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Metafiction cannot be classified as a genre nor as the definitive mode of postmodern fiction.  They suggest that metafiction display, "a self-reflexivity prompted by theauthor's awareness of the theory underlying the construction of fictional works," without dividing contemporary metafiction from older works containing similar self-reflective techniques (Waugh 2).Characteristics
Although characteristics of metafiction vary as widely as the spectrum of technique used within them, a pattern of several common traits can be traced.  These techniques often appear incombination, but also can appear singularly. 

Metafiction often employs intertextual references and allusions by:
* Examining fictional systems 
* Incorporating aspects of both theory andcriticism 
* Creating biographies of imaginary writers 
* Presenting and discussing fictional works of an imaginary character
Authors of metafiction often violate narrative levels by:
*Intruding to comment on writing 
* Involving his or herself with fictional characters 
* Directly addressing the reader 
* Openly questioning how narrative assumptions and conventionstransform and filter reality, trying to Ultimately prove that no singular truths or meanings exist
Metafiction also uses unconventional and experimental techniques by:
* Rejecting conventional plot
*Refusing to attempt to become "real life" 
* Subverting conventions to transform 'reality' into a highly suspect concept 
* Flaunting and exaggerating foundations of their instability
*Displaying reflexivity

The Purpose of Metafiction
Proponents believe that the metafictional novel gains significance beyond its fictional realms by outwardly projecting its inner self-reflectivetendencies.
Ironically, it becomes real by not pretending to be real.  Mark Currie posits that metafiction allows its readers a better understanding of the fundamental structures of narrative while...