Monday, November 25, 2013
From windswept moors and lowering skies to crumbling castles and madwomen in the attic, there is much to draw upon when writing Gothic fiction. There are three key factors to consider before writing and plotting your Gothic tale: setting, character and the influence of the supernatural. Many modern writers, such as Margaret Atwood and Susan Hill, use Gothic elements in their novels, inspired by its rich heritage.
"The Castle of Otranto" by Walpole is considered to be the first Gothic novel. It set the blueprint for all Gothic fiction that came after it, in its premise that the external world should mirror the tormented inner lives of its characters. Emily Bronte built on this with the desolate moors of "Wuthering Heights". The setting for a Gothic tale should be bleak and oppressive, such as a ruined castle or sinister and remote village. The setting should also contain hidden spaces and secrets.
A tale would not be Gothic if it did not feature some supernatural action. A vengeful ghost can haunt the serpentine hallways and rattle the heroine's bedroom door. Paintings can come alive and rusted suits of armor creak into life. With a Gothic tale, your imagination can come alive and there is no limit to your fervid imaginings. To really grip the reader, the ghostly aspect should be unexplained and the story should leave plenty of loose ends.