journalist to write about, no triumph over disaster. What had seemed a big event in my life, and certainly in my daughter's, was not worth writing about.
Story telling is all about conflict and the bigger the conflict, the bigger the story. Then there's what's at stake. Again, the bigger the stakes, the bigger the story. Be bold with your conflicts. Make the stakes as high as you can. Make the dilemmas impossible to resolve. Make your fiction bigger and bolder, more complicated and more dramatic.
I'm glad my real life drama was too small for the magazine. Let's face it, in reality it's better that way.
NEW!!! I've finally got round to organising some course dates....
How to WRITE a Novel: London 3rd May/Birmingham 7th May/
Oxford 8th May/Exeter 21st May/Bath 12th June
How to SELL a Novel: London 24th May/Exeter 4th June/
Bath 3rd July Details are on my website