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.
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…