View Full Version : Self-Aware Characters

10-15-2008, 12:42 AM
I'm working on a project that doesn't require my characters to be self-aware, but there is small theme regarding fiction coming to life. I'm not talking about characters so aware they're out of something like Stranger Than Fiction, but more along the lines of the Scream movies. Those are parodies, but the characters know the "rules" of what it's like to survive a horror film and they watch those rules play out in their own version.

Have you guys ever tried writing self-aware characters?

10-15-2008, 02:45 AM
Is this (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GenreSavvy) perhaps what you're looking for?

10-15-2008, 03:51 AM
That seems about right, Stormhawk.
But I can't be the only one trying this to a degree?

I feel so alone! :cry:

Phoebe H
10-15-2008, 04:30 AM
I've been writing a lot of 1st person stories lately, and those narrators always seem to be, by nature, self-aware, because they are the ones setting the parameters of the story.

10-15-2008, 05:15 AM
I wonder if first person has something to do with it, then, because so is my project. But you're saying it's coming natural to the character, so that's good to know. I'm worried about it being forced.

10-15-2008, 08:05 AM
Miguel de Unamuno did that in one of his novels. His MC got tired of being treated like shit and went to the author's house to rant and rave and ask the author not to kill him. It was funny as hell.

Also, during the second part of the Quijote, most of the characters that appear on the book have already read the first part.

10-15-2008, 07:23 PM
The self-awareness worked so well in "Scream" because it basically revived the scream-teen flick genre. The eighties was full of slasher films that followed the same basic tropes (I'll be right back/the virgin lives/sin gets you killed), and the characters in "Scream" grew up watching them. They used the tropes to create their own "movie."

I haven't seen the same thing played out in a novel, but I'd certainly be interested to read one that does it successfully. It's a matter of making the self-awareness organic to the characters and their reality.