Story Design: Telling Change Stories

How can you add more inner conflict, fear or change, and wonder of discovery to your transformation adventures?


Story Design Volume 12
– In a change story something upsets the protagonist’s life in a significant way. The character then has to adapt and come to terms with that change. It can be something normal yet tragic, like the death of a loved one or being diagnosed with terminal illness. It can be a good yet scary thing, perhaps moving to a strange new place or winning the lottery. The change can be a physical transformation, such as gaining superpowers. The change might simply be a realization or shift in awareness, like discovering that wizards exist and you’re one of them. The focus is on the process coming to grips with the upheaval in the protagonist’s life, and settling into a new status quo.’

Examples of the change plot include The Catcher in the Rye, The Last Picture Show, My Fair Lady, The Paper Chase, Red Badge of Courage, and Straw Dogs.

Story Design: The Change covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a transformation story. It’s based on concepts explored in Story Structure for Writers and Roleplayers, also published by Dancing Light Press. It’s a big book that goes into greater detail on how to get the most out of the three-act structure, as well as developing a three-phase series (campaign, if you prefer) with a clear beginning, middle, and end. If you want to use your favorite roleplaying game system to tell stories with more depth than kill monster, get treasure, repeat (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it is worth looking into.

Go to DriveThruRPG and click on Full-size Preview to read the first few pages for free!

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