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12/26/2019 22:05:19 •••

It lives up to its name

As you're probably aware, informational videos on YouTube and other sites should be informative but also entertaining, since the former helps the video do its job, while the latter keeps readers' interest. In practice, since the name of the game is getting hits and monetizing your videos, you should focus on the latter. In order to accomplish this, you should amp up the snark as high as possible, making sure to mock prevalent tropes and well-known series as much as possible. Don't worry about people finding this annoying, because as long as the likes vastly outnumber the dislikes, and your comment section is full of sycophants parroting your lines and gushing over your video, then it's all good.

If you found the above paragraph obnoxious, you probably won't like this series, since it is my approximation of the style. The series is a long stream of "how not to write" guides for various characters, settings, plots or genres, mocking various cliches and the people who use them.

This wouldn't be that much of a problem if not for the video failing to draw distinctions between the worst and most exaggerated forms of the tropes and the ones most often found in people's writing, which may be handled in a better or more nuanced manner. Any actual advice is usually buried beneath layers of sarcasm, Take Thats and dismissal of tropes as crutches for lazy or incompetent writers, thus giving the impression that the author is much better at making fun of what he considers bad writing than giving advice for how to write well.

In short, How NOT to Write a Novel does a better job on what this series sets out to do, since not only does it make fun of bad writing decisions, it also puts more effort into helping avoid those pitfalls. It doesn't have as much genre-specific advice, but there are probably better places to find that information than the aptly-named "Terrible Writing Advice."

12/26/2019 00:00:00

Bugging me a bit, but I don't think you've nailed his sarcasm very well; you've written a perfectly formatted paragraph that doesn't have rambling or a goofy stick figure avatar. I also don't recall the guy calling people "sycophants." If he did, then yes, that would be very rude. Get my point?

Anyways, I mostly don't mind the series from what I've seen, but I think part of the problem is that, as far as I can tell, there is no "terrible" in and of itself. There has to be a contrast with good, and the good in this series is usually a brief moment of self-awareness by the advisor that comes off as flimsy and awkwardly placed. If there was a stronger contrasting force, a "Good Advisor" to counter the "Terrible Advisor" that comically loses in the end, the series might be more solid.

12/26/2019 00:00:00

The part about \"sycophants\" is a reference to how the vast majority of YouTube commenters tend to gush over a video, completely agree with the author, parrot lines from the videos or spout memes. He\'d probably dismiss them as brown-nosing enablers, at least when it they\'re commenting on people whose writing he doesn\'t like.

Again, I\'d probably go back to How Not To Write A Novel, which does three things- 1)Mocks extreme examples of bad writing, 2)Explains why those practices are bad ideas, and most importantly, 3)says what you should do instead.

12/26/2019 00:00:00

I know how YouTube works, thank you. Gushing about a work, talking about what you liked, and reciting lines is just what people do. Like when you walk out of a movie theater with your friends. And I'd beware of assuming what someone would "probably" do. His persona is not who he is.

I haven't read How NOT to Write a Novel and don't intend to (I find reading entire books exhausting, and don't plan to write a novel), but to stay on subject, the series does do the three things you mentioned. It's just that, as you said and I agree with, number three is done flimsily.


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