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Author Topic: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread  (Read 40658 times)

Offline xiagan

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[Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« on: January 01, 2016, 06:52:22 PM »
Breaking the Fourth Wall


One of the many times Deadpool breaks the fourth wall.

I think most of you are familiar with the term "breaking the fourth wall".
It's mostly done in children's books (like Grover in Sesame Street's 'The Monster at the End of this Book'), comics (see above) or movies (comedy movies mainly) and means usually a character becoming aware of their fictional nature, directly addressing the reader and/or interacting with their creator.

While it's often done in a comedic way, it's possible to do it in a tragic way too (the main character is questioning his existence for example).

I think it is pretty hard to pull this off in a fantasy story (SF is probably a bit easier) and I haven't seen it done in a short story before, so I'm excited to see what you can come up with.

Here are some examples:

Dingo: "Oh, wicked, bad, naughty, evil Zoot! She is a bad person and must pay the penalty... Do you think this scene should have been cut? We were so worried when the boys were writing it, but now, we're glad. It's better than some of the previous scenes, I think..." (Monty Python's Holy Grail)
 
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter.” (Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

If you want to do more reading about it:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_wall
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-reference
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BreakingTheFourthWall
http://writeonsisters.com/writing-craft/pros-cons-breaking-fourth-wall/ <- greatly recommended


Rules:

1. This must be prose or poetry.
2. The fourth wall must be broken.
3. Prose must be 500-1500 words long.
4. Poetry must be 100-500 words long.
5. One story per person or writing team (not per account).
6. You will be disqualified if you exceed the limits, full stop. That's why they're called limits.
7. Your entry can't be published somewhere else before.
8. This is a writing contest, not a "I have written something like this ten years ago" contest. So if you happen to have a story that fits one of the themes, I'd like it to have a mayor overhaul/edit. Work for it. ;)
9. Please add your story's word count and, if you have, your twitter handle.
10. Please put your story in [ spoiler ] tags to make the thread easier to handle. :) You can find them above the smileys next to the 'youtube' symbol.

Entry will close January 31st, February 1st, 2016 and voting will begin somewhere around the same time too.

All members are eligible to join. If you are not a member you can join here. Sign up is free and all are welcome! :)

The winner will have their piece displayed on the main Fantasy Faction website sometime in the next months.

Please post your entry here.

Note: This thread is only for questions or discussing this month's writing contest. Good luck!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 08:14:28 PM by ScarletBea »
"Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis." (Laplace)

Offline Raptori

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2016, 07:11:05 PM »
Nice topic!

Re: this bit:

I haven't seen it done in a short story before, so I'm excited to see what you can come up with.

Didn't @Rukaio_Alter do that in one of his stories for the writing contest? Could've sworn that he did...
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Offline ArcaneArtsVelho

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2016, 07:17:34 PM »
Re: this bit:

I haven't seen it done in a short story before, so I'm excited to see what you can come up with.

Didn't @Rukaio_Alter do that in one of his stories for the writing contest? Could've sworn that he did...
Yeah, I was thinking that too.

ETA: The plot twist entry. I think.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 07:19:56 PM by ArcaneArtsVelho »
Everything I wrote above is pure conjecture. I don't know what I'm talking about.

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Offline xiagan

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2016, 07:25:19 PM »
Now that you mention it...  :D

As I said: often done in a comedic way.  ;)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2016, 07:35:55 PM »
2. Must contain a big, mythical (as in doesn't exist as far as we know and not as in has to be from a mythology) creature. ? The Mighty beasts have broke the fourth wall!
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 07:40:57 PM by Eclipse »
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Offline Doctor_Chill

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2016, 07:46:31 PM »
Meh. I might join this month. Probably not, but good luck to everyone else!
“It’s a dangerous thing, pretense. A man ought to know who he is, even if he isn’t proud to be it.” - Tomorrow the Killing, Daniel Polansky

Offline ScarletBea

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2016, 08:14:53 PM »
2. Must contain a big, mythical (as in doesn't exist as far as we know and not as in has to be from a mythology) creature. ? The Mighty beasts have broke the fourth wall!
Fixed it!

OK, so now you know which theme I thought was quite hard...
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Offline SugoiMe

Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2016, 08:28:17 PM »
2. Must contain a big, mythical (as in doesn't exist as far as we know and not as in has to be from a mythology) creature. ? The Mighty beasts have broke the fourth wall!
Fixed it!

OK, so now you know which theme I thought was quite hard...

Was actually considering adding a talking mythical beast who would break the fourth wall. Now I have to resort to using an eccentric sidekick character and her more responsible friend.  ;D
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2016, 08:31:21 PM »
This is maybe the hardest topic I've seen since I started. 

Hmmmmmm.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2016, 09:31:23 PM »
Hahah, kudos to Xiagan and ScarletBea for continuing to come up with challenging themes. I had no idea what I was going to write for "Young Love" last month and have absolutely no idea how I'll write a story about Breaking the Fourth Wall, but I'm excited to do so. :0

Offline Nora

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2016, 09:52:51 PM »
Hah. Interesting. I already have two viable ideas just from reading the topic.
It's a good one.
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Offline ryanmcgowan

Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2016, 10:07:48 PM »
Wow, where to even start... certainly a difficult challenge this month

I'm struggling with the concept I think, did my Sci-Fi entry from last January 'break the fourth wall' or is that kind of "foot-noting to the reader" something different?

Edit: Hang on, I think I get it.  The characters have to be aware their in a work of fiction, right?

Edit: No, wait! can it be the writer addressing the reader directly, outside of the story?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:26:06 PM by ryanmcgowan »
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Offline Nora

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2016, 11:46:08 PM »
No not the writer addressing the public. That's common place enough and doesn't have to break the fiction.
Here the characters need to reveal they're aware of their real status.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline AshKB

Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2016, 12:17:27 AM »
To quote TVTropes:

Quote
Breaking the fourth wall is when a character acknowledges their fictionality, by either indirectly or directly addressing the audience. Alternatively, they may interact with their creator (the author of the book, the director of the movie, the artist of the comic book, etc.). This is more akin to breaking one of the walls of the set, but the existence of a director implies the existence of an audience, so it's still indirectly Breaking The Fourth Wall.

House of Cards, both versions, does this a lot. But TVTropes has a page devoted to written examples, which I think might help more.
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Offline JMack

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Re: [Jan 2016] - Breaking the fourth wall - Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2016, 12:48:20 AM »
I've got the core of an idea. Don't know how well it qualifies, but meh. I'll try to make it fun.
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