What is Metafiction?

I’ve heard a bit of talk about metafiction lately and to be honest I wasn’t sure what it was. The dictionary defines it as; fiction that discusses, describes, or analyses a work of fiction or the conventions of fiction. That didn’t really help me with understanding the concept in greater detail.

After further investigations I found the most common types of metafiction and some examples of each one;

What Is Metafiction? What Does Metafiction Mean? Metafiction Meaning
What Is Metafiction? What Does Metafiction Mean? Metafiction Meaning
  • A novel about a writer creating a story (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).
  • A novel about a reader reading a novel (The Princess Bride)
  • A novel which features itself as its own prop or McGuffin (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)
  • A novel within the novel (The Man in the High Castle, Sophie’s WorldorThe Princess Bride).
  • A novel wherein the author (not merely the narrator) is a character (Breakfast of Championsor Slaughterhouse Five)
  • A non-linear novel, which can be read in any order other than from beginning to end (Finnegans Wake).
  • Merging characters or elements from diverse works of fiction into a new fictional scenario (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)

There are many more scenarios of metafiction out there and the more you think about it the more books start to fit.

Metafiction A novel about a writer creating a story
Metafiction A novel about a writer creating a story

I just though I would give some examples so you can better understand metafiction too. If you have some interesting examples of metafiction please feel free to let me know.

Attempts To Define Metafiction
Attempts To Define Metafiction

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