Tuesday, September 24

A Western Gothic?



Morning everyone!
Thank goodness I woke up to a nice, sunny day! For a change. It's chilly, though. Fall is around the bend. There is snow on the peaks already.
 
I've been working on a story called Starla for now. I name the ms after the heroine until I come up with a title. It's a Black Mountain novella and almost done! Yay!
 
I'm anxious to move on to something different for awhile. I've been working on the Black Mountain series for quite some time, and while I love my characters, and could probably write another six-seven of that series, I'm burnt out on it at the moment.

So I'm considering working on a Gothic. I've always loved the genre, and got started reading romance with Victoria Holt.

My Gothic is a little different from the traditional Gothic. It's not set back east somewhere, not  Maine, but in Colorado.

No, there's no cowboy. LOL I know, right? Can I even write a man who doesn't wear a Stetson? Of course I can. Trey and Jace from Mississippi Blues do not, and neither does Kelly from A Real Bad Burn (unreleased). And set on an island, not along the coast.

My question for all of you is this: what makes a Gothic?

PS> Don't forget my HUGE giveaway over on http://dlindunauthor.blogspot.com/





22 comments:

  1. Oh, my gosh, I grew up on them and loved them, but it's been years... I think I need a kind of spooky mansion and an orphaned and innocent heroine. I can't wait to see this, D.

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  2. I might get pelted here, but I've never read a Gothic...so have no clue what it requires. lol I do like what Liz mentioned about a spooky mansion. You can never go wrong with a little spookiness :)

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  3. I, too, loved gothics as a young tween/teen and read many of them. I still love the elements that make a gothic - which to my mind the most important of which is 1st that the "hero" is potentially questionnable or the heroine is uncertain of him in that he has a dark, secretive element that may cast him in suspicion. Additionally, the atmosphere of a Gothic is all important. I absolutely think a Western Gothic would work. I can think of numerous settings/plots that could accomodate it. Think if you will of the old silent film The Wind, with Lillian Gish and it's Gothic-esque feel. Or The Night Of the Hunter film with (yes, again Gish, for one, also starring Robert Mitchum). That was definitely Gothic in feel. So I say, go for it.

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  4. Great question, D'Ann! I think the mood is what makes a Gothic a Gothic - kind of scary, definitely unsettling. A wounded (and dark) Hero, an innocent-ish heroine. All of those things join together to make the atmosphere of a book so intense that I just have to keep turning pages to find out what happens!

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  5. Like Christine, I've never read a gothic before. Not sure how this genre has escaped me.

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  6. I've never read a Gothic, but would love to.
    I so hear ya on the burn out. I'm experiencing that myself.

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  7. Since I'm not sure what a Gothic is I'll ask you the question back -- What does make a good gothic. I will say just the word sounds ominous and fun.

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  8. I don't know if I've read a gothic. What is that? I think of teenage kids who dress Goth with black lips and nails, dyed black hair, and piercings in their face. I'm willing to give gothic romance a try - heck, I'll read just about anything. I understand having to step away from a series or specific genre for a while. Yep, I surely do!

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  9. The only gothic I've ever read was Bram Stoker's Dracula. But I think if you've got the itch, then by all means, scratch. Good luck!

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  10. Sounds like "scary" is the word we've all tagged. You mentioned something in a past post about a deserted house or barn you loved as a kid, and we all encouraged you to use that setting in a story. You could still have your cowboy, but he'd have to be -- or we'd have to suspect him of being -- an anti-hero of sorts. I've read a few gothics and they often included a man whose wife died tragically (many people think he killed her) and he's got a young child he needs someone to look after because he's too tortured and angry at his loss. A young, slightly innocent woman, wanting adventure -- or to run away from something -- responds to the ad for a nanny. They spar, they love, she pulls back the shudders in his dark life (and house), and he helps her find her inner strength, and they all live happily ever after. Of course you need a ghost and lots of thunderstorms. Well, that's my idea of gothic.

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  11. D'Ann - forgot to say good luck, yay, and I can't wait to see what you come up with next!

    Sophia Ryan
    --She Likes It Irish

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  12. Hi D'Ann,

    I've written one gothic Wolf Island set in Maine and I could really have set it anywhere. I think that a gothic is about tone and a spooky, mysterious setting, tortured hero. He could still be a cowboy wearing a stetson. :)

    My .02 cents,

    Cher

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  13. I'm in the 'have never read a Gothic novel' club so I'm not sure, but something spooky sounds awesome!! I'll read anything you put out, D'Ann!! And tortured heroes are my absolute favorite kind of hero!

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  14. Darn it, I hit sign out out instead of publish. What I said is the world seems confused about the meaning of Gothic, but horror and romance seem to be a part of it. But we have paranormal romance that would take some of gothic into it's playground. So I'm confused. My advice is to write a great book and figure out how to classify it later. Whatever you write is a fab read.

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  15. My first published novel was a gothic romance. That was years ago. Gothics were expected to have a creepy old mansion and elements of horror. Tortured heroes are usual. Read Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. It's a classic. For an earlier gothic: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. You'll learn a lot. Don't want to read them, watch the film versions.

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  16. My first published novel was a gothic romance. That was years ago. Gothics were expected to have a creepy old mansion and elements of horror. Tortured heroes are usual. Read Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca. It's a classic. For an earlier gothic: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. You'll learn a lot. Don't want to read them, watch the film versions.

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  17. Sounds like you have a lot of advice on what is Gothic. My thought is write what you love and that will show thru. I can't wait to read your book. :)

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  18. Thanks, all! Much appreciated!

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  19. Typically, Gothic refers to architecture with pointed arches. Or are you by chance writing about Gothic, Colorado's silver mining town?

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  20. Weighing in late on this, but to me Gothic has certain elements other posters have already mentioned - a foreboding setting, a hero with shadowy motives, and a heroine with no fallback option. Neo-gothic stories often have the heroine conducting research to find out how to fix the situation. She's going to shine a metaphorical light on all the cobwebbed corners of the fetid setting and air it out.

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  21. I think Gothic elements can pop up anywhere--I was watching a ST-TNG rerun in which Dr. Crusher's grandmother dies and she goes home for the funeral and is visited by a ghost who's always loved the women in her family--total gothic feel in a sci-fi--so why couldn't you set one in the West??

    Go for it--can't wait to see what comes out of it.

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  22. This is late, but I just saw it. For those of you who have never read a gothic, this might help you understand the genre:

    Janis Susan May's Scottish Victorian gothic romance FAMILY OF STRANGERS -- Both orphaned and widowed within weeks, Linnet MacLellan journeys to Scotland to seek the protection of her late husband Duncan’s kin. Instead of the happy home and loving family she hopes to find, she meets hostility and disbelief. From the moment that the telegram to Jura House announcing her arrival goes astray and she is almost run down by an unknown rider Linnet is drawn deeper and deeper into problems. To her emotional distress she finds that her late husband’s brother Dougal is his exact twin, while the two aged aunts who raised both boys detest her and want her gone. Simon Fordyce, their closest neighbor, inhabits the Castle, the palatial house the MacLellans regard as their rightful home and intend to reclaim, no matter what the law says. To make things more tense, Fordyce is intent on putting a mill into the valley in direct contravention to the traditional farming industry Dougal wishes to revive. Tension reaches a fever pitch as both men court Linnet, then all is unsettled even more when someone starts making attempts against Linnet’s life.

    Gothic: Sounds like one problem rolled into another.

    Sophia Ryan
    --She Likes It Irish

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