How Do Today’s Competent Women Fit Into Gothic Novels?

A heroine in distress is a staple in a Gothic romance novel. She’s part of the tried and true formula for gothic novels in which said heroine finds herself in a remote, totally isolated location in a life-threatening situation from which only the hero can save her. Problem is, female that she is, she’d love to faint away now and then and let the hero do his manly thing because she just loves being pampered. Think day-spa and nail polish. But our heroine happens to be an expert in karate and several other martial arts and can shoot the wings off a flea, so she’s perfectly capable of saving herself and, after all those classes and with all those black belts hanging on her wall, she prefers to do so.

So what’s our modern day gothic heroine to do? How can she be rescued and pampered by a hero while saving the day herself? It’s a difficult situation and the competence of heroines in general just might have contributed to today’s slight decline in the popularity of the gothic genre. How on earth can an author let said heroine be her gutsy self while at the same time having the hero resuce her?

The answer is surprisingly simple. By crating a danger so huge that no one character, male or female, could possibly save the day without the help of the other. By putting them in a situation where they must work together and while saving themselves, letting the attraction they already feel for each other turn into love.

That’s how it’s done. Or at least, that’s how I do it. It’s a slam dunk, it’s a love story, and it’s a gothic romance for today’s readers, complete with a wilderness setting to die for.

Florence Witkop

P.S. If this sounds like the kind of gothic romance you’d like to read, my wilderness gothic romance, Night Of The Puma, will be offered at Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other outlets for e-books as soon as I can figure out hnow to get it uploaded. FYI, Puma’s are really, really big cats and very dangerous.

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