Gothic literature can be great fun to read, but truly – even more fun to write.
Fear, physical and psychological horror, mystery, supernatural beings/phenomena, ghosts, haunted buildings, architectural traditions from the Middle Ages, castles, darkness, death, doppelgangers, insanity, secrets, graveyards, gothic doubles and curses... Literature including some of these elements is often referred to as Gothic literature.
The following Gothic short story was written by Stine Erstad when she was a junior at Sotra videregåande skole. Read the story and study which Gothic elements she includes. Afterwards it is your turn to try your hand at writing a short story, creating a gothic and dark atmosphere. See the guidelines following the story.
Tasks and Activities
- Which gothic elements are used in this short story? See Elements of the Gothic Novel and discuss with a partner.
- Look at the pictures illustrating this story. How would you describe them? Consider the actual images as well as the atmosphere they convey. Find at least two pictures on the Internet which you consider typically gothic and explain why you think so. See, for instance, FlickrCC and Free Photo Bank.
- The use of appropriate vocabulary is important to create a gothic atmosphere in a story. Study the vocabulary listed in #10 here. Choose at least ten of these words and make a Wordle Compare with a fellow student. Did you choose the same words? Print the wordles and make your classroom gothic.
Write a Gothic Short Story
Use your knowledge about gothic fiction and write a short story. When writing a short story, you also need to take the following into consideration:
Needs to be relevant, original and captivating
|Plot Elements||Your story needs to have the following five plot elements: |
Your characters need to be well developed and should have thoughts, feeling and actions.
|Use of Gothic Elements|
You need to try and include as many elements as possible to create a gothic and dark atmosphere. Some elements are: Fear, physical and psychological horror, mystery, supernatural beings/phenomena, ghosts, haunted buildings, architectural traditions from the Middle Ages, castles, darkness, death, doppelgangers, insanity (especially in females), secrets, graveyards, gothic doubles and curses. See also Elements of the Gothic Novel.
You need to use different narrative modes like descriptive, stage scenes (if required), direct speech when the characters talk directly to each other, reported speech when retelling something a character has said, chronology, retrospection, flashback etc.
|Use of Literary Devices||Foreshadowing, Similes, Metaphors, Symbols, repetition etc.|
|Point of View |
Make sure you use the same point of view consistently.
|Language Use: Use of Adjectives|
Use adjectives extensively to create an interesting and entertaining reading experience.
|Language Use: Grammar, Usage, Sentence Structure and Use of Linking Words|
Make an Animation
Make an animation based on Erstad's short story or an animation of the story you have written yourself. Use GoAnimate.com or similar.
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