- include mystery and suspense
- the heroine is in danger and isolated
- dark plot (she may suspect her husband to want to kill her) including murder, rape and sin, but exaggerated and mixed with something supernatural
- the setting takes place in a mansion, castle, or abbey. The buildings are in ruin and create a gloomy mood, an atmosphere of mystery and dread
- take place in a dilapidated world, a fallen society or a wealth lost
- the castle often contains secret passages, trap doors, secret rooms,trick panels with hidden levers, dark or hidden staircases. It may be connected to a cave filled with creatures.
- unexplained events
- ancient family secrets
- the mansion/castle is linked to a gory legend or prophecy
- contain an omen or visions/nightmares
- impending doom
- the heroine is alone or abandoned
- a powerful and tyrannical male has the power to force the heroine into something she does not want
- may include paranormal elements
- strong mystery suspense plot
- writer needs to work on mood and atmosphere
- this sub-genre used to be called Gothic
- 80,000 to 110,000 words
Weathering Heights by Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo.
Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice.
"Gothic. Supense + romance." The Bookshelf. <http://the_book_shelf.tripod.com/gothic.htm>
Erin Sweet Al-Mehairi. "Dicussing what makes Gothic literature: Guest article by author Stephanie Carroll." Aug. 21, 2013. <http://hookofabook.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/discussing-what-makes-gothic-literature-guest-article-by-author-stephanie-carroll/>
Harris, Robert. "Elements of the Gothic Novel." Virtual Salt. Dec. 20, 2013. <http://www.virtualsalt.com/gothic.htm>