So I was at the car boot today - not because I particularly like them (though I have been known to procure some really great deals) but because they remind me of my childhood. When I was younger my dad would go to the car boot every weekend (at the moment he's going 2-4 times a week!) and so we would all pile in the car quite early (at least early for us) to spend our pocket money. As the years went on, less of us would accompany our dad, until it was just my brother who would get up for it.
Going today reminded me that many people I've met from elsewhere in the country have never been to a car boot. At this I've always responded with shock and disbelief that they've never visited something so traditional. But perhaps I was wrong. Maybe it isn't traditional for anyone else, it's a local thing and also a thing our family happened to do. This got me thinking about childhoods though. We all know how we were brought up, we all know what things were unique to our family, yet we never thought they were unique until we see the rest of the world and how they live their lives. Every family is different, every life is different, but we just assume (particularly when we're young) that everyone understands how we live our lives at home. I, personally, am very interested in other lives, the intricate details that no one talks about, the part that is hidden from me because it's so normal and natural to them that they don't even notice it is different from your own life.
Perhaps this fascination is what fuels my writing - I want to discover the differences and similiarities between individuals and highlight them through my characters. And that is the challenge - to write so everyone can relate (or as many people as possible) yet the characters have to be individual, not generic, and interesting. Else, who will want to read the words and listen to the tale being told?