So this is it. The final entry in this series.
You entered this series as a complete newcomer to e-wrestling. You’ve learned what e-feds are, you’ve learned the basics of creating a character, and you’ve learned the basics of writing a roleplay for participating in this game.
We have all together shared a lot with you, but there’s one thing left I should get into before I cut you loose on the e-fedding world.
You know who’s starring in the movie, so to speak, and you’ve read the back of the DVD cover. Now it’s time to actually find out how they come up with this stuff you either love, or love to watch people shit all over it on YouTube.
You have your character. You know how he is going to act, and how he is going to react. You’re prepared to use him to interact with other characters, both NPCs handled by yourself or for free use by the e-fed’s staff as well as other handlers playing alongside you. If given a list of things to talk about, you could do so.
But wrestling isn’t all about just talking. There is a story behind everything.
This is like when you’re playing D&D, and the DM questions your character on the very first campaign for the very first time. “What’s your name? Where you from? What are you doing here?” You’ve got to make all that shit up on the fly. You might be searching for someone, you might be seeking revenge on someone, you might be searching for knowledge or competition, or you might just be a wandering drunken cleric. That’s kind of what you’ll have to do when you start out. You have to establish who you are, and it can’t be done overnight.
What made your character the person they are today? What are they hoping to accomplish? Why are they in the wrestling business? Why aren’t they off doing something else full-time? Why do they not like this particular person? What did they ever do to you? These are all questions that your character should be answering. Don’t try to stack a bunch of quests on top of each other like Skyrim. One story at a time. Answer them a little bit at a time, give us little bits and pieces to keep us hooked. We’re satisfied, but we want more. Don’t try to have us asking more questions, trying to figure out the logistics of convoluted details that don’t do anything for you or your story.
When I read your first promo, I want to know three things. Who are you? Why are you here? Why should I care? There’s a million Joe Blows out there looking for championships and wins. And then you got the infamous “I’m filthy the fuck rich but still getting the shit kicked out of me once a week for $750 and free catering” gimmicks. You used to have a shit ton of Sting Heath-Ledger-Joker The Crow *insert emo here* gimmicks back in the day too. Come on, give me something about you that makes you stand out!
I’m sure we all watch movies. Remember the first Saw? Wasn’t that some freaky creepy fucked up shit? And what about that ending? It was a simple story, with a big twist. But then we had a sequel. And another one. And another one. And it just derailed, split apart, and flew off the tracks. Probably burned down some villages. That’s what happens when you don’t when to quit and start telling a new story. They tried to milk something without even developing it to begin with. You could tell that the intent was never to make like eight or nine of these movies. The story was told, and that was that. You can’t just start piling ideas on top of each other like Jenga blocks, and then pull out some of them later on. It has to make sense, because if it doesn’t then odds are we can’t follow along and we’ll lose interest.
Now on the flip side you have all these Marvel movies with the same characters, doing the same shit every time, and it never seems to get old or stale. They keep switching up the villians, maybe bring in a new hero every now and then, and they change just enough of the story to keep it fresh. They keep it basic. If you happen to have never seen any of them before, it’s cool; you can just jump right in and follow along. You’ll be able to pick your favorite, and then you’ll have the one bad guy you can’t stand worth a rat’s testicle. You’ll start watching the movies just to see when they get their ass handed to them.
Sounds like pro wrestling to me.
Remember, promo is short for promotional. You’re selling yourself as a draw, a superhero if you will. Or supervillian, if you so choose. Your story should help sell that draw. Even when you lose, it still helps you evolve who your character has become. And perhaps even winning will do the same. I’m not going to try and herd you into a certain style of writing. You have to develop that on your own through experience and feedback from peers and fedheads. All I can do is point you towards existing storylines and use them as reference points.
What were some of your favorite storylines? Not just in wrestling, but in movies, books, TV, whatever has a story to tell? Leave some in the comments, discuss them, share ideas on what people think is a good story. Peer discussion will open you up to different ideas on just about anything. And it’s one of the things that makes this community so fucking awesome.
All right guys, I’m out of here until Ben talks me into doing Series 2. Thank you for reading through, and hopefully if you’re just getting into this hobby my work has helped you out in getting started. If you’ve been here for a while, maybe this was a good refresher course. Feel free to comment on any of these and leave your own tips or discussion points, criticisms, or anything else.
Jeremy Cundiff, handler of Madman Szalinski
Episode 20 of The Efed Podcast can now be streamed through the audio player right here on eWmania! While we want you to listen to it casually through us, make sure you're also hitting their other sites and liking/subscribing/following. Show your support for The Efed Podcast!
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