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What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance?
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I think that if you read through the other posts, you'll find that each person defines a Gothic romance slightly differently. However, what we do agree on is that the story must be suspenseful, contain a mystery of some kind that is revealed at the end, and has some romance into it. If you read various Gothics you'll see that the mix is not always equal.

There are obviously subgenres of Gothics, but we need not get into all that now. We could have a very big discussion on that.

Gothics traditionally were set in historical times and if you wanted historical accuracy, the style should reflect that. Nothing irritates me more about reading an historical novel than to hear characters talk in modern language. It would be different if I were to read a history text, using modern language to explain the past, or if the narrator is from the present retelling a legend (but you don't find that kind of book except for children).

The Gothic romance has evolved to the point where it hardly resembles the traditional Gothics you find with the Bronte sisters. More typical modern Gothics are now referred to as romantic suspense. But even there, you'll find a big mix.

What do I like about Gothics? As an avid reader, I like any books that have suspense, mystery and romance. However, I prefer the mystery and suspense over the romance. Therefore, my favorites will always feature stronger mysteries and heavier suspense. I like the feeling of getting goosebumps (as a child, I loved hearing ghost stories), having my heart race. It's like being on a thrill ride. Some may call it 'escape', but it's almost like living vicariously through the characters who experience danger, because most of us never experience any of that. Most of us probably don't care to experience any of it in real life either.

Like several others in this forum, I prefer the historical setting, but there is no real 'formula' for Gothics anymore. If a new author were willing to write historical Gothics again, I'm sure that person would be very popular on this forum.
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RE: What are the characteristics of the Gothic Romance? - by MysteryMind - 03-22-2008, 04:58 PM

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