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Task Gothic Fiction

by Franziska Zeller

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GOTHIC

FICTION
SETTING (place)
old, seemingly abandoned, or unoccupied castle with:
secret passages
trap doors
secret rooms
caves
dark or hidden staircases
possibly ruined sections
sinister buildings
dungeon
labyrinth
cemetery
thick forest
extreme landscape
SETTING (atmosphere)
extreme weather
thunderstorm
lightning
blowing rain
howling wind
darkness
shadows
flickering candle
moonlight in the darkness
PLOT
The work is pervaded by a threatening feeling, a fear enhanced by the unknown.

Often the plot itself is built around a mystery, such as unknown parentage, a disappearance, or some other inexplicable event.

Typical plot elements (tropes):

omens, portents, curses
obscure, partial or confusing prophecies
disturbing dreams or visions
magic
supernatural manifestations
inexplicable events such as ghosts/giants walking/coming to life
MOTIFS
wind, especially howling
rain, especially blowing
doors grating on rusty hinges
sighs, moans, howls, eerie sounds
footsteps approaching
clanking chains
lights in abandoned rooms
gusts of wind blowing out lights
characters trapped in a room
doors suddenly slamming shut
ruins of buildings
baying of distant dogs (or wolves?)
thunder and lightning
crazed laughter
CHARACTERS
Characters are often overcome by anger, sorrow, surprise, and especially, terror.

Characters suffer from raw nerves and a feeling of impending doom.

Crying and emotional speeches are frequent.

Breathlessness and panic are common. 
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