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Metafiction (a.k.a. Romantic irony) is fiction that is self-conscious.

The narrative voice steps out of the action in


various ways to remind the reader that they are reading a book, watching a movie, or attending a play. Classic
examples come from as far back as Canterbury Tales, Don Quixote and Homers Odyssey, while contemporary
examples include The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz, Shoplifting from American Apparel by Tao
Lin, and Jonathan Safran Foers Everything is Illuminated. Metafiction can appear in a variety of ways. Here are a
few:

A narrator reads a story to the reader, sometimes taking breaks to make comments on the story or to introduce
characters who are also taking part in listening to the story.
A character realizes that he or she is fictional and can influence the arc of the story by avoiding or embracing
certain fictional devices.
The story is about a writer creating, finding, or writing a story.
The story contains another piece of fiction within it.
The narrator intentionally appears in the story either as a character or as a divine entity telling the reader what
he or she is going to do next.
A story written by a character in the story.