Rivalry is one of those continuously overlooked ideas that seems to find itself stuck only in a few particular genres. This particular plot scenario lends some really good conflict to subplots and character dynamics. If you’d like to check out the other scenarios, you can find them here.
I touched briefly on rivalry in another post as well. See if you recognize this structure from Familial Competition.
- A seeker strives to attain/obtain the same goal as a rival.
The roles here are fairly simple. You need your seeker and your rival obviously, but depending on which version of this you’re going for, you may also need someone to fill in that goal position. Love triangles are really good for this, as two competitors are trying to win the heart of the same someone.
Unlike familial rivalry however, the focus is more based on the specific characters and their goal. This makes it really good for character-driven plots when in use for a main plot. It’s inclined towards smaller cast sizes, but can also work well as a subplot between two major characters.
A note on resolution here however: don’t be afraid to let both competitors fail. In the case of love triangles, the person they’re interested in may not be so interested in either of them. When it is a goal such as attaining a particular status or winning a particular game, it’s entirely possible they’re both so evenly matched neither one can have it (or of course, someone else swoops in to grab it from them).