Those who know me know that I love writing dark, emotional stories. My debut series, the Requiem Series, is a dark romance with Gothic elements. My next project (which I get to talk about SOON....) is a psychological thriller. And the next several stories I have planned out all fall into this same dark, thrilleresque genre.
So, I thought I'd share a little about how to craft thrillers and Gothic stories.
While DIES IRAE is not strictly a Gothic story, it does have several elements of this subgenre. Typically a Gothic novel has the following features:
- · Setting: Typically a Gothic tale takes place in an old castle of house, full of gloomy shadows, long dark hallways, trap doors, etc. In more modern takes, a Gothic tale may take place in a rundown part of a city.
- · Mood/Tone: An atmosphere of suspense and mystery overrides every aspect of a Gothic tale. Typically, the setting itself is used to portray and enhance the tone.
- · Story: Gothic novels usually include an ancient prophesy of some type, omens and nightmares, women in distress of one form or another, and mystery.
- · Characteristics: A Gothic tale has supernatural occurrences in the story and usually pulls on mythology and Jungian archetypes.
- · Language: The rhythm of the writing is somewhat fluid and lyrical. The emotional content is intense and overwrought throughout the majority of the story.
- · Romance: Yes, there is often a romance, usually involving a woman trying to get away from a tyrannical male, and the hero meant to save her.
The Requiem Series fits nicely within these guidelines, tapping into almost all of them.
Similar to the Gothic story elements listed above, thrillers are dark, spine-tingling stories. A few of the common characteristics include:
- · Setting: Since I write psychological thrillers, I fill focus on the mind, using it as the setting for the story in many ways. I may even make it a character of sorts.
- · Mood/Tone: Varies, but it is typically dark. Foreboding. And can be done through a series of literary devices designed to elicit the emotional response of fear.
- · Story: A thriller typically focuses on WHO committed the terrible act, or HOW it was committed. The pacing is typically fast and furious, all designed to keep the reader at the edge of their seat.
- · Characteristics: These are not your overarching moral-tale kind of stories. Thrillers are all about one thing—eliciting a feeling of fear from the reader.
- · Language: Simple and quick, designed to mirror the pacing. It may be fluid and lyrical, but the variance of sentences will still maintain the pacing.
- · Romance: I use romance, albeit a dysfunctional romance, in my thrillers as a motivating factor for the crimes being committed. I find love the best emotion to elicit a response, you know?!?
As you can see, there is a lot in common between these sub-genres, and indeed, I fluctuate between them often, pulling elements of each into every story I write. Not sure what this says about me; I guess I just have a flare for the macabre. Hopefully my readers will like the stories as well.
For more information about my series, you can click here. And the next time that I see you guys, I will be announcing a special giveaway. I can't tell you what it is yet, only that involves the release of my novel, LACRIMOSA - a story of angels and demons, sacrifice and vengeance, good and evil. And yea, it is a Gothic Romance.