Edgar Allen Poe was best known for his tales of mystery and the macabre. Poe was one of the earliest American practitioners of the short story and is generally considered the inventor of the detective fiction genre. He is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. ~~ Wikipedia
There are many classes that utilize Edgar Allen Poe’s work to educate new writers. If there is something you’re struggling with in your writing, Poe is a great place to look for examples of chilling prose, brilliant characterization and setting with great impact.
Through the use of plot, setting, symbolism, and character development and diverse word choice, Poe achieved the effect of shocking insanity. All these techniques flow seamlessly to engage the reader in a frightening tale.
Setting & Word Choice:
In "Fall of the House of Usher," the protagonist describes the house and its surroundings with statements like, “white trunks of decayed trees,” and “vacant, eye-like windows.” Poe possessed such a gift of using setting to chill the reader to the core, utilizing unique and engaging word choices to describe the dungeon, mansion and brick walls. All the while, we feel for the narrator traveling into a house to help a childhood friend who lost his sanity. Of course, reading the opening of this story, we pause and reflect on the narrator’s own sanity.
Symbolism and Characterization:
In "The Masque of The Red Death," a tale about a prince and his followers trying to escape the plague, there are several major symbols. The first is the name Prince Prospero. It represents a person of great wealth and high prestige. This name gives the reader valuable information about the prince's lifestyle without having to waste precious time with details. Prospero represents a good life, untouched by troubles or pain. With just a name he reveals so much without using up precious real-estate.
Following examples of my all-time favorite writer I’ve attempted to utilize many of his techniques. In Escapement, the monsters of the Wasteland, implants and gifts are all symbolic of the greater issues plaguing their war-torn world.
Are you ever inspired by Classics? If so, how? If not, do you think you might ever give them a go?
Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen's reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother's empire. When my own erratic powers surface I'm captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death.
Ciara Knight | YA Author
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The Neumarian Chronicles: Weighted | Escapement
Battle For Souls Series: Love's Long Shadow | Rise From Darkness | Fall From Grace | Ascension Of Evil