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Gothic Works

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2006, 11:40 PM
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Gothic Works


I am pretty ignorant about gothic lit so fill me in - who should I read to get my feet wet? What types of characters fill gothic books? How horrible does the horror have to be? What makes a really good gothic story vs a mediocre one?

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Last edited by riverstone; 07-05-2006 at 12:31 AM.. Reason: Fingers befuddled and making typos
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:21 PM
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I looked up this on Answers.com for gothic novels, or types of them I found:

Prominent examples
The other questions, I think I've PMed you before about.
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:40 PM
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Wow, I lost my entire post. I'm very sad now.

I'll answer questions as you ask them. I don't feel like rewriting my whole damn post.

Author I recommend: H.P. Lovecraft. He's my favorite Gothic writer. Much to do with The Cosmos and the Unknown. Most of his stories come from his nightmares.

Others include:
-Edgar Allan Poe
-Anne Rice
-Abraham "Bram" Stoker
-William Faulker*
-Flannery O' Connor*
-Harriet Cruz*

Any more questions, feel free to ask, I'll help as best I can.


*Southern Gothic
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Old 07-05-2006, 02:54 PM
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Thank you. You are more than kind - so sorry about your post. I keep trying to remember to type the long ones in word processing so that doesn't happen but I still lose them to my chagrin!

I will go to the used bookstore with your list and get to work on emlightenment!
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Old 08-10-2006, 07:51 PM
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I don't read gothic books either, just not my kind of literature I guess. Horror is more my kind of scary, but I don't pick the ones that are actually gothic. Maybe I should someday.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:12 PM
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When I was at Hassayampa I asked if anyone including the isntructors, knew of any books on writing in the gothic style - no one knew of any - it may be a whole in the market that we can all fill - how about we write a book on it including exercises, etc.?

We'll keep it simple - "How to Write Gothic" or "How to Write a Gothic Novel" or...
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If I did not tell you all the changes you might consider, I would be doing you a disservice, treating you with less than the full respect you deserve. This much I have learned from my years teaching and mentoring writers.

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Last edited by riverstone; 08-10-2006 at 08:14 PM..
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:45 PM
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I read gothic romances all through my junior high and high school days. They went out of vogue somewhere around the mid-seventies. The novels Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Rebecca were considered the pack leaders of that genre. The most famous authors I can think of right off the bat who wrote that genre were Victoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Virginia Coffman, Madeline Brent, Dorothy Daniels, and Dorothy Eden. You should still be able to find Victoria Holt books in your public library. These books all had mystery elements, and a few of them had actual paranormal elements. Most of them were written in first person.

Book publishers have been trying for years to bring gothic romance back and have met with limited success. Actually I think they have had their comeback in paranormal and romantic suspense. According to some of my local writer's group members who attended the national RWA meeting in Atlanta, paranormal romance is still in high demand with publishers and readers. We had a panel program at today's meeting, and that topic did briefly come up.

I realize that you might not be writing romance, but many things that apply to romance apply, in a broad sense, to other genre markets as well.

Hope this helps.
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:52 PM
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Thanks for pitching in on this discussion - maybe you will want to write a chapter of the book on writing gothic -

Kit
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Old 08-30-2006, 07:42 AM
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I've just started 'Titus Groan' by Mervyn Peake. It's the first book of the Gormenghast trilogy. It's fantastically gothic. It's not usually my genre but I have heard a lot of good things about it. I love the character descriptions. Take this for example; 'His skull was dark and small like a corroded musket bullet and his eyes behind the gleaming of his glasses were the twin miniatures of his head'. Love it.
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Old 08-30-2006, 12:54 PM
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Most of the "gothic" novels these days you see in book clubs are about vampires hooking up with werewolves ( I blame Buffy for that). They've lost a lot of the great allure and suspense delicately woven into some of the mothers and fathers of gothic. Bram Scholkers Dracula (the book, the movie blows) captures the suspense, horror and the allure that I deem to best describe gothic in it's elite. I have yet to get my hands on the original Frankenstien, but I bet it's a lot better than more of the variants going on out there. Someone said Poe was good too! I love that person! My favorite is the Cast of Amontillado.
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Old 02-18-2007, 12:52 AM
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Book List from the posts - please add to it.

Current Gothic Novels

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.

Gothic Novels from the Past

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Cast of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and RebeccaAuthors to ExploreVictoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Virginia Coffman, Madeline Brent, Dorothy Daniels, and Dorothy Eden.
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Old 04-21-2007, 08:35 PM
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Originally Posted by riverstone View Post
Book List from the posts - please add to it.

Current Gothic Novels

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake.

Gothic Novels from the Past

Dracula by Bram Stoker
Cast of Amontillado by Edgar Allen Poe

Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and RebeccaAuthors to ExploreVictoria Holt, Phyllis A. Whitney, Virginia Coffman, Madeline Brent, Dorothy Daniels, and Dorothy Eden.
I see that Lovecraft has been mentioned. "The Picture in the House" is a fun one.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:54 AM
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Originally Posted by sketch_chic85 View Post
Most of the "gothic" novels these days you see in book clubs are about vampires hooking up with werewolves ( I blame Buffy for that). They've lost a lot of the great allure and suspense delicately woven into some of the mothers and fathers of gothic. Bram Scholkers Dracula (the book, the movie blows) captures the suspense, horror and the allure that I deem to best describe gothic in it's elite. I have yet to get my hands on the original Frankenstien, but I bet it's a lot better than more of the variants going on out there. Someone said Poe was good too! I love that person! My favorite is the Cast of Amontillado.
Frankly, I think Dracula's pretty boring. The concept is good but I did not enjoy the style of writing: it seemed v. dry.
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Old 06-19-2007, 01:31 PM
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I could be wrong, but I think there's a difference between "gothic" as in "dark romanticism" (ie more comprable with horror) like Mary Shelley and E A Poe and "gothic romance." I have little experience with the latter.

One thing to keep in mind with Poe: only a relatively small number of his stories are horror (so gothic?)
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Old 03-10-2008, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Geo44r32 View Post
I don't read gothic books either, just not my kind of literature I guess. Horror is more my kind of scary, but I don't pick the ones that are actually gothic. Maybe I should someday.

I don't know, gothic fiction can be quite scary at times. I read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' for AS and that freaked me out a fair bit. Then again I am easily scared.
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