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  1. live2write

    live2write Contributing Member

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    Taboo relationships

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by live2write, Feb 17, 2014.

    I have read stories and watched movies where there was a twist in the relationship with two characters. I have seen ideas where the two involved were of different race/species. Others where the characters in a relationship were related like brother and sister or cousin to cousin. Then there are relationships that are taboo because of their position in the story ex: Captain/Enemy, Creature/Human, Android/Human.

    How taboo is it for two characters to be together when they are related. Two of my characters are related by family but do not share a common family member. This relationship is similar to Stepchild vs. Stepchild. How does the public react to these relationships?
     
  2. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Stepchild to stepchild would not be considered a taboo relationship (unless there were other issues that made it so). After a cousin of mine had been married for a few years, his father married his mother-in-law (both were widowed), thus putting my cousin in the position of being married to his stepsister. No one got upset.
     
  3. stevesh

    stevesh Banned Contributor

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    Well, in real life, there doesn't seem to be a problem, depending on the laws that exist where your characters are. One of my cousins (through our mothers) married his first cousin (on his father's side) without consequence, other than a couple of 'icks'.
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    More than anything, it would pique my interest in how the interfamily dynamics play out in this relationship, but it doesn't register at all on my Eeeewwww-o-meter. ;)

    [​IMG]
     
  5. peachalulu

    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Worked for Wuthering Heights. Heathcliff and Cathy were raised like foster siblings but grew into having an affair. Nobody bats an eye over that.
     
  6. Motley

    Motley Active Member

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    Step-anything is fine, I think.

    I could see where an author would run into trouble with actual incest and underage-adult relationships, however, at least in the court of public appeal.
     
  7. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    For an example and public reaction, google Bobby Kristina Brown and Nick Gordon. Bobby Kristina is Whitney Houston's daughter with Bobby Brown, and she married her adopted brother Nick Gordon.
     
  8. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    Step-siblings and step-sibling relationships exist in the real world, too, and you get apathy from some and aggressiveness from others, as is the case with most things, and so I think it would be hard to force just one of those reaction on every reader. I suggest letting the reader decide if they approve of the relationship or not. The same goes for the in-story characters, except you'd have to invent those reactions yourself. Also try not to alienate your reader base, but you could try teaching them a moral, kind of like Romeo and Juliet, except your situation is rather different from the one in that story. Personally my main reaction to step-sibling relationships is that it's awkward; however, awkward does not mean wrong, it just means it's unexpected or unusual, neither of which are bad storytelling devices. The situation is completely changed if they think they're related, however: it's what you do with the knowledge you have that matters. You wouldn't call a lottery player stupid if he didn't think he'd win, even if in hindsight you know he won.
     
  9. DeathandGrim

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I guess it's just me who sees all familial tied relationships (even step) as a nono. I'm slightly more okay with it being step-whatever but I still see it as weird.
     
  10. Bjørnar Munkerud

    Bjørnar Munkerud Contributing Member

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    So in your world "weird" means "bad"? In mine it means "strange". There are many strange things that aren't bad.
     
  11. DeathandGrim

    DeathandGrim Contributing Member

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    I would say "weird" too. Just as my personal preference its a nono and due to how I was raised naturally I'll have objections to it. But that admittedly makes me hypocritical since I don't criticize gay couples. I just believe that familial relation isn't able to be looked over.

    Fun Fact: My favorite author married his first cousin. So that's a blow to the gut lol
     
  12. live2write

    live2write Contributing Member

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    The first book I have written that had suggestive content of incest was "Flowers in the Attic".

    Reason being for this post is, I recently watched a film that did reveal the MC and the hero to be siblings. However, it is only implied as a possible way of control by the villain. It is not clear if they are related, however the idea that they possibly are makes it taboo. What is strange is the characters do not seem bothered by it.
     
  13. A.M.P.

    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Contributor

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    Anyone watched/read The Cement Garden?
    Beginning of the End
    also shows an interesting style of incest.

    Even though IRL i find incest questionable, I believe authors can make an interesting PoV for it that shows the complexity and thoughts that go through such a relationship.
     

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