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Writing Fan Fiction

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I first started writing wrestling fan fiction, what's known as "fantasy booking", in late 1999, and my work was heavily influenced by "Netcop" Scott Keith's CWF/WCWF series from the Usenet newsgroup rec.sport.pro-wrestling.fantasy from the early-to-mid-1990s. Those The JWL shows were only ever posted on one of Scott Keith's websites and are deservedly buried somewhere in the Internet Archive, and I have no desire to try to find them. In early 2001, in response to the original demise of WOW Women of Wrestling, I started writing a series titled The WOW Revolution, about 17 of the promotion's best wrestlers and heroic psycho ref Josh Milton coming to the then-WWF. I had fun writing those stories, and, as a subplot, I conducted my one great experiment with femslash, though in a way that was MUCH milder than what is usually found on AO3. I used the Stephanie McMahon-Trish Stratus feud from early 2001, with the reveal on Episode 10 (October 2001) being Stephanie telling her then-storyline "husband" Triple H that she was leaving him...for Trish! I abandoned the relationship after Episode 11, since, hey, I'm not a lesbian/bi/other woman writing erotica or slash. I'm a straight guy who was writing a wrestling show, and I couldn't come up with dialogue that didn't sound ridiculous. I started coming up with ideas that didn't fit in The WOW Revolution, so I decided to revive The JWL. I was especially inspired by a passage in Mick Foley's second autobiography, Foley Is Good...And The Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling, where he wrote about watching his son Dewey playing with wrestling action figures and then writing down the result.

One thing I enjoy about fantasy booking is the freedom it allows, since I can book what I want without having to deal with the egos and complaints that real promoters do. Unfortunately, that did not protect me from dealing with real life interfering in ugly/tragic/frustrating ways. My inaugural JWL World Heavyweight Champion was Chris Benoit, and he never lost the title. After the tragedy, I pondered for a week what I was supposed to do next. I finally decided on a 16-man tournament to fill the vacant title. The main event of my sixth and final PPV, JWL Vengeance I, was "The Big Red Machine" Kane defeating 2 Cold Scorpio in the final. This is the essence of fantasy booking, since there is NO WAY that this as a main event would have drawn a dime in real life, since the only American promotion where Scorpio was ever seriously pushed as a singles wrestler was ECW in 1994-1996, and this was 2008. That would likely apply to many of my main events. I pushed Kane as the destructive monster he should have been. Booking Kane as Champ worked on the opposite principle to booking Benoit as Champ. With Benoit, I would pick a heel to walk to the ring, throw out a challenge, Benoit would answer and I had my main event. Kane would power walk to the ring and throw out a challenge, and a face would answer. Starting on Episode 65, I had "The All-American American" Jack Swagger as a free agent who heel managers Jerry "The King" Lawler, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes and Khosrow Daivari were scouting. On Episode 73, I had Swagger pin Kane to win the Title. A week or so later, Jacob Hager (Swagger's real name) was arrested for speeding/DUI/having drugs in his car. I read on one site that the police involved wanted him to serve jail time. I had no choice but to strip him of the title and fire him. I was in the second round of a tournament to fill the vacant title when I shut down in January 2014 due to running out of ideas and having no audience. (My only remaining ideas were Samoa Joe defeating Johnny Nitro [John Morrison] in the final of the JWL World Heavyweight Title Tournament, and The Dangerous Alliance [The World's Greatest Tag Team {Shelton Benjamin/Charlie Haas}/911/Bobby Lashley/Samoa Joe, w/Paul E. Dangerously {Paul Heyman}] defeating Dusty's Dream Team [The Nasty Boys {Jerry Sags/Bryan Knobbs}/The One Man Gang/Cody Rhodes/Ted DiBiase Jr., w/"The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes] in War Games. I had no idea where I was supposed to go from there.) I'd had Molly Holly as my inaugural JWL Women's Champion and enjoyed pushing her as a top face. (Her two WWE Women's Title reigns were as a heel.) At my fifth PPV, JWL The Great American Bash I, I had "The Female Fighting Phenom" Jazz defeat Molly and Jacqueline in a Three-Way-Dance to win the title. After the match, Jazz' Hardcore Alliance stablemates Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Mikey Whipwreck and manager Terry Funk walked out to celebrate Jazz being the first member of the group to win a title, but she held up her hand and shook her head "no." She turned heel, saying that she didn't need the Hardcore Alliance or the fans, since they had nothing to do with her winning and that all she cared about was herself and her belt. "The bitch is back." I got three title defenses out of her before it was announced that Carlene Moore-Begnaud (her real name) was pregnant in real life. I had no choice but to have her forfeit the title and retire, since I couldn't have her sit at home for a year and not defend the title. I never filled that title either. I had The Faces of Fear (Meng and The Barbarian) as my inaugural JWL World Tag Team Champions, and enjoyed pushing them as the unstoppable monsters they are. At Vengeance, I had The Redneck Wrecking Crew (Trevor Murdoch and Lance Cade) defeat The Faces of Fear for the titles. Because of how long it could sometimes take me to type and post a show, I only got one title defense out of them before Lance K. McNaught died of a "mixed drug intoxication, complicating a cardiomyopathy." I never filled that title either.

I shut down in January 2014 and didn't write anything again until the end of 2018. Unfortunately, one of the main wrestling fandoms I was writing in, CHIKARA, shut down for real in June 2020 as a result of the "#SpeakingOut" movement on Twitter (the wrestling equivalent of the "#MeToo" movement), where women wrestlers were reporting horrible stories of abuse, harassment and even rape at the hands of various male wrestlers/promoters/trainers. That led me to delete all of my CHIKARA-related stories from my site and from AO3. Aside from wrestling stories, I have written stories set in a range of fandoms, including The Exorcist/Ghostbusters, Peanuts, The Howard Stern Show, KISS/Parliament-Funkadelic, Godzilla and Mariah Carey. Except for the Godzilla story, which may be the best-reviewed anything I've ever written, some of these were ideas I'd had for decades but had never done anything with them.

Some people might have noticed that some of my stories on AO3 have "Refuge in Audacity" as a tag. That is because I know these stories present scenarios that would never happen in real life, would be considered highly objectionable to people in that particular fandom or are just completely outrageous. When I was writing the Godzilla story, I began wondering how to explain how Godzilla could understand spoken or written English. Then it hit me that, "It's Godzilla!" When the fundamental premise of your story is impossible, that gives you some artistic license. Or, as the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song put it, "Just repeat to yourself 'It's just a show, I should really just relax.'"

My attitude about writing fan fiction could probably best be summed up by the scene in The Great Muppet Caper when Kermit is trying to hail a cab in London and Gonzo hurls himself onto the street while yelling, "TAXI!" and lands right in front of Beauregard's cab. Kermit says, "That's very effective," and Gonzo replies, "Yeah, it's great when it works." That says it best. "It's great when it works."