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How do you define 'classic gothics'?
How about calling the pre-20th-century gothic romances you refer to that are different in characterization and plot "Early Gothics" or "Early Gothic Romances" or "Early Classic Gothic Romances"? Then we could call what we now relate to as classic gothic romances "Classic Gothic Romances."

I actually lean more toward calling the early ones "Early Gothics," rather than "Early Gothic Romances" or Early Classic Gothic Romances" because some of the early ones were more horror type novels than gothic romances. Some had unhappy endings, too. There are actually relatively few Early Gothics, so I'd hate to compromise the whole name of our forum by having to add another adjective to it to describe what most of us consider Gothic Romance Novels.

Regarding your take on Romantic Suspense, I agree with most of what you said, Paigenumber, but I encourage you to not get hung up on the spine label "romantic suspense." I learned long ago that spine labels are merely marketing tools for book publishers and publicists. They fall in and out of favor at the whim of marketing departments. That's why I get back to the three key ingredients for a gothic romance: Romance, life-threatening suspense, and a puzzle/mystery. That allows the broadest range of readers to be interested in the forum without sacrificing its main thrust. Some readers will prefer more mystery than romance, but they still enjoy a romance in the book. Some like more romance than mystery. Some value the suspense element, but still want a romance in their books. Some require a happy ending; others don't.

If you just require the three ingredients to call a book a gothic romance, you will widen your audience and allow sub-groups with varying tastes to thrive under that general umbrella. If you try to get picky and say this forum is only for readers of classic gothic romances, you will narrow and confuse your audience and be constantly arguing about whether a book falls within your genre or not.

Under the general Gothic Romance umbrella I've described above, you could allow the following sub-genres:
*Early Gothics
*Classic Gothic Romance
*Romantic Suspense (as long as the suspense is life threatening and there is a puzzle/mystery)
*Romantic Mystery (as long as there is life-threatening suspense and a developing romance)
*Woman-in-jeopardy Romance (as long as there is a puzzle/mystery)
*Paranormal Romance (as long as there is life-threatening suspense and a puzzle/mystery; this includes werewolves, shape shifters, ghosts, vampires, psychics, etc.)

What do others think?

Messages In This Thread
RE: How do you define 'classic gothics'? - by GothicLover - 10-30-2007, 10:50 PM

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