Poe’s writing style is gothic and his genre is horror and suspense. Poe’s writing style is characterized by the use of gothic and horror elements, and his writing is sometimes considered to be a forerunner of science fiction.
He was the inventor of the detective-fiction genre and is further credited with contributing to the emerging genre of science fiction. He was the first well-known American writer to try to earn a living through writing alone, resulting in a financially difficult life and career.
But despite this, he remains one of the most-read and most-admired authors of all time. His works are studied in schools and universities worldwide, and he is the most widely taught author in literature. He has had more than 10,000 different scholarly articles written about him, including two whole books. One such book was written by his granddaughter, Virginia Clemm, and it contains nearly 200 pages of explanation and analysis about his works. It is called Edgar Allan Poe: Master of Mystery. Here is a small sample of what she has to say about his style: “His work is replete with macabre images which give off an eerie quality and instill a sense of foreboding in his readers.”
“Poe’s prose is terse, to the point, and very much ‘on target’… His writing style is clear, crisp, and often remarkably concise.” “He employs a highly effective use of alliteration (repetition of initial sounds within words) and assonance (repetition of similar sounds between words) that lends a haunting musicality to his writings… This technique creates a rhythm that is both soothing and mesmerizing.” Poe was among the first authors to use imagery in an almost abstract way as a way to shock and excite his readers.
In fact, when it comes to writing, Virginia Clemm says Poe “was the undisputed master,” and she goes on to say his techniques are still very much in use today. She says: “His techniques for achieving maximum effect with minimum means have stood the test of time.” Here are six characteristics of Poe’s writing style:
- Poe’s horror stories have been greatly influenced by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes tales. And while Poe’s Holmes is not as brilliant as Doyle’s, he is certainly more than just another bumbling detective. As Poe scholar Martin Peake notes, “Poe took to heart many of the insights that Conan Doyle had into human nature, and he applied them to his own fiction with great skill.”
- Poe was one of the first authors to use the technique of the “double-entendre” humorously and cleverly in his writings. This technique can be used in a non-humorous way when you are trying to instill a sense of foreboding and dread in your readers. Or, when you use it in a humorous way, it adds a welcome relief to the tension and uneasiness that comes from all the other stylistic elements you are using.
- Poe was among the first writers to employ the literary technique of “show, don’t tell.” He used this technique to maximum effect in all of his stories. It’s the style students struggle to implement when working on essays and other papers writing assignments for college. In that case, it’s better to approach an academic writing service like CustomWritings.com, where experts can help use the English language almost as virtuously as Poe.
- Although this may be true of all good writers, Poe did it with such bravura, his readers hardly ever even noticed the technique because they were so caught up in the excitement of the story.
- Poe was one of the very first authors to employ what is now called “metaphor”. In fact, he uses this powerful literary tool with amazing frequency. Metaphor can serve many purposes and often does double duty. It can be used as a figure-of-speech to illuminate an aspect of the story, or it can be used as a stylistic device to make your writing more vivid and more powerful. As Virginia Clemm says, “He uses figurative language with great skill and precision… Metaphors can serve many purposes and often does double duty… It can be used as a figure-of-speech to illuminate an aspect of the story, or it can be used as a stylistic device to make your writing more vivid and more powerful.”
- Poe was one of the first authors to use the literary technique of alliteration and assonance. These are sounds that are repeated in close proximity within words and between adjacent words, respectively.