All About Gislef
26Feb 11Don't know why, but there seems to be a recent influx of people (badly) writing and editing recaps. So a few refreshers:
1 ) Recaps have to be original. Your words, not someone else's. Can you say "plagiarism," boys and girls?
2 ) Recaps have to feature just what's in the show. I've had a couple of submissions where writers just made stuff up.
3 ) Keep it simple and direct. Avoid "screen directions." Starting a recap with "The episode begins with..." is unnecessary. Every recap you write should begin with the first thing the episode begins with. Ditto for "Next scene..." and "Cut to black" and so on. Also avoid lengthy prose. You don't have to write robotic "A did B. B did A." But there's a difference between "Walter angrily rounded on Peter" and "His eyes seething with anger and his face filled with that which men call disdain, Walter turned on Peter and ground out between his teeth, "Excuse me if I didn't say the magic words!""
4) Similarly (and as pointed out by Jekyll), avoid interjecting personal opinion. There is no "I" in recaps.
5 ) Tell the episode in the order it occurs on-screen. Yes, sometimes the main A plot, and the sub B and C plots are interwoven and don't seem to relate. Still tell them in the order we see them on-screen. Rather than tell all of Plot A. Wait until you're done with it, and then jump back and tell all of Subplot B.
6 ) Never say blah-blah-blah. Yes, I had one writer who considered this acceptable in a recap, rather than recap what was actually happening.
7 ) When editing, use Comments. See that thing above the Comment block, that says, Enter any comments you have regarding the change you are submitting. These comments are mandatory, and will help our moderators process your submission. Provide Comments that will help me process your submission. Saying nothing but "spelling error" or "line spacing" or "grammatical error" for a thousand-word recap does not help me process your submission. Sadly, TV.com doesn't provide editors with a before/after comparison tool, so I can't tell what you're editing unless you tell me. I will reject submissions if you don't tell me what you're editing, and why. If you can't be bothered, than neither can I.
8 ) Speaking of why you're editing a recap... Make sure the "why" is because it is necessary. Personal preference isn't acceptable, because everyone has different personal preferences. You'd end up with infinite numbers of recap edits. Missing scenes, typos, line spacing, even grammar are all acceptable as changes. Feeling that the recap doesn't place the right emphasis on scene a over scene b is not. "Because it's better" is not a useful or acceptable Comment. "Better" is subjective." Tell me what is missing or in error, and if legitimate it'll get accepted.
9 ) Avoid parentheses. Really. Most people don't know how to use them correctly, so just avoid them entirely. You'd be surprised how you can get by without them.
Hope that all helps.
22Jun 09Nothing too thrilling here. Just thought I'd repost the submission guidelines I use. They appear on the forums of all currently-airing shows I edit, but better to have them here then in the forum of every show I edit.
1 ) Look at what's already on the page. If there's nothing there yet, look at another episode page. If you want to know what name to use for a regular character (Dick vs. Captain Richard), or if a name should be bolded, or whether there should be double-spacing between quote lines, or whether quotation marks should be used, or where to use italics, do what's already been done. If you're not sure how to do the XHTML, click on Edit for an existing entry and see how it's done.
2 ) Don't steal from another site. Except for Quotes, everything should be in your own words (and that includes quote contextual material). Even summaries based on press releases should be rewritten as "your content." It's a TV.com requirement, it's copyright, and it's common courtesy.
3 ) Be accurate and provide a source. Unless you're an incredibly fast typist/writer and have an incredible ear for dialogue, pause the recording. Rewind. Transcribe the dialogue, rewind again, double-check. For episodes that haven't aired yet, always provide an original verifiable source in Comments. Provide as complete a URL as possible: if I can't find it, I can't accept it.
4 ) If you edit, use Comments to tell me what you're editing and why. Be specific. "Fixing 2 typos." doesn't help. "Changed "his" to "her" in third paragraph, changed "their" to "they're" in second paragraph" does. If something should be deleted, mark it for deletion and put the explanation in Comment, don't "argue" or give a "response."
5 ) Know basic grammar and punctuation. "I" is capitalized. Names are capitalized. Sentences get periods at the end (or question marks or exclamation marks). A single space goes after most punctuation except at the end of a sentence. Know the difference between "its" and "it's." ("It's" = "It is"). When speaking to someone and using their name, a comma goes before and after their name. "It's true that I love you, Fred, but I love you too, George." is correct. "Its true that i love you fred but I love you too,George" is not.
6 ) Don't duplicate. Particularly for major plot points, if the info is in the Recap, it doesn't need to be in Notes or Trivia. If a quote appears entirely in Allusions, it doesn't need to be in Quotes as well. Click on More Quotes/Trivia/Notes. You typically don't see everything on the episode's main page.
7 ) Don't anticipate. That's part of being accurate. Don't go by previews--sometimes scenes get cut or another version used when the episode goes to air. Don't assume an Allusion will be an allusion until you see the episode.
8 ) It's not personal. Don't insert stuff like "I" or "Don't you think" or "We all know..." Stick to the factual and put opinions, analysis, and speculation into your review.
9 ) Quotes. Quotes should be memorable, significant, and/or humorous. They should stand on their own and make sense to someone who hasn't seen the show, and represent quality writing. Don't use quotes just to "prove" something or indicate a key moment if the words aren't otherwise memorable, significant, or humorous. Try to focus on the key line or lines and avoid three paragraphs of "set up" quotes. Bold the speaker name, then put in an unbolded colon, then a space, then the line quote. Don't put quotation marks around each line. Hit a single Return/Enter for the next speaker's line. Contextual explanations should be used as little as possible, be as short as possible, put in parentheses, and italicized. For episodes that aren't currently premiering, a time code in the Comment section is preferred.
10 ) Notes. As per TV.com standards, Notes is for off-screen production-related stuff. Stuff the characters wouldn't know. Background music, special credit info, relevant background on the actors, in-jokes, etc. "What else they've been in" and "They're best known for" and "They've worked together before" is covered by the cast list section and its links, unless there's some kind of in-joke involved.
11 ) Trivia. As per TV.com standards, Trivia is for obscure yet on-screen stuff the viewer might not notice. This includes goofs. Plot points and other obvious stuff are often spoilers and are not Trivia--they should go in the Recap. According to TV.com guidelines, Trivia is not merely a catchall for anything that doesn't fit in the other categories. Nor is it the place for fan theories or speculation, or goofs based on same.
12 ) Allusions. As per TV.com standards, Allusions are for cultural references--other TV shows, movie, films, books. Always provide the single line of the quotation first that contains the Allusion (formatted as #9 above), then a single return, then the explanation. Internal continuity is pretty common in TV shows so unless it's obscure (Trivia), it's not an Allusion. The explanation (not cut-n-pasted) should be detailed enough that someone unfamiliar with the allusion can understand: roughly 20-50 words, one paragraph. Word definitions and translations are not Allusions (or Trivia or Notes, either). Allusions are deliberate and typically something the writers have the characters say. Allusions should be unique and reference the original source whenever possible, rather then another show that references the original source.
13 ) Summaries and Recaps. Summaries should be short and not give away any spoilers. Recaps should be a complete scene-by-scene account of the episode, without stage directions or meta-references like "In this scene...". Actor names don't go in summaries or recaps. Write it like you'd write a reference book entry. Don't include real-life info ("This season," actor listings, etc.). Save quotes for the Quote section (see #9 above).
One last thing. If you submit something and it's rejected, remember: it's nothing personal. These standards are in place to promote accuracy, readability, and keep the episode pages from being too "cluttered" with extraneous info. If you get a rejection, read the Comments I provide, come here and look at these guidelines, and PM me if you have any questions. Some folks I had to reject the first time are now my most prolific contributors.
5Dec 08Given the recent rash of duplicate submissions, I need to repeat something: you don't necessarily see all the Quotes/Trivia/notes that are on the main episode page.
If you're going to submit something, click on one of the See All Quotes, or Trivia, or Notes link. You can also click the less-intuitive Trivia tab at the top.
Otherwise there's a couple of good indicators to keep an eye out for.
Are you submitting a quote and there's already five quotes on the page? Odds are good there are more "off-screen" behind the See All Quotes link. Five is just all the system will display on the main episode page.
On the other hand, if there is only 4, or 3, or 2, or 1 quote, then you know what you see is what you get.
For most currently airing shows that I edit, I usually mine an episode for quotes within 24 hours of its premiere. So if you come along a few days or weeks or months later and don't see a really cool incredible quote, the odds are it's under See All Quotes.
(Of course, if you think it's a cool quote and it really isn't there anywhere, go ahead and submit.)
Otherwise... I'm going to have to reject a duplicate quote. Not anything else I can do.
Hope that helps.
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