Apartment Building as a Framework, Fiction Thoughts


Words of the outside world. Book Riot: 11 of the Best Stories Featuring Origami, Cahill, 2021. Includes links to free fiction. I have not read any of these, and most likely will not. More Nebula than Hugo. I don’t do lyrical.


The concept is to use an apartment building as a narrative frame for a sequence of interrelated short stories. The supporting characters from one story are the main characters in another story. The plots are intertwined. Sometimes the influence of one story on another is strong, for example the same events told from two points of view. Other times the connection is a passing incident that can be overlooked or noticed as an Easter Egg. Each story can be read as a stand-alone. Taken together the stories form a larger tale.

The building is both backdrop and part of each story.

Now all I need are the stories.

Lobby. Civic space. How the building interacts with the rest of the city.

First Floor. Retail shops. For UK readers. US first floor in the ground floor.

Sidewalk. Building was the site of an Historic Event. How does Historical Event effect those who live there now? Are there occasional tourists? Lots of tourists? Ghosts? Once a year celebration/commemoration of the Historic Event.

Second Floor. Dance studio & offices. For variety.

Third Floor & up. Residences.

One apartment is a combined private museum and storage space for a collector (art? relics? books? all of the above?) Collector is out of town often. Another building resident has a part-time job of receiving packages, admitting visitors, giving tours, and so on.

Hallways. Are the residential hallways decorated or not? Do the stores connect to the lobby?

Roof. Gardens. Viewing spots.




Service Elevator.

HVAC/Electrical Room.

Maintenance Room.

Window glass cleaner. Read an slice-of-life article on this. Must relocate.

Update. Swimming pool &/or exercise room, per comment.

Other parts of a building?

Also, the idea of interrelated stories is ringing a bell. A book I read for class, but that’s all the memory I can dredge up. Any suggestions?


4 thoughts on “Apartment Building as a Framework, Fiction Thoughts

  1. There was an anthology written this way as a fundraiser for Habitat from Humanity. Each author chose a room. I used to teach a story from that collection, “The Dining Room” by Karen Karbo told in second person, one of the very few (working) second person narratives that I know. (It is not quite memoir, but nearly.)

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