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Digital Subscriptions > Writing Magazine > COMPETITION SPECIAL - October 2016 > Under the microscope

Under the microscope

Author and lecturer James McCreet examines the first 300 words of the classic horror novel

Bram Stoker’s 120-year-old reworking of folk tales and history was popular on publication as part of a wider trend for ‘invasion literature’ but only really came into its reputation thanks to multiple reworkings in other media throughout the 20th century, that have combined to shape our modern image of the vampire. Apart from being the definitive gothic horror to sink your teeth into at Halloween, it’s an interesting stylistic study, as an outstanding example of the epistolary format.

1 Some people forget that this is a novel of letters and journal entries. The format makes for a pacey narrative that seems to edit extraneous matter from itself, but it also has a few important requirements, as we’ll see. Here, Stoker makes quite clear what we are to expect.

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