So This One Time, On YouTube…

Have you ever been reading a book and realized that two themes in the book are completely contradicting each other? For example, some chick is claiming she doesn’t believe in love, but she still goes on a thousand dates a week anyway? Not to prove herself right or even wrong, mind you, but because she’s genuinely hoping she’ll find love if she keeps trying, you know, that thing she doesn’t believe in.

So I’m browsing YouTube one day, and I see this video where this girl shaves her head completely bald. And I was curious. I wanted to know why she was shaving off all her gorgeous hair. She said it was because she got a lot attention because of it and wanted to prove to women that they can still be beautiful without hair. Okay, that’s fine. Then she said this: “I’m still going to wear makeup though because how you look is really important.” And then a few minutes later she admitted that she would be wearing a ton of wigs until her hair grew back.

WTH?!

Chick had this long spew about people being too focused on their appearance and carpe diem or whatever. It’s her opinion and she has a right to sound pretentious and not make any sense. But it’s also my opinion that she is completely missing her own point.

Which made me think about my writing…(gotta love how the brain works, right!)…After all, if I’m going to be annoyed, let’s do a quick check and make sure I’m not annoying myself. Because I HATE it when I see things like this. If I’m watching a movie and I see this, it’s like a deal-breaker for me. ^_^ So I had to ask myself, is my story contradicting itself?

And the scariest thing of all, that I’m afraid has never crossed my mind before until that video…Is my story contradicting itself? Because I have had stories that have. (“Oh, I’m not evil! Sure, I’m trying to turn you into my vampire queen against your will, but I’m not evil!”)

Now, a quick run through of my current project tells me it’s not contradictory. But let’s look at this example anyway: If I have an MC who forgoes close relationships of any kind, and then I show her with a best friend, that’s a contradiction, and thus I’ve just negated a major theme in my story! I can’t say she doesn’t have any close relationships and go through all this trouble to show her struggle to keep a close relationship at bay, and then show her pouring her heart out to a close friend or even her own sister in another scene. The latter completely negates the first. It’s like, don’t say you think people are too focused on appearance and still wear tons of makeup and wigs and designer pants! It doesn’t make any sense.

Which brings me to my next thought: what was the point of her shaving her head to make a point if she’s just going to wear wigs anyway? And it was like, OMG, what is MY point? You know, what am I trying to accomplish? Am I trying to scare people? Motivate them? Inform them? Make them cry? Some combination of or all of the above? I can’t just assume I’m getting my point across. If I’m shooting to entertain people, I need to make sure my story is entertaining! We can’t just be slapping a story together and throwing in all these things that sound good in theory but really don’t make any sense when we put them all together.

Anyway, I just thought I’d share. ^_^

Also, YouTube is a dark hole from which few people return quickly. Proceed into those murky waters with caution. What’s that? Ah yes, my caution comes five years too late…

14 Responses to So This One Time, On YouTube…

  1. Wait, wait, wait…she doesn’t want people to focus on her appearance, so she shaves her head and then says she’s going to wear wigs and makeup because ultimately, obviously, appearance matters to her. *scratches frizzy, humidity-filled hair*

    If you’re going to shave your head (which I’ve threatened to do a few times because I can’t control my hair), then commit to it. Also don’t say that other people focus on appearances too much. I mean, yeah, they do, but the point is to not give a crap what other people think about your appearance.

    I’m not sure if my WIP is contradictory, but I know that I am, personality-wise. Hopefully my fiction is a little less complicated.

    You know what else is a dark hole of the Internet? TV Tropes. Also, never read the comments on YouTube videos or Yahoo! articles. You’ll never get out of those sections alive.

    • Right?! Makes so sense! Trying to figure it out really hurt my brain. (I, too, have thought about shaving the old head once or twice because I was frustrated.)

      I do occasionally get caught with my foot in my mouth (Lol!), but for the most part I’m pretty consistent. My writing, on the other hand, has been all over the place, but I think it’s really made a lot of sense these last five years or so. ^_^

      Ah, yes, thanks for the SAY NO to the comment section reminder. I tend to steer clear for fear of getting lost. Or pissed. But I’ll give in and read them sometimes if there’s just a few…ha.

  2. You could call it a contradiction. Or you could also say it depends on the situation. (ie, if the girl in the video only planned to wear a wig during work, so that she wouldn’t get fired for looking “unprofessional.”) Or, in your character’s case, maybe she doesn’t WANT a close relationship, but her friend’s been in her life for so long that she doesn’t want to push her away? It all depends on how you frame it.

    • Framing is important. The sad thing is that really is how it’s framed. It really made no sense. Luckily I don’t have to worry about it in my writing so much since my characters drive the stories and I try not to fight with them. I just like to make sure. In case I wasn’t paying attention. 🙂

  3. I can’t stop giggling at this post! Now I’m going to have to scan through my MS looking for those annoying contradictions. So far I think I’m in the clear, though I did have my characters scaling a wall that was five feet on one side but suddenly seven feet on the other (oops). And I put my MC’s bedroom on the second story of her house, but when she snuck through her bedroom window six chapters later, the room had somehow magically moved to the first floor. Okay, yeah, those aren’t the contradictions you were talking about. I’ll have to keep looking. 😀

    That YouTube shaved-head girl…I physically can’t roll my eyes as hard as that story requires.

    • Lol! Oh, I have consistency issues all over the place. Those are hard to catch when we’re drafting! I have really just realized the contradiction thing. I hyper aware of it now. I have a physically strong MC so I have to make sure she isn’t be manhandled by people who shouldn’t be able to manhandle her!

      Ohmygosh, right? I was so disgusted watching that. Lol!

  4. HIYA KRYSTAL!

    oops sorry, caps, lol….anyway! This is a very smart post, indeed. And I love how you recognized an issue with someone’s point, and then and went back to review your own point to ensure that you weren’t following the same trend. I really, really wish more writers would stop to analyze their own thought processes.

    And wearing a wig after claiming individuality? Well then. Oxymoron?

    • I get caught up in the story sometimes and often don’t think about what I’m doing, even sometimes when I’m editing because I get focused on just making things consistent and filling in plot holes. I scared myself. Lol!

      It’s funny how sometimes things seem like a good idea at the time. Like my NaNo idea, but now 6 months later, I can see just how good a decision it was to shelve it. It wasn’t terrible, just the market ended up being a lot more saturated with witches than I thought. And there I was shelving it because it was getting on my nerves. Lol!

  5. So basically, she shaved her head just to get attention on YouTube? Pretty sad! But I think these contradictions exist everywhere. The person who claims to not want attention is usually the very person who is missing attention in their lives most.

    • That’s true. I didn’t even think about that. You would really never know to hear the way she talked about her life like anything would be missing. But then that saying is really is true, that you never really know what kind of issues someone has just by looking at them. I wish I could though!

  6. I love that the first thing you did was check your novel for contradictions haha. I do that a lot: once I start judging anyone (be it a real life character or one in a movie), I pause and see if I’m any different. Then…I proceed or recede.

    Humans are generally not consistent, we contradict ourselves all the time. And I think your book reflecting that isn’t a bad thing. As long as you show the way they think well. Just because someone forgoes close relationships doesn’t mean they don’t have a best friend. Or someone they love. Humans are like that all the time. 🙂

    • Lol! I have to! I critiqued a pretty awful story one time. I immediately went back to mine to make sure I wasn’t making some of those same mistakes. We can learn a lot from awful stories sometimes.

      She does have a best friend, actually. Lol! She didn’t want to really talk this friend though, and instead the friend dumps on her all the time. It’s an interesting dynamic that I’ve never had before. I didn’t push it because really I didn’t care, it’s her story. Lol! But now I see why it’s better this way. She had a breakdown in one the last chapters I wrote and it was AWESOME! Wouldn’t have been that awesome if she had opened up to anyone before then. It’s a good thing to keep in mind in the future though. Every character is different. I’ll have to remember that it really depends on how extreme the character is with their convictions, where it’s coming from, and why they’re so afraid of change.

      Reminds me of Buffy the Vampire Slayer actually. She didn’t want any close relationships with “normal” people because of the world she was in, but she still had the Scooby Gang. 🙂

      I learn something cool with every new story. ^_^

Hi! ^_^