This week I'm paying tribute to fictional my favourite fictional female flat share: the twins in "Her Fearful Symmetry" (Audrey Niffenegger). Female twins are the protagonists in this novel. The majority of the novel is set in and around their flat, located close to Highgate Cemetery in north London, and it works very well. I admire their relationship in the very least; my sister and I would certainly not survive if we had to live in a little London flat together!
Everyone who has ever shared a house or a flat with someone other than family or a partner knows there's ups and downs to sharing where you live with others. Friends or 'randoms' thrown together, it can be an interesting mix.
There'll be someone in the possibly 'unnaturally' thrown together household who winds you up, no doubt. My friend has constructed a whole (hilarious and shocking) blog on this subject alone. For instance, one of your housemates might watch TV on a loud setting into the night. There'll be someone who doesn't pull their weight with the cleaning or restocking of the toilet roll. And you know each tenant will have a different standard of what is deemed to be clean! However, you might also enjoy the company and find a new friend, make life a little cheaper by sharing the rent and bills, and cooking together can be fun.
There's positives and negatives to having a female (or indeed male/mixed) houseshare, and literature reflects this. Many of your readers will be able to relate to this situation, either having shared a place with someone before or having had kids who are doing it at the moment. Setting the domestic scene as a houseshare is a perfect example of a way to bring real life, real problems, and real relationships into your writing.
You know, I can't think of any fictional male flatshares in literature... Maybe men just aren't so interesting to read about in a domestic or friendship context! Sure, there's several famous ones on TV and in movies, but in books, I'm trying to think of one. Let me know if any spring to mind for you...
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Born to be a Tourist