Dracula vs Twilight: Forks vs the Carpathians


Twilight vs Dracula

In this lesson we're going to dive into the guts of two gothic stories, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Stephenie Meyer's Twilight. We're going to compare two passages, figure out what makes them tick, and rewrite each in the style of the other—hopefully to a spookily scarifying effect!


Who will win tonight?


Let's start by reading the passages we'll work with.

The street was lined on both sides by blank, doorless, windowless walls. I could see in the distance, two intersections down, streetlamps, cars, and more pedestrians, but they were all too far away. Because lounging against the western building, midway down the street, were the other two men from the group, both watching with excited smiles as I froze dead on the sidewalk. I realized then that I wasn't being followed.

I was being herded.

I paused for only a second, but it felt like a very long time. I turned then and darted to the other side of the road. I had a sinking feeling that it was a wasted attempt. The footsteps behind me were louder now.

TwilightStephenie MeyerSource
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This time, after going to the far side of the Pass, he suddenly turned down a narrow roadway which ran sharply to the right. Soon we were hemmed in with trees, which in places arched right over the roadway till we passed as through a tunnel. And again great frowning rocks guarded us boldly on either side. Though we were in shelter, we could hear the rising wind, for it moaned and whistled through the rocks, and the branches of the trees crashed together as we swept along. It grew colder and colder still, and fine, powdery snow began to fall, so that soon we and all around us were covered with a white blanket. The keen wind still carried the howling of the dogs, though this grew fainter as we went on our way. The baying of the wolves sounded nearer and nearer, as though they were closing round on us from every side. I grew dreadfully afraid, and the horses shared my fear.

DraculaBram StokerSource
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Walking into a trap

Both these passages have a similar narrative spine: a character goes into a spooky place, and then they start to feel like they are being surrounded and trapped (either by men or wolves).

We'll return to questions of emotion and effect as we go. Let's get started pulling these snippets apart and finding out how they work!

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