Story Design: Telling Coming of Age Stories

How can you add more character focus and a slice of life to your adventures?


Story Design Volume 13
 РIn a coming of age plot, the protagonist gains maturity. This is often literal as the character moves from one stage of their life to another, like from childhood to adolescence, or young adulthood to middle age. It can be metaphorical as they embark on a new career, learn to live alone after a long relationship, or discover how to function without some resource no longer available to them. By the end of a coming of age story, the protagonist has mastered some aspect of their life, taken control of their destiny, and come fully into their own.

Examples of the coming of age plot include Great Expectations, Huckleberry Finn, Jane Eyre, To Kill a Mockingbird, and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

Story Design: Coming of Age¬†covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a maturation 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.

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