Most of this is common sense. But I feel I have no choice but to accept the most accurate and best formatted material. So if someone else follows these guidelines and you don’t, and you both submit on the same thing, their stuff will be what’s accepted. Reading this will also save you time having to resubmit and keep your rejection rate down, if you worry about that kind of thing.
I’ll re-edit stuff to fit if it only takes a little work, but otherwise I’ll reject and provide an explanation. If you submit a lot it's more likely at least one will be rejected so you catch it, since it's more important if you intent to become a heavy contributor. -----
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 HTML, 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. 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.
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 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.
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…”. 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.
That’s it. Look forward to your submissions!
Edited on 10/19/2006 6:53am
Edited 5 total times.
Edited 5 total times.