Creative Writing exercise: Metafiction

What is "Metafiction" and why is it important to write? Metafiction is a style of narration that draws attention to the story itself, to the craft, to the fact that you are in fact reading a piece of fiction. Then it uses that awareness to challenge you or what you believe. metafiction

Metafiction asks questions like "Is Fiction useful?" It often uses satire and humor to communicate.

A prime example of metafiction is a story called "If on a winter's night a traveller" by Italo Calvino. It's weird, and meant to be read non-traditionally. My English Teacher also read us aloud a children's book called "We Are In A Book" by Mo Willems.


March 24th, 2016

Scenario: Once Upon A Time... then change as the teacher commands.

Once Upon A Time there was a young girl who dreamed of rescuing herself. She wasn't a princess--she was an orphan, with no parents and eventually no brother. She had a darkness within her that the world had not seen for a very long time--an ability to speak with demons.

[ Teacher says: Question the validity of the narrator ]

Now, I wouldn't have called it darkness. I'd call it what it was: blood magic. So many years have passed, all the records destroyed--who can say if any of it was true. Maybe I was a princess; I was certainly treated like one once they found out I was useful. They called it a darkness because they didn't agree with how I used my blood magic. Because it didn't sufficiently benefit them. I'm thankful there are no records; less I have to prove is a lie. I was capable of amazing, terrifying things--we all were, back then--but not all of it was true. Or even decent. We were young, afraid, wreckless. I just happened to handle pain better than the rest of them. And speak with deons where others would only cut them down. If I could still do it--

[Teacher says: Address the reader ]

Did you know we lost our blood magic? That we lost our ability to touch Transcendence? That now all we can ever touch is a sort of finite, cold death? They blame me, you know. Do you blame me? If you had seen what they planned to do with the demons and their delicate world of blood and glass--you'd have done it too. We had no right birthing demons and then deciding they had to pay the price. They were beautiful, frightened, misunderstood--because they were born from darkness in our hearts. How could anything good ever come from so much fear and anger? Keep reading and I'll tell you--if you think you can handle it. I couldn't, for a very long time. Unless you're just here for my story.

Once upon a time there was a young girl who dreamed of rescuing herself: from the people she loved; from the people who told her demons were to be feared and hated. To be slaughtered, without a second thought. Once upon a time, that girl spoke with a demon and realized--the people she loved were the ones to be feared.


Going in to this exercise I had no idea what I would write--but it really proved useful. Reading over it now, I realize what I was trying to tell: the story of Malisyn after the Trials of Blood, and after my decision to try and bring her character and the story forward in to a modern day setting. It touches on the idea that somehow Malisyn no longer has access to blood magic or Transcendence, that only death awaits her and her otherwise long life span. That she's supposedly responsible for the destruction of magic as her people are aware of it. It tries to tell a story where the records call her a traitor, and she remembers it differently. I've always sort of had hopes that Malisyn and Nox would live for hundreds of years to survive to modern day times. And there's no way, of course, that I'd let them do it without blood magic. It gives me something to think about: how she brought down the connection to Transcendence and why, where that leaves her and the rest now, and how she can redeem herself. I'm thankful for this weird exercise because it helped me think like Malisyn and touch upon ideas I had sort of forgotten about.