Normally, it would just be Paratext
, or a basic building block of the fiction. But somehow, something used to construct the work — the font of the text, or the formatting, a cute yellow thought/narration box or a dialogue balloon, quirks of spelling, the edge of the filmstrip — is incorporated into
the text, where the characters can interact with it. When this happens, that item becomes a Metafictional Device.
Sometimes this involves Breaking the Fourth Wall
; other times, it doesn't occur to anyone to wonder why
that pretty thought balloon is visible, and it becomes more of a Strange Loop or Painting the Medium
is combining that with Chekhov's Gun
Left the Background Music On
, Panel Break
and Harsh Word Impact
are related to this.