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The OAO SWF Help and Advice Thread
muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 01:39 AM
Post #1


All I know is my gut says maybe


Group: Members
Posts: 2,566
Joined: 22-February 02
From: Adelaide, Australia
Member No.: 1,415



Here we have some articles written by various SWF members, designed to aid the new and even more experienced when writing in the SWF, and getting the most out of the experience. Yes, it's an experience.

The first article was originally posted by Kibagami, a writer who understands the finer aspects to what we do here.



How To Not Suck At This: A Guide To (Re)Creating Your Character


I often listen to the sound of people beating their heads against the wall on due day because they’ve become supremely frustrated with the task of writing their opponent. Sometimes it’s because the characters simply aren’t compatible physically. Sometimes it’s because the characters have two wildly different styles. Sometimes it’s because somebody’s moveset flat-out sucks. Sometimes it’s because of the marker they’ve got or the match they have or they don’t like the arena or some other bullshit nonsense reason. People complain about a variety of problems that are all symptomatic of the same thing: very few people have characters flexible enough to compete reasonably well in this fed.

Fortunately for you fuckers, I’ve decided to take it upon myself to create a couple of loose guidelines for character creation that many of you seem unable to work out on your own. I’m going to keep the guidelines vague and the examples specific in the interest of making things as clear as I possibly can. Speaking of making things clear: if you’re doing something I disagree with, expect to see your name in here somewhere. Don’t expect me to allow you to drag this whole thing off into a flamewar because I might’ve hurt your feelings. Assume the pretense of being civil with me and I’ll assume the pretense of considering your side of the argument. It’s an opinion column; write one if I bother you so.

With that aside, I present to you: How Not To Suck At This.


One: Write What You Know.


There’s no point in writing something you’re not totally comfortable with, because you will undoubtedly be bad at it. Keep your character within the limits of what you know in terms of wrestling and stick to it regardless of what might happen. Amateur-style wrestling is a perfect example of this. Flesher knows his shit and he pulls it off very well; so did Mak, and so can Dace on occasion. The rest of us should not attempt this. Why? We call it ‘amateur-style wrestling’, that’s why. We don’t know what the fuck we’re talking about, so we should probably avoid it. Same goes for AJPW. Danny knows what he’s doing with it and he sticks with that style come hell or high water. The majority of the fed borrows the strikes and neck bumps because they look cool and has no real understanding of their significance in terms of that style of work. Either watch enough footage that you know what you’re doing or stick with what you already know. Overreaching always results in boredom and burnout. You may trust me on anything that involves boredom and burnout.


Two: Focus, Focus, Focus.


This is one of my pet peeves in terms of characters. People tend to throw every cool-looking move they can think of onto their move list, slap a head drop and a wacky submission into their Finishers section, and label themselves “Power...and technical!” It’s getting ridiculous, people. Everybody that’s joined recently, short of Ced, has no real coherence to their moveset. Focus doesn’t mean every move has to work a certain body part; focus on speed, focus on power, focus on your style, whatever it may be; focus on a defining characteristic and make it something that your character can be identified by. Toxxic is a great example of this. His style corresponds directly to his character’s personality, and it has the added bonus of consistently working the neck and/or arm should he choose to do so. Toxxic is flexible and focused, which is your ideal when creating a character so the rest of us don’t have to listen to you whine about a match you don’t know how to write because everything in your moveset is a sheer-drop flip-flop whatever the fuck.

The opposite extreme, of course, is being too focused. If every major signature move you have works the same area of the body or is the same style of move (i.e. weird suplexes – you people need to stop devaluing that shit RIGHT NOW), you will eventually encounter a situation where you either shift your character’s goals and style entirely or you lose, and either way you suck. The most glaring example of this I can think of offhand, is Alan Clark (act shocked here.) Every other move Clark has works the back – yet he abruptly switched to the legs in his second match against me. Keeping Kibagami as the example, Ced would be in the same boat as Clark – how does Ced justify kicking the legs out from under the guy with the strongest legs in the federation? And how do you weird suplex people write a match against Janus? You don’t – you no-show because your character is one-dimensional in the ring and then you blame Janus for having a big character. Focus your moveset, but leave enough room for common goddamn sense.


Three: Make Your Characters Human.

Nobody can do everything. Unfortunately, I can count on one hand the number of people in the fed that have an understanding of this. I’m tired of seeing people with 3 in strength and half a dozen signature suplexes. I’m tired of seeing people with a 5 in speed that try to wrestle like Wildchild whenever the whim strikes them. I’m tired of seeing people who list their character’s style as “power/technical/aerial/super-duper-undefeatable-kung-fu-chicken-stance”. Every wrestler should have at least one obvious weakness. Anybody who says that their wrestler can ‘do a little of everything’ and then writes a match where their wrestler shows up their opponent in every way imaginable is an asshole unless the opponent’s character is a total rookie. Even wrestlers like Silent and Thugg had weaknesses. Stop using this ‘well-rounded’ shit as an excuse to write whatever you want whenever you want to write it. Yes, this is an e-fed, and yes, we have a certain amount of leeway, but we also have to show a certain amount of respect to everybody else that’s writing or we’re going to end up like every two-bit Geocities RP fed where the owner is the champion and everybody has the same black-trenchcoat angst-ridden martial-arts-wannabe Raven ripoff.


Four: Pay Attention To The Rest Of The Fed.

This is the one that all of you will agree with and then ignore when it comes time to read Smarkdown. Somebody mentioned in Dace’s thread that it’s important to avoid other people’s moves when deciding on your finisher, yet we always seem to end up with certain moves that everybody is using. Right now, it’s neck bumps. It used to be ankle locks. Crusen remembers the horrible scourge that was the Ankle Lock As Finisher Era, and he will back me up when I tell you that it’s terribly important to consider the rest of the fed when you’re deciding on your moveset and character. Do we have a lot of angsty loners? Maybe you don’t need to write one. Do we have a lot of suplex-heavy characters? Maybe you don’t need eight suplexes yourself. Does everybody in or around the main event have a strike that is respected from match to match and is identified primarily with that character? Maybe you don’t need to try and bring back the Mongolian chop just so you can hop onto the last available space on that particular bandwagon.

Some of you may be wondering if I’m saying it’s wrong to use a move that somebody else is already using. Yes, that’s exactly what I’m saying. There’s hundreds of wrestling moves available, and I refuse to believe that you just have to use the same half-dozen that everybody else is currently in love with. The Dangerous Backdrop is well on its way to becoming our fed’s version of the WWE’s rolling germans, and that’s fucking stupid, e-fed or not.


Five: Use Common Goddamn Sense.

The most basic guideline, and the most difficult to follow. There are just a couple of points I want to touch on for this segment. I feel that common sense, if it’s not self-explanatory, is something I cannot impart to you.

- Do not use a neck bump as a signature move.
- Actually think for a moment before tossing a neck bump in as your finisher because it looks cool. The Dangerlust and the Demonstar Driver are what neck bumps should be. You devalue months of work that other people have done when you’re too dull as a person to think of something that hasn’t been done earlier and better.
- Do not totally depart from your character’s style without letting your opponent know that you’re going to do so. And tell them why, for the love of Christ.
- Do not use the word ‘adrenaline’ when explaining why your crusierweight suplexed Janus or your brittle veteran kicked out of the Dark Star Driver.
- Do not use the words ‘fighting spirit’ when explaining why you wrote your green rookie outstriking Danny Williams.
- Do not blame your inability to adapt to things you don’t like on people that are at least as stubborn and narrow-minded as yourself.



And there we have it. So have at it, then.

K.
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muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 01:40 AM
Post #2


All I know is my gut says maybe


Group: Members
Posts: 2,566
Joined: 22-February 02
From: Adelaide, Australia
Member No.: 1,415



This next portion was portion was posted by Dace, a great all-rounder and our go to man for everything move related.

Ok, this has to be talked about somewhere. And when it's not 2AM and I've gotten something now, I'll add in what I can.

Until then, here's a little something everyone read. To see what they can pick up, to say about it or any other advice they can give on this area.

http://robbo.oeck.net/Stuff/psychology.txt

Ok, that's about 5000 words long so it should keep you busy for a little bit. It's not mind, credit belngs to the whoever wrote it (I'm assuming the poster named at the end)

So read people.
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muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 01:42 AM
Post #3


All I know is my gut says maybe


Group: Members
Posts: 2,566
Joined: 22-February 02
From: Adelaide, Australia
Member No.: 1,415



Our next post comes from one of the SWF's longest serving members, and longest serving no-showers, apart from myself, but he has written a great guide to having fun in the fed, without getting burnt out as some many of us do, so heed his advice.

I'm Insane Luchador, Tim Dillon, and Petey the (Irish) Penguin. Most of you newbies see me as just another lukewarm body that no-shows all the time. This wasn't always the case but it is now- so how can I blame you? But even though this is a competitive federation, we do this for fun. Damn right we write "x" amount of words a week just for fun. Crazy, no? Now some of us like writing more, some of us like wrestling more- some of us don't neither know wrestling nor write well. (Guilty right here). But beyond that, this federation provides a lot of other things you can do for fun.

As a guy who's been here for wwwaayyyy too long (roughly three years, maybe? From ages 11/12 to 15). I know the plague that can usher some of our best writers away- the BURN OUT~! It's the feeling that writing's a chore, it's not fun, yadda yadda yadda. Therefore, since I'm doing this real quick 'cause nobody will read it anybody, here's a good list and tips to avoid that awful stage-

Predictions

-Go on, have fun with them. Don't take them personally though- predictions are easy to do, quite amusing, and can actually movitate certain folk. But there's not much more to this than what I said, so carry on my wayward son-

Comments

-Okay, this is one thing that makes baby Jesus crying. If you're a Satanic fuck (*glares at Aecas, Dace, and Crow*), an evil fuck (*glares at Dawg*) or just an Atheist fuck (*glares at whoever*) then it makes the panda sad. You don't want the panda sad, do you? No you don't. Because otherwise Edwin shall return and sodomize you with, uh, something pointy.

Anyway, I digress. But guys, newbs and veterans alike, FEED BACK Give feedback, it encourages people to keep going. Sometimes people say, "Well, I don't know what to say." I'm sorry, do you only think in Tao? Just type what you say. Not every comment HAS to be an in-depth Dace or Danny like report, just give some comments. I liked this, this was okay, hey try to improve in this area.

Social

-We don't bite, well, most of us don't. (See: Roja vs Munich) Go to the chat, post on the community board, IM the guys you think are pretty cool. Making friends will really improve your time in the federation, plus helps with burn out because you usually have the bugger that prods you to keep going.

Other

-Zed will HATE me for saying this- but if you don't feel like writing. Don't write! Forcing yourself to do it increases your chance to feel burnt out so much more.

-Ask for feedback but don't challenge authority (*cough cough*).

-Don't be intimidated to ask questions or try to get to know us. Most of us are pretty damn cool.

-Try change every now-and-then but don't make it radical. For example a guy named Rane went from being a HOSS~! to cruiserweight. Now correct me if I'm wrong- but Slimfast isn't THAT good, is it? We also had a "ninja" turn "sumo"... well, I guess that works because think of Marlon Brando *bum bum phish* Anyway just tweak your style, your character, maybe moves. Ask people for advice, they'll give it to you.

-Remember, real life > e-fed life. Always. I don't give a fuck what everybody else says- if there's one thing in real life I'd rather do than the federation, I'd go with the real life. But at the same time... you're expected to do your share of work also. (Mind you I'm a fuckin' no-talented jobber so maybe this isn't that great of advice).

-Don't be too sensitive, we poke fun at each other. A lot.

-Have. A. Good. Time.

Now focail leat!
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muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 01:46 AM
Post #4


All I know is my gut says maybe


Group: Members
Posts: 2,566
Joined: 22-February 02
From: Adelaide, Australia
Member No.: 1,415



Did I mention Dace was our go to man for everything move related? Here's a great article to help the less informed of us on building a well structed move set. Craven's of this world, take note.


Right people, this one needs to go up as well. Just for reference. And so a set will be complete as it where.

Building a good moveset (This will need input)

Firstly:

Start at the top. Look at your wrestler’s gimmick, style and stats. These should all be interlinked and set up already. It’s obvious if you have a cocky face cruiserweight, you want lots of flashing high flying and fast offence. And on the flip side, you wont have anything that needs lots of lifting or power as you wont be able to hit it on many people.

Secondly:

Next order of business if your finisher. Good Finisher will cover what makes a good finisher and how to pick it. This is what a lot of your moveset should be built around. It’s there to end the match, so you need to be able to set it up and work your opponent over to hit it.

Thirdly:

Placing and spacing. Stick to the order of things in the way the fed sets out moves.

Rare moves should be rare and something special (as it says, moves that push the limits of you stats a little bit.) This is a good place for Cruiser to have their Cruiser Killer moves like an Orange Crush. It pushes their strength, but they can just break it out against other small guys in big matches when it’s needed.

Common moves. These really shouldn't have names unless it’s your characters gimmick (eg Taz’s Tazplex thing. So having an old Snap Suplex in there would be a Snap Vertical Tazplex but that’s it.) There shouldn’t be anything flashy or fancy in here. Defiantly none of this Tiger/Dragon/Exploder, etc etc Suplexes. Things that are complex or hard hitting don’t fit here. Things like DDTs, Backbreakers and all are what fit there (but that’s not to say they can’t be sig moves if they fit your character either. See Danny Williams’ Elbows, Duran’s DDT, etc) What’s common will depend on your character. A mat wizard like Flesher has his Front Facelock Takedowns, where as a monster like Janus as his Powerslams.

Signature moves. This is where all your stylish stuff goes. The moves that show what your character is. These moves can be pretty much anything within the limit of your stats, what isn’t so flashy or hard fitting it’d be a finisher.
Good Character talks a bit about what shouldn’t be in signature moves. These can be things that could be common moves maybe, but if it’s specialised to the character and they’re good at it, it can make sense. This is where the Moonsaults, the DVDs and the Yakuza Kicks come in.

Fourthly:

Focus again this has been talked about in other places. All your sig moves should be built around your main style and your finishers. Target the same area as your finisher does, just with small moves to add damage. That or if should work to set them up (eg a Cruiserweight hitting lots of fast DDTs and diving kicks and tackles and stuff to get someone down on the mat long enough to go up top and fly) There’s no point having lots of Shinbreakers, Single Leg Crabs and Knee Crushers if your finisher is a Triangle Choke.

Fifthly:

Common Sense. As covering in the Finisher’s article. Don’t use moves you can’t write yourself or because they’re flashy and cool at the time. The moveset should be part of the character almost. Look at Tom Flesher, his low end offence is all technical, amateur wrestling based stuff that he uses to again control and dominate people. His high end offence is powerful, hard hitting and works on almost all of the fed. It all gives him room to be cocky and down right insulting to his opponents. That’s Tom Flesher’s character and that’s what the moveset fits for him.

Sixthly:

Some of the old, some of the new. Some things you have to keep constant in your moveset, so they can become over and credible in a range of situations. There’s no need to be changing your common moves around every few days because you’ve seen another simple move you like. The more the little things stick, the more you can really focus on the character and the more familiar you’ll be with writing a match based around those moves. But on the other side, you have to change a few things every now and again. Maybe bringing out a new move during a long feud and dropping one you haven’t written in changes or just changing one move for one that better fits your character.

Seventhly:

Talk to people. If you have a good character, you should know how they will wrestler and the types and moves they’d use. Doesn’t mean you’ll be able to think of them all the time though. Ask for advice of where a move might fit or what else you can use to make it better. Also ask if your moveset works to right against, because other people have to be able to use it and not just you. If all else fails, PM me. I know enough move crap to at least give a load of ideas.



This next detailed article by Dace explains Finishing Moves.

Right people, I said I was interested in seeing some of these done for the good of the fed, so now I’m going to try writing one. I have no idea if this will be any good or any help, but I can hope. It’s probably just going to turn out to be complete common sense but oh well.

Firstly:
One that you can actually describe. The latest indy flavour of the month move might be the greatest thing since sliced bread and toilet paper, but if you can’t describe it and write it so your opponents cant understand it, it’s no good to anyone. A good finisher doesn’t been to be overly complex and pretty much all the finishers in the fed are simple yet effective as it is. It limits you and everyone else really. If you can hardly describe it, how are people meant to write counters and such to it. To see it, is to believe it as it where.

Secondly:
One that’s not overly contrived. If a move takes ages to set up and looks horrible fake to do, that’s just not going to work either. Eg Ruckus’ Kronik, he sets them up for a powerbomb, pulls both their arms through their legs and grabs the wrists, then pulls them up into the air like for a powerbomb and turns around to drop them with a Diamond Cutter. It takes a fairly long time to set up and just doing the move at all just doesn’t look possible without being completely assisted. A far better move would just be to lift them for a powerbomb, throw them from your shoulders and turn around, catching them with a cutter, like Vic Grimes does.

Thirdly:
Have it fit our stats. If you’ve got speed 3, you shouldn’t be busting out a 630 Senton as your finisher, but if you have strength 8, something like a Thunder Fire Powerbomb makes perfect sense. It’s one thing to have a rare move that just pushes the limits, so you can bust it out at a PPV and all, but that should be impossible is just dumb, like Craven’s Phoenix Splash DDT, no way you could even THINK about that without speed 10. This also leads onto…

Fourthly:
One you can use most of the time. It’s all fine and well being a cruiserweight with a back up big bomb move like the Orange Crush to kill other cruisers, but if your strength stat and the people you face mean you’ll hardly ever, it becomes pointless. The same goes for having a finishing move just because it’s cool. The other downfall is a complex set up, that can only work in certain places, just like being overly contrived in it’s action.

Fifthly:
Have it linked to the rest of your moves. Mainly just so that any offence you’ll generally use in your match will lead to setting up the finisher or working over a body part to make it effective. Some flashy armbar is no good if you don’t have anyway of working over the arm normally. Also, this whole “can be used as a finisher” thing is a stupid idea. Either it’s a finisher and make it one, or it’s just a sig move. Any sig move can get a win with enough of a beating on the opponent, as Danny Williams’ Elbow Smashes have shown. They’re not a certain win, but enough Elbows and others moves and they can be enough to win.

Sixthly:
Set ups and counters. Whatever your move is, you need to set it up. It could just be something as simple as kick to the gut, or needing a full blown other move to put the opp down on the mat if you’re going to fly. They more different ways you can pull it off, the more ideas you have to use in a match. And there’s the counters, the ways to block it, slip out or turn it around into a completely different move. Look at Flesher’s Ego Buster, you can just kick them in the gut, or dead lift the opp from the mat, or counter tackles with it. And because all limbs are free, there’s a range of strikes and roll ups that can be used to escape it.

Examples of good finishers that aren’t being used now:
Kneeling Piledriver
Press Slam DVD
Pumphandle Powerslam
Pumphandle Fire Thunder
Pumphandle MDII
Fireman's Carry MDII
Super Sunset Flip
450 Moonsault
630 senton
Thunder Fire Bomb,
Fire Thunder
Orange Crush
Muscle Buster
Satellite Headscissors to Crossface
Reverse Russian Legsweep
Northern Lights Bomb
Backdrop to Inverted Powerbomb/Spinebuster
Double Arm Swinging Neckbreaker
Wristh Crunch Fishermans/Flacon Arrow/MDII
Inverted Diamond Dust
Osaka Street Cutter
TKO
Cross Leged Northern Lights Bomb
Step over toe hold with full nelson
Canadian Rack Diamond Cutter
Moonsault Leg Drop
Corkscrew Moonsault Legdrop
Rings of Saturn
Bridging Double Chickenwing
Crossface Chickenwing
Octopus Hold
Hanging Octopus Hold
Inverted STF


And now I hope other people will write their own and provide some better reading.
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muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 01:55 AM
Post #5


All I know is my gut says maybe


Group: Members
Posts: 2,566
Joined: 22-February 02
From: Adelaide, Australia
Member No.: 1,415



Of almost every new member to join, I've never seen anyone adapt as well as Toxxic. Here his article explains how to write our daunting SWF matches even if you have little wrestling knowledge, are having trouble, or just need a refresher course.


Well, I’m going to weigh in with the only thing that I can actually contribute on with any degree of authority (since my success in anything else is more by luck than judgement), and so I proudly present:

[Fanfare]

TOXXIC’S ROUGH GUIDE TO WRITING WINNING MATCHES WHILST KNOWING BUGGER ALL ABOUT WRESTLING!

I came into this fed having only seen a small amount of WCW and WWF when I was a kid, and having watched the current WWF/E since Summerslam ‘00. I have seen 4 NWA:TNA shows, 2 CZW shows and I have one tape of Spanky’s work in Japan. I have never seen Jushin Lyger wrestle. Comments about the Great Sasuke go completely over my head. AJPW style could be the same as Lucha Libre for all the footage I have seen of either. And yet somehow, in a fed that by its very name indicates the presence of Smarks and which tends to look down slightly on people who only know WWE style, I have managed to force my way fairly quickly into the upper-midcard. How? Well, there are on a very basic level, two ways to write a match.

Wrestling Based
Probably best exemplified by Dace Night. Dace’s matches (assuming he’s not kicking the shit out of someone in hardcore) will tend to feature some mat work with holds and counters and he relies on his encyclopaedic move knowledge, which means he knows exactly how best to write each move, what the counters are and what its exact effects will be. You can only use this approach if you know these things and if you can explain why the Blue Star Rolling Thunder Diving Powerbomb of UberDeath differs from the Dark Lightning Driver of Imminent Incapacitation, both used only once by Doink The Clown Version 3 under a mask in a Japanese indie fed (or something). You can’t bluff this shit.

Drama Based
This is what I do, and in the writing that I’ve seen in my relatively short time here I view its best proponent to be Kibagami. Don’t get me wrong, Kibs isn’t ignorant on the technical side, but he takes a different approach; in his own words, “any spot I write can be a high spot”. Spotty selling, weak psychology... you can (to a certain extent) cover these faults if you write your match in a certain way. I’m not saying that a well-written paragraph can justify you kicking out of the Rage Unleashed and then jumping around, but explanations can go a long way. What you do need for this style is a good grasp of the English language, spelling and most important of all, grammar. Having a spellchecker won’t help you if you’ve used the correctly spelt but grammatically wrong version of ‘there/their/they’re’ every single time.

Of course, the very best writers (I’m looking at Tom Flesher here, for one) will tend to combine the two. Flesher knows his mat wrestling like no other, but he has the additional advantage of faultless spelling and grammar, a good sense of humour and a knack for the dramatic. The less fortunate mortals amongst us need to focus on one style, and it’s the second that I’m talking about.


PLANNING AND PSYCHOLOGY
I’m no expert on these and I suggest you check out Dace’s article, but you need to have some grasp of them to succeed. To be fair I rarely plan my matches, I just start writing and see what happens. But then again, unlike a lot of people (Janus being the notable exception) I don’t wait til due day or just before but start it the day the card goes up. This gives me roughly five days for spots to occur to me while I’m going about my hectic, fun-packed life, so it all works out the same. And trust me, the way I write, spots are important.

The planning of a match is relatively simple - how will you win? (assuming you’re writing to win, of course). This will impact on the psychology, since if you’re going to win with a head-based finisher then you’re going to need to work the head in the match (check out both Dace and Kibagami’s articles for guidance here). Even if you plan on using something that the wrestling gurus assure you is an instant legit tap-out (the juji-gatame or cross armbreaker comes to mind) that you could theoretically slap on at the beginning of the match and it would be OVER~, some arm work would still be a good idea. Having your wrestler knacker the opponent’s legs to the point where they can’t stand and then get an arm-based submission is kind of stupid (Johnny, this is NOT an attack on you, but since I know jack-all about instant submissions this is the only example I can think of). If Kibagami ever managed to hit the Demonstar Driver in the first 30 seconds that would still be it due to the lethality of the move... but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t spend the rest of the match working the neck anyway.

Having said that, it’s fine to have your wrestler (or indeed the opponent) change gameplan halfway through providing there’s an explanation for it. Has his opponent just taken an unexpected injury to a body part, making it a good idea to abandon the former plan of attack and work on that instead? Is the regular approach (such as a suplex machine facing Janus) just not working? Has your wrestler suddenly taken an injury meaning that his usual plan of attack is no longer an option? Don’t just start a completely different approach without saying why - remember, we’re not move gurus and our actual bare-bones wrestling descriptions are going to be substandard compared to some. You need to explain why you are doing something, even if you can’t explain how all that well.


EXPLANATION
So you can’t write a mat-wrestling - don’t try. If you’re facing Flesher you’re in trouble because that’s what he does, but since you are writing to win you’re going to want to stop his character from mat wrestling anyway. Dace or Mak Francis can get away with this by describing the logical counters, but we don’t know them. If you’re a striker, keep your opponent at a distance with strikes (of course if you know very little like me you won’t know the names of kicks either. There’s only so many times you can write “he kicks” before it becomes repetitive, but the same principle applies to facing strikers too). If you’re a powerful HOSS~ then throw the mat guy away from you before he can bring you down. If you’re a flashy cruiser, wriggle out of his grip. Explain why your wrestler doesn’t want to get drawn into that style of match, that he knows he can’t outwrestle Flesher, outstrike Danny, outrun me (in the absence of Wildchild) or outpower Janus. And then explain why he’s unable to close with you, hit you or grab you.

The best method I have found for this is getting into the heads of the wrestlers. First-person sucks, by and large. Avoid it. Having the narration mention the thoughts (and indeed feelings and pain) of the wrestlers works though. If your neck is hurting you after that Dangerous Backdrop, describe it. And equally, if your opponent is growing frustrated at being unable to close with you, describe that too. Avoid the temptation to only get in the head of your wrestler, because that will lead to one-sided description. If you’re at a position on the card where you have the spare words to do this then you and your opponent will probably be fairly well-rounded characters, or at least have their own distinct personalities. Dace may not promo as much as some people, but the Dace Night character in a match is obviously a straight-up, no-nonsense type that doesn’t back down but can be made to get angry. Dace won’t start to get scared of his opponent, but he might get so irritated he makes a mistake. Describe the rage rising inside him. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ace Lezaire is a cowardly heel and might well be a little nervous - if your powerful face has just kicked out of the best he has to offer his best plan would be to follow up anyway and hit you when you’re still down, but he might be so shocked and scared he doesn’t, which gives you the time you need to recover from the nearfall. If you describe his disbelief and fear at your apparent invincibility you can explain why he doesn’t take the course of action that is most obvious to the detached reader. And make no mistake, emotion is important. How many sports teams have you seen that have been theoretically superior to their opponents, but because of their defeatist mentality they’ve lost a match they should have won?


EMBELLISHMENT
This can be very useful if you have a few words to spare as you can add touches that may just allow your match to rise above one of similar quality. Do the fans chant for someone? In the heat-filled environment of the SWF where even the jobbers get some sort of crowd response, they really should. Are there any signs visible in the crowd? Mention ‘em and comment on them if you can, because that’s a great way to slip in-jokes in and they demonstrate an understanding of where you are competing. If you know something about the fed’s history that’s vaguely relevant put it in, whether it’s that your opponent has lost the last three matches of this type that he’s competed in or whether it’s the anniversary of the Midnight Carnival forming.

For God’s sake, use the commentators. Our current crew is Comet and Riley, and they have their own distinct personalities. They won’t agree with each other, they won’t support the same wrestler (except in VERY unusual circumstances, such as Silent vs Edwin from Genesis IV, or when Janus knuckle-bombed Jessica), and they don’t talk in normal voices. Comet is an over-the-top face, uses convoluted and vaguely archaic language and is pathetically heroic, Riley is sneaky, snidey, heelish and not-very-subtly gay (generally towards Tom Flesher). They are great for putting over both wrestlers in different ways, and if you can get some comedy out of them without overusing them, DO IT! They shouldn’t call the match anywhere near as much as a usual team does or they’ll get invasive - use them to fill gaps in the action, pick up on points that you don’t want to do through the general narrative and make jokes. Neither one needs to call the match straight down the middle - your writing is there to describe what’s going on, all they need to do is put their own individual and widely-differing spins on it.


DRAMATIC WRITING
Hopefully you have decent psychology and a good match layout, with back-and-forth action and explanations of who is doing what and why, but now you’ll need to build to the finish. The dramatic writing methods that I’m going to impart now are useful throughout the match, but they really come into their own at the end. Not matter how instant tap-out your submission or split-second impact your finisher, the match needs to build to that point. This is called the ‘Race To The Finish’ and is where we hit the REAL nearfalls and finisher attempts. How do we do this?


Use spacing, to make individual sentences seem more important.


Start one paragraph focusing on one thing, maybe from one wrestler’s point of view. Describe what they want to do, why they’re going to do it and how they’re going to do it, then just as it all starts to happen...

...have a pause, then switch perspectives and explain how the other guy counters it! Use exclamation marks, because this is where the action is starting to really heat up! Use-

*WHAM!!*

-sound effects to really get across exactly how devastating that potentially match-winning Death Valley Driver was!

Start using shorter sentences. Make everything clipped. Imagine your typing matching your wrestler being short of breath. Long, run-on sentences and bulky paragraphs aren’t what you need here (and I’m as guilty of them as anyone, probably more so than most).


Finally, three rules that come straight from scientifically-proven methods of charismatic speaking:

THE RULE OF THREE
If you’re British, you’ll know about ‘Education, education, education’. If not... well, use your imagination. Basically, we internalise information best if it comes in groups of three. The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. The Long, The Short and The Tall. They’ve got a good rhythm to them, no? That’s how it works. And that leads me on to:


REPETITION
Yes, repetition. Obviously, we internalise something better if we hear it more than once.

’WHAT?’

I said more than once!

’WHAT?’

I said- well, you get the idea. For all its mind-imploding annoyance, Austin’s ‘WHAT?’ chant allowed him to repeat himself, driving the message home. The same applies in writing, but it’s a good idea to be more subtle than the beer-swilling, wife-beating, space-wasting redneck (see, I just used the Rule of Three. Works, doesn’t it?). Also, if you combine the two you get a idea of knowing how to do something, knowing when to do something and knowing why to do something (OK I made that sentence for convenience, but it shows how easy it is to combine the two together).

And finally...

CONTRAST
Contradicting yourself is a bad move, but giving contrast in a sentence is good. I just did it, by using the word “but”. It draws attention to your point because the reader (or listener) has to concentrate to work out what it actually is you’re saying. Simple, but effective. Of course the ultimate is to have a sentence of two contrasting parts, each with a repeating group of three in it. Simply; “I now know how to do this, this and this, but avoid doing this, this and this.” Or, for example:

“We will increase spending on education, we will create more jobs and we will eliminate poverty from our inner cities! But we will not raise taxes! We will not send more of our sons and daughters to die fighting other peoples’ wars! And we will not let Bradshaw become WWE Champion!!”

[CUE MASS APPLAUSE, CHEERING AND ELECTION OF THE CANDIDATE]

OK, I’m not sure how much use that ultimate-combined sentence structure will be in match writing, but at least you know what to aim for.

That’s it from me. Discusss.


Edited to Add: Most important of all - WRITE SOMETHING EVERY TIME!!

If you get in something, anything, then that's better than nothing. I won my Hardcore title from Aecas in my 7th match - which was only my 2nd competitive one... having lost my 1st one to Alan Clark. All the others, including the Hardcore contender match, I won via no-show. And do you know how I won the ICTV Title for the first time from Insane Luchador? Yup - he no-showed. Obviously the best way is to get in a full match, but something is better than nothing. Whether you have Funyon announce that your opponent can't make it to the arena or you destroy your opponent in 30 seconds flat - if you get something in, you have at least a CHANCE at winning. Plus it shows that you at least have the commitment to try, even if you've been rushed.

Thoth once wrote a Clusterfuck (Royal Rumble equivalent) losing match which apparently roughly consisted of "There is a big explosion - everyone dies but Thoth." If all the other writers had got to the last two entrants but simply run out of time and had not gone to the slight extra trouble of writing a couple of hundred words' worth of mass eliminations, and not eventually got anything in... Thoth would have won. Manson has won a tables match using a fricking haiku.

Just write.
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muzz
post Jul 5 2004, 02:00 AM
Post #6


All I know is my gut says maybe


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The links to each post are as follows, including additions by various other SWF members. If you have further questions or comments, please post them in one of the corresponding threads. Any new articles should be posted in their own thread, but will be added here for posterity.

==

Good Finisher: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57116

Good Moveset: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57495

Kibagami's Character Guide: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57139

Toxxic's Match Writing Guide: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57193

IL's Guide to Enjoying the Fed: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57208

Dace's Psychology Post: http://forums.thesmartmarks.com/index.php?showtopic=57172

This post has been edited by realitycheck: Jul 5 2004, 02:07 AM
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