Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Matchwriting tip

Matchwriting seems to be such a daunting task for folks, which is a shame. That's because late matchwriting is the downfall of, I'm betting, 99% of all feds. If more people wrote matches, we'd be on Aggression 50 in EPW, through probably three full seasons in NFW and Courage 100 would have passed months ago in ACW.

But it's not easy. It really isn't sometimes to write, because matches are really alot harder to write than RPs are. Creativity is alot harder to manifest in a wrestling match than it is in an RP or in a speaking promo segment on a card.

Yes, I used to think that matchwriting was a bitch, but it really wasn't the actual fact of matchwriting. It was my method. I used to go along and just write as I went, stream of consciousness. I held up plenty of cards, A1E (when I was a BC member WAYYYY back in the day), EPW, NFW.

The hardest thing was how to phrase everything, how to flesh out the spots and make them look real, and also what spots to put in. Doing both at the same time stressed me to no end.

But then, I had an idea. What if I outlined the spots beforehand, no commentary, no dressing-up... just a list of spots, in the order of how they would appear in the match. What if I outlined the match?

The first match I did this for was Suleimon/Republican II at ACW Honor and Glory. And to my surprise, the match was so much smoother and easier to write. Seriously, I was just amazed at how easy it came out. And the amount of content... in the time it would take me to write a six page match for EPW, I banged out twelve pages.

Same for the TEAM Tournament Final, and that clocked in at something like thirty pages.

And most recently, the Abu Ghraib Death Match (aka, Suleimon/Republican III), I got three pages done in like five days. Just today, I've written about ten pages alone for it.

It's so elemental, it's not even funny. So easy.

I mean, going on a stream of consciousness is too rough on your brain, especially since this is a hobby. You shouldn't have to rack your brain. So just try it once. Outline a match and then flesh it out. You'll find writing will be easier, and maybe matchwriting will be fun. And if matchwriting becomes fun... then feds can get out on time.

Everyone wins :)


Anonymous said...

I've outlined several matches and agree with your statement on it making things easier.

At the same time, there's something about finding your way through a match starting from scratch that's alot of fun too.

I don't think outlining will eliminate delays completely, just 'cause procrastination seeps into whatever we're trying to do in this hobby.


cnx said...

Oh procrastination.

NAPW farms out every match to a different writer and have yet to miss a show. Delegating is certainly an important aspect of getting cards up.

It'd be interesting to try your idea. Myself, I like to book the finish and then find my way there. I rarely think about what spots I want to see, but write spots out of where the wrestlers 'go'. It feels more natural and I tend to get more drama out of it. I'd worry that simply by lining up a list of spots... I'd lose some of the intensity. I love FEELING the match that deeply.

But I only write one match per show + editing because of delegating, so I can afford to lose myself in that one match. =]

A sound idea to try at least once though.

BigDaddy said...

I do find that the outlining helps. Generally, I write the start of a match, and I have an idea of what the end should be. Most of the time, I have no real thoughts on the middle when I start writing. That part just happens.

It helps to outline things. That breaks what appears to be a huge task (the entire match) into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Joshua C. Ray said...

Outlining is how I do things, and so far I've done 40 pages worth of the last two MCW cards in a total of 6 days, by myself.

Granted, I'm not the best, but I like to think my cards don't suck.

Outlining is so nice.