Guest Post, Uncategorized

10 Elements of Gothic Literature (Guest Post) & Novelly: The Reading App!

With NaNoWriMo happening this month, Emma Welsh reached out to me and wanted me to share with you some good talking points about Gothic Literature. These could help you plot your book or keep you feeling spooky after this brisk Halloween! Read her post below, and then stick around afterwards for an introduction to the new reading app, Novelly!

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In the spirit of Halloween and NaNo, let us take a deeper look at Gothic literature. This theme emerged as a chilling subsection of Dark Romanticism and has captivated readers with haunting stories of love and death for centuries. Gothic writers such as Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker used similar elements that made the genre so unique and chilling. Take a closer look at some of these themes and get inspired to write or read your own spooky literature.

Mystery and Fear

The largest component in Gothic literature is fear. The atmospheres in Gothic stories use the readers’ fears to create suspense and mystery. In most cases the author created haunting scenes by placing their stories in burial grounds with flickering candles, deadly potions, and other frightful motifs, leveraging the readers’ fear of death.

Supernatural and Paranormal Activity

The fantastical elements of Gothic literature are what makes these stories so compelling. Supernatural beings such as ghosts, spirits, and vampires give the reader fear of the unexplainable.

Atmosphere and Setting

Gothic authors often used dark settings such as graveyards, isolated forests, and ominous climatic conditions to give the reader a sense of unease and fear. 

Omens and Curses

In Gothic literature, foreshadowing was introduced in the form of visions, omens, and curses foretelling of a terror to come. This was an effective way to build suspense throughout the story as the reader knew that something terrible could happen at any moment.


As Gothic literature stemmed from Romantic literature, passionate romance is heavily used in the stories. These tales of love often contributed to the main storyline by introducing sorrow and tragedy. 


Villains in Gothic literature are typically framed as the protagonist at first to fool the reader of their deceptive nature. These complex characters then reveal their true evil nature throughout the story.

For a better look at some of these themes, this visual from Invaluable illustrates how famous authors have used essential elements of Gothic literature in their books. Whether you are getting spooky for Halloween or you’re participating in National Novel Writing Month and are looking for inspiration, dive into this infographic to learn more about this fascinating genre.

famous authors throughout history who wrote gothic lit

about the author
Emma Welsh's photo

Emma Welsh is a writer at, the world’s leading online marketplace for fine art, antiques and collectibles. You can see more of her and her colleagues’ work here .

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An Introduction to Novelly:

We believe that powerful young adult stories can change hearts and minds and that young adult readers can change the world. Our Vision is that every young person is empowered to address the most pressing issues within their communities and in communities across the world. Our Mission is to create a community of young changemakers who: read and discuss young adult stories, from personal essays to full-length novels, to connect deeply with the most pressing social issues of the 21st century and to connect with each other and other organizations to take action on these issues. We accomplish this through the Novelly reading app.


Read stories.Every season, read a collection of stories – short stories, personal essays and novels from diverse authors – centered on a social issue.

Be part of a community. Discuss your favorite stories and the social issues they touch on with authors, influencers and other readers in the forums.

Take action. Get connected directly to opportunities, like internships and campaigns, to take action on the issue.

Our first theme is Immigration. To learn how to submit stories to the app, check out our submissions page.

Links to download the app:

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As a personal user of the app, I really enjoy it and with enough people using it, I can see it going in great, big places! Definitely download it, share your story, and read others’ stories!

final thoughts

I was so happy to have Emma talk about Gothic Literature and to talk about Novelly with you all! I hope you enjoyed these posts!

Do you enjoy guest posts? would you like to collaborate on one sometime? Just let me know! You can comment, email me through the contact form on my blog, or find me on IG/Twitter!

some books and ramblings

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