Monday, 19 December 2016

Advent-ures: Number Nineteen, The Gothic

At the end of November, I attended a creative writing workshop on the theme of "Gothic Fiction".

My main motivation in attending was that it was there, and such opportunities are few and far between in these parts.

Somewhere in the back of my head I remembered that many of my favourite novels are branded "Gothic", so I expected to be on familiar ground:  Jane Eyre, Villette...

But I hadn't really appreciated that there is a modern version of the Gothic Imagination, and that the genre had crossed over into film.  Interesting.

My fellow participants wanted a definition.  They wanted to be able to spot The Gothic at a hundred paces and slap a label on it.
The tutor preferred to give examples of books and films which exhibited elements of the Gothic:  because, really, why would you want to conform strictly to a set of "rules" in your writing?

Identifying features:

  • The Gothic invites you to challenge anxieties - either in the culture or personally
  • There is a Monster - real or symbolic
  • "Special effects" are used to intensify the atmosphere
  • The Hero is the one who makes the right choice
  • It is a genre that forces you look at the thing you don't want to look at - it might be yourself
And much more.

So what is Roo rambling on about now, you ask?

Just to say, that I think I have found a direction (if not a genre) for my unwritten novel.
I already had the title.

I just need to write it now.
A minor detail.


  1. Best news ever! Keep the flame of that idea burning! And while I'm here, thank you for your advent-ures. Just saying.

  2. The Picture Of Dorian Gray...... utter perfection! If you write it, I'll definitely want to read it.