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Story Design: Search Stories
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Story Design: Search Stories


How can you add more emotional resonance to your quest adventure story?

Story Design Volume 2 - In the search plot, the protagonist is looking for something. It might be an object, a person, or a piece of information. The thing they’re searching for might be real, or it could be metaphorical. It doesn’t actually matter, because this is really a character-driven story. The journey, and what the protagonist experiences, is what’s important. Over the course of their travels, the character grows, changes, and learns something about his- or herself. What they thought they wanted in the beginning of the story, they realize, wasn’t what they truly needed after all. Story Design: The Search helps writers and roleplayers to construct quest adventures centered on character development.

Examples of the search plot include The Catcher in the Rye, Don Quixote, Gilgamesh, The Grapes of Wrath, The Lord of the Rings, Lost Horizon, and The Wizard of Oz.

Story Design: The Search covers all of the elements you need to prepare in order to tell a quest-type story. It's based on concepts explored in Story Structure and the Lighthouse System games, 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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August 11th, 2018
Wow. You can tell a writer wrote this. It's concise, it's insightful, it's exactly the knowledge I needed to make my next campaign hit the marks. Pick one of these Story Designs to match the next campaign you plan to write, and perhaps the next one you [...]
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These products were created by scanning an original printed edition. Most older books are in scanned image format because original digital layout files never existed or were no longer available from the publisher.

For PDF download editions, each page has been run through Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software to attempt to decipher the printed text. The result of this OCR process is placed invisibly behind the picture of each scanned page, to allow for text searching. However, any text in a given book set on a graphical background or in handwritten fonts would most likely not be picked up by the OCR software, and is therefore not searchable. Also, a few larger books may be resampled to fit into the system, and may not have this searchable text background.

For printed books, we have performed high-resolution scans of an original hardcopy of the book. We essentially digitally re-master the book. Unfortunately, the resulting quality of these books is not as high. It's the problem of making a copy of a copy. The text is fine for reading, but illustration work starts to run dark, pixellating and/or losing shades of grey. Moiré patterns may develop in photos. We mark clearly which print titles come from scanned image books so that you can make an informed purchase decision about the quality of what you will receive.
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File Last Updated:
September 14, 2016
This title was added to our catalog on July 17, 2016.