Welp, I debated with myself a lot before creating this thread, because I'm sure there will be a lot of conflicting opinions, and the subject is a pretty sensitive umbrella term for many different and touchy topics. In the end however, I think each of the opinions will be important in my decisions, so, without further ado, I will present my question: How do readers and writers feel, in regards to fiction specifically, about exploring ideas that are generally considered taboo in mainstream world culture? Now I ask this question, because, like many literary devices and archetypes, taboos have a tendency to draw out raw opinions and emotions regarding them, and I plan to try and use taboos in the designs of certain characters in my Graphic Novel. More specifically, and as an example, one of my main cast is a heiress to her clan, and her brother has deserted the clan in an attempt to broker peace with a particularly aggressive and violent war-nation. At the point when she joins the main squad, she is on a journey to find her brother, but is doing so against the wishes of the clan masters. Anyways, the main point I'm making is that she is on this journey, not just because she cares about her brother, but because he was her entire reason for becoming the heiress, and while she doesn't realize it, she's in love with him. Her culture is one of few in the world in which incest is not considered taboo, but most of the other characters in the group abhor it. They end up realizing that she's in love with her own brother before even she does, and that's a point of conflict that I'd like to explore throughout the story. There are other topics that I've been considering, but I feel asking the question generally will get more variety in response. The nature of my graphic novel is pretty dark, so I think taboo fits pretty well into the mix of depraved subjects it will tackle, however I don't want it to come across as heavy-handed. While I don't condone most of the cultural taboos in the real world, I think they potentially have some great value in writing. I'd like to know how people feel about them, in general, or even about specific taboos. If anyone has tips on how to portray certain ideas effectively, and what to avoid when writing them into the story, I'd really appreciate it =) EDIT: I should probably add that I'm not actually looking for a debate on whether taboos are right or wrong. Rather, I'd like to know what feelings they bring out in both readers and writers, and how best to apply them to characters and relationships between them. Opinion good, debate bad.