Story Design: Telling Taboo Stories

How can you add more intrigue and danger to your forbidden love story?

Story Design Volume 15 –  In a taboo plot, the protagonist becomes involved in a forbidden romance. From the start everyone knows that the affair will fail because social forces don’t approve of the pairing; what makes the relationship unacceptable will vary with the genre, place, and time of the story. Even if the lovers manage to be together at the end, they will never find acceptance. This story is almost always a tragedy.

Examples of the taboo plot include Harold and Maude, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Madame Bovary, The Notebook, Romeo and Juliet, The Scarlet Letter, and Twilight.

Story Design: The Taboo covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a forbidden love 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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