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Gothic in Deathly Hallows: Guiding the reader's eye

Guiding the reader's eye

Introduction

Below is the opening scene of the Godric’s Hollow chapter in Deathly Hallows, when Harry and Hermione apparate into the village.

Read the snippet carefully and notice how it makes you feel.

Heart beating in his throat, Harry opened his eyes. They were standing hand in hand in a snowy lane under a dark blue sky in which the night's first stars were already glimmering feebly. Cottages stood on either side of the narrow road, Christmas decorations twinkling in their windows. A short way ahead of them, a glow of golden streetlights indicated the centre of the village.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows J.K. Rowling

This passage sets up one of the scariest parts of the book, and one of the ways it helps us get ready to be scared is by creating a balance between beauty and dread.

Let’s build step-by-step to writing our own version of this snippet.