It’s an interesting literary device, and I’ve been thinking about how I can use it in my own writing. Now I’m reading Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot, and he seems to take the frame story to a more sophisticated level.
The first couple hundred pages of the book cover about 16 hours, but there are so many stories told in conversations that the content seems to cover years (and in some ways, it actually does).
I’m working on the sequel to Six Floors from Somewhere, and I’ve been thinking about ways to use frame stories to introduce some back story. For example, our good friend Harriet hasn’t always been a little old lady. Maybe a little frame story could help us not only to understand Harriet a little better but also to introduce some variety.
Some well-known frame stories:
- Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein
- Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness
- Citizen Kane
- Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
- Lots of Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Love’s Labour’s Lost
- Boccacio’s Decameron
Frame stories are interesting literary devices, both for the readers and for the writers. Have you tried using them in your own writing?