Creative Writing: An Introductory Task

Below is an image which, to me, screams “gothic setting”. In order to switch your thinking to creative description, you will have free rein with where you choose to go with this first piece of writing. The picture below should inspire you to think of a setting that inspires “fear” or develops some of the common conventions of a gothic setting which we have discussed after viewing Sleepy Hollow, during our study of Frankenstein and at the beginning of the year when we read The Tell-Tale Heart.

So, I challenge you to describe a setting that is a little dark and a lot spooky- can you get me cowering under the blankets?

Some tips:

  • Think about the overall tone and mood of your writing. Careful selection of connotative language will help you with this.
  • Think about the colours, shapes, sounds and smells that are typical of a gothic setting. How will you ensure that you reader believes these?
  • Think about the best way to draw a reader in. Which narrative POV will you use?

Posted by Renee Plunkett

Teacher of English at Mount Aspiring College, Wanaka, New Zealand.

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