1. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Gothic monsters and entities

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by TheSerpantofNar, Nov 24, 2013.

    I have been working on a series of short horror stories in the gothic genre. Anyway while I have been writing I have been thinking about what scares people the monster you can see or the thing you don't. Atmosphere I think is key when you are not really showing anything but to give the reader a feeling of something being not right or something is just off. Although a lot of gothic settings are used again and again it's important to give them a distinct menace in my opinion.
     
  2. Albirich
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    Albirich Active Member

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    I don't see the question.

    It seems like you answered yourself. "Atmosphere is key--etc"
     
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  3. TessaT
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    TessaT Contributing Member

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    I get pretty tired reading about how scary something 'feels'. I can really only take it for so long. Eventually, I want to be scared. I want to know what it is, where it came from, etc. Then again, I am a monster person. I tend to find the creature's story more interesting than the 'scary' story itself most of time. That could just be bad writing on the author's part as well though.
     
  4. Laze
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    Laze Active Member

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    The notion that it has another motive other than killing makes things far worse in my opinion. Can be easily shown too, by say having the MC discover a victim or something.

    I find monsters that seemingly have no intelligence about them to be boring. They're just like, gruesome looking tigers or something. Hunts people down because that's its animal instincts—monsters that toy with the MC on a psychological level are far scarier. In my opinion.
     
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  5. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I don't know I never found anything scary about seeing the monster. Implying it I think is scarier
     
  6. mrieder79
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    mrieder79 Not a ground squirrel

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    I am usually more fearful for the MC of the story if I care about them.
     
  7. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    morlocks.jpg

    Exercise: Describe how the scene evolved, what it is and what it will become.
     
  8. T.Trian
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    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Aliens got a notch creepier when Hudson cried "How can they cut the power, man? They're animals!" Then again, Aliens is a bit of an exception; somehow the mood is very intense even though the aliens aren't that intelligent as such, but in general, I agree with you; gruesome tigers just aren't scary (besides, tigers are cute).

    I know I demand a lot from monsters, but I still don't understand why people can't stretch their imaginations more? It's always a hybrid of things that already exist; half-fish, half-snake, half-birdman = boaring. Simply mixing humans / animals / insects is unimaginative and done to death. How about a monster that's "built" of elements we have never seen before?
     
  9. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    *chuckles* Once I get it to the copyright office...

    Truth is often stranger than fiction. I chose the Starchild Skull as my avatar because it's a possible hint of some of what might be out there for real.

    Remember H. H.Geiger is the visionary of the Alien. We also saw his work on the cover of ELP's "Brain Salad Surgery."
     
  10. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    Many of the monsters that persist in our imagination are the ones that are at least as smart as we are, or can adapt and learn pretty damn quickly.
    Already mentioned is Alien. Also think Predator, The Thing, Tremors, Invasion of the body snatchers.
    Appreciate that none of these are really gothic, but I think the principle holds. Perhaps this explains why vampires are so popular - they are us gone bad.

    What is worth noting is that in most of these sci-fi examples there is no name given for the species. I think some folk spend far too much time coming up with bizarre names when they are irrelevant. It's not as if the thing is going to go up to a reporter and say "We are Beschtilians. Now make sure you spell it right; B E S C ... Damn I've bitten his head off".
     
  11. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    THAT is because the OP didn't ask one. He just wants to talk about monsters. :)
     
  12. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Gothic monsters? Were there monsters in the Gothic novel genre? Vampires? Ghosts? Satan? Perverted monks? That's about it, I think.

    I find deformed child ghosts creepy (I don't write them, though. Cliché and to most people unintentionally funny, I guess).

    The American Horror Story did pretty well with bottled babies and stuff.
     
  13. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Ye forgeteth Gargoyles, gnomes, wizards, demons, trolls and many more mythical creatures and chimera.
     
  14. Leigh Silvester
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    Leigh Silvester Member

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    I am guessing that the skill of the modern gothic writer is to take the predictable and limited palette of monsters and settings and weave an original creation.

    This year I sent to see the Woman in Black at Drury Lane. I think it counts as gothic.

    I knew the story, I had seen the film BUT the way that the play had been constructed was wonderfully entertaining and managed to elicit a few screams and jumps with a cast of three. I will admit to jumping a little ... a couple of times. I definitely didn't squeal.
     
  15. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Actually gothic monsters are not cookie cutter sure you can have werewolves and vampires. But really the only limit to gothic monsters is ones imagination and settings a gothic setting can really be anywhere it's just a matter of making it gothic in atmosphere and feel. Edgar Allen Poe used many gothic elements but never in the same place I think the masque of red death is one of the best works of gothic fiction ever written. Death was a character in that one which is very interesting.
     
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  16. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Poe is inspiring. The Black Cat was one of my favorites. Gothic, though, is a misused term. It refers to 3rd, 4th & 5th Century AD Germanic invading conquerors of much of the Roman Empire. A Gothic setting truly involves castles and dungeons, so proliferates all the way to Ireland and, to a lesser degree, some areas of America and Canada. Grant Wood's "American Gothic" depicts the concept of the farmhouse as the New World's castle.

    Gotham, on the other hand, in America refers to New York City. The architecture is laden with ornate, flying buttresses and stone bead work. Gargoyles are common there and in many great American cities. In all that, as you imply, it's an open road for the writer or cinematographer.
     
  17. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    I think anywhere can become a gothic setting even areas in the southern US. Decayed houses and graveyards I'm going to have to read the black cat though :)
     
  18. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Just don't ask me to do you a cover using Gothic type. If you do, you'll get:

    This is Gothic type. (In the editors it's "Ariel.")

    Cloister or Old English are often mislabeled as "gothic." Gothic is sans serif. I think Irish Uncials are some of the prettiest characters.
     
  19. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Lol too many definitions lol yeah Peo has some of the best examples of gothic literature. The masque of red death just has great imagery :)
     
  20. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    In that I'm just saying it's a wide spectrum. And that's from a guy who watched It:Terror from Beyond Space about 55 years ago and spent the next 5 years sleeping with the covers pulled over his head. :D

    Mary Shelley did wonders. Bram Stoker, used hundreds of pages to do what two hours of Twilight does today, but writers of the macabre and just plain old fashioned horrifying still give a large enough dose of pages to be satisfying, with a glimpse of the precipice beyond.
     
  21. TheSerpantofNar
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    TheSerpantofNar Active Member

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    Lol I read child of god recently that one was disturbing and disgusting but it was also gothic in tone. Dark caves,murder,necrophilia among other acts of depravity. But Peo I think wrote some of the best the raven ect. Though my favorite is the masque of red death.
     
  22. SuperVenom
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    SuperVenom Contributing Member

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    Always the build up for me. The uncontrollable factor, even when the monster is around. Will it attack, will it leave. The actual act isn't as frightening as its the pay off of your fears. The fin in the water was much more powerful than the shark itself. Monsters for shock value work better in the visual medium, but with a book you are hindered by words (only in the amount it would take to fully describe a monster).
     
  23. Storysmith
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    Storysmith Member

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    To my mind, the real fear from classic gothic monsters such as Dracula and Frankenstein's monster, wasn't from the danger to the characters. It was because these monsters were better than us: smarter, stronger, more agile, and more importantly they wanted to replace humanity with their own kind. So it's not just Frankenstein or Mina Harker's lives on the line, it's existential to our whole species, and if we don't get them when their numbers are low, we've had it.
     
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