The short story under analysis is entitled “Crimson Abbey.” This horror story dwells upon a patient at a mental hospice of the future. It is necessary to note that the story addresses an issue of insanity, which is quite popular in modern society. At present, literate people tend to cherish their sanity, and diving into insanity seems the most horrible outcome for them (Tayler 2016b). At the same time, the story touches upon such themes as faith, love, parenthood, which makes the story potentially interesting to a wide audience.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
The story is well-written and can become popular as it follows major rules of horror writing. There are such elements as suspense, fear, and surprise (Tayler 2016a). The story can also be characterized by a fresh approach that is important for the modern reader. This paper includes a brief analysis of such elements as genesis, horror stories conventions, audience and market, language, and material language. The paper also includes a reflection on the work.
One of the most important elements of a good horror story is the major theme and setting. The story in question touches upon such topics as faith and religion, and it is set in a monastery. Scott (2012) addresses the issues of religion and spirituality and comes to quite an interesting conclusion. According to Scott (2012), the major aim of religion is to scare people and to make them fear. The ideas highlighted in the book became central to the short story in question.
It is doubtless that faith and religions have inspired and sometimes forced people to do different great and horrible things. Marina, the protagonist of the short story, is one of the victims of faith and the Holy Catholic Church. The short story makes people think about the dark side of their faith. The appeal to this area and some of the most intense fears of a human being makes the short story relevant and potentially popular.
Readership / Market and Possible Outlets
As has been mentioned above, religious issues are still relevant in society, which makes them a good theme for fiction writing. Horror stories, novels, and films attract large audiences that include people of all ages and different backgrounds (Tayler 2016a). Some various subgenres and subtopics can be used. Reyes (2014) notes that contemporary horror writing is characterized by body gothic as the stories are packed with details concerning corpses and associated details. The present story has certain features of the body gothic story, which makes it a part of mainstream fiction.
It is necessary to note that the short story can be published in a variety of literary magazines. Dietz (2014) claims that both digital and print magazines can be a proper platform for a short story. The author also adds that it can be beneficial to take part in a contest, which increases the chances of getting into the public eye. The short story under consideration can be published in one of such magazines.
However, it is also possible to address several publishers (both big companies and small enterprises). The focus can be on large publishers as they have the necessary resources to bring the story to a wide audience (Anderson 2013). These companies’ products are more publicized and more noticeable. Nevertheless, a small (local) publisher can also develop a platform for the story’s success. The use of social networks can also help in promoting the story.
100% original paper
on any topic
done in as little as
Principles and Conventions of the Genre
It is necessary to remember that the major factor contributing to a short story’s success is the literary value. Publishing and marketing are the only elements that create a platform for success. Therefore, a short story should be properly written to become successful. “Crimson Abbey” is written by the major conventions of the short story. There is suspense, fear, and surprise in the short story. Suspense is achieved through the use of numerous intensifying details.
The protagonist becomes a witness of a horrific scene where another patient loses her child and is violently beaten. The details include the patient’s half-naked body, blood, and the associated noise and screaming. Suspense is also created through the description of Marina’s visions and thoughts. Her inner world becomes quite an effective contrast with reality.
One of the first scenes described above also sheds light on the protagonist’s (and the reader’s) major fear related to the loss of a child. The major conflict is developed around this topic. However, at the end of the story, the reader is still surprised. It is anticipated that Marina will lose her child, but it can be quite unexpected that she kills all of the carers. At that, the major surprise is the appearance of the protagonist’s husband who eventually strangles her to death.
A Fresh Approach
The short story in question can be regarded as an illustration of horror stories conventions. However, the use of contrasts can be regarded as a fresh approach. There are several contrasting points in the story. The material world is contrasted with the spiritual one. For instance, the talks about faith and quotes from the Bible are intermingled with the description of female bodies and dying people. Furthermore, the world of religious delusions is contrasted with reality, the protagonist’s insanity is contrasted with the hospice employees’ pragmatism.
Material Elements of Language
As has been mentioned above, the suspense is achieved through the use of details that create the scenery as well as the necessary mood. The focus is on sound and color in this short story. When describing the hospice, patients’ abuse, scenes of murders, Marina’s walk outside the hospice, specific attention is paid to sounds. Sounds create the mood and help the reader to plunge into the atmosphere.
For instance, the description of sounds of a fight including the sound of nails escaping the victim’s flesh creates a microcosm of the scene that can make the reader feel the pain of the victim and the abuser. Sounds appeal to the reader’s fears making the story scary. At the same time, colors help to set the scenery. The color is one of the central themes, and it is present as early as in the title. Another example of the use of material language is the prevalence of quite short sentences. This tool enables the author to make the story dynamic and create the necessary suspense at the same time.
Advanced Elements of Language
Horror stories like any other type of fiction writing benefit from the use of literary devices that make the writing more appealing (Reyes 2014). Since the story is related to religion and faith, it is but natural that several allusions are used. For example, the story includes allusions to the structure of the afterlife world (heaven, limbo, and hell). References to the Bible also create conflicts that make the story stronger. Apart from allusions, the use of metaphors and similes (as well as the abundance of adjectives) makes the story detailed and even picturesque.
I believe all these tools and methods are used to contribute to the short story’s effectiveness. The short story is an effective horror story that can become successful among wide audiences. First, the story addresses the topics that are relevant to contemporary society. People willingly discuss various instances when religious beliefs led to deaths and destruction. People are likely to be willing to read about such instances. The story is also effective as it follows all the major conventions of the genre. Horror stories lovers will be delighted to enjoy all those details that create the scenery and the atmosphere.
When writing a story, I already had a plot in my mind. However, the story evolved in quite an unexpected way. I decided to add the scene involving Marina’s husband as I wanted to create a sense of surprise. First, I thought of an accident, but it came across my mind that the husband could take the reader by surprise especially his decision to kill his wife. Of course, I changed numerous details and words during the editing process. Anderson (2013) stresses that editing is an important element of writing and it is essential to be ready to change a lot. I understood that it could be quite difficult to change some parts as every word seems to be related to other ones.
I would also like to note that I was influenced by the reader-response paradigm. I believe that writing a story is a form of communication. When talking to people, I always try to make my remarks relevant, helpful, and amusing. Writing a short story is nothing different. I tried to understand the reader’s fears, anticipations, prognoses, and so on. I also asked several people to read the short story and provide their feedback.
Anderson (2013) notes that peers’ feedback can be valuable. I changed some parts to meet the needs of potential readers. I think this approach has positively affected the short story that became more interesting, intense, and horrifying. It is quite clear to me that the writer is not writing for him/herself, but tries to entertain people. Hence, it is essential to understand people’s needs and fears to write an effective short story.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that the short story “Crimson Abbey” is an example of a conventional horror story characterized by the use of some fresh approaches. The focus on details (sound and color) makes the story intense and horrifying. Another peculiarity of the story is it’s being consistent with readers’ needs and expectations. The short story is effective as it appeals to a wide audience and people can live through some of their most intense fears while reading the piece. It is also noteworthy that the book can be published in different ways. It can be a part of a literary magazine or even a participant of a competition held by a literary magazine. Social networks can be another effective platform for the story’s promotion.
Anderson, L 2013, Creative writing: a workbook with readings, Routledge, Abingdon.
Dietz, L 2014, ‘Online versus print: the reputation of literary fiction magazines’, Short Fiction in Theory & Practice, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 7-21.
Reyes, XA 2014, Body gothic: corporeal transgression in contemporary literature and horror film, University of Wales Press, Cardiff.
100% original paper
written from scratch
specifically for you?
Scott, S 2012, Religion vs spirituality – one psychics point of view, BalboaPress, Bloomington.
Tayler, H 2016a, 11.18: elemental horror. Web.
Tayler, H 2016b, 11.21: Q&A on elemental horror, with Steve Diamond. Web.