Gothic Horror Tropes!

Read any good books lately? Or perhaps you've a short story you wish to share.
thatalex
Posts: 34
Joined: 23 Oct 2023, 21:17

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by thatalex »

My vampires might skew towards the sexy but they'll certainly be evil.... I like the idea of a sort of Hellfire Club (or it's modern-day equivalent the Bullingdon Club) with a gang of young nobles, led by a vampire. Perhaps "vampire" is something you do in this setting, rather than a separate species - blood magic rituals used by thrill-killers and duellists to gain stereotypical powers of darkness.

I'm about to read the story about Sava!
thatalex
Posts: 34
Joined: 23 Oct 2023, 21:17

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by thatalex »

Whoa! I liked how Gothic that tale was too, Sava himself is monstrous but there's also the star-crossed eternal lovers angle with his two, uh, protéges.... Might be interesting to write a vampire seduction story in which the vampire is both seductive and openly evil, none of this brooding good guy with a soul rubbish. I'm not even just thinking of Twilight there, Buffy the Vampire Slayer did that with Angel/Angelus too! Evil can be sexy, even monstrously inhuman evil.
Sycorax
Posts: 27
Joined: 03 Nov 2023, 20:04
Location: Dolina Uteshenaya

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by Sycorax »

About 2 years ago I had an idea for a story involving an evil landlord (surname: Savanovic) who turns out to be a vampire. He gains his power/sustenance from rent payments and the counting of the payments (you know, vampires and their OCD tendency to count things and all that) and inspiring terror in his tenants. I think I had intended for them to kill him with some sort of rent strike, but abandoned the whole idea because it was far too obvious and I struggled to make it go anywhere original.

I do find the more violent vampires to be more appealing. Also, vampires with non-western "rules" for how they operate. Growing up (surrounded by Russians and various Slavs) I was always told that "Wurdulac" (A particularly nasty form of Russian vampire that shares traits with werewolves) actually roam from 12 PM-12 AM. Right in the middle of the day. Their only goal is to wander around and cause damage. The longer they wander about, the more powerful they become. Similar to the Greek "Vrykolakas" which are like a mix of a zombie and a vampire (they like to eat livers rather than drink blood). Oh, and of course if you are red of hair and grey/green of eye, you're basically guaranteed to become one in Slavic/Balkan cultures. I tried to mix that into my failed story too.
The only pain I want in my life is pain au chocolat.
thatalex
Posts: 34
Joined: 23 Oct 2023, 21:17

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by thatalex »

Yeah it's an interesting thought. IDK, a rent strike is a bit obvious, but we sure as Hell won't kill the bloodsuckers in this country just by voting Labour! What if it turned out his vampirism was by-the-by and the local rental agency was far worse?

Classic vampires have the familiarity breeding contempt problem. They have been written about ad nauseam and even the word has lost weight and meaning, especially to those a bit younger than me who grew up around Twilight. Then again tropes which are nebulous can be twisted and played with - perhaps there is a "vampire panic" or vampire hunt targeting innocents as my protagonist travels....

I don't know whether to even use the word "vampire" or create something new in-setting, the image of blood-drinking is a powerful metaphor for addiction and corruption, preying on others.... Probably too powerful to do without in a classic horror setting. On balance, I will include at least the rumour of vampires and reserve the right to introduce the beasts themselves in person!
Sycorax
Posts: 27
Joined: 03 Nov 2023, 20:04
Location: Dolina Uteshenaya

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by Sycorax »

Agreed, mildly interesting idea but couldn't manage to take it anywhere or apply it in an interesting way. I ended up abandoning that project entirely when I started working in healthcare, because healthcare changed my idea of what constitutes "horror". If I were to attempt to write a vampire story now, it would likely be more rooted in those experiences. Everyone talks about porphyria as the classic "vampire" disease but personally I think ALL is much more vampiric in its pathology. (If any fictional character ever had porphyria, it was probably the Phantom of the Opera-but he was not a vampire. I also think his character reads like he has C-PTSD, but I digress).

I have not read any of the Twilight series but am familiar with the unfortunate hold those books had on the culture. I think my intellect takes enough damage from semi-annual illicit drug use, I don't need to compound that mental rot with bad literature. Call it "harm reduction".

Have you seen the AMC remake of Interview with the Vampire?
The only pain I want in my life is pain au chocolat.
thatalex
Posts: 34
Joined: 23 Oct 2023, 21:17

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by thatalex »

That is interesting - it probably deserves another thread - but I think there has to be a separation between horror as a genre and horror as a mood. Horror as a mood is integral to decent drama - the worst-case scenario, the agony of the defeated and subjected - horror as a genre isn't scary unless you CARE. Which the scripts seldom justify. Gore-porn isn't scary, torture-porn squicks me out but isn't precisely scary either. FEAR comes from having what you care about threatened.

Also, I haven't seen ANYTHING recently, the last TV show I binged was Vikings.

To get back on the original track, in my book, the heroine will be mostly sympathetic. Her father, inconsistently so. Her antagonists..... Not at all. Hence genuine uncertainty as to her fate, wellbeing, the integrity of her self and character, will be needed. I think she's a genderflip of the Byronic hero which has probably been done, but not to death. "Strong" female characters are so often idealised.
Sycorax
Posts: 27
Joined: 03 Nov 2023, 20:04
Location: Dolina Uteshenaya

Re: Gothic Horror Tropes!

Post by Sycorax »

There has to be some level of reality/probability in order for someone to experience fear, which is why I find medicine so horrifying at times. Never have I worried about being accosted by an undead or supernatural predator because, you know, they're not "real". I do worry and fear for the people I work with/for, because the horrors which could befall them are both real and probable. There's also the difference between terror vs horror but I assume you are well aware of that.

In what ways is this heroine sympathetic and in what ways is she not?
The only pain I want in my life is pain au chocolat.
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