Conflict is what keeps a story interesting, fueling the momentum. The deeper the protagonist’s conflict the more a reader or audience watching a film becomes invested.
There’s truth at the heart of every great struggle in a book or movie. However, a recent event in the news made me wonder if art truly does imitate life. I’m sure you’ve all heard about the riots that happened in London. Everyone over here in England is still talking about it. When I discovered that the mother of a talented athlete, who was going to be a 2012 Olympic Ambassador, had reported her daughter to the police for being one of the rioters, I immediately wanted to know more about that family. For research of course, not because I’m nosy.
After the mother had seen her daughter in TV footage of the riots, she called 999 (911 equivalent for those in the USA). Although she described the decision as “gut-wrenching”, what intrigued me the most was that she had reported her child without even having a discussion with her daughter first.
I’m not a parent (unfortunately my canine kiddies don’t count here), so I have no idea what that woman might have gone through emotionally prior to phoning the police. I do believe I would have spoken to my child to at least find out what led them to participate in a mob before I took any action.
In my book PARADOX, my heroine is faced with turning her father over to authorities in exchange for saving herself. The crux of her dilemma is that she doesn’t believe in betraying family, no matter what. Giving up someone you love can’t be easy, but is it always so clear cut that you could make the decision in minutes, perhaps hours? Or does parental instinct drive some to protect their child, not from punishment, but from ruining their future for a mistake?
So, what would you do?
Please see the poll in the sidebar. Feel free to elaborate on your choice with a comment.