That pesky fourth wall is always getting in my way! Don't you just wish you could blow it to pieces and be done with it? Of course, it doesn't work that way in reality. Once you've destroyed the fourth wall, there's no going back; doing something that extreme exposes your writing to the elements somewhat, not least because it makes it virtually impossible to know whether you're writing fiction or non-fiction at any given moment. It can be confusing, nauseating, and outright traumatising for your poor audience, and unless what you're writing is explicitly designed to shock and bewilder, there's no reason to do that to them. None whatsoever. Why would you do that? Well, my reason is because the piece I'm currently writing is indirectly about - you guessed it - a writer. To be more specific, it's a piece about said author's romantic life. I know that sounds like the premise to an awful, bland romance that you find in charity shops and on old women's bookshelves but, perhaps foolishly, I decided to take a break from the norm: the story is told through the piece that said novelist is writing. Bear with me for a second, because I'm starting to sound like a terrible hack. The idea is that the 'author', a frankly awful and reclusive writer, is trying to impress a woman he's attracted to by writing a novel which is essentially a very badly-done account of what he imagines their relationship is like. The main character of his novel is an egotistical portrayal of himself, while the main love interest is a romanticised portrayal of the woman he's attracted to. Don't worry though, because the story isn't told from any of the yet-mentioned characters perspectives - it's told instead from the dangerously genre-savvy friend of the main character's main character and while the two lovebirds aren't galumphing around like awkward teenagers, they're acting very similarly to their counterparts in the 'real world'. The heroine is cheating on the protagonist with dozens of other men, and is essentially just using the protagonist for money and sex. The main characters of the main character's novel behave just fine while they're in the middle of a 'scene', but awfully while 'off-camera'. Lies, deceit, blah blah blah are rife. As you probably imagined by now, stopping the 'real world' from overshadowing the world of the novel while making it clear, little by little, what's really going on is going to be incredibly difficult. So, if a more experienced writer has any advice: how do I drop hints as to what's happening in reality without making the main character completely disillusioned with the world of the novel, and yet prevent the cheesy, cliché-ridden writing style of the 'real' writer from spoling the piece as a whole?