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 email@example.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!