Word of the Week – Gothic

From now until the end of March the regular Word of the Week slot is sharing space with the Wednesday Round of Words in 80 Days update.

This week’s Word of the Week is Gothic. And as this is a writer’s blog, I’m going to waffle about it in literature. In its first incarnation ‘My Book’ was called A Little Light Gothic. The word, a little bit like ‘witch’, is one that is a slippery as oil as it is constantly be redefined.

The grandaddy of Gothic Romance is The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole (1764). A better known example may be Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho which, along with The Monk by Matthew Lewis, are mentioned in Northanger Abbey.

They are great books because they are full of horror and spookiness, sexiness and remote locations. They constantly have innocent young women in peril and ‘tache twirling baddies. In some cases there are also holes in the narrative so big that you could easily lose an elephant down one, but please don’t let that put you off. They are amazingly good fun.

There are more modern examples of Gothic fiction, but they are slightly different type of Gothic to the older works. They do, however, still walk that dangerous edge of the unknown and illicit.

This is a huge subject. A subject that people disagree on passionately. Therefore my best advice to you is to put Gothic Horror or Gothic Romance in to Google and go nuts.

In an effort to explore the genre for the purposes of finishing the current draft of ‘My Book’ I went on an exploration of the word with some coloured pens. The evidence of which is below.


I don’t expect you to read my writing, but this was great fun to do. It also gave me a sense of focus regarding the sort of overall atmosphere I’m gunning for as I haggle with myself over word choice. It was a good start for Day 1.



Are there any other ROW80 writer’s out there? How are you getting on?


6 thoughts on “Word of the Week – Gothic

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