Infamously, O. J. Simpson wrote a book titled "If I did it".

Now about a book that could be titled "If I wrote it" - it doesn't have to be titled that, but the idea must be this: the author purports to not writing a book, and instead tells us how he would write it, if he would write it.

Was this ever done?

  • Not quite following what you are getting at, however, I would imaging that it would be similar to OJ's book. A book about IF he did the crime, this is how he would actually do it. Obviously though he didn't do it and since the facts of the case don't match up with his book. What would be the goal of your book? To tell people how to write a book if you decided to write a book while actually writing a book? – ggiaquin16 Oct 17 '17 at 18:18
  • @ggiaquin More or less like this: if I was going to write a fable, I would choose a protagonist - a Cat - an antagonist - a Dog - then... – Luís Henrique Oct 17 '17 at 18:31
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    I think I've heard of books where the characters regularly comment on the author that is writing them. But I don't think I've heard your particular spin before. – DPT Oct 17 '17 at 19:23
  • I don't know if this was done, maybe a google search will suffice? – Aspen the Artist and Author Oct 17 '17 at 19:55

Not quite what you are looking for, but Lawrence Sterne's Tristram Shandy [*] was built on a similar principle.

Following the common rules of novel writing in 18th century, the author sets to write a book about his own life. But soon he falls into the first problems, such as "where I should start". So he begins writing about his conception, therfore about his parents, but then he gets lost in the history of his whole family... long story short, he gets born around page 300.

The whole book is a meta-novel, a satyrical piece towards the new fashion of middle-class literature of the time. Sterne played on the fact that it's impossible to detail the richness and beauty of a whole life, so every literary attempt will be overwhelmed by overthinking, digressing, confusion.

It was the first modern work of meta-literature, so close to what you are aiming at.

[*] Lawrence Sterne, The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman, 1776 - wikisource

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