RTB Editorial – Updates

19 Submitted by on Sun, 14 December 2014, 11:12

Hey, constant and eternally patient readers. Two issues to discuss today.

First is the RTB e-book. This one hurts to talk about … unfortunately, circumstances have arisen that have caused the cancellation of the book. Namely this nasty sticking point called American copyright law. Publishing RTB here on Wrestlecrap is one thing; it’s still probably dicey in the eyes of the law, but nobody’s making money off it, so I can’t imagine WWE knows or cares (not to mention going after any RTB writers would open up Pandora’s box against fanfic writers of all sorts; can you imagine a lawsuit over slashfic?). But making money off it? Through the world’s most well-known internet commerce website? Yeah, I don’t have the scratch to take on Jerry McDevitt in court. What sucks doubly is that Neil and I had gotten through the entire outline before it was discovered. The story had grown from a complex tale of about six major characters to a positively epic tome, with closer to twelve leads, plus a host of ancillary characters coming in and out of the story. Two years of storylines for each major cast member, carefully plotted out month by month, plus our attempts to rejuvinate and rehabilitate the Divas division, the tag division and make the World Heavyweight Championship (RIP) worth a damn. This was ambitious in a way that rivals The Who’s Lifehouse project. Instead, we have come upon our version of Terry Gilliam’s Don Quixote.

In more ways than one, though, and one of them is positive. Like Gilliam now pursues turning the movie into a fictionalized version of the failed attempts to make the original movie (which is approaching a 1.0 on the Abed Nadir meta scale if you ask me), Neil has picked up the pieces and is going to do something with them. It won’t be the full project, by any means; it’s too much for one man who isn’t a masochist or doesn’t have anything else to do in life for a few years, and he is neither of those. What he plans on doing is a sort of condensed version; some key promos, simplified match results, like an internet recap rather than the blow-by-blow, broken up into sections by way of the build-up to the Big 4 PPV’s. It won’t give you every single wristlock in detail, but you’ll get all the key points, enough to paint the picture in your mind.

For those of you wondering what I’m doing, I’m working on an e-book, this a non-fiction piece about wrestling and the internet, and the weird relationship it’s had in shaping one another. No timetable on this one, for a simple reason: I want to interview some people in the business for it. Wrestlers, promoters, writers, the whole spectrum. I am probably kicking outside of my coverage on some of my interview subjects (Triple H, for instance), but there’s no harm in trying, right? Anyway, that’s a lot to coordinate. So don’t go setting aside $10 for that book any time soon.

Now, what does this mean for RTB going forward? Well, there’s a couple RTB’s I have unfinished that I’m still chipping away at, with no specific timeframe (yes, Paul, one is your Ric Flair story – probably the hottest pot of the three or four I have on the stove). Neil will have the condensed version of the book done in a few months, I believe. But after that … I don’t know that anybody’s got anything on the stove.

So that’s where you come in. And this time, I’m not bothering with a contest.

That’s right: open auditions. Looking for a few good men or women to become RTB writers. If you’ve ever thought “I could do that!”, well, here’s your chance to put pen to paper and money where your mouth is.

The caveats: I’m looking for writers willing to make a commitment here. The last recruitment drive netted some good stories, but it didn’t last long. No grudges, everybody’s got a life, and this isn’t a paying gig. But I don’t want to short-change you fans either, so, if you’re willing to do RTB for a while, then such a deal I have for you. Another thing to know up front: RTB takes a LOT of work. The bar has been set pretty high over the years. You’ll have to do some thorough research to make sure your stories work; appropriate booking style for the time/promotion, rosters and TV shows line up with real life, all of it. I’ve mentioned it before, but it really is the best example: somebody once suggested a story of Trish Stratus joining the Four Horsemen. The ways in which this is a bad idea for the RTB format are innumerable.

So, if you’re interested, email me at jed316@msn.com. We can go over some of the finer rules of RTB, you can pitch me some ideas (or, if you’d like, I can supply you with some from my old list of ideas) or even a sample of a story, and we can get on with it. I hope to see a flooded inbox soon!

Written by

Creator, editor and semi-sorta-retired original author of Rewriting The Book, husband, father of three, gamer, lover of 90's MTV animation.
19 Responses to "RTB Editorial – Updates"
  1. Autrach Sejanoz says:

    While it’s a pity the e-book idea is gone, at least some of the ideas from it won’t be going to waste.

    Thanks for the update, Jed!

    • Jed Shaffer says:

      Neil’s gonna do them up nice. Already read a sample of what the truncated version of it will be, and it’s fun. Moves a little faster than you might be accustomed to for RTB’s, but it also cuts out the chatter and the move-by-move wordiness (and Neil gets in some of his awesome, dry-as-dust British humor). I think it’ll serve as a fantastic RTB story.

  2. "The Big Cheese" Paul Kraft says:

    Sorry the eBook isn’t happening, but I like the idea of bringing in other people to do their own RTBs!

    • Jed Shaffer says:

      Tis okay. Better we find out now than get published and have Jerry McDevitt burying us with subpoenas. And if you like the idea of bringing in more people, the invite extends to fellow Wrestlecrap writers …

  3. samsonite says:

    Do you have any other ebooks?

    • Jed Shaffer says:

      Working on two ideas, both non-fiction. Both will require a LOT of work. They’re probably more ambitious than a debut book should be, but they’re both ideas that really grab me.

  4. George Rose says:

    Can you now explain what the E-Book was meant to be about now?

    • Neil says:

      “What if….John Cena’s Worst Year Ever Actually Was?”
      and
      “What if…the Dean Ambrose/Mick Foley program had gone ahead.”

  5. BeaverCleavage says:

    Wait, why couldn’t Trish join the Four Horsemen? It would’ve been just the thing they would have needed to become a truly memorable group, and relevant in wrestling history!

  6. Charles Belles says:

    I sent you an E Mail last night about me writing RWB stories sir. I included an idea I had, but I would like to see your ideas as well please.

  7. Sean O says:

    I suppose I could give RTB a shot, I have a few ideas in mind and I am willing to do some research if asked of me.

  8. George Rose says:

    What RTB ideas do you have, Jed? I’m about to write my own RTB soon. It covers WWE 2005/06, and the Revival of ECW!

    • Jed Shaffer says:

      In general, or the few I’ve got started and unfinished?

      If the former, it’s a list around 100 ideas long. No way I’m summarizing here.

      If the latter, they are:

      What if Shane Douglas didn’t throw down the NWA World Title?
      What if The Undertaker defeated Bret Hart at Summerslam ’97?
      What if Ric Flair jumped to the WWF in the summer of ’88?
      What if Cactus Jack convinced Tommy Dreamer to turn on ECW?

      The middle two stand the best chance of being written.

  9. George Rose says:

    What was meant to happen with Ambrose & Foley had their Storyline gone ahead?

    • Jed Shaffer says:

      Nobody’s ever confirmed it, but the going assumption was much what Foley did for Orton back in ’04: put him over big.

  10. George Rose says:

    Hi Jed,

    Can you tell me or give me a clue as to what RTB’s you’re working on right now? Am I right that one of them involves Ric Flair?

  11. M says:

    I had an idea based around Brock Lesnar staying in WWE after WMXX, a two side story where one he stays on SmackDown! and one where he is drafted to Raw (the Raw story is interesting due to the idea of Lesnar hijacking Evolution from Hunter and Flair, but I still can’t find the right ending or flow to it due to the possibilities of what WM21’s ME would be). I did also have an idea for an alternate version of Summer of Punk 2011 that’s kinda short, but it’s got a logical start, middle and finish.

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