By some great cosmic happenstance, an old friend and I simultaneously reached the same conclusions about our works in progress this weekend. I met my friend Allison back in our university days, when I was an out-of-state student and she was not. She often took pity on me and brought me home (to the big city!) for the weekend and let me tag along to the odd rave or two. We both DJ’d at the student radio station and both dreaded the Christmas holiday season and we both had an abundance of black in our wardrobe, so I can’t say that this revelation, or our reaching the same conclusion at the same time, is entirely surprising.
And the revelation is this: what we are each working on are really gothic historical fiction novels, not historical fiction/supernatural/fantasy/grasp-at-any-comparable-you-can-find kind of books.
I don’t want to give much away about Allison’s project, because it’s a brilliantly unique work and she really deserves all the shine on her own. Seriously. Go check it out. I honestly had never heard about the topic she’s writing on until she mentioned it. And I hope she doesn’t mind me saying, but she had a writers’ workshop last weekend that included some meetings with industry people, and it sounds pretty promising. And I sincerely hope it is, because after hearing about this project for a few years now, I would dearly love to actually read the thing! (Can you use me as a reference, Allison? I would gladly tell them to publish the ding dang book so I could go ahead and buy it already.)
Suffice it to say, it sounds like her project lends itself well to gothic lit. And with a tweak here or there, mine will, too. I hadn’t really thought of it that way before as my main character is something of a trickster, which sounded too lighthearted for goth, but … well. You’ll see. You’ll see.
Anyway, I looked around the Internet and came up with this handy page and infographic on gothic literature, in case it’s been a while since your last college lit class.
Some of those are there in my text already — I got the curse on page two! Others will take a little work.
Damsel in distress, though? Well, nine out of ten ain’t bad.