Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Experimenting with Metafiction

Somehow I've gotten myself interested in metafiction (definition: fiction that deals, often playfully and self-referentially, with the writing of fiction or its conventions). So, pretty much like Inception but with literature. Fascinating, huh? Anyways, I whipped this up real quick to try my hand at the whole metafiction/breaking the fourth wall style - it's pretty fun. I'd like to write a longer work in this style but I doubt I'll have the time...

One of the rules of being an author is respecting the fourth wall – the barrier between the writer and the reader. This barrier protects the writer from the reader and the reader from the writer. They exist separate from each other, both observing the same thing but not interacting with each other. In this limited type of literature, the reader may as well be in an entirely separate universe. There is no connection between me, the author - the person trying to tell the story, and the reader who happened to pick up my book. Why should it be this way? Who’s to say that I can’t take my reader by the hand and lead them through my story? It certainly would be more personal. More appealing. You don’t respect the fourth wall while having a conversation with a friend. Why should I respect the fourth wall while trying to tell a story to a friend? Just because my story is being relayed through the pages of a book doesn’t mean it can’t be personal. I shall tear down this fourth wall, brick by brick. Dear reader, my friend, let us journey through my story as equals, not with you as a mere onlooker as I struggle to turn a personal story into an impersonal work of fiction. Come, take me by the hand, I promise you will enjoy it. Though I must warn you, once you enter my story, you may not want to go back. 

*FUN FACT Inkheart by Cornelia Funke is a metafictional work. It also happens to be on my list of favorite books :)

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