“So, this is the last one.”

“Yep — so what’re you going to do?”

“God, I don’t know. I don’t really have any good ideas.”

“Do you have any?”

“Yeah, a few. Thought about doing something where I roll in all the characters from the previous Fingertips together and have them do something.”

“Little cliche, don’t you think?”

“Yeah, it’s basically ripped off straight from that Fingertips animutation.”

“Anything else?”

“Not really. I suppose something could come out of the actual song, maybe something about spelunking, or maybe some sort of House of Leaves kinda thing.”

“That could work.”

“Eh, it was done pretty well the first time. Well, if you cut out the whole ‘Johnny-Truant-freaking-out-because-the-whole-thing-is-like-soooo-scaaaarryyyy’ crap. That almost sunk the book.”

“Yeah — that’s one way to undermine the whole project, talking about how creepy and terrifying what you’re writing about is. It’s almost as bad as apologizing for using literary techniques.”

“Ooh, or the lame ‘Oh, we’re just characters in a story! Let’s talk smack about the story! It’ll be funny!’ trope. That was funny for a few years in middle school, but that was about it.
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“Oh, you don’t have to tell me. It’s like the opposite of the characters-freaking-out-about-the-text thing — where that tends to make stuff that’s legitimately creepy less so, if the characters are talking about how crap the story is, sadly, they’re usually right.”

“Meta-fiction can work, though, just rarely when the characters are aware of the form; the way to having it work is to have a good story, or something to say as well as an artful way to say it. And just saying ‘This is how I’m going to do this!’ is almost never artful.”

“What about giving the author a literal voice?”

“That can work, but usually it’s one of the lamest tropes in the book. It’s another trope that was OK before it got completely overused by everyone. It’s sort of the other side of the coin of the brilliance of Monty Python. Since they were able to do that type of thing amazingly and to hilarious results, anyone who’s watched an episode thinks that they can do it too, with the same hilarious results. It’s a technique that’s been killed at the hands of poor imitators.”

“So, this is basically all of that, right?”

“Pretty much.”

“Just checking.”