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Thread: BTB Rules & Information Centre

  1. #1
    LARIATOOOOOOOO

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    BTB Rules & Information Centre

    Thought we could do with a refresher on the rules, because Jim's thread only had one rule and all the others were in a separate thread. I should have done this sooner really

    1) Starting new threads
    You are only allowed to run one BTB at a time. If you already have a BTB and wish to start a new one, you need to adhere to the following waiting times:
    • If your old BTB had 30+ replies, you must wait 30 days before starting a new one
    • If your old BTB had less than 30 replies, you must wait 60 days before starting a new one

    The reason for these waiting times is to prevent people from creating a BTB, not putting much effort into it and then creating a new one as soon as possible. We believe this rule encourages people to stick with their old BTB and makes people think carefully about starting new one. If you create a BTB without waiting the appropriate number of days, your BTB will be closed.

    If you are new to the section and haven't previously posted a BTB, this rule does not apply, you can create your first BTB from the moment you join WrestlingClique.com

    2) No Multiple Threads
    In an effort to keep this place tidy, you are only allowed to run one thread per BTB, for example, if you are running the WWE and you create one thread for Raw and one thread for Smackdown, you are breaking this rule and the threads will be merged into one and you will be warned about spamming.

    3) The Non-Wrestling Section is independent
    If you so wish, you can run one BTB in the wrestling section and a second in the non-wrestling section, there is no rule against it. However we advise you against running two BTBs at the same time because you'll eventually burn yourself out and one or possibly both BTBs will fail.

    4) Reviewing
    Please do not ask for reviews of shows in any part of the section except your own BTB. The rule used to be never ask for reviews of shows, but I don't see a problem writing in your own thread hey guys, any thoughts on my show?. What I don't want to see are posts in the fan fiction discussion page and other peoples BTBs begging for reviews - such posts will be deleted as spam.

    Also if you going round posting in every BTB hey man great show, I like how you had the wrestlers wrestle in an obvious attempt to get members to return your pathetic favour, these posts will be deleted as spam and you will be reported as being a nuisance to the section

    5) Flaming and Criticism
    A major part of reviewing work is criticism, but only if it's in the form of being constructive. If you point out flaws in peoples work, show them where they can improve and help them out, then great, you're making a valued contribution to the section and you may even score yourself some rep from me for good reviews. Constructive criticism is what helped me, and a hell of a lot of other bookers, improve the quality of our BTBs. However, there is a line between criticism and flaming, for example:

    "Your show is crap and makes no sense"
    "Heyman in TNA, boring"
    "Oh great another WWE BTB, just what we need"
    "You're a ****ing retard"

    Those sort of comments help nobody, they don't encourage the writer to continue their BTB and they don't really point out how to improve their shows. In the case of newcomers to WrestlingClique, receiving insults like this could not only lead to the new member giving up on their project, but it could turn them off WC completely. I, like many others, came to WC to book, and if someone insulted me and my shows as soon as I'd joined, I might well have quit this place. Please be welcoming to newcomers.

    6) Bumping
    Never bump dead threads, if a BTB has not been commented on in over a month, leave it be, anything you have to say about it can either be said in the Fan Fiction Discussion Thread or in a PM to the author.

    Also do not continuously bump your show with messages such as started writing today, almost done, about 80% done, who's looking forward to the show just so you can remain on the first page of threads. Furthermore, don't flood people's threads asking them over and over when there shows are due, you could do that in the Fan Fiction thread or drop them a VM.

    7) Name Changes
    If you want the name of your thread changed for a valid reason, please PM or VM me your potential name change, and if it's worth pursuing I will make the change. A valid reason for a name change would be wanting to change the year in your title after you reach new years day in your BTB or a spelling mistake.

    8) Advertising

    We have an advertising thread, please use it. Advertisements in the Fan Fiction Discussion thread will be moved to the appropriate thread and you will be warned about rule breaking if your continuously do it. The Fan Fiction Discussion is for idle chit-chat among members, and we'd appreciate it if we could keep conservations commercial free, that was the reason behind starting the advertisement thread.

    9) Closing Threads
    Unless you break a rule, threads will always remain open, even if it's been dead for years. Unless members of the section ignore the 'no bumping' rule, I see no need to create more work for myself by closing every thread that dies. That said, if you wish for your thread to be closed, contact me and I will do it for you, the same goes for re-opening threads.

    10) Deceased Wrestlers
    You are allowed to use them if you so wish; for years they weren't allowed, but we've eased up on that now. I do reverse the right to close any deceased wrestler threads that are total insensitive and cause widespread offence, or breaks any of WC's Golden Rules for the whole forum. For example a joke thread about the Chris Benoit tragedy won't be allowed, the rule hasn't been lifted to cater for such threads.

    11) No E-Fedding
    This is a booking forum, you write your own shows, no one else. We have a great E-Fed here in WC, so if that's your game, please visit them at this link

    WC's E-Fed

    And finally Ed's number 1 rule, which is at number 12 for some reason.....

    12) Plagiarism
    Anyone found copying and pasting work from old BTBs that don't belong to them, regardless of whether the BTB in question is a WC original or it's from another website, will have their threads trashed from existence and I will had out an infraction. I am always on the lookout for plagiarisers and the majority of them are relatively easy to spot, so don't bother, it's not worth it.
    Last edited by Baldwin; 06-29-2015 at 01:13 PM.

  2. #2
    LARIATOOOOOOOO

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    BTB Information Centre

    After giving the rules a makeover a couple of months ago, I've had my eye on revamping the resources, help and advice collaborated from several bookers over the years. The useful parts of the old thread have been kept, and the recent tip sheet from Big Papa and Iamthedestroyer have been added. If you feel you want to contribute your advice to this thread, please PM me and I will consider adding it. As time passes, I may put some of my own thoughts in here if I feel their are appropriate gaps anywhere, for example I may do a tutorial of how to create match graphics that some people use in their BTBs.

    I'll keep this closed until everything is sorted

    Information Centre Index

    The Rules
    Speciality Matches
    Arenas List
    Useful Links
    BTB Awards Archive

    General Advice:
    How to Start a BTB
    Big Papa's Tip Sheet



    Iamthedestroyer's Advice
    Jim's Advice

    Last edited by Ed; 12-26-2012 at 09:09 AM.

  3. #3
    LARIATOOOOOOOO

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    Specialty Matches - originally posted by God

    Battle of Respect:
    This match has no winners. Two wrestlers wrestle each other for a fixed amount of time without pinfalls or submissions.

    Beat the Clock Match: A regular match, only with the time of the match kept. Usually used by a succession of multiple wrestlers, with the first one setting a time the others have to beat. The shortest winning match time wins whatever was on the line.

    Blindfold Match: Sometimes one, usually both competitors wear blindfolds and wrestle. Otherwise normal rules apply.

    Blood Bath Match: Dump a bowl of red liquid over the opponent to win.

    Bra and Panties Match: Take your opponents close off to win.

    Double Jeopardy Match: This is two different matches taking place in the same ring at the same time. The winners of the two matches would then face each other. Example: Y2J and Jeff Hardy while Tazz faces JR.

    Falls Count Anywhere Match: In the standard match, a pinfall or submission can only win the match when it is performed inside the ring. However, in a Falls Count Anywhere match, this need not apply. As such, this also implies that wrestlers cannot lose as a result of countout. The "Falls Count Anywhere" is somewhat of a misnomer in the fact that wrestlers may still be disqualified (but not counted out) for leaving the arena where the match is to be held (this, of course, may vary between promotion). However, it is to be noted that, as the match may take place in various parts of the arena, the "Falls Count Anywhere" provision may be one of many stipulations in a match - it is commonly paired with "No Disqualifications" to form the hardcore match, so as to allow wrestlers the convenience to use foreign objects that may lie wherever they may wrestle.

    An independent federation in Quebec once held a "Falls Count Anywhere In Joliette, Quebec Match", where the entire town the match was held in was "in play".

    Another variation of the rules state that once a pinfall takes, the pinned wrestler must return to the ring within 60 seconds else they lose. If the pinned wrestler makes it to the ring in this time, the match continues. Under these rules, all pinfalls must take place outside the ring. In the now-defunct Tri-State Wrestling Association, a wrestler won a Falls Count Anywhere match by pinning his opponent against an arena wall.

    First Blood Match: This match has no disqualifications. The first person to make their opponent visibly bleed wins the match.

    Flag Match: The Flag Match is essentially the professional wrestling version of capture the flag, in which there are two flags on opposite turnbuckles in the ring, with one wrestler defending one flag while attempting to get the other.

    Handicap Match: A match in which one wrestler or one team of wrestlers faces another team of wrestlers with numerical superiority. For example, two wrestlers against one.

    Hangman's Horror Match: In this match, on every rope there is a dog collar and your goal is to hang your opponent until he cant go on. This match was created by Raven to end his feud with Vampiro.

    Inferno Match: In this match fire surrounds the ring and the only way to win is to set your opponent on fire.

    Last Man Standing Match: The Last Man Standing Match is a match where there are no disqualifications or countouts, and where wrestlers, when knocked down, must answer a ten-count (akin to boxing). It is sometimes known as a Texas Death Match when hardcore aspects are to be emphasized.

    Lumberjack Match: A match where the ring is surrounded by a group of "lumberjacks", normally fellow wrestlers. When one participant in the match leaves the ring for any reason, the heel lumberjacks attack the face wrestler who is out of the ring, and vise-versa. The face lumberjacks then come to the aid of that wrestler and return him to the ring, and vise-versa. The lumberjacks are generally a combination of faces and heels, who sometimes fight among themselves outside the ring. Sometimes, as part of a storyline, a face will wrestle a heel with a group of lumberjacks consisting entirely of heels.

    A variation of this match is called a Canadian Lumberjack Match, in which the lumberjacks are equipped with leather straps. When the lumberjacks are all female, the match is known as a Lumberjill Match (a reference to Jack and Jill).

    Mud Match: A female wrestling match that takes place in a mud pool. A variation of this is the Egg-Nog Match, where the competitors are in a pool of Egg-Nog, held during Christmas.

    No Disqualification Match: The No Disqualification Match is a standard match, except that matches cannot be won via disqualification. Although there is little to prevent a No Disqualification Match from degenerating into a hardcore match, the typical No Disqualification match typically carries the convention that the "No Disqualification" aspect is typically more low-key compared to true hardcore matches, with disqualification-worthy material limited to run-ins and the introduction of ringside foreign objects.

    Sometimes, a No Disqualification Match is held between valets, or a valet and a wrestler, where it is implied that wrestlers will run-in and "defend" their valets.

    In WWE, a No Holds Barred Match, a match coined by Mr. McMahon, may refer to a No Disqualification match that has more hardcore content compared to typical No Disqualification matches. The No Disqualification Match may also be referred to by Sgt. Slaughter or during the annual Tribute to the Troops as the Boot Camp Match.

    Scaffold Match: This match takes place on a scaffold above the ring. The two ways to win the match are to push the opponent off of the scaffold so that he/she hits the mat or to grab the flag from the opponent's home base of the scaffold and return it to one's own home base.

    Serengeti Survival Match: A match in which there are no disqualifications, and the competitors can win by pinfall, submission or by slamming their opponent onto thumbtacks. Invented and named by "The Alpha Male" Monty Brown.

    Short Leash Match: This match has two wrestlers tied together with a short leash (making the opponents one foot away from each other) and the only way to win is by either submission or knock-out. Another variation is called a Chain Match, a submissions-only match with no disqualifications.

    Submission Match: The first man to make his opponent submit wins. Often used in Japan under the name (Japanese) UWF Rules. The Japanese UWF and its derived shoot-style promotions only allowed submissions or knockouts to end matches (including tag team matches), so it was an exclusive feature of such promotions.

    Ultimate Submission Match: This match is a variation of an Iron Man Match. The variation is that the wrestler with the most submissions at the end of the match is the winner.

    Barbed wire match: A barbed wire match is a professional wrestling match in which the ropes surrounding the ring are replaced by strands of barbed wire. In the United States of America, this match was mainly seen in Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW). It has also been utilized in Japan, especially in death match promotions such as Frontier Martial Arts Wrestling (FMW).

    Three Stages of Hell: In professional wrestling, a two out of three falls match, or a best of three falls match, is a series of matches (often between two wrestlers or two teams of wrestlers), in which wrestlers attempt to win the majority of matches. It is often the case that the three individual matches in a best-of-three match are done under different rules so as to maintain audience interest - the three different match types are often referred to as the Three Stages of Hell. The typical "three stages" configuration often begins with a standard one-fall match, followed by a match with a slower pace (eg. a submission match), and ending up with a fast-paced match (eg. a steel cage match). The three matches are often contested one after another; however it is also common for the matches to be played out over a series of wrestling shows, making the match more like a true best-of-three series.

    Iron Man match: An Iron Man match is a professional wrestling match where the man who holds the most pinfalls, submissions, count out and disqualification victories at the end of a given time limit is declared the winner. Should the match result in a tie, sudden death overtime may be requested by either wrestler, often accepted (or rejected) by either an opponent or a higher (on-screen) wrestling authority.

    Because of the fixed time limit, Iron Man matches have a tendency of losing their audience in the middle of a match, with a quick flurry of action near the end. Often, an Iron Man match will have the wrestlers tied or holding a one-point advantage going into the final minutes, with one wrestler attempting to make a tying or winning pin.

    Recently, Iron Man Matches have been known to be 30 minutes long, rather than the usual 60 minutes.

    Junkyard Invitational: This match takes place in a junkyard. First wrestler to escape the junkyard wins the match. Brian "Nasty" Knobs was the winner of the match in WCWSlamboree.

    Total Conquest Match: This match has two wrestlers fighting throughout a house until a pinfall is made.

    Ambulance Match: A no-disqualification match, in which there are no pinfalls or submissions: instead, the object is to injure one's opponent to the point that they must be taken away in an ambulance to send the loser to the nearest hospital

    Buried Alive Match: The object of this match is to bury the other wrestler alive in a makeshift grave inside the arena. No other rules apply. In this match type, the wrestler who is buried alive always survives in the storyline.

    Casket Match: The winner of this match is the first wrestler to put his/her opponent into a closed casket. This match has been a trademark of the WWE wrestler The Undertaker. A number of variants exist, where the object is to place the other wrestler in other closed containers. The Casket is often placed on the ringside, but the other variants might have the container on top of the ramp. The casket may be replaced by other containers, such as a dumpster (in which case the match becomes a Dumpster Match), an ambulance (Ambulance Match), or a hearse (known as a Last Ride Match)

    Stretcher Match: Stretcher Match is an ambiguous term that can be used to described two different matches: in the container-based variation, one must restrain your opponent by strapping them on a stretcher (and then possibly pushing the restrained opponent onto an ambulance) to win. In the weapon-based variation, the stretcher is simply treated as a legal foreign object, and normal rules apply. This is the hospital version of the Casket Match.

    Handcuff Match: Handcuff Matches are matches in which wrestlers to seek to handcuff the opposing wrestler, often to a ring fixture, but sometimes so that the opposing wrestler is unable to make use of their hands.

    Ladder Match: The Ladder Match (not to be confused with the Extreme Championship Wrestling one-fall variation where ladders were used as legal foreign objects) is one where two or more wrestlers compete for an object stationed above the ring, which is only accessible by using a ladder. Due to the nature of the match, ladders are considered to be legal foreign objects.

    There are typically two possible finishes to a ladder match: if the object is storyline-related, such as a championship, the match immediately ends when one wrestler obtains this item. However, if a foreign object is stationed above the ring, then the match continues into a second phase, a one-fall variation where the wrestler who retrieves the foreign object may use the foreign object without disqualification.

    Tables Match: In a Tables Match, the object is to put opposing wrestlers through tables - that is, manipulate them in such a way that the table is broken in half when they are thrown against it. Tag-team table’s matches, especially elimination tag-team table’s matches, have varied on whether one or both members must go through tables in order for a team to lose. It is common for table’s matches to also include a "no disqualification" clause, which turns them into hardcore matches by nature (although this variation may also be alternately known as a Hardcore Tables Match).

    Lion's Den Match: The aim of the match was to knock out your opponent or to make him submit inside an octagonal cage. The rules are made to mimic mixed martial arts matches, and the octagonal cage is meant to mimic the cage used by the Ultimate Fighting Championship league.

    Triple Cage Match: This match, which made its first appearance in the film Ready to Rumble, was a specialty of WCW involving three cages constructed on top of each other. The first cage encompasses the entire ringside area. The second cage is the size of a cage used in typical cage matches, and is filled with a variety of weapons. The third cage is roughly half the size of the second. The object is to climb up to the top of the third cage to grab an object, much like a ladder match.

    Final Wars Brawl: This match has two wrestlers in a steel cage for thirty minutes with other wrestlers entering at a timed interval to help out one of the opponents.

    Football Classic Match: Two cages are placed at ringside, inside each of which is locked a manager with a weapon. The key for each cage is fastened to a football. Two teams of wrestlers must try and gain possession of the football and take it over to their manager's cage, use the key to unlock the cage, then use the manager's weapon to attack the other team. To get the ball to the cage, the wrestlers must pass it between themselves and attack any opposing wrestlers who have possession of the ball.

    Gauntlet Match: A Gauntlet match is, in a sense, a quick series of one-fall one-on-one matches. Here, two wrestlers begin the match, and are replaced whenever one is eliminated (by normal means), with the last person standing being named the winner. A Gauntlet match may also be played out in multiple "parts" as part of a storyline (where a face wrestler must face a series of a heel wrestler's underlings before facing the heel himself, for instance) - this was common in World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s, where it was referred to as a Slobber Knocker. A participant involved in a Gauntlet Match may be referred to as to be "running the gauntlet", although in most cases this designation is reserved for those who are involved for most of the match.

    The Gauntlet may also be referred to as a Turmoil Match, a likely backformation from Tag Team Turmoil, which is used to denote a Gauntlet involving tag teams.

    King Of The Mountain Match: Five wrestlers compete in this match for a title belt. This basically is a Ladder Match in reverse with a twist. When one man is pinned or forced to submit, he is sent to a ringside penalty box for 2 minutes, while the wrestler who scored the fall must hang the belt on a hook above the ring. The others try to stop the wrestler from hanging the belt. The first wrestler to successfully hang the belt wins. This is a Total Nonstop Action Wrestling creation.

    Relay Match: The match has two (could have more) teams of between 3 or 12 members to a team and before the match there will be a coin toss to see which team switches out first. Every 3 or 5 minutes the teams will switch. The first team to get a pinfall wins. Sometimes performed with hardcore rules.

    War Games: Sometimes suffixed with the tagline "The Match Beyond". The War Games match features two rings surrounded by an enclosed steel cage with two teams (or sometimes three) facing one another. One man from each team starts out with another from either team at random entering the cage via a timed interval. The winning team must get a member of another team to submit after all members of each team are in the cage.

    200 light tubes death match: A match type first used in Combat Zone Wrestling at an event called "They Said it Couldn't be Done". The object of this match is to win by pinfall. The use of fluorescent light tubes—officially, two hundred are available for use—as weapons are allowed. These matches are often very bloody and have been banned in most states.

    300 Lightube Deathmatch: Once Used In Japan, Instead Of The Regular 200 Light Tubes Match.

    Clockwork Orange House of Fun Match: A singles match with many weapons suspended from steel chains around the ring, sometimes with sides of a steel cage attached to the ring. The use of weapons is legal, and the match ends in pinfall. Pinfalls count anywhere in the ringside area.

    Explosion Match: Usually accompanied with barbed wire ropes, a large barbed wire wrapped explosion board is placed in the ring laced with a small amount of C-4. The loser is the man that is blown up.

    Sadistic Maddness: A match where the only way to win is by pin fall, but the only way to make the pin fall is if the opponent is bleeding first. There is no disqualification.

    Shattered Dreams Match: Broken Glass all over the floor inside and ouside the ring and sheets of glass in the corners. There is also Taipei Deathmatch Rules. The only way to win is by pin or submission.

    Taipei Death Match: Two wrestlers tape their fist and dip them in glue. They also have a bucket of beer bottles, they smash the bottles to shards and dip their glued-soaked fist in the shards and tear each other apart.

    Ultimate X: Similar to a ladder match but with cables crossing the ring to form a X. The Red X or Title hags from the middle & the wrestlers must climb to the ropes then climb across to retrieve the prize. This is a TNA creation.

    Elevation X: A combination of Ultimate X & A Scaffold match. A steel structure is made to cross the ring like in Ultimate X but unlike Ultimate X their is nothing to retireve. You win the same way as a scaffold match, by throwing your opponent off the top. TNA made this match in 2007 when Rhino defeated AJ Styles.

  4. #4
    LARIATOOOOOOOO

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    List of Arenas - Originally posted by God

    This is a list of well known arena mainly in the United States. Europe, Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Africa, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines & Australlia make up the rest of the list.

    They are even divided into states/countries & then alphabetacaly for your convieance.

    Any name changes or other arena that should be added but havent, post them & i'll add them in.

    Location - Arena Name

    United States of America
    - Alabama; Huntsville - Von Braun Center
    - Alabama; Mobile - Mobile Civic Center

    - Arkansas; Little Rock - Alltel Arena

    - Arizona; Phoenix - US Airways Center (formerly known as America West Arena)

    - California; Anaheim - Honda Center (formerly known as the Arrowhead Pond)
    - California; Bakersfield - Rabobank Arena
    - California, Fresno - Save Mart Center
    - California, Los Angeles - Staples Center
    - California; Oakland - Oakland Coliseum
    - California; Sacramento - ARCO Arena
    - California; San Diego - ipayOne Center (formerly known as San Diego Sports Arena)
    - California; San Francisco - Cow Palace
    - California; San Jose - HP Pavillion

    - Colorado; Colorado Springs - World Arena
    - Colorado; Denver - Pepsi Center

    - Connecticut, Brideport - Arena at Harbor Yard
    - Connecticut; Hartford - Hartford Civic Center
    - Connecticut; New Haven - New Haven Coliseum

    - District Columbia; Washington - MCI Center

    - Florida; Daytona Beach - Oceans Center
    - Florida; Fort Lauderdale - National Car Rental Arena
    - Florida; Fort Myers - Everblades Arena
    - Florida; Miami - American Airlines Arena
    - Florida; Orlando - Amway Arena (formerly known as TD Waterhouse Arena)
    - Florida; Pensacola - Pensacola Civic Center
    - Florida; Tampa - St. Pete Times Forum

    - Georgia; Atlanta - Phillips Arena
    - Georgia; Atlanta - The Georgia Dome

    - Idaho; Boise - Qwest Arena (formerly known as Bank of America Centre)

    - Illinois; Chicago - United Center
    - Illinois; Rosemount - Allstate Arena

    - Indianapolis; Indiana - Conseco Fieldhouse
    - Indianapolis; Indiana - RCA Dome

    - Iowa; Cedar Rapids - U.S. Cellular Center
    - Iowa; Des Moines - Wells Fargo Arena
    - Iowa; Sioux City - Gateway Arena

    - Kansas; Topeka - Landon Arena
    - Kansas; Wichita - Britt Brown Arena

    - Kentucky; Lexington - Rupp Arena
    - Kentucky; Louisville - Freedom Hall

    - Louisiana; Bossier City - CenturyTel Center
    - Louisiana; Lafayette - Cajundome
    - Louisiana; Baton Rouge - Baton Rouge River Center
    - Louisiana; New Orleans - The Superdome
    - Louisiana; New Orleans - New Orleans Arena

    - Maryland; Baltimore - 1st Mariner Arena

    - Massachusetts; Boston - TD Banknorth Garden
    - Massachusetts; Lowell - Tsongas Arena
    - Massachusetts; Springfield - MassMutual Center
    - Massachusetts; Worcester - DCU Center

    - Michigan; Auburn Hills - Palace at Auburn Hills
    - Michigan; Battle Creek - Kellogg Arena
    - Michigan; Detroit - Joe Louis Arena
    - Michigan; Grand Rapids - Van Andel Arena
    - Michigan; Lansing - Breslin Center
    - Michigan; Pontiac - Pontiac Silverdome

    - Minnesota; Duluth - DECC Arena
    - Minnesota; Minneapolis - Target Center
    - Minnesota; St. Paul - Xcel Energy Center

    - Mississippi; Biloxi - Mississippi Coast Coliseum

    - Missouri; Kansas City - Kemper Arena
    - Missouri; Saint Louis - Scottrade Center (formerly known as Savvis Center)
    - Missouri; Saint Louis - Edward Jones Dome

    - Montana; Billings - MetraPark Arena

    - Nebraska; Omaha - Qwest Center Arena

    - New Jersey; East Rutherford - Izod Center (formerly known as Continental Airlines Arena)
    - New Jersey; Trenton - Prudential Center
    - New Jersey; Trenton - Sovreign Bank Arena

    - New Mexico; Las Cruces - Pan American Center
    - New Mexico; Las Cruces - Las Cruces Convention Center

    - North Carolina; Chapel Hill - Dean E. Smith Center
    - North Carolina; Charlotte - Charlotte Bobcats Arena
    - North Carolina; Greensboro - Greensboro Coliseum

    - North Dakota; Fargo - Fargodome

    - Nevada; Las Vegas - MGM Grand
    - Nevada; Las Vegas - Thomas and Mack Center
    - Nevada; Reno - Lawlor Events Center

    - New York; Albany - Times Union Arena
    - New York; Buffalo - HSBC Center
    - New York; Binghamton - The Broome County Arena
    - New York; New York City - Madison Square Garden
    - New York; Rochester - Blue Cross Arena
    - New York; Syracuse - OnCenter
    - New York; Uniondale - Nassau Coliseum

    - Ohio; Athens - The Convocational Center
    - Ohio; Cleveland - Quicken Loans Arena (formerly known as Gund Arena)
    - Ohio; Cincinnati - US Bank Arena
    - Ohio; Columbus - Nationwide Arena
    - Ohio; Dayton - Nutter Center

    - Oklahoma; Oklahoma City - Ford Center
    - Oklahoma; Tulsa - Tulsa Convention Center

    - Oregon; Portland - Rose Garden Arena

    - Pennsylvania; Bethlehem - Stabler Arena
    - Pennsylvania; Erie - Erie Civic Center
    - Pennsylvania; Hershey - Giant Center
    - Pennsylvania; Johnstown - Cambria Country War Memorial
    - Pennsylvania; Pittsburgh - Mellon Arena
    - Pennsylvania; Philadelphia - ECW Arena
    - Pennsylvania; Philadelphia - Wachovia Center
    - Pennsylvania; State College - Bryce Jordan Center
    - Pennsylvania; Wilkes-Barre - NE PA Civic Center

    - Rhode Island; Providence - Dunkin'™ Donuts Center

    - South Dakota; Sioux Falls - Sioux Falls Arena

    - South Carolina; Florence - Florence Civic Center
    - South Carolina; Greenville - Bi-Lo Center

    - Tennessee; Chattanooga - UTC Arena
    - Tennessee; Memphis - Mid-South Coliseum
    - Tennessee; Memphis - FedEx Forum
    - Tennessee; Nashville - Gaylord Entertainment Center

    - Texas; Austin - Erwin Center
    - Texas; Dallas - American Airlines Center
    - Texas; El Paso - Don Haskins Center
    - Texas; El Paso - El Paso Convention Center
    - Texas; Houston - The Astradome
    - Texas; Houston - Toyota Center
    - Texas; San Antonio - AT&T Center
    - Texas; San Antonio - Freeman Coliseum

    - Utah; Salt Lake City - Delta Center
    - Utah; Salt Lake City - E Center

    - Virginia; Norfolk - The Scope
    - Virginia; Richmond - Richmond Coliseum

    - Washington; Seattle - Key Arena
    - Washington; Spokane - Spokane Arena
    - Washington; Tacoma - Tacoma Dome

    - West Virginia; Charleston - The Charleston Civic Center
    - West Virginia; Wheeling - Wesbanco Arena

    - Wisconsin; Milwaukee - Bradley Center

    Canada
    - Alberta; Calgary - The Saddledome
    - Alberta; Edmonton - Northlands Coliseum
    - Alberta; Edmonton - Skyreach Center

    - British Columbia; Vancouver - GM Palace

    - Manitoba; Winnipeg - Winnipeg Arena

    - Ontario; Toronto - Air Canada Center
    - Ontario; Ottawa - The Corel Center
    - Ontario; Toronto - The Rogers Center

    - Quebec; Montreal - The Molson Center


    Europe
    - Belgium; Brussels - Vorst-Forest National

    - England; Birmingham - NEC Arena
    - England; Doncaster - Doncaster Dome
    - England; Hull - Hull Arena
    - England; London - Wembly Arena
    - England; London - London Arena
    - England; London - O2 Arena
    - England; Manchester - Manchester Evening News Arena
    - England; Nottingham - Nottingham Arena
    - England; Newcastle - Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
    - England; Sheffield - Sheffield Arena (formerly Hallam FM Arena)

    - Finland; Helsinki - Hartwall Arena

    - Germany; Berlin - Max Schmeling Halle
    - Germany; Cologne - Cologne Arena
    - Germany; Munich - Olympiahalle
    - Germany; Leipzig - Messehalle
    - Germany; Stuttgart - Stuttgart Schleyerhalle
    - Germany; Oberhausen - Koenig-Pilsner Arena
    - Germany; Hamburg - Sporthalle

    - Italy; Bologna - Palamalaguti
    - Italy; Florence - The Palasport
    - Italy; Milan - Fila Forum
    - Italy; Pesaro - BPA Palace
    - Italy; Turin - The Mazda Palace

    - Northern Ireland; Belfast - Odyssey Arena

    - Republic of Ireland; Dublin - The National Stadium
    - Republic of Ireland; Dublin - The O2 (formerly The Point)
    - Republic of Ireland; Dublin - The R.D.S.

    - Scotland; Glasgow - Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre
    - Scotland; Aberdeen - Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre

    - Wales; Cardiff - Cardiff International Arena


    Japan
    - Tokyo; Japan - Nippon Budokan
    - Tokyo; Japan - Jingu Baseball Stadium
    - Tokyo; Japan - Sumo Hall
    - Tokyo; Japan - Budokan Hall
    - Tokyo; Japan - Tokyo Dome
    - Tokyo; Japan - Yoyogi National Stadium Gym #21
    - Tokyo; Japan - Korakuen Hall
    - Tokyo; Japan - Tokyo Egg Dome

    - Saitama; Japan - Saitama Super Arena

    - Osaka; Japan - Osaka Jo Hall
    - Osaka; Japan - Prefectual Gym

    - Yokohama; Japan - Yokohama Arena

    - Hiroshima; Japan - Hiroshima Sun Plaza


    Australia
    - Western Australia; Perth - Burswood Dome

    - New South Wales; Sydney - Acer Arena (formerly Sydney Superdome)

    - Victoria; Melbourne - Vodafone Arena
    - Victoria; Melbourne - Rod Laver Arena

    - Queensland; Brisbane - Brisbane Entertainment Centre

    - South Australia; Adelaide - Adelaide Entertainment Centre


    Mexico
    - Acapulco; Mexico - Plaza de Toros Caletilla
    - Guadalajara; Mexico - Plaza de Toros
    - Mexico City; Mexico - Arena Mexico
    - Monterrey; Mexico - Arena Monterrey
    - Naucalpan; Mexico - El Toreo


    Other
    - South Africa; East Rand - Carnival City
    - South Africa; Johannesburg - The Dome
    - South Africa; Cape Town - Good Hope Centre

    - Thailand; Bangkok - Impact Arena

    - Philippines; Manila; - Araneta Coliseum

    - New Zealand; Wellington - Westpac Stadium

  5. #5
    LARIATOOOOOOOO

    Ed's Avatar

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    Be the Booker Tip Sheet
    by Big Papa

    This is intended as an open guide to help people, not as any sort of direct "how to". There is no "secret formula" or "right way" to do things when it comes to a BTB project. That's something I will emphasize throughout. There are some wrong ways, though. More than anything else, there are pitfalls that can have some consequences. I would hope this kind of document can help you move forward and create a stronger BTB, whether you are starting out fresh or are in the middle of an on-going project.

    Why am I more qualified than the next writer to put this together? I can't claim that I am. Which is why I think this should be an open document where anyone can ask for tips and everyone is welcome to respond or add their own tips.

    In terms of the experience I have, I am best known around these parts for the two WCW projects I've done, both the "recap" style. I have also done several other projects on another site (a couple of which got reposted here a long while back) which were full-show style and mostly based around a fictional wrestling universe that is part of the Total Extreme Wrestling game. Since the tendency on this site is toward real world based projects - whether its with real promotions, fictional, or modified - I will tailor the tips toward that. I may reference my own experience and projects a bit, which is why I figured this info may be relevant.

    Many of these tips have been gleaned from other such tip threads I've read around the web, while others come from my own observations and experience.


    Plans, Not Ideas
    I mentioned this in the first Round Table that was done. The difference between a plan and an idea might seem small, but its actually quite significant. Having an idea is basically having an endpoint. Its what you want to get to. Having a plan is knowing fairly specifically how you want to get there.

    It can also be the opposite - the idea can be the moment that should begin something. A big debut, a new gimmick, or maybe the formation of a new stable. The plan is what happens from there.

    An idea would be to have John Morrison win the WWE Championship (maybe not a good idea, but an idea). By itself it's a moment, as any world title win should be, but its not necessarily a huge moment. Its not a huge moment because the idea has no context. The plan is how you build toward it to make it a huge moment that has readers - even some who aren't Morrison fans - marking out. The real drama then doesn't come from the idea but from the plan to get you there. If you plan well, it's a huge payoff and everyone is happy (so much as possible). If you do it poorly, it can make a moment actually be disappointing.

    Conversely, perhaps the idea is an awesome new heel stable of young talent - some of the Nexus guys and some of the second generation guys all coming together. It will be like an updated version of Evolution. They announce their arrival with a big moment and show of force and then... what? Where do they go? Who are they going to feud with? What's the payoff? Having no idea of what happens going forward will typically lead to things fizzling out - what I like to call TNAitis... though the WWE is plenty guilty of it too.

    Everything starts with the idea. But that is only a seed. You need to build on that, expound on it, flesh it out, create the moments, and make it pay off. Just like you would feel the need to flesh out a new character being introduced, that idea needs to become more than it is.

    I think this is a key factor because so many projects - here and elsewhere - seem to be based on an idea or two. There is no real plan. Nothing specific and detailed about how a given idea is going to be achieved. I'm not going to claim that approach cannot work, but I think its going to fail more often than it succeeds to any degree. Now it might seem awfully onerous to have to sit down and plan out every week of a given feud for three or four months of shows before you even start your project, but preparation is key (see the next tip). Think of it this way - if you come up with 2 or 3 good ideas for the promotion (or per brand) and flesh them out in a decent amount of detail (at least so you have the arc in mind, if not the actual show-by-show events), you would have a large amount of the booking of your key storylines done for the next several months. Fill in a couple more feuds and you have most of what you need.

    Prepare
    Another forum I've done projects on has a standard recommendation for anyone planning to start a project - write out four shows before you post anything. Not outlines, but fully detailed shows ready to be posted. There are multiple reasons for this recommendation, which only a few people seem to take seriously. And the average project that starts on that forum lasts 3 shows. Which is part of where that recommendation came from. Here on WC, we have the 30/60 post rule about staring a new project. Why? Because so many projects are started and then abandoned so quickly. Same basic principle here.

    I'm a big believer in preparation making the whole process easier. The more work you put in ahead of time, the smoother things are likely to go as the project progresses. Laying out your booking plans in some degree of detail is a big part of this, but it goes beyond that. Spend some time to get a handle on your own approach and style. Putting together the graphics package you will use (assuming you are using graphics) can take some time. Figure out your backstory, if you are going to have one. If you are planning on bringing in new talent, or re-debuting talent, figure out the details - how they will debut, their character, gimmick, role. In my experience, the more work that is done ahead of time, the more polished and professional the product will seem.

    Good preparation requires some organization. If you want low-tech, a 100-page coil notebook is probably less than a dollar and makes for a pretty effective way to organize things. Even more effective is to use something like a spreadsheet. In the past, I used to have a number of Word documents to keep a great deal of information but I now compress everything into one spreadsheet. I also use OpenOffice, which is a free office suite with everything one needs. All it takes is a bit of formatting and the information is nicely organized - I have separate sheets for my roster, PPV plans (up to three years down the road), title histories, future signings, music selection, and so on. Having all the info in one place also makes it very easy to backup (which I don't do often enough).

    This is also the time to do any research required of the project. You're response might be "What research? Why bother?" Well, it depends on the project, as some will require a lot more than others. But even doing a current day WWE project can require some fact-checking - nothing like putting together an awesome new team that you think is fantastic, only to have a reader tell you that it doesn't make sense since the two workers had a vicious feud two years ago that was left unresolved... and you forgot about it so you didn't address it. This gets especially important if you are doing a historical project because messing up your time-lines will turn off a lot of potential readers very quickly. This ties into other tip points about logical and justification, and while you can ret-con such mistakes, you also want to try to avoid driving away your core readers - and glossing over logic gaps and time-line mistakes has at tendency to do that.

    Across the Web, I have seen so many projects started that were good to great concepts but quite simply never properly developed. Taking that core concept and developing it into something workable takes work. It takes time and effort. That is part of the prep work. And it's a key part of any project, in my opinion.

    Plan Long Term and Short Term
    This one is definitely a matter of preference. I've read a few really solid projects where the writer admitted they don't really plan more than the feuds they are currently running. Most projects are going to benefit from having the next set of feuds lined up. Perhaps not in great detail, but things flow more smoothly if you know where you going. It also allows you to throw little hints and details in that tie everything together really nicely.

    A common question is how far one should plan, and again, that's a matter of preference. But if I was to start a WWE project that began just after WrestleMania, I would very likely have some pretty solid plans for the following WrestleMania. Not concrete, unchangeable plans, but a very good idea of what I wanted to my main matches to be. That allows me to plan out the feuds so that everything flows nicely. Its very very unlikely that I would be trying to run any given feud for the entire year, but you can build toward things even just by planting seeds.

    The project type comes into play a bit here. Using a full-show approach tends to move much slower, and not that many will run for a full year. A recap approach tends to move faster, dependent on what periods you cover. Even if your project moves slow, it's not a bad idea to have at least a solid idea of where you are heading with the key players and main feuds. It's the short term plans that should be pretty settled and solid.

    Look for Big Moments
    Hogan versus Andre at WrestleMania III. Punk versus Cena in Chicago at Money in the Bank. The I Quit match between Ric Flair and Terry Funk. Hogan turning heel and the New World Order forming. The Mega Powers finally colliding. Austin winning the world title from Michaels with Tyson at ringside. Austin versus The Rock at WM X-Seven.

    What do all of those have in common? They are big moments in the history of the wrestling business. And perhaps more importantly, all were big moments because of how they were built up.

    Big moments are what fans tend to remember. In my opinion, they are basically what define the Sports Entertainment approach to wrestling. But even in other product types, the big moments are still key and they are still built up through storylines or feuds of some type.

    Finding those big moments and building toward them are big part of writing an exciting project, in my opinion. A great feud that has no real payoff doesn't end up being that memorable. But even a mediocre feud that has a great moment at the end becomes quite memorable. And that is what you want - moments that stick out to your reader. Not just something that makes them mark out for the moment they read it, but something that makes them want to go back and read the whole thing again a month later. Its not easy to come up with that kind of big moment, nor easy to build toward it. But I don't think there is anything that will seem quite as epic to readers as that one unique huge moment.. Whether it's a push that pay offs in a very satisfying title win, a major swerve, a shocking turn... looking for those kind of moments.

    Logic is Your Friend
    One of the most awesome aspects of a BTB project is that you have the freedom do almost anything you can conceive of (within a few rule limits). Yet leaving leaving notable logic gaps and moving away from "realism" too much is likely to drive readers away. What gives?

    Perhaps it should not be a shock, but those who read wrestling-based writing projects tend to be wrestling fans. And wrestling fans, as wrestling viewers, tend to expect logic. Things that happen without any explanation, justification, or consequence tend to frustrate and annoy fans. And it will be much the same with readers.

    The logic gaps I am talking about here are moreso on the business side of things, but it does apply to booking as well. If you decide to do a WWE project and start out by telling your readers that you've dumped the Divas, fired all the superstars you don't like, and/or dropped the brand split but without any real justification beyond "I wanted to", you are going to lose readers right from the go. Any of those are pretty major changes to the promotion, and all three would be massive changes to do all at once. Because there is no explanation as to they why, there is a logic gap and the project's level of realism drops. The same thing happens if you decide to bring all your favorite indie talents into the WWE or TNA. Its not to say such major changes to the product are wrong or shouldn't be done - simply that doing them without providing a real justification (beyond "I wanted to") will have consequences with your potential reader-base.

    If you want to making large-scale promotion changes, you have two other options. The first would be a backstory of some type to explain it - this often comes across as kinda cheesy but its definitely better than "I wanted to". The second would be to make the changes gradually, as the project progresses, in a relatively realistic manner - this one still often requires a bit of a backstory of some type, though it depends on how big of changes you are making.

    Another question I've seen asked often is whether backstory is necessary at all. Opinions will vary, but I say it's a good idea if you are going to be making notable product changes. If you intend to stick with the existing product for that promotion and period, or will make really gradually changes, then it will likely feel "natural" enough that a backstory isn't really required.

    There are, of course, always exceptions. If you aren't attempting to intentionally remove the project from reality, then this one really doesn't apply. Taking a humorous or even absurd approach can be massive fun, both to write and to read.

    I won't say logic gaps and departures from realism (when the project is intended to "feel" real) are wrong. Rather, it's a decision that a writer makes that will have consequences. It can drive away potential readers. You will have people who might otherwise be interested in the project who won't bother with it. More than anything else, but aware of the consequences of a decision you make.

    The Devil is in the Details
    The degree of attention that is paid to the "small" details is one of the things that separate great BTB projects from the good ones, in my opinion. Its when you can combine some good booking with the depth of detail that really makes each show come alive that you have something truly epic.

    So what do I mean by "details" here? To be honest, I'm using it as a pretty encompassing term. Its all the little aspects that make up a given show for a promotion. It's the attitude and mannerisms of the fans. Its capturing the essence of how a given worker delivers a promo. Or managing to recreate the banter and timing between a commentary crew. Its also creating the "little moments" that make wrestling awesome.

    In regard to capturing the exactly delivery and syntax of a given worker when writing out full-promos, there are more experienced writers in that regard who can offer better advice than I. The full promos I've done have mostly been for fictional workers, which takes away the potential "that doesn't sound like CM Punk at all!" aspect. This is an area where some research can pay off, though I don't really think spending 10 hours looking up every promo you can find for a given worker on Youtube is necessary. Pay attention to the major delivery trends of a given worker – aspects such as big pauses, frequent use of rhetorical questions, rhyming, even use of insider terms. Once you have a few of those trends down for a worker and combine those with a few of the catch-phrases (or at least often-used phrases). The result is probably going to be a decent approximation of that worker. Is that necessary for the entire roster of a given promotion? Probably not.



    In some ways, describing the atmosphere of a show for a promotion like the WWE or even TNA is kinda unnecessary. If you watch wrestling at all at this point, you know what those crowds tend to be like. Yet providing your reader with some of those details can really add to the immersion factor. Whether its Cena getting his typical split reaction from the fans, “E-C-Dub” chants after someone goes through a table, or even the inane “This is awesome” chants that the TNA crowd constantly do. Pay per view events are an opportunity to really do this, especially with the bigger ones – details like custom sets, unique entrances, and high level promo videos. Ed did a fantastic job of capturing these aspects of WrestleMania in his project. His attention to these kind of details in that show made it one of the single best I've read on the web.


    Another area where such attention to detail can add a bit is any news posts. Its common to use news stories to fill in readers on changes, like hirings and firings. If you are going to use a “real” source like the Wrestling Observer or WWE.com, its a good idea to make the reports look like they actually would on those sites. If you are using a fictional site, that is less of a concern but its still not a bad idea to make the reports seem somewhat similar to how such sites actually report news or rumors. This is a small detail, and relatively insignificantly, yet its the kind of thing that can help a project really standout.

    Another area where you can really add some fun to a project is in the “small moments”. These are the little moments that make wrestling awesome. Often humorous, these are things like miscues, Freudian slips, botches, unscripted interactions, wardrobe malfunctions, and all kinds of accidental surprises. Think Botch-Mania. But its not just limited to those kind of moments. From Batista's “I hate you, too” to the little girl angry over Miz's first title win to random funny signs at events, there are endless examples. Which creates limitless possibilities. Now this is an area where moderation is a good idea – having several such moments every show will be overkill and reduce their effectiveness. Even trying to do one per show might be overkill, unless you tend to make some of the pretty subtle.



    Ideas are Everywhere

    Considering the amount of criticism that the WWE and TNA creative teams take from us fans, booking a dozen or so great storylines and having awesome characters for a couple dozen workers can't be tough at all, right? Wrong... It be can pretty damned difficult. Coming up with endless “new” ideas for storylines, feuds, characters, and more can be taxing. But at least you don't have to try to please Vinnie Mac or make sense of Vinnie Russo's ideas...


    I have two pieces of good news for you...

    The first is that the wrestling business has a huge number of ideas you can use. Whether its for stories, gimmicks, stables, whatever. And the business also has a history of reusing its own ideas, so doing so fits right in. If your knowledge of wrestling is limited to WWE and TNA the past few years, then I highly recommend taking some time to expand it. Do some reading and watching on-line. Tons of stuff out there. I recommend looking at some of the stuff done in the territories, as promotions like Florida Championship Wrestling, Mid South, JCP, and WCCW put together some fantastic stuff that can easily be adapted to a modern contemporary promotion.

    This brings up the question of how a feud from thirty years ago is going to work for a contemporary audience? Well, there are two keys there... The first is to recognize the core idea and the second is then adapting that. How much of that is required depends on the circumstance. Some ideas can basically be dropped right it and redone almost exactly (don't use TNA's approach on this, though) while others will be difficult to recognize where the inspiration came from. In adapting the idea, you might end up evolving to the point where you really are just using the inspiration of the original rather than "redoing it".

    The second bit of good news is that if you do go outside the wrestling world for ideas... they are everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Once you get into the habit of takings things and coring them down to their base ideas, you can find usable ideas anywhere you look. An episode of your favorite TV drama. That inane sitcom your friend/parent/spouse loves. The newest episode of your favorite animated show. The 80s horror slasher flick that Jim or Fuji just reviewed. A commercial. A crappy young adult novel you read when you were a kid. A music video. Comic books. Classic literature. You can find ideas almost anywhere you look, and some really good ones. The key is going beyond what you are being presented to see the core idea. So how do you start looking for the "core idea" of something - whether it's the plot, a character, or even just a moment? Essentially just define it in the most basic way possible. There's your core.

    A couple examples from my own experience... While I was still working on my very first BTB-style project, I developed the habit of looking for ideas everywhere. Anything I watched, read, or saw could give me a little nugget of an idea which could be used. During that time, I ended up watching an episode of a kid's sitcom. Something like Hannah Montana (which I am not in the habit of watching, FYI). The exact specifics are blurry but the basic plot of the episode is that the two girls who are best friends end up feuding over something stupid. The feud ends up involving all their friends and classmates, who pick sides, and it culminates in a giant food fight at the school, during which the two who started it hide under a table and make up then watch the havoc they have created. That is a very usable story arc for wrestling. Its basically a small variation on the "friends feud", but the options are nearly limitless. It could be a huge storyline that involves much of a promotion for months, or a tiny arc over the course of one show. It would work with faces or heels, and makes a great way to tease a tag team breakup.

    Another one was trying to find a character for a terrible veteran wrestler in a TEW game I was considering adapting into a project. It never happened, but I did figure out a gimmick slash character while watching some movie. There was a minor character who got a few not-so-funny references to them being a degenerate gambler. And there's the idea - a degenerate gambler. Someone who gambles on the results of wrestling matches - which is, of course, humorous because the results are worked. Again, there are a lot of options and directions one could go. I would probably use it more so for a manager type or even authority figure, and toy with the whole kayfabe aspect just a bit.

    My point with these two littles stories is that ideas can be found anywhere. Recognize the core idea, adapt it to your promotion, and then develop it.


    Be Flexible

    I'm a big fan of planning ahead, but plans need to be made with some degree of flux in mind. You have to be able and willing to change plans, at least to a degree. A well-run promotion will do this, while a questionably-run one will not.

    Presenting a product to readers - even when that product is your fictionalized version of a fake sport - is going to generate reactions, just as a real promotion doing so on TV and to live fans does. You cannot always anticipate the reaction certain things will get. You will have ideas (characters, story-lines, gimmicks, moments, whatever) that you think are awesome that just simply fail to get over with your fans/audience/readers. And you will have things get over in ways you never expected.

    This is one to be careful with. You don't want to overvalue one or two comments about an issue, whether they are positive or negative, and you don't want to overact even if the feedback is very positive If a character you had intended as a low-level talent gets over with your readers, give them more. But only give them a bit more. If you go into overkill mode and turn that character into the central star of the project, it can not only end up ruining some of what made that character interesting in the first place, but frustrate readers who liked other aspects that have now been pushed aside. You want to listen to your fans/readers, but you also have remember that its your project.


    Know Your Product
    I expect that anyone here, in this forum reading this, is probably a wrestling fan. As a wrestling fan, there is a strong chance that you watch - and least occasionally - the current product. Whether that's WWE, TNA, ROH, PWG, Evolve, or maybe just puro... Now even if you don't watch the WWE regularly, but you are probably pretty aware of what a contemporary WWEshow looks like. The overall look, the lighting and pyrotechnics, the slick production values, where the commentators sit, the wrestler entrances, how the crowds tend to react...

    This is a strength of doing a real world project - most of your readers is likely to be familiar with all those aspects of your product. Because of that, you really don't need to spend a lot of time defining those aspects. Adding some details never hurts, and can definitely add to the immersion factor for readers - as I previously mentioned, this particularly helps for big events, where everything should be a bigger spectacle.


    Imagine, for a moment, someone who has never watched the current WWE product. Maybe they've seen a few bits of Raw or NXT, or watched a couple individual matches. That's it. Would you trust that person – even knowing they were a solid writer – to create a BTB project that seemed like the WWE? I would expect not. Yet I have seen a number of writers take on projects – typically indie promotions or old school territories, even original Philly ECW – where they admit they have seen very very little of the actual product. That always kind of confounds me. If you enjoy wrestling, putting in the time to do the research should be fun. The Internet is the greatest research tool ever created and if you are reading this, you can obviously use it. This site alone has an amazing amount of wrestling from every corner and a Platinum membership is hardly costly.


    I cannot and will not claim that doing a project for a promotion where you are unfamiliar with the product is wrong. But its a decision that comes with consequences. Any promotion you pick comes with a built-in audience and they are almost always fans of that given promotion to some degree. They have a tendency to be capable of quite quickly determining that a writer is pretty unfamiliar with the given product, and that will turn many or even most away. Hence, I think its a questionable decision which can be avoided in several ways – stick to what you know or what you don't know, learn.


    Now with a created fictional promotion, this aspect becomes a problem in a different way. The product doesn't actually exist, so you don't have to worry about getting the details wrong... but those details can really help bring a fake promotion to life for the readers. The details are a blank slate for you to fill in. What kind of environment do the shows take place in? Do you have rabid fans who chant constantly, smarky fans who react the opposite of how they are supposed to, quiet and attentive fans, or weird fans who dress up for each show like everyday is Halloween? What does the set look like? Where does the commentary crew sit? What do the wrestler entrances look like? These are all things that you can define and use make your promotion unique beyond the talent and in-ring action, different from any other promotion. That said, these things don't have to be defined. It does take some effort, time, and creativity, but defining these kind of details can provide a great deal more immersion for your readers in your project.


    I'm going to use this spot to make another point, which could probably be a tip of its own or fall under several others... understand the value of moderation. Its something relatively forgotten by the WWE in their current product, and completely forgotten by TNA. A great many things done in wrestling are done for effect with the fans. Yet the more frequently that these things are done, the less impact they have. Which is likely to elicit more reaction from fans – a post-match attack in a promotion where such things never happen or in one where it happens every week? Moderation can (and perhaps should) apply to aspects like use of blood, gimmick matches, and even commentators using hyperbole.



    Find Your Voice

    Another great aspect of doing a BTB is the freedom of approach. There really is no standard or “right” way of approaching things, in terms of writing style and format. Its just about finding what works for you personally. You need something that fits your preferences and writing skill. For example, if you know that you have difficultly in writing realistic dialogue-based interactions, trying to do a project based around that is not likely to be the most effective approach for you. It may be challenging, but at the same time, if its a grind to write, how long will you actually stick with the project? Everyone starts out with the best of intentions and yet how many projects actually make it a dozen shows?


    I believe its important that you realize the freedom you have in regard to picking the style and format. If you really want to advance quickly, a more overview approach is probably the best way. If you really want to get into the show-by-show detail, then that is going to be better suited. If you really aren't sure what is going to best suit you as a writer, well... that's one of the reasons for the “write four shows before you start” approach. It gives you the chance to find a style before you are trying to build a reader-base at the same time. There really isn't anything wrong with evolving your approach as you go through the project – in many cases, its a great idea – but making frequent and drastic changes to your presentation can have a negative affect on your reader-base.


    An approach that I've often seen mentioned but rarely undertaken is to focus on a particular storyline arc. It could be that you actually focus just on those and don't do the rest of the shows, or maybe just shows for a given period of time – like the run from Royal Rumble to WrestleMania. So you would start the project with a relatively reachable end goal in mind, which can help keep you going when things get rough and it turns into a grind.


    Match-Writing 101
    Some of our fine writers here on the board might have some additional (and probably better) advice to give on this topic, as I can really only provide my own approach, which I used on some previous projects (obviously not on the WCW recap ones).

    There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to the match write-ups. But one that I believe you should do, regardless of the approach you take, is to make sure the match suits the circumstance. Pay per view matches are, with rare exception, more hyped and "important" than TV matches in modern American wrestling. Nitro may have changed the way wrestling on TV works by giving away main event level matches, but the big battles with decisive finishes are still reserved for PPV. A question I've often seen asked in regard to BTB-type projects is how to make the PPVs feel big... Well, matches that are presented as "bigger" and more important is one primary way. Now having a TV match that feels big and features great action, but those should be the exception rather than the rule. If every TV match you have on Raw or Impact is a 20-minute battle that features great psychology and traded finisher attempts for a big blow off finish, its that not realistic. A dramatic read, perhaps, but a pretty strong deviation from the current TV products. Right or wrong, the vast majority of TV matches are 5 or 6 minutes, which leaves enough time for a couple of quick spots and a finisher, but rarely enough time to have a proper match sequence. Moving away from that gradually, over time, would be fine, but to make is a sudden and abrupt departure would be a pretty big product change.

    Before you even start the process of writing out the matches, you need to make sure you understand a few things. First, you need to have a basic grasp of the storytelling aspects of wrestling. If you don't know what terms like "shine", "heat" (the match sequence version), and "hope spot" mean, you should probably do some reading. Another thing to understand is that matches are part of your narrative. Basic 5-minute TV matches might seem throwaway and meaningless, but you can use each one to advance a storyline or character in some small way. Small details, like a dominant heel showing overt arrogance during an easy win over a lower card guy, can help reinforce things. Those type of things can make even "meaningless" matches have some value. You need to understand the consequences of a given outcome.

    When it comes to writing the matches, I start with the very basics - essentially define the match in one short sentence. Something like "Sheamus dominates Heath Slater" or "Henry and Big Show have a back and forth war". The next step is two parts - figure out the actual sequence and add in some bigger spots. The sequence is how the match unfolds is general detail (not move by move specifics ) - for example, an "even" match could mean they are even throughout and no one really controls the action for long, or they could trade control continually, or only trade it a couple of times. The "big" spots don't need to be big in the basic sense - they are simply the key or memorable moments in the match. In a big match, it might be something major like going through the announcer's table, but in most matches, things like the finisher, finisher set-up sequence (if the wrestler has one), a nice reversal, outside interference (successful or attempted) or a missed move can be spots too. Now if you've filled out that amount, you probably have 3 or 4 lines and that's not a bad little recap for your average TV match. A bit more detail will suffice for a TV main event, with probably 6-8 lines of text. Go a bit further for PPV matches and you're rolling. Whether it's a singles match, tag-team, six-man tag, triple threat, or whatever, the process remains basically the same.

    Now some writers go particularly deep with the match-writing process, to the point where the match recap might be move-by-move. Every near-fall and even ever pin attempt might be emphasized. If the writer is capable of making that depth of detail work, its fantastic. It is necessary? I would say no. If writing matches in that detail is something comes easily to you or is something you particularly enjoy, then that's great. But if you are like most of us, and writing matches in anything close to that level of detail becomes a heavy burden, then its not a great thing to try for. Turning any aspect of the project into a grind is a negative, especially when that effort can potentially be put into other areas. The simple reason is this - no matter how much effort you put into the match recaps, some readers won't read them. They can be the most realistic and detailed match recaps ever seen, the true strength of your project, and some readers will still only look at results. So my recommendation is to aim somewhere in the middle - simply giving the result with nothing further is too little. "Too much" is a matter of perspective, but go with what is comfortable for you to write without being too much of a grind.


    Remember the Business Basics
    This one ties into the "Logic is Your Friend" tip and its honestly going to be a bit subjective. The realism I am talking about here is more-so from the business side - that any wrestling promotion, from the WWE down to the tiniest little backyard deal, is a business which needs to make money to survive. Entertaining the fans isn't really the end goal - making money by doing that is.

    On one hand, a Be The Booker project is fantasy writing. So it really doesn't need to have a basis in the realities of the business.

    At the same time, I've never seen a reader state they were done with reading a project because it was "too real" in regard to the business side. I have seen plenty of people state they were done with a project because it lacked in realism and had major changes that made no business sense. So there's the catch - one extreme will potentially lose your some potential readers, while the opposite will likely not. Neither extreme is "wrong" but realize what the decision will mean.

    As is often the case, I believe the best approach lies somewhere in the middle. If you are deciding to make notable changes to the product, keep business realities in mind and make changes gradually. Changing something like eliminating the brand split or releasing even one established star wrestler with significant name value would be a fairly significant decision for even a major promotion. Even taking the Divas out of the ring entirely would affect some fans, so therefore could have some effect on business. Gradually phasing out the Divas as in-ring competitors, making them less important (if that's even possible) and finding other roles for them would be a realistic approach to such a change.


    Hope for the Best, Expect the Worst
    I include this one because I sometimes get the feeling that new writers start up a project without having a real clear idea of what they are getting into. That they perhaps do not have the ideal motivations. So in a way, this one is a bit of a warning. Someone starting up a BTB to share their fantasy booking ideas needs to be aware of how much work is involved in doing such a project for any length of time. Someone starting up a project seeking validation - of their writing, of their booking, or even of their value as a poster - is in for a rude awakening, because the validation you get back will almost never equal out to the work you have to put in... and that's coming from someone who is lucky enough to get a lot of positive comments.

    One of the most common pieces of advice given on another board I frequent is "write for yourself". That might seem like harsh advice, because it seems to indicate that you might find no readers who care, but yet its very valid advice. You need to start out accepting that you might find no regular readers, or even just very few, and get only a minimal amount of feedback (positive or otherwise). If you do manage to attract regular readers, it can take time and a number of shows before they really start to contribute. It may sound crass, but you can't be disappointed if you never get what you never expected.


    Here is the reality – no matter how big the forum is, there is a finite number of potential readers. Those readers have a finite amount of time, which means that they won't read ever project that starts up. Furthermore, every decision you make can – not will, but can – reduced the potential readers. Starting with the choice of promotion and time-frame, there are going to be some potential readers who will choose not to read. It could be that the promotion doesn't interest them, or there are already a couple of similar projects they are already reading. Any booking decision you make, especially big ones off the start, could affect a potential readers decision. I've mentioned this aspect in a couple of tips, that you want to be careful in making decisions which could chase away potential readers.


    That said, you can only go so far with that mentality, because the simple reality is that you can't make everyone happy. There is an old adage about trying to make everyone happing resulting in making no one happy. Not sure if that's entirely accurate, but there really is so much you can do in that regard. So why all the talk about avoiding turning off potential readers? Because ideally, you will be able to tell the story you want to tell and make key decisions carefully, recognizing which ones will potentially have consequences with your readers.


    In regard to hoping for the best and expecting the worst, it often seems as that new writers don't get the response they expect or hope for. Not always, but it happens. Its actually really common on another I visit and it comes back to the fact that most new projects on that site will last an average of three shows, so readers have learned to avoid getting too invested in most projects until they prove themselves a bit (doesn't happen if its a known writer). Now that creates a Catch-22 – writers who aren't seeing much response to their work can get discouraged, making it more likely the project doesn't get far and making it a bit circular problem. The problem does exist here too – hence the 30/60 day rule on new projects – and new writers (or ones who haven't established themselves with solid long-running projects) aren't that likely to have an immediate regular reader base who will jump on every new show posted with great enthusiasm. That kind of following takes time to build and may never happen. An issue like that doesn't always come down to the writer or the work – it can be things like placing the project in a period that doesn't appeal to a large number of readers, or starting a project that is similar to several already running that have established reader bases.


    Our own esteemed section mod who also happens to be one of the top writers around these parts is a good example. I'm speaking of Ed, if you can't figure it out. His first few shows in his now-beloved WWE BTB got essentially no response. By his own admission, he had to work hard to improve each show, and his persistence attracted some attention. To the point where that project is now one of the best this section has ever seen. But for awhile, he was writing for himself. There was no validation of the work he was putting in, but he worked to earn a reader base that is now very loyal.



    Any project is going to go through some rough patches – whether its times where the writing gets tough or where your readers seem to have disappeared for a time. Being aware that they may happen does not necessarily make them easier to deal with, but if you are essentially writing for yourself first and foremost, its easier to get through the tough patches.



    READ!

    I will openly admit that this is something I don't do enough on this site. As a writer, there are many reasons you should be reading some of the other projects going on. And if you are going to take the time to read, then take the time to comment. It doesn't have to be a full review and doesn't even need to be after every show - but a little "good show, keep up the good work" can go a long way for a fellow writer. Read to get an idea of what can be done, how it can done, and what you don't want to see done. Read to learn how to be a better booker and a better writer. Read because you enjoy wrestling. Read because if you can't be bothered to look at someone else's work, why should anyone be bothered to look at yours?

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    Iamthedestroyer's Be The Booker Advice

    I'll jump in and provide how I usually outline a BTB. Some stuff may have already been said in Big Papa's very informative post.

    RESOURCES

    OPEN OFFICE
    You can get it for free. It has applications for spreadsheets and writing. It has spell check. When I am making a BTB I keep numerous word files with everything from potential angles, to PPV calendars. I save everything I write down. You can also download extensions for saving documents in epub format. I haven't seen anybody do this, but it would allow you to make your BTBs available in ebook format for those with iPads, iPhones, Kindles, Kobos, etc.
    Download Link:
    OpenOffice.org Downloads


    ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
    You can get a free trial off of their website. I believe it's thirty days. If you look around you can usually find trials for older versions as well leaving you with a few months worth of trials. Photoshop is a powerful image editing software. As vain as it sounds, people are more likely to read your BTB if it is formatted well and has pretty images that are sparkly and fun.
    Download Link:
    Adobe - Downloads



    IMAGE RESOURCES
    To get PSDs, I use PSD-Dreams. PSDs are precut photos of wrestlers and objects that you can use in Photoshop. You can use these when making graphics for your BTB.

    Link:
    http://psd-dreams.de/ Generally to get photos of wrestlers, or arenas, or anything of that nature I use google image search. There are a few tricks to get great results. First, search only for medium or large photos. The higher the resolution, the better they will look. If you want to only use pictures of wrestlers instead of making your own banners, I'd recommend choosing a specific size. Say 600x400. Whenever you find a picture you want to use in your BTB, take an extra minute to crop it to that size so that there is some uniformity in your BTB's layout.

    You can also search pictures that are from specific sites. This is really great if your doing a WWE or TNA BTB as it helps you find photos that are used on their websites.

    To do this, simply type in what you want to search followed by site:wwe.com You can do this for any web site.

    PLANNING A BTB

    -Decide on a promotion and time frame. Write a back story on any events that might lead up to this time frame existing.

    -Decide on your roster. You can download Open Office as a resource to use for writing and spreadsheets. I find it very helpful to separate my roster in a spread sheet between faces and heels. I also find it helpful to write it in the form of a depth chart. Meaning, main eventers at the top, lower carders at the bottom. This is really helpful when trying to put together feuds as you can see where everybody stands, and how many realistic feuds you have to go with without pushing or turning anybody new.

    -Decide on your promotions format. Do you have a weekly show? Two weekly shows? Is it an independent promotion with one monthly show? Do you have PPVs or TV Specials? For the sake of simplifying things, I'll assume your promotion is WWE and you are having one weekly show (Raw), and one PPV every month. Create a rough calendar of what dates your PPVs will be on, and how many weekly shows you have to build each PPV.

    -Decide on which belts, and how many belts you will have.



    CONSTRUCTING SHOWS AND ANGLES
    Now comes the fun part. Putting together your shows and your angles. An angle is basically an event or a series of events which leads to two people wrestling. It could be as simple as Zack Ryder winning a battle royal to become number one contender to the World Championship and then facing Mark Henry, or as complicated as a basic TNA show.

    Planning is important. I'll usually break it into steps. Again, I'm assuming your doing some form of a WWE BTB in order to simplify this.

    1) I am assuming you are doing an open ended BTB like a WWE BTB which you will choose to end when you run out of ideas or are too lazy to continue. If you aren't doing an open ended BTB decide on a beginning, a middle, and an end point. If you are doing a never ending BTB, since you have your PPV calendar set, decide on which shows are your biggest shows of the year where your important angles for that period will culminate. For WWE that would likely be WrestleMania, Survivor Series, and Summerslam. Some might point out that I've rarely had a BTB that has gone three months.....**** them.... I like to book with the concept of there being a big show every three or four months. I revolve my angles around this idea, so most major angles have a beginning, a middle, and then end at one of those major shows. Although they sometimes might overlap.


    2) Take your 3-4 major shows of the year. Make cards for them. You don't have to stick to these, and the cards you might end up with after writing your angles might look completely different. But generally when people are inspired to create a BTB they have some sort of major angle in mind that inspired them to do so. With that I assume you'd have an idea or two for your WrestleMania main events.

    3) After you have those cards set, look at your depth chart I instructed you to make earlier. Start creating feuds and angles between guys. You don't have to have any time line of when these will take place. Your goal is over time to end up with a nice series of wordpad files where you have tons of angles written. Because I don't always write my angles and feuds with specific time frames of when they will take place decided, I'll use a week 1/week 2 format type thing.

    Example....


    John Cena VS Cody Rhodes
    Week 1:
    John Cena mentions to Cody Rhodes that even if nobody else notices, he notices the drastic positive changes to Rhodes physique and his fantastic tan. Rhodes being a blatant homophobic is put off by these comments.

    Week 2:
    Rhodes goes to the WWE HR department in order to make complaints about John Cena's blatant sexual harassment via twitter. He shows extremely inappropriate sexual messages he received from Cena. He is told that the department is simply a front for the next time Michael Hayes drunkenly uses a racial slur. They can do nothing about it.

    Week 3:
    Cena comes out during Rhodes match distracting him and costing him the match. Cena explains he won't leave Rhodes alone until he gives into his demands. Cena is wearing pink jorts.

    Week 4:
    Cena and Rhodes agree to end this by having a match at the PPV where if Rhodes wins Cena leaves him alone, if Cena wins Rhodes and him get married live on Raw.

    PPV:
    Cena VS Rhodes


    4) I will then fit these angles in based around my PPVs. This is where you will likely change the major cards you initially came up with and start filling in main matches for your B-PPV shows. Although it would be a positive to have a detailed time line for the first year of your BTB, you really just needs your first four months with general ideas of the rest. Use these angles to fill out your first four months of PPVs, the last PPV of those four will be where everything culminates.


    5) Assuming you now have your first four months of PPV start doing rough sketches of exactly what will be on your weekly shows. Start from your first ever show and move on further. An example would be....

    Raw Episode 1:

    Raw Episode 2:

    Raw Episode 3:

    Raw Episode 4:

    WWE PPV 1:



    On every show, include a rough sketch of every match and segment. Try to put them in the proper order. This allows you to have a visual idea of what your builds will look like going into the PPV. It helps you see if there are any moments that lack logic, or if something needs to be shifted around. You don't need to use detail, you can write something as simple as "Cody Rhodes defeats Ted Dibiase while holding his tights", "Cody Rhodes calls out Ric Flair, calls him ugly, challenges him to a match at the PPV"


    6) After you have all these filled in for your first four shows (or more) and your first PPV, now is time to write the actual shows. Like Big Papa said it's a very good idea to do a full round of shows and a PPV in full before posting. This helps you figure out if this is actually something you'll have fun doing. It will also give you padding to slack if you plan to write one show a week.



    WRITING TV SHOWS
    There's no ACCOUNTING for taste when writing a format for TV shows. Everybody does things differently. I can only tell you my way, if you think you have a better way that's fine.

    For any TV show or PPV, I like to time stamp the segments. To me, it makes no sense not to do it considering wrestling shows in real life are heavily structured around time. By time stamping, I mean writing how long the segment went, as well as putting in when the commercials air.

    Per example.


    0:00-0:14-Segment 1
    0:14-0:18-First Commercial Break
    0:18-0:20-Segment 2
    0:20-0:26-Cody Rhodes defeats Cody Rhodes for the Cody Rhodes Championship



    A one hour show should have roughly 42 minutes of action, with the rest being commercials.

    Although I'm not well educated into this, there are also certain cues an episode of Raw follows. Per example, there is always a hot segment or match on at 10 PM because that is when people change channels to look for a new show, same with 11 PM. They also never go to a commercial at 10 or 11. With a live show like Raw, you can also write 10-15 minutes of overrun.

    As far as writing segments or interviews goes, you can choose how much detail you'd like to put in. A lot of people like to write word for word spec scripts while attempting to find the wrestlers voices and add a sense of literary detail. Although this isn't bad, it's not necessary. One thing to keep in mind is that if your show isn't great, your reader might get bored. Some people choose to write just what they need to get the point across in the segment. Each approach works fine.

    As far as writing matches goes, there are too many approaches to name. Find what you enjoy doing and what is comfortable for you. Some people like creating angles, and dread writing word for word matches. I am one of those people. One thing to keep in mind, is a lot of readers will skim through matches and only pick out important parts or the finish. With this in mind, I like two formats in particular. One being,

    Beginning:
    Middle:
    Finish:
    You basically write three short sections recapping the important parts in the match separated by the beginning middle and finish.


    Another I like is "Story Of The Match". I find this to be the best considering reading a wrestling match is a bit silly. The purpose of a match is to tell a story. Story Of The Match is a good way to use one paragraph to get across an in depth match without having to go move for move. Example....

    ALBERTO DEL RIO
    VS JOHN CENA

    STORY OF THE MATCH: Alberto Del Rio worked on John Cena's leg all match and attempted to put him away with numerous leg holds, including Cena nearly tapping to a half Boston Crab. Cena mounted a comeback which culminated in an FU. Due to his leg being worked previously, his knee gave out with Del Rio on his back. Del Rio used this opening as an opportunity to roll Cena up for the three count.

    Last edited by Ed; 12-03-2011 at 01:27 PM.

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    How to Start a BTB by TheLastJoeCool

    This will give you all a look at how to set out your federation and what is the easiest, but not necessarily your way of going about, none the less it will help in one way or another.

    Step 1 - Deciding on a Project
    The first thing you have to do is decide what kind of fed do you want to create, whether it be a simple WWE or TNA fed, or a created fed from your own imagination, or a deceased fed of the past like WCW, ECW, NWA or something along those lines, or even you want to create an Indy fed. If your not very knowledgeable about these companies or Indy wrestlers, I suggest sticking with WWE or creating your own. Once you have done that, you need to pick an owner of the company and someone with booking powers (a General Manager, a Commissioner) or something like that. Or you could just the have owner as the GM, but it's good to have someone with booking powers.

    Step 2 - Creating a Roster
    A suggestion to a newer writer is to start off with 40 superstars, I believe 40 is a great number because you will be able to write special events like the Royal Rumble and have enough, while at the same time being able to use the majority of the superstars on your roster, so that nobody is left out, while not writing a six hour show each week. If your doing a split fed, then I suggest that both roster have 25 superstars, again it will be more than enough for special events, but it will be small enough so that no member of your roster is left out. Now, you might say how can I narrow it down to 40 superstars, well here are some helpful hints. First, separate that 40 into Main Eventers, Mid-Carders, cruiser weights, tag teams and jobbers. You should have 6-8 Main Eventers (title contenders that the headline the show), 10 mid-carders (guys that compete for the US or IC title, they fill in the gaps), around 5 tag teams (self explanatory, so 5 teams out 2=10), and around 7-8 Cruiser weights (guys like Mysterio, Billy Kidman and Ultimo Dragon) if you have a Cruiserweight division, guys that you can elevate into the mid-card area if it becomes stale or into the Tag Team Division for a short period of time. Finally throw in a few guys that you don't care about (Maven, Gene Snitsky etc.) that can be used to make your bigger guys look stronger.

    Step 2 - Creating Your Titles
    After you have your roster, its time to create your titles, normally I would suggest keeping the amount of titles down, lets say start with 4 championships, a World Title (most important, for the Main Event) a mid card title (say IC or US to use as a stepping stone) and the Tag Team Titles.... Finally ex it off with the Cruiserweight Title to add some flair into the show. Another title you could add is the Hardcore Title, or something along those lines, again you don't have to call them (Intercontinental Title) feel free to come up with something new like the Atlantic title, or something along those lines, after you've decided on that, it's time to move on. If you have split brands then having the IC and the US on opposite shows is always a good idea. The CW and the TV can act as the small titles on each show as well.

    Step 3 - Begin Planning
    First off, plan a few months ahead so you know exactly what you want to accomplish, for example if your starting a WWE fed, and you want to start at the beginning of the wrestling year (Day after WrestleMania), then first thing you should do once you have your roster and titles, is figure out what you want to do at the next PPV like feuds and such, and then work backwards, that way you will have an exact direction that you want to take your work. Have a few months planned out before you write, keep in mind that you can still make changes as you go, but having a general direction will help you keep your focus.

    Step 4 - Developing characters and story lines
    Once you have everything planned, and a basic outline of what you want to see happen, its time to start writing, over the first couple of shows is when you start building your story lines, highlighting your feature talent and establishing your champions, however just as important and most often ignored is character development. While it is difficult to do with a large roster, it is important that everyone on your roster have his or her own distinguished personality to set them apart, and when your roster is shortened (40 or especially 25) it's important to create distinction between each and every person on the roster. For example, you want to establish a monster, you use Kane, in a simple promo or act demonstrate that he is a monster with no conscience. Developing characters and pushing them correctly is the best way to get recognition for your project.

    Step 5 - Writing the Show
    Now that you have a good idea of your roster, a rough plan of what you want to do, its time to write your show, until you feel comfortable, I suggest using this basic formula.

    Segment 1 - Opening Promo
    Segment 2 - First Match
    Segment 3 - Small Promo/Mid-card Match
    Segment 4 - Promo to Set-up PPV match
    Segment 5 - Tag Team Match
    Segment 6 - Promo to set-up match next week/IC Title Match
    Segment 7 - Main Event

    Once you gain some comfort and confidence, you will be free to break away from this, start with match at the beginning, or end the show with a promo, but for newer writers I suggest it because it covers everything you need, and sets up for the next show. Now for match writing, now I suggest not writing full matches, just providing the ending of the match and aftermath, although I suggest for PPV's writing the full match, cause just the ending of a WrestleMania main event wont cut it

    Step 6 - BE CREATIVE
    One of the greatest feds I have ever read was one where the matches themselves weren't necessarily 5 stars, but because the story lines were so unique, it was an instant hit. Be creative, and be original, take these characters that you have created and molded and throw them through situations, like friendship, betrayal, depression, manipulation, loss of faith and much more..... Experiment with characters, find out what works and what doesn't, what works for one writer doesn't work for another, find what works for you.

    Important Final Notes
    Learn from your mistakes, as a beginner nobody is expecting you to be the best booker, or a legend in your first month or so, just learn from your mistakes and from the advise that others give you, And remember to use proper grammar and organization. NOTHING throws readers off like bad grammar and disorganized work, use of bold, italics and underlines will save you a lot of trouble and even some color thrown in there would add a little touch every once in awhile, make your work look good, take some pride in your work... Because if you don't show some pride in your work, how can you expect us too?

    All in all just have fun at this. Don't take something personally if somebody didn't like your show; learn from it that's what everybody is here for, to help each other. I hope this little hand book helped some of you guys realize what BTB is all about.
    Last edited by Ed; 02-07-2012 at 05:01 PM.

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    Jim's Advice

    Some little tips and tidbits that I've learned from watching over the forum for the past six or so months. I think these could help some of the less experienced BTB posters:

    1) More brands = more work - Essentially, with every brand you add for your BTB, you're writing another BTB. That can end up being a lot of work and writing. If you're new, it's probably best to only write for one brand.

    2) More partners = more problems - It's kind of like buying a new car with all of the fancy new gizmos and gadgets. It may seem as if you're offering more, but your BTB has more to go wrong. You can be perfect on time to write and post all of your shows, but who's to say that your partner will be as committed? Personally, the chances of having a long running BTB is a lot higher if you do it on your own.

    3) Write ahead - Especially with the new 30 reply rule, posters may find themselves waiting longer before they can start a new BTB. However, that doesn't mean that you can't get started and write out your shows in Word. The more ahead you get, the longer your BTB is promised to keep going. If you're wanting to start up your first BTB, maybe take a month or so and just write in Word before even starting a thread. Besides getting ahead, you're going to find out if your BTB is going to be interestingly enough to hold your interest long enough to stay committed.

    4) Don't be afraid to be creative - The most commonly used BTB is today's WWE. To draw in readers, it may help if you offer something different. It doesn't need to be any big changes, just beginning in a different year (Say, 2005 WWE) could help your BTB stand out more.

    Just four observations I've noticed in my time here. None of these are or will be rules, but just (Hopefully) helpful tips to help your BTB last longer than the average abandoned BTB.

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    re: BTB Information Centre

    Useful Links by Ed

    One of the most important parts of starting a BTB is getting your roster right, if you are trying to find the most up to date rosters for real life wrestling promotions, the following links should provide a list of every wrestler/talent currently employed by the promotion. It would be the best place to start in terms of creating your roster, if you try and do it from memory, you'll most likely forget a jobber here or there.


    WWE.com's Superstar page
    Wikipedia's WWE roster - I find this to be more useful as it also tells you which superstars are currently out of action with injury, and who the champions are
    ImpactWrestling.com's Roster page
    Wikipedia's TNA roster
    ROHWrestling.com's Roster Page
    Wikipedia's ROH roster


    For match graphics, I tend to use GIMP which is free download from their website, while it's not as good as Photoshop, it's a great free alternative and any match cards or ppv posters that appear in my BTB have been made on that programme. Here's the link

    GIMP

    For ready made stock images of wrestlers that I use in my graphics, psd-dreams.de is the best website around, it's simple to use, just search for your desired wrestler in the search bar and download the one you prefer. Here's the link

    psd-dreams.de

    However if you are not confident in your ability to make good graphics for your pay-per-view (Note - they shouldn't be a high priority in any BTB, the content is more important), why not ask one of our talent GFX designers on WC to make some for you. They can be found here

    Graphics Section
    Graphics Request - please use this part of the section to request your desired graphics



  10. #10
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    Re: BTB Information Centre

    Tip Sheet 2012
    by Big Papa


    A couple of Tip Sheet additions that Papa posted in the BTB Discussion Thread a few days ago, but they're too good to be hidden away in there.

    Go Beyond the Idea – Actually Have Plans

    There is a common issue I see with fantasy booking of any type, and not just here. A project will start with a good base idea – whether it’s an invasion, the formation of a new stable, a particular push… but then that’s all the writer has. There are no real set plans beyond that initial idea. And that’s a problem, at least in my mind.

    It’s like a novelist trying to write with nothing more than a first chapter in mind, then trying to fill in the rest as they go and hope it results in a compelling story overall. That could work… but most often won’t. Most writers are going to take an idea and turn it into a plan, which they turn into the story. Some writers will actually work backward, from the end point. That approach works pretty well when it comes to telling a story in wrestling, though it’s not the only approach.

    Careful and detailed planning is almost always going to result in a more concise story that avoids logic jumps, continuity gaps, and doesn’t need to be retconned. A typical feud is 3 months (and that’s a limit writers are best off using, for the most part) so really, that’s twelve weekly TV shows and 3 PPV events. Although it may not be necessary to plan every point of a given storyline/feud before you start writing, it doesn’t hurt and typically isn’t that difficult. Repeat for 3 or 4 times per brand you have planned out an entire company for the next 3 months. Yes it’s a bit of work but planning it all out in a spreadsheet or notebook is typically going to result in a better quality project. And if putting a few hours of planning into a BTB project scares you away, you may need to reconsider the idea of having a project in the first place.

    Consider the Whole

    The WWE is a huge company. There are currently two full brands plus a minor brand, a ridiculous 8 hours of programming per week, something like sixty active wrestlers (Superstars and Divas), seven active titles (plus the non-belt accomplishments like MITB)… It’s a huge amount to take on. The WWE makes at least a nominal effort (sometimes hardly even that) toward having some kind of story/feud around each title and match on a given PPV. Because of that minimal effort in the secondary storylines, the WWE is often accused of being lazy in creative terms by us smarky fans. And let’s be honest – that “I could do better” thought is often what compels us to try fantasy booking in the first place. TNA is a smaller company, obviously, and the scope is therefore smaller. But there still has to be multiple compelling stories going on at any one period of time.

    The issue here connects back to the previous point, about starting a project built around one idea. If you have a great idea for the WWE (or any another large promotion) then you have a start. But only a start. Unless that singular idea is going to put most of the roster into one huge feud, then you need more. Even if the story/feud you have is amazing and perfectly planned, it’s still one singular aspect in a huge company that needs to have multiple compelling stories going on. If you put real effort into booking one story and either ignore the rest or make a very tiny effort, you are booking even lazier than the WWE does and how exactly does that make your project appealing to potential readers?

    The obvious solution is to limit the scope of the project. We have multiple well-regarded projects that limit their scope to a particular brand. If you really only want to cover one feud, then limit things further to that feud. There are ways to make it work and the result is likely going to be a better project as you aren’t having to book and write the parts that interest you less. They can still be incorporated into the project in some minimal way if you choose, too. You can be as creative as you want in terms of how you present your story.

    To be honest, the scope of a WWE project has scared me away multiple times. I have a few ideas I would like to explore at some point, but whenever I start to plan things out a bit, I find there is too much to want to deal with and pursue other projects instead.

    Take a Fan Perspective

    This idea is a bit contradictory, as the single piece of advice I give most often when it comes to BTB projects is “write for yourself”. So if you are fantasy booking and writing for yourself first and foremost, why should you consider the fans/readers and how they will react? Well, in truth, you don’t have to. But most of us do like to have readers and don’t particularly enjoy driving away potential readers. So keeping the fan perspective in mind can help.

    Consider it like this… if the WWE suddenly released half of the active roster and replaced them indy guys, how would the fans react? Or if Tyson Kidd was suddenly pushed as a world title contender with no build? Or someone like Dean Ambrose or Richie Steamboat were debuted into the main event scene? Your “normal” fan would have no idea who they were and thus not likely react that positively, a few “knowledgeable” fans would love it, and a lot of the rest of the “internet fans” would hate it. So outside of the rather small segment of fans who think that the WWE should have all of ROH on its shows, or who believe Dean Ambrose is the next Steve Austin, the reaction is generally going to be “bad”. If you are going to book one of those, the reaction from readers will likely also be generally negative. In large part, it will feel “unrealistic” to most readers and that tends to drive a lot of potential readers away.

    So should you therefore avoid doing such things? Well, not really for me to say. Rather, if you do choose to do them, be aware of what kind of reaction you can expect from readers. So if you are going to base your project on the idea that Vince retires and the WWE board decides to hand full creative control of the company to Paul Heyman, you will have readers are going to react with “um, no thanks.”

    This idea is similar to the keeping realism in mind when making decisions. It’s a fantasy project, so you really don’t have to. But having massively unrealistic things take place will likely lose you a great many potential readers. A lot of potential readers will judge your project on the backstory and/or first show or two. If you have a significantly unrealistic backstory, many won't give it a chance. That might not be fair but its true. So even if you do a fantastic job or writing and booking from there, you have already lost some potential readers.

    Be CREATIVE

    There are endless jokes to be made about WWE Creative not living up to its name and there is validity in many. Its one of the things that spurs many of us to take on these kind of projects… yet many of us are then guilty of demonstrating the same kind of lack of real creativity in our booking that makes WWE Creative a joke.

    One of the areas where many of us are most guilty of this are stables. We put together stables in the most predictable and over-used fashion possible – like throwing every member of the WWE roster from the United Kingdom into some kind of stable led by William Regal (I’ve done this myself). Or putting a bunch of indy guys together to form a stable. Or maybe doing one of all the black wrestlers. None of these are wrong (though the last one could be considered racist, I suppose) and if they are well-booked, they can certainly be a great aspect of any given project. But the groups don’t show much creativity themselves and that can drive away some readers, especially in the early going.

    I am of the opinion that good compelling booking can be very simple. You don’t know massively convoluted stories and intertwined feuds, constant swerves and shocks, or any of that. You certainly can – it’s one way to book and it’s not wrong. But a simplistic, logical approach that uses the occasional surprise to great effect can win readers over in a huge way. Take two wrestlers, give them a reason to fight, and give the fans a reason to care… that’s really all you need.

    Perhaps the greatest risk in doing something tired and predictable, like the groupings mentioned above, is that it shows readers a lack of real creativity. If you are going to use the same idea that tons of other projects have used, it shows a lack of creativity. Same as having the “Heyman takes over the WWE” backstory. You MIGHT be able to make brilliant use of a UK stable or Heyman running the WWE…. But tons of other writers have used the same and haven’t done anything special or memorable. So potential readers are likely going to expect the same. That isn't fair, but its true. The inability of another writer to make good use of a given group can, weirdly, be reflected onto you.

    Another similar issue is with finding tag teams. Most of us try to find commonalities when putting together a new tandem and that makes sense. But some interesting teams haven’t been based on commonalities. Or at least not readily-apparent ones. A great example is the current team of Daniel Bryan and Kane, which seems to be pretty well-liked by fans. Completely random pairings don’t always work but if you book well, you can find a way to make it work.

    Going back to stables, there is a danger when you decide to bring back iconic groups like the New World Order, Four Horsemen, Degeneration-X or even Evolution. That danger is that it’s really difficult to resurrect such groups with membership that will fit for every reader. Not to mention that some such groups come with a lot of baggage – especially the N.W.O. It’s practically impossible to find membership that every reader is going to like and having a new version of the Horsemen or Evolution with wrestlers that seem “wrong” to a reader can be a deal-killer. It can kill their interest in your whole project. This is something I’ve dealt with in several of my own projects as I tend to bring the Horsemen back to prominence when booking WCW – but I recognize that I need to do so in a way that isn’t likely to turn off readers. So it’s not just about picking guys who you think would be cool in a given group, but who fit the existing dynamic and who would have a logical reason for joining.

    Once again, I’m not trying to say that you should not bring back the Horsmen, or Evolution, or the New World Order. Nor am I saying that it’s wrong to have William Regal put together Regal’s Empire (consisting of Wade Barrett, Drew McIntyre, and Mason Ryan) to battle against Sheamus. Rather, doing these things can communicate something to readers (and potential readers) and it’s not necessary a good thing.

  11. #11
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    Re: BTB Information Centre

    BTB Awards Archive:

    BTB of the Year:
    2011 - World Championship Wrestling: Empire by Big Papa
    2012 - TNA 2006 – A Victory Road Not Taken by Egofantastico
    2013 - TNA 2006 – A Victory Road Not Taken by Egofantastico
    2014 - WWE: The New Vision by Order
    2015 - WWE 2012 - A New Direction by Sykotic
    2016 - WWE 2015: Generation NXT by Hug Life

    BTB Legend:
    2011 - Big Papa, Diablo
    2012 - God, Ed
    2013 - The Natural, Shade
    2014 - Egofantastico, Willis
    2015 - Sykotic, Baldwin
    2016 - Order, Luke Cage

    Writer of the Year:
    2011 - Ed
    2012 - Ed
    2013 - Ed
    2014 - OBEY
    2015 - Order
    2016 - Shock

    Show of the Year:

    2011 - Wrestlemania 27 by Ed (World Wrestling Entertainment 2011)
    2012 - Summerslam 2012 by Diablo (WWE Friday Night Smackdown: Legends, Like Stars, Die)
    2013 - Royal Rumble by Looking Glass (WWE MMVI - Then, Now, Forever)
    2014 - Royal Rumble by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2015 - WrestleMania 29 by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2016 - Payback 2015 by Hug Life (WWE 2015: Generation NXT) and WrestleMania 2015 by GCB (GCB's WWE 2015)

    Newcomer of the Year:
    2011 - Greenchad1
    2012 - Egofantastico
    2013 - Savio Vega
    2014 - Kilik
    2015 - Hug Life
    2016 - TWG/Richie77

    Section Contributor of the Year:

    2012 - Austerio
    2013 - Austerio
    2014 - Sykotic
    2015 - Order
    2016 - Order

    Storyline of the Year:
    2012 - Heath Slater's push by Diablo (WWE Friday Night Smackdown: Legends, Like Stars, Die)
    2013 - The Fall of Hiroshi Tanahashi by Guru (WPW)
    2014 - Antonio Cesaro as NXT Champion by Ed (NXT 2012: The William Regal Era)
    2015 - Dolph Ziggler's Road to WrestleMania by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2016 - Daniel Bryan vs. CM Punk by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)

    Match of the Year:

    2012 - Mick Foley Vs Dean Ambrose at Summerslam 2012 by Diablo (WWE Friday Night Smackdown: Legends, Like Stars, Die)
    2013 - The Royal Rumble Match by Looking Glass (WWE MMVI - Then, Now, Forever)
    2014 - The Royal Rumble Match by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2015 - Dolph Ziggler vs. John Morrison at WrestleMania 29 by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2016 - Seth Rolins vs. Neville at Payback 2015 (WWE 2015: Generation NXT)

    Best Booked Individual Character of the Year:

    2012 - William Regal by Ed (NXT 2012 - The William Regal Era)
    2013 - Alex Shelley by Egofantastico (TNA 2006 – A Victory Road Not Taken)
    2014 - John Morrison by Sykotic (WWE 2012 - A New Direction)
    2015 - Jack Swagger by Order (WWE: The New Vision)
    2016 - Neville by Hug Life (WWE 2015: Generation NXT)

    Most Improved of the Year:
    2012 - JoMo
    2013 - Baldwin/Order
    2014 - Kilik
    2015 - RED
    2016 - Charlemm1

    Best Non-Wrestling BTB of the Year:
    2014 - Gotham City Stories by Shade
    2015 - Gotham City Stories by Shade
    2016 - Marvel by Shade



    2011 Awards Thread
    2012 Awards Thread
    2013 Awards Thread
    2014 Awards Thread
    2015 Awards Thread
    2016 Awards Thread



    TOTAL END OF YEAR AWARDS

    Sykotic - 10
    Ed - 7
    Order - 6
    EgoFantastico - 5
    Hug Life - 5
    Diablo - 4
    Shade - 4
    Big Papa - 2
    Baldwin - 2
    Kilik - 2
    Austerio - 2
    Looking Glass - 2
    God - 1
    The Natural - 1
    Willis - 1
    OBEY - 1
    Greenchad1 - 1
    Savio Vega - 1
    Guru - 1
    JoMo - 1
    RED - 1
    Charlemm1 - 1
    TWG - 1
    Richie77 - 1
    GCB - 1
    Luke Cage - 1
    Last edited by Order; 01-04-2017 at 06:04 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: BTB Information Centre

    The Art Of Booking Archive:

    AOB 1 - Diablo
    BTB Legend Diablo joins Ed for the first ever Art of Booking. Topics include an appreciation for Biker Taker, Orlando Jordan's 'explosions' and his rise to becoming one of WC's most respected bookers.

    AOB 2 - Marik
    One half of the self proclaimed BTB Tag Team Champions Marik joins Ed to discuss his passion for TNA, tales of how a group project can work, and just where the hell that username came from.

    AOB 3 - Nash
    The 2013 Road To Wrestlemania winner joins his GMT cohort Ed to discuss all things Danny Hound related, what he looks for in a BTB, Day 21, and just how shit Leo Kruger is.

    AOB 4 - The Natural
    One of the section's greatest writers, Natty joins Ed to discuss where WWE is going right and wrong, bring some closure to The Natural Approach 2, ponder the potential for The Natural Approach 3 and he tells us why he loves Comic Sans MS so much.

    AOB 5 - GOAT
    WHO??? Drop the act Jim, everyone knows who Jon The GOAT is, he's the biggest quitter the section has ever seen! Jon joins Ed to discuss the King of BTB 2013 Tournament, the revelation that he can't grow a beard and yet calls himself a GOAT, and a mutual appreciation for Low Ki wrestling in a suit.

    AOB 6 - Willis
    Baldwin conducts his first Art of Booking interview since taking the reigns from Ed in the BTB Section. His guest is none other than Willis, who had just posted his hotly-anticipated WrestleMania pay per view. But how does the longtime booker keep motivated and plan his shows?

    AOB 7 - Sykotic
    Order interviews Sykotic after his impressive tenure in the BTB Section which saw him finally win BTB of the Year in 2015. Known for his booking of John Morrison, we would talk his favourite bookers and his plans for his New Direction project in the next 12 months.

    AOB 8 - Shade
    Shade is one of the longest-serving members of the BTB Section and Order asks him all things about his Pro Wrestling R BTB which has broken all records and his love of writing in the non-wrestling section. What does he enjoy most and what does he have planned next?
    Last edited by Order; 01-10-2017 at 10:35 AM.

  13. #13
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    Re: BTB Information Centre

    ~~~AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR NEWCOMERS~~~


    - Have you recently joined Wrestling Clique?
    - Have you started a BTB, but can't see your thread anywhere?
    - Have you wondered just what the deal is with invisible threads?

    Well then it's highly likely you're a victim of WC's Spam-O-Matic settings, a tool the admins use to cut down on the pesky spambots that sign up to our memberbase to post nothing but adverts. How it works is there's a selection of key words that trigger a warning alarm that a poster is up to no good, posting suspiciously and potentially linking people to other sites, and it blocks the post from being viewable to non-staff members. To my knowledge BTB posters are constantly falling into a trap here when it comes to starting a new BTB because:

    1) You write something like wwe.com in their first post. The phrase '.com' raises a flag that the poster could potentially be a spambot because the Spam-O-Matic thinks any site you type is an attempt to link members off the forum to buy something, when really all your doing is pretending you have a solid source for your Vince buys TNA storyline.

    or

    2) You've filled the BTB with images of championship belts and roster members and what have you which in turn have their own links off the site. Yet again the Spam-O-Matic tool won't like this and will block the post.

    If you've done either of these two things in your first couple of posts on the site, your post will be blocked and it will have to be approved by The Admins (myself or Jim) before it can be viewed by the other members of Wrestling Clique and indeed even guests viewing the site.

    I'm not asking you NOT to do either of the 2 things I've listed above, it's hard to avoid doing it if you've just signed up to share your BTB, moreso just for clarity so you can understand that if you have posted like the examples above, that's why you can't see your thread yet. Have patience and I'll approve it asap so you can get on with enjoying the BTB Section.
    Last edited by Ed; 08-25-2013 at 11:20 AM.

  14. #14
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    Re: BTB Information Centre

    Reviews
    Why They Are Important
    Ways They Are Given
    Ways To Get Them and Not Get Them Here at WC
    By White Rhyno


    You find that idea that appeals to you for your Be The Booker here. You plan it out. You write your first post with expert precision. You take the time to code it and get it laid out just perfectly before clicking the “post thread” button. When you do, you sit back with a mixture of pride and excitement. Then you wait…

    We’ve all been there.

    Be it a first post, a show we’re really proud of, a PPV we have spent hours crafting and weeks building towards… we have all posted something we hope will give other readers the same enjoyment we had writing it.

    Reviews aren’t necessarily the “lifeblood” of this section, but they play a huge part in why we post things here. I’ve always looked at sites like these as on-line writing circles. For those not familiar with the term, a writing circle is a group of authors that get together at a set time and read each other’s work. After each author presents his contribution, the other authors in the circle offer critical critiques on how that writer can better his story by explaining what he or she is doing well and what can be done to make the work better. That feedback is key in helping many writers get better.

    Why Reviews Are Important

    Writers are inherently attached to their work. With the amount of effort that goes into creating something from nothing, this is understandable. That being said, writers are notorious for being a little too protective of their “vision”. This is why editors are necessary. In short, somebody has to kill puppies to make works better. The person that created those puppies can sometimes be too attached to it to do what is good for the work, but if a puppy isn’t adding something to the work…it is taking away from it.


    Steel sharpens steel. Many times, that friction creates sparks and is painful. Many times, it slides along the edge as smooth as silk and makes the product sharper and better. Whatever happens, things are removed that get in the way of the product being as sharp and clean as it can be.

    If reviews “didn’t matter” or writers here really did these projects for themselves, why would they even post them in an open forum like WC? I’ve heard everything from using it as an on-line archive to doing it because they were bored, but the simple fact is that posts here are an indirect call for feedback.

    We are not allowed to advertise or pander for reviews, but by posting our threads, we are sending out an open invitation for anyone on-line to read our work and offer their opinions on it. Hopefully, the reviewer can help make our products better and offer encouragement of some sort. At worst, it at least helps authors know that someone is reading their work.

    As mentioned above in very flowery and over-the-top analogies about steel and puppies, feedback is the most direct way we can get criticism and critique about our projects. When done correctly and honestly, it can help us see the warts in our writing and give us ways to help make it better.

    I don’t buy into the “you need to be doing these products for your own enjoyment” philosophy that is popular on many sites like these. While I agree that motivation for a project should come from the author and these projects should not be done strictly to get reviews or pats on the back, I think reviews are the calories that help make out BTBs healthy and growing. If you know anything about nutrition, the human body needs a certain amount of nourishment to sustain itself. It also needs a certain type of calorie to run smoothly and efficiently. If a BTB is getting many “empty” calories or none at all… it is eventually going to quit growing and die. Time has proven me right nine times out of ten here at WC and on other boards on the net.

    So what types of reviews help our projects and us as writers grow and get stronger?

    Types of Reviews


    The simplest way to break this down is there are:
    A) Reviews that help our BTB get better
    B) Reviews that do nothing for us

    The first type typically informs the author what he is doing well and what he needs to improve. That sounds so simple, but it isn’t as common as you might think. The latter is anything else that doesn’t do that.

    A simple rule I learned in journalism (being photo or print) is that anything that is not adding to your product is taking away from it. Period. Fluff in writing slows down the reader and makes it hard for him to focus on what is being said by drawing his mind away from your themes. Unnecessary elements in photos draw the eye away from your subject. Reviews work the same exact way. Everything in a review should, hopefully, be used to make the writer better or more aware of what is happening in his work.

    Think about this when you give reviews. Telling a writer how much you like his work is great for his ego, but if you spend your entire review doing that, it does not help him in any way. Restating what was written down in your review is a waste of time for him and you. The author knows what he wrote. He does not need you to paraphrase it for him. Phrases like “I’ll be reading”, “Good luck with this” , “This looks interesting” or “I think this has potential” are the “Cool story, bro” comments that are used a filler to pad a review. They are so trite now that they really don’t mean a whole lot. I find the worst reviews and filled with them.

    -The first type of review is a point by point review that breaks down each segment and gives the author in-depth detail on each part of his show. These take the longest amount of time, but offer the author the most amount of information. In theory, it would be great if EVERY review was like this, but in practice, it is unrealistic.

    I’d save this type for special shows or PPVs; if you do them at all.

    Back to the food analogy, they are a 5-course meal that offers the author every type of calorie he can get. They are the most filling (as long as each course is offering something of worth) and greatly help BTBs grow. The question, however, is: How many can a poster realistically do at one time? Say it takes you 20-30 minutes to read a show. Then it takes 25-30 minutes to write such an in-depth review. Adding it up, that is an hour spent for just one BTB. That is great for ONE author, but doesn’t really help many more writers.

    As I said, these are great for big points in the project where they will have the most effect.


    -A second type of review is a much more abbreviated form of the first…
    Instead of hitting every segment, the reviewer hits on a point he’d like to bring to the writer’s attention. Maybe it was something he liked and the reasons why. Maybe it was something he needs to work on in the reviewer’s eyes. Maybe it was a question that was brought up by the work and the reviewer would like clarification. Whatever it is, while it may not be in-depth… it gives the author a point to ponder.


    -A third type is something I pulled from my time in the Army. It is called “3 Up / 3 Down” or “3 Sustains / 3 Improves “
    It is basically putting forth three things the reviewer liked or enjoyed and wishes the writer to continue with and three things that the writer can improve upon. It requires close reading to come up with six separate points. Provides a happy medium that doesn’t require a lot of time to write out and allows the author to get a mix of good and bad.

    An example of this would go like:

    3 things I liked/ wish you would keep

    1) This feud is coming along really good. The promo on this show really showed this workers personality

    2) This match had an interesting ending that I didn't anticipate. Good job keeping me guessing because I thought.....

    3) Way to develop your tag division. You had three matches on this card that really highlighted six teams. I love tag wrestling. Have you considered......?

    3 Things I Didn't Care For/ Think You Might Want To Look At or Reconsider

    1) That promo did not sound like George "The Animal" Steele. His mannerism were off and were too articulate.

    2) You had 4 run-in this show. After a while that loses its meaning if done too much. You may want to consider.....

    3) How many title matches can you jam on one card? It really felt like Night of Champions on Smackdown. I'm not sure that is the best course



    Finally… The “throw-away” review

    This is the junk food of reviews. They are typically thrown out with little effort and give the writer nothing that will help them review. If you can read it in 30 seconds, it probably required that much time to write. They show very little understanding of the product, offer nothing to help the writer improve and can be written without even reading the product being reviewed. Many people think these useless bits of writing will somehow “count as a review” and will somehow illicit a “return review”. These people should be dragged out into the street and beaten with boards with rusty nails pounded through them.

    Simply put, these equate with the “Cool story, bro” reviews I mentioned earlier. Don’t do them they are a waste of everyone’s time and effort.

    Ways To Get Them and Not Get Them Here at WC

    First and foremost, there is no “magic formula” that helps you get reviews. This is a large active forum with a lot of people churning out a lot of different BTBs. This is great for activity and gives you a better chance of feedback than lot of “dead” forums that are currently limping along. It does NOT guarantee you an audience because of a lot of different factors. Some things you may want to consider when you do not get the amount of reviews you would like include:

    1) How long have you stuck with your BTB. Is it fly by night? Is it worth investing in? Many posters here want to see staying power in projects before they start to dig in.

    2) Do people enjoy it? Not everyone will be interested in what you have no matter how great it is or how great you think it is. People's taste are different

    3) Do people like you? Yes, it has an effect. I've got friends here that I'm going to review simply because we have that type of relationship and I'm invested in them as writers and people. A few of us here have that buddy. You don't have that yet, but give it time. On side note, posting stuff like this can leave a bad taste in people's mouths. Nobody likes to be emotionally blackmailed into reading a BTB. Whining is eliciting sympathy and eyes on your product. It does not go over well in any forum I've ever been on.

    4) There are a LOT of good BTBs here. Not everyone has time to read them all. IF yours is the greatest BTB ever, but I'm already following four others.... where do I have time to read, comment on and support a 5th while working on my own? A lot of times this is a numbers game not a "I'm not going to read this guy's work because it's shit" game.

    The single biggest factor I’ve seen in getting reviews has nothing to do with how good or bad your BTB is. The single biggest factor I’ve seen in how many reviews you get is… how many quality reviews you give yourself. Note what I said there…quality reviews.

    Many writers like to return the favor when someone graces them with good feedback. It is not a necessity here, but a decent rule of thumb. I would go so far to say that the amount of reviews you put forth is directly tied to how many you receive, but the factors I listed above also play a significant part.

    My advice to find BTBs that have a similar theme you have and give them a read. Right off the bat, you have a connection and common interest with the writer. You have insight into the product they may or may not have that could help them see something in their topic. In short, you speak the same language.

    Themes, however, aren’t the only thing you should be looking for. Does the writer write in a similar style, are you interested in his story, do you like the way he lays out his product, etc. Whatever draws you to a work, comment it on it and dive in. A regular reader and reviewer is gold here. When you become a valuable resource, you tend be appreciated and your kindness reciprocated.

    Warning: BTBs with large following are great, but do not expect a writer that has 5 or 6 guys regularly following him to have time to add another BTB to his “must return a review list”. There are only so many hours in the day. If he is churning out a BTB that can attract that many followers, he probably doesn’t have time to comment on everyone that reviews him. Keep that in mind when expecting reviews back.

    As I wrote that… I caught myself.

    You should not expect reviews to be returned. If they are, GREAT! If they aren’t… sometimes, it does not work out. Review because it helps another person out. Review because reading someone else’s work will make you a better writer. Review because you enjoy the work you are reading. Review because…………

    Do NOT review solely to get something out of it. Those attempts are transparent and are rarely reciprocated. It is a fine line really.
    Reviews should be a two-way street that benefits both parties. If you aren’t getting any benefit from reading and reviewing a guy that isn’t returning the favor, by all means stop. Hopefully, that isn’t the case; but it is a choice we all have to decide for ourselves.
    Some guys here at WC simply do not return reviews. They PM or leave reputation comments, occasionally; but they are focused on their projects and their projects alone. In all honesty, they probably like your reviews, but don’t need them. I wouldn’t be too plussed and fussed over their opinions. They aren’t about yours.

    I’ve sort of got a "Three Strikes Rule" that works for me, but it is really more of a guideline. Like I said, it works for me. If I see a project I like or think isn’t getting the reviews it should I’ll drop a review. If he posts again, I typically try to follow up. If he is acknowledging my feedback or using it, I try to keep it going. If he is ignoring it or not responding to it, I’ll back off. I may still read his work, but I rarely waste the time typing out something that won’t be heeded. At this point, if I post a show and he has time to post three shows; rather than look at mine… our relationship is a one-way street and I need to examine that. If his work is benefitting me or I enjoy it, this is fine. If it isn’t…well, I tend to move on.

    I don’t think anyone has ever gotten butt hurt over that and it isn’t something I ever really advertised. There are plenty of writers here I read that I never comment on for this very reason.

    It is a determination you have to make for yourself. Keep in mind, however, that your guidelines are just that; YOUR guidelines. To expect anyone to adhere to them is silly and a tad narcissistic. Keep in mind all the other factors I listed above. It isn’t always about you.

    There are ways that TURN PEOPLE AWAY from your product.

    Don’t pander for reviews. People hate to be forced into reading things here. Nothing is more annoying than a guy begging you to read his stuff. It reeks of desperation and self-confidence issues. If you aren’t sure of your product and have to draw people to it then how sure of it are you?

    Don’t OVER-HYPE how good your product is. If it is that great, why do you have to say it? Trust me, if your product is really good… the word will get out.

    Don’t get too defensive about feedback. There is nothing wrong about defending your work or answering questions about it. Attacking someone trying to help you out or making every review into a debate about how right you are is a great way to discourage anyone from offering up anything to help you out.

    Give the review you would like. If you don’t want someone bluntly attacking your work, don’t do that. If you would prefer they say things diplomatically or graciously, do the same. If you want LONG reviews, give long reviews. If you give short reviews, expect those type of reviews. This all seems so simple, but you would be surprised how many people get upset about this.


    Finally, have fun here. Seriously, I think people tend to take this section WAY too seriously at times. This is an internet forum where we post our made-up wrestling stories for everyone to read. Why on earth would anyone take that seriously or get upset about it? If you are not enjoying your time here. Quit and move on. Life is too damn short. With all that being said, close this and get to writing and reviewing. Someone out there is starving for one and you may just get one back!

    -RHYNO

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