Keeping in mind the goals that I set myself (Conflict, Gothic Genre and Themes) I have decided to start with the Gothic, only because one of the pictures just screamed at me.
So, what is Gothic Literature? I have had a look on various sites, and discovered, that much like Speculative Fiction, it is rather loosely defined. Pretty much anything that contains :
- dark subjects
- terror (psychological and physical)
- wild and desolate landscapes
- ancient buildings (monasteries, ruins of halls / castles)
- secret doors
- phantoms / ghosts
- handsome heros and screaming heroines (OK, too tacky, perfer strong characters)
- atmosphere of despair, torture and or gloom
Wow, that is a list and a half. Most of the references I have read recently about Gothic Literature spout forth such classics as Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte), Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte) and Edgar Allan Poe. I wanted something a little more modern to compare Gothic Literature with, and two writers spring to mind, and you are allowed to debate me on this, but Virginia Andrews and Diane Setterfield.
Because I have only recently read Diane Setterfields, the Thirteenth Tale, I can relate to this one. It contained ghosts (more in the mind than real), despair, terror, tragedy (which isn’t on my list, but would actually be a big part of a gothic tale), secrets, incest, insanity, ruined house, gloom, atmosphere of despair – now I can see this coming together. In The Thirteenth Tale, there is one very strong person, and it was the heroine who held it all together throughout the story, so the heroines don’t have to be fainting cliches, they can be strong characters, but one with dark secrets.
So, the basis for my gothic tale would be one with a dark secret, one that is too dark to be shared, and haunts the one that knows it, and has repurcussions for those who are aware of it. The secret would keep them isolated, secreted away from the world. Ohhh, I am liking where this is leading me.
Words for the Week
As for the words – another part of my goals, I have seven words to choose from:
muliebrity myoo-lee-EB-ri-tee, noun:
The state of being a woman.
chevron SHEV–ruh-n, noun:
1. A badge consisting of stripes meeting at an angle, worn on the sleeve by noncommissioned officers, police officers, etc., as an indication of rank, service, or the like.
2. A V-shaped pattern, especially a kind of fret used in architecture.
3. Also called chevron weave, a herringbone pattern in textiles.
4. In skiing, a method of going up a slope in which a skier sets the skis in a form resembling a V, and, placing weight on the inside edges, advances the skis by turns using the poles from behind for push and support.
eristic e-RIS-tik, adjective:
1. Pertaining to controversy or disputation; controversial.
2. Of argument for the sole purpose of winning, regardless of the reason.
1. Argument for the sole purpose of winning, regardless of the reason.
2. The art of disputation.
perpend per-PEND, verb:
1. To ponder; deliberate.
2. To be attentive; reflect.
1. A large stone passing through the entire thickness of a wall.
vamoose va-MOOS, verb:
1. To leave hurriedly or quickly; decamp.
2. To leave hurriedly or quickly from; decamp from.
iatrogenic ahy-a-truh-JEN-ik, adjective:
A malady induced inadvertently by a physician or surgeon or by medical treatment or diagnostic procedures.
jnana juh-NAH-nuh, noun:
Absolute knowledge acquired through meditation and study as a means of reaching (in Hinduism) Brahman; (in Buddhism) a state of awareness independent of conceptual thought.
I can count out jnana – because I don’t think Hinduism is going to be a part of my story, although iatrogenic is sounding pretty good. Vamoose, I had to laugh when I saw this one. Perpend – this could be used. And Eristic has that gothic sound about it… muliebrity – now there’s an interesting concept! Chevron, this could be used to describe a pattern on wallpaper… Could be an interesting week!