Writing a Victorian Mystery Novel
Victorian novels are literatures written with the neo-Victorian theme. During the Victorian era, named after the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria, novels were the leading form of English literature. Many English writers, sometimes referred to as “Victorian novelists”, created legacy as their works were very much appealing to the English speaking communities as well as countries like France and Russia. Until today, works of these novelists still continue to attract people in reading novels as well as writing Victorian murder mystery novels.
This essay is about writing novels using the key elements of the Victorian murder mystery style. In writing a Victorian murder mystery novel, there are important elements that should be taken into consideration. The Little Professor has written some “Rules for Writing Neo-Victorian Novels” which are very much useful in the writing process. I will be using Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Speckled Band as an example of a novel written in the neo-Victorian murder mystery style.
It is in the form of detective fiction which indeed was very popular. Perhaps the most important element of the neo-Victorian novels is the use of female role models. Victorian wives are usually portrayed as unfulfilled in their emotional and sexual needs resulting to illicit love affairs which create tension in the story—the flesh and blood of the Victorian novels. Other issues also arise from hostile treatment of women especially in the countryside. The Adventure of Speckle Band used this idea though in a different way.
, the main perpetrator of the novel, was determined to kill his step daughters as soon as they were engaged for the annuity they were about to receive from their late mother. Of course, any case could never be solved without the help of the main character. In The Adventure of Speckle Band, Doyle’s presentation of the fictional character, Sherlock Holmes, and his amazing deductive and inductive abilities always bring the readers into the scenes drawn into the character’s mind.
Throughout the novel, and the whole Sherlock Holmes series, the character was held mysterious but was a great man. Victorian murder mystery novels have heroes and heroines who possess great analytical abilities as the Victorian novels are not much of picturesque and burlesque which were common in the Renaissance literature. Finally, endings must be less of a happy ending. Victorian novels talk about grim experiences of women (and men) living in cities and hostile treatments in the fast-paced changing of female role models in the countryside.
Although the Victorian novels were patterned through grim experiences, the endings still show that “hard work, perseverance, love and luck”, dubbed as good characteristics, win against evil schemes. Reference Rules for Writing Neo-Victorian Novels. 15 March 2006. The Little Professor. 9 May 2007 <http://littleprofessor. typepad. com/the_little_professor/2006/03/rules_for_writi. html>. The Adventure of the Speckled Band. 24 April 2007. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 9 May 2007 < http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/The_Adventure_of_the_Speckled_Band >.