I soon discovered that when you are writing narrative fiction based on a true story, it's tough to 'break the 4th wall" without having the house completely collapse.
What is the 4th wall? The 4th wall is both an imaginary and real screen that separates the story from the teller and the audience. Breaking this wall is when the storyteller breaks from the story to incorporate the audience or reader into the story, making its presence apparent. The storyteller and the audience then become part of the story. To some, it can be considered as a form of interactive experience. Speaking directly to the reader is a great exercise when developing a storyline but most authors use the tool as that, an exercise. When done well, it almost always engages your audience. If not, it can be a complete distraction and slow the natural momentum of a story.
Below is a great compilation by Leigh Singer showing the effects in movies. Thanks to Storythings for pointing me to this.