RIVALS – Terrible Writing Advice


TWA: Nothing will stop my quest to enlighten
writers in the proper way to tell a story! That’s why I am going to talk about heroes
in this video and one of the best ways to challenge a protagonist. INNER CRITIC: No so fast, JP. TWA: What! My inner critic! I thought I defeated you in the Finishing
a Story video! INNER CRITIC: I studied your technique, JP. Your ability to inflate your ego in order
to deflect criticism is powerful, but not powerful enough! I have trained myself in the art of deflating
egos such as yours and now I have returned to put a stop to your bad advice! TWA: You will never defeat me, inner critic! I will show my fellow writers the proper way
to create a rival for the protagonist! INNER CRITIC: You? You couldn’t rival french fry, much less
show another author how to create a proper rivalry between characters. TWA: You’re wrong! INNER CRITIC: No you’re wrong! TWA: Grr…. INNER CRITIC: Grr…. TWA: There is only one way to settle this. INNER CRITIC: We each give our advice in order
to keep with the rival theme of the video, adding a layer of thematic affinity while
also giving the watcher more variety in terms of delivery and tone. TWA: What? No. I am going to give my amazing advice and you
will sit on the sidelines and tell me how awesome I am! So step aside, inner critic, and watch how
a real author creates a rival! Now what to start with when designing a rival? I know! I should start with how they look! INNER CRITIC: Oh that is the worst way to
start making a character. TWA: The rival should have a really cool opposing
color scheme. Does the hero wear white? Well his rival will dress in all black! Hero have blonde hair? His rival has dark hair. Blue eyes? Deep brown. Silvery elegant sword? Jagged dark blade. Oh the rival is so cool! INNER CRITIC: Is that really it? What about the symbolism? TWA: Sumbolwhat? INNER CRITIC: *sigh* Look at us. While we may have opposing color schemes,
have you also noticed that I have glasses?… You know. An item that literally helps me see clearly. We are not just opposed stylistically, but
also in the motifs and themes of our characters. Doing so allows the characters to become foils
of one another, highlighting their differences for maximum dramatic effect. TWA: You know what I just heard? Blah blah blah English major stuff. No one cares. Hey! They should also have opposing powers too! Hero uses fire! Well his rival will use ice! Is the hero hot headed and impulsive? The rival is cautious and collected. Even their ideologies are opposing. With all of this equal opposite stuff going
on I am sure the audience will just completely miss the paper thin characterizations of both
characters! INNER CRITIC: No they will notice, you fool. It is not enough that the characters merely
be opposites to each other, but also have enough character development to stand on their
own. You can’t simply prop up characters with
fancy powers and cool swords. They need to have their own motives. What you are proposing could work if the characters
are a foil to one another, but it needs to be carefully calculated by the author, not
haphazardly thrown together based on the stylistic whims of the writer. Wait… did you just fall asleep in the middle
of my diatribe? TWA: Huh? What? No! No. I was totally paying attention. You were saying something about a motive? Oh I know. The rival wants to defeat the hero because…
the hero is strong and he wants to defeat him! There! Done! INNER CRITIC: That’s not a motive. If anything, it represents a faultily programmed
for loop. Why not dig into the psychology of the rival
character and explore what makes him so competitive in the first place? Motive could be used as a way to highlight
the story’s themes and give their conflict much needed context. TWA: Motive isn’t really that important. I mean, the rival character is super cool,
but he doesn’t really stand a chance against the main hero. The rival should always loose yet be taken
seriously by all of the other characters for some reason. INNER CRITIC: Won’t the audience notice
this power imbalance? For that matter wont the characters notice
as well? TWA: Nope. They will be too distracted by the coolness
of the rival teaming up with the hero to fight a greater threat. INNER CRITIC: Are they not supposed to hate
one another due to their polar opposite nature? How do you justify their sudden cooperation? TWA: Because the rival will always award the
hero a grudging respect even though the hero humiliates and defeats him like constantly. Nope, they will just team up pretty much all
the time later in the story until the rival really isn’t even a rival anymore, more
like a grumpy teammate. INNER CRITIC: No no no! This is all incorrect. Keeping the rival’s skill comparable to
the hero is essential, otherwise he does not ‘rival’ him. Having equal strength adds uncertainly in
the hero’s victory and thus tension. The hero and his rival’s relationship could
be built up over the course of one or more story arcs culminating in their eventual alliance
to defeat a greater foe. Come to think of it, even their battle to
defeat a mutual enemy could be seen as part of their competition. The extra build up adds a feeling of catharsis
and can be used to change the relationship dynamic by… You fell asleep again didn’t you? TWA: Huh? Oh. Sorry. I’m getting bored of writing these rivals. I think I need something special to spice
up their competition. INNER CRITIC: No. TWA: Something new for them to compete for. INNER CRITIC: No no no. TWA: Something that every story needs! INNER CRITIC: Don’t you do say it! TWA: THE LOVE TRIANGLE! INNER CRITIC: Gah! You cannot solve every writing problem with
a love triangle! TWA: Gheeze. No wonder you’ve never sold any books. The love triangle is great because the rival
and the hero can both compete for the affections of the love interest. The love interest will of course be torn having
to choose between them! What great drama! Neither the rival nor the hero should have
any chemistry with the love interest though. That takes effort to write and we need to
put all of our work into the hero’s and rival’s long deep stares into each others’
eyes, how they constantly call each others’ names, their constant obsession with what
the other is doing, their every waking thought focused on what their rival is thinking, and
the occasional oiled up shirtless wrestling match between them. INNER CRITIC: Why are you even introducing
a love triangle into the story if you don’t intent to develop it properly? Also your rival’s interactions are saturated
with homoerotic subtext by the way. TWA: What? Really? I don’t see it! INNER CRITIC: It doesn’t have to be a bad
thing. Having rivals become romantic partners sounds
like it could become an interesting relationship dynamic. TWA: Eh? No. I bored with this now. I know I’ve put a lot of work into the rival,
but I think I’ll just ignore my rival for the rest of the story, then awkwardly wrap
their competition up in the next to last chapter where the rival just admits that the hero
is better in every way! INNER CRITIC: That’s just anticlimactic. You can’t just develop a relationship like
that and… what are you doing? TWA: I’m rewriting the script for this episode. INNER CRITIC: What! You can’t just… I mean, J.P. you are the most handsome and
best author ever. I can only hope to one day know even an infinitesimal
amount of your greatness. You have defeated me. My only choice now is sit on the sidelines
and constantly tell the other secondary characters how cool you are! We will meet again as rivals, but only when
you need an easy victory in order to boost your ego. TWA: Ha. I win. INNER CRITIC: Also your cheating just proves
my point about the anticlimax. DARK LORD: I am prepared for the next ad read! TWA: Yeah about that, sorry. Someone else underbid you. DARK LORD: WHAT? CONSPIRATOR LEADER: That’s right Dark Lord. Your sponsorship is mine now just as planned
for this episode of Terrible Writing Advice is brought to you by Skillshare! LARGE CONSPIRATOR: We taking sponsors now? CONSPIRATOR LEADER: Yes we are. We have to make up the budget shortfall somehow. Running the world from the shadows is expensive. SMALL CONSPIRATOR: What the heck is a Skillshare? CONSPIRATOR LEADER: According to my spy network,
who mostly just googled the name, Skillshare is an online community with over 20,000 classes
in writing, graphic design, business, technology and a lot of other things. Premium Membership gives you unlimited access
to high quality classes. And guess what, I’ve already sighed up the
entire ancient conspiracy. LARGE CONSPIRATOR: Why? CONSPIRATOR LEADER: Because you are all useless! All you do is spout cryptic nonsense at TV
screens. It’s about time you learn some new skills. It’s a new economy out there thanks to someone
forgetting to suppress the invention of the internet. SMALL CONSPIRATOR: Ugh. You are never going to let me live that one
down are you? CONSPIRATOR LEADER: So now we have need to
take some side jobs to keep the ancient conspiracy afloat. *Collective Groan* CONSPIRATOR LEADER: No complaining. Go learn something useful! [One Montage Later] CONSPIRATOR LEADER: Okay. So what did everyone learn? LARGE CONSPIRATOR: I took a course on portrait
photography by Benjamin Heath! SMALL CONSPIRATOR: I took a course on writing
emotional story arcs for characters by Charlie Aylett (Aey Let)! CONSPIRATOR LEADER: And you, what did you
learn? TREACHEROUS CONSPIRATOR: I learned to brutally
murder my fellow conspirators in order to keep all of the sponsorship money for myself. *Hissing Gas* *Coughing and Gagging* CONSPIRATOR LEADER: I… don’t… remember seeing that one… on there? TREACHEROUS CONSPIRATOR: Well… I kind of learned that one by myself, but
I did take a course on human resources and how to adequately… spend them! Check out the link in the description or go
to skl.sh/twa3 and get 2 months of unlimited access for free. TREACHEROUS CONSPIRATOR: Just as planned?

100 thoughts on “RIVALS – Terrible Writing Advice

  1. I mean the bad rival writing worked in dragon ball z. But conventionally good writing doesn't apply to Z anyways, all that does is character writing and cool fights and the rest is just window dressing

  2. So many bad rivalries come to mind after watching this:
    Yugi and Kaiba
    Jaden and Chazz
    Goku and Vegeta
    Naruto and Sasuke
    Natsu and Grey
    Etc etc etc

  3. 5:18
    Looking at the Honest Notes, I instantly thought of Zote from Hollow Knight
    Context: Zote is a narcissist you meet early in your adventure, and after saving him for a push over mini boss, he complains how your getting In the way of a renowned Knight. After a few more encounters, some of witch you save him again and he complains, you meet him a final time in a late game area, the colosseum of fools, where he appears as a threatening boss to the first challenge. Then he pops out and….
    he does no damage. He legit just flails around his sword like a child with a stick, and if he somehow manages to hit you, he gets knocked back. And then you beat him and it’s a greAt moment..
    anyhow, hope you enjoyed my story

  4. the letter Z is a phonetic representation of the stereotypical whistling exhale portion of snoring

    SNORE… zzzzzz… SNORE… zzzzzz

    and so on

  5. Oh god, the love triangle with the two rivals and no romantic chemistry with the girl they're fighting over… side eyes Kingdom Hearts 1 ….Nah! Couldn't be!

  6. I'm basically going to take every bad idea from your channel that fits in a fantasy setting, and make it work 😡
    Just for the challenge bwehehehe

  7. I kinda want to see videos with the rival as the host, but it saddens me that it won’t happen because of themes of this channel

  8. TWA did make ONE good idea. The rivals teaming up to defeat the villain. It could represent an equal balance, where, forgive my example, light and dark come together to best all.

  9. Even the backgrounds symbolize these two authors opposing characters, the white and grey background of the Inner Critic is filled with straight lines and right angles, showing the ordered nature of his work. While our usual hosts grey and black his filled with splotches following no particular pattern, showing the disordered nature of his work.

    Great stuff!

  10. darker background with blurry round shapes
    brighter background with clear orthogonal shapes
    why didn't i notice it earlier

  11. I have a "love triangle" rivalry in my story, sort of. The protag is in love with with male character stupidly out of her league (for ease, let's just say he's a prince). She saves his life and he is indebted to her. Prince has a high ranking soldier who is a childhood friend. Said childhood friend isn't in love with the prince, per say, but is jealous at how the Prince is paying this commoner attention and fears that she will come between them.
    The girl and the soldier hate each other. The girl is convinced for a book that the soldier is plotting to murder the prince. The soldier is convinced that the girl only see's the Prince as that, a Prince, and wishes to become a princess.

    Eventually they are forced to work together and realise that they both genuinely love the Prince and would lay down their lives for him. It starts a friendship and they end up becoming very close friends. Both accept that they will never be with the Prince in the way they hope (a commoner can't wed a Prince and the Prince will eventually marry and not rely on the soldier for company as much) but vow that no matter what they will be there for him because they love and believe in him

  12. I think the idea of "I need to defeat the hero because of how strong they are" does have merit for certain kinds of characters. For two characters who do this really well, for completely different reasons, consider Viral from Gurren Lagann and Tsumugu from Kill la Kill. Viral's rivalry with Kamina, and later Simon, comes from his pride, and the embarrassment he feels at constantly losing makes him more and more driven to keep fighting the two and prove how strong he is despite their clear superiority. Hell, one of the lines in his theme music is "I'm here because you're here". Tsumugu, by contrast, hunts down Ryuko in the early episodes and threatens her repeatedly in the later ones because he believes that her strength is dangerous, that Senketsu can and will destroy everything if allowed to unleash his full abilities without being held back, so he feels the need to defeat her to stop that from happening as a result of her growing too strong. Both of these are solid motivations which arise from that central conceit.

  13. You've just… described Thor and Loki in MCU. Opposing in looks first and foremost. Then, Loki's powers are way bleaker compared to Thor's, and even since we know he can do cooler stuff than light illusions (jotun +- casket, duh), it's never ever brought up again after that brief nod once in first movie.

    Loki's feared even though not once, apparently, had he won over Thor. Their rivalry isn't developing and in Ragnarok, eventually, it's played just like Loki baaad Thor guuuuud and eventually Loki does a 180 for no freaking reason, singing hymns, apparently, to his rival, who destroys in one day a realm that Loki took care of for four years? Over not wanting to kneel to a legitimate Queen? His older, stronger sister? Yeah, way to go.

    Also, they lack personality out of their rivalry tbh, even Loki's conflict with Thanos, something not tied up to Thor, is cut in one (1) neck snap instead of getting any proper resolution.

    Oh Frigg, writing in Marvel is so redundant most of the time. Spectacle, yes, but writing? Not so much

  14. Seriously. Writers SHOULD really do the rival turned to love interest.
    It's in like EVERY fanfiction, and it's usually very cringey, because the people writing them are… well… bad writers often. But if it was a good author who did it in their ORIGINAL story. It would be goddamn beautiful.

  15. JP's stock antihero character… the scar over the eye… that hairstyle… that gruff and apathetic attitude…
    Trevor Belmont? Is that you?

  16. 6:06 – 6:21 Ninjago's two season long love triangle between Nya, Jay, and Cole. Jay and Nya were already developed and rock as a couple, but Cole came out of nowhere and he and Nya had like zero chemistry. It provided good character development for Jay, and the rivalry between previous besties was kinda neat, but aside that… ugh.

  17. JP, do you actually do the voice acting for each character?

    If so, how little people seem to notice speaks to how great you are at it.

  18. Is this walking dead did so well in the first season and flop as they went? The first season had Rick and Shane as rivals in the love triangle. God forbid, they killed off Shane and even the woman, leaving the show love-triangle-less, rendering it to slowly die with its heart taken out.

  19. You know, having the inner critic show up in every episode like this could really underline the themes of TWA.

  20. Rivals of Magistral

    Cactivil – 🌵
    Icelynn – 🥶
    Overshadow -⬛️
    Time Zone – 🕒
    Whiteware – ⬜️

  21. I wish the villains would take the opportunity to destroy the rival along with the hero themselves! or break up there relationship by blackmailing them! Or just use the henchman character/second command to trick them into a trap!

  22. This is the only channel where I don't skip past the endorsements, because he makes them funny. Others should take note.

  23. The bad writing is the literal plot of Dragon Ball. The only difference is that Goku and Vegeta never get in a love triangle

  24. I swear Legend of Korra would have been so much better if Mako and Korra were rivals and nothing more. Like since he was born on the streets and fought for everything he had and the only way to what he wanted was through grueling work and gritting the rope with your teeth toughness. Because of this he had to prove he was the best and why, so this would put him at odds with Korra because she's the avatar.

  25. Make sure they have shag a bunch of women and have the Hero call him a slut, but then Hero goes off and shags 30 women at the same time, while simultaneously fighting a war.

  26. 0:32

    Let me give critique.
    This section goes on a little too long.
    But at the same time the idea of you inner critic being you rival is a good idea.

  27. What if the rival works for an even bigger rival and the bigger rival have promised power that the other rival wants because they have felt like they will never become stronger from a terrible incident in their own past and when he gets to be the hero the rival he gets jealous because the hero is able to save people with his strong powers

  28. I feel like the Hobbs and Shaw movie Did rivalry pretty well. By making them both “I follow my own rules characters” Showing how different they live their lives while highlighting how different they fight but they still have the same motive.

  29. One needs both an inner critic and creativity to write. On the one hand the creator provides inspiration, style, and the raw stuff of a story. The critic is here to keep the writer grounded, make sure they know why they do what they do, make the hard choice if something must be cut, and push on writing when inspiration runs dry.

    As for motivation to start in the first place, god only knows where that comes from.

  30. Good rivals-sanje and zoro
    Kachan,deku,and todiroki
    Legalos and gimle
    Mugan and jin

    Bad rivals-goku and vegeta
    The good version of a character vs the evil version

  31. 7:17 well in a sense Vegeta admitted that Goku was better during the Majin Buu Saga and I didn’t find it really anticlimactic

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