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Gislef Blog

The Fine Art of Writing/Editing Recaps

Don'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.

Submission Guidelines - Just a Repost

Nothing 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.

See All Quotes/Trivia/Notes Is Your Friend

Given 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.

Moderation Misunderstandings C

If you have specific questions you don't wish to discuss publicly, feel free to PM me. If there's another misunderstanding topic you'd like to see, PM me directly rather than post off-topic here. Misunderstanding C –What about my freedom of speech? I'm speaking here on the basis of U.S. law. Your national standards may vary. First of all, many folks claim they have a "First Amendment Right" to say anything they want. That's pretty specific. The 1A says basically the government can make no law regulating your free speech. However, TV.com isn't the government, and it doesn't make law. "Freedom of Speech" is a bit trickier. The UN, for instance, has stated that humans have a fundamental right to free speech. On the other hand, try going into the UN and asking to speak to the delegates, and claim that your right to free speech lets you do it. Even the most liberal Supreme Courts in U.S. history never let just anyone wander in to their courtroom and say anything they want, any time they want. So "freedom of speech" can be regulated on public property. What about private property? On private property, owners' rights trump "freedom of speech." Why? Because you can always go somewhere else, including your own private property. No one can stop you from talking: however, they can stop you from talking on their property. On TV.com, you can't start up your own threads on someone else's blog. You can't go into, say, The Mentalist forum and post a hundred Spongebob threads. TV.com is private property. They invite guests in, they have them sign the Terms of Service, people agree to abide by it. If you don't follow those rules, TV.com can kick you out. It's no different then if someone invites you into their house and you start saying stuff they don't like. They're not obliged to let you stay in their house and listen to you. And you can't force them to let you stay claiming "freedom of speech." So, yes, on TV.com you can't say anything you want, any time and any place you want. The same reason that on your private property, people can't come in and say anything you want, any time and any place they want. There is a heck of lot that you can say on TV.com, in the proper forum. And even more on your blogs. But even that isn't unlimited. Anybody who believes in total, unfettered freedom of speech, well, great, I can respect that. Since you feel that way... Please provide me with your address and house keys so I can come in and talk to you any time you want. Give me your calling card number so I can talk to anybody I want to, any time I want. Send me $100: I have some pamphlets I need to post around town. If you have a web site, give me the passwords and accesses so I can post what I want there, when I want it. And if you don't do all of this, you're against freedom of speech. :) Private citizens and companies aren't required to finance your freedom of speech or provide you with a soapbox. And if they do choose to give you a soapbox, they're allowed to set rules and regulations on when and how you can use that soapbox. That's what TV.com does, that's what most sites do in one form or another. As far as TV.com, the standards are pretty simple: be nice to each other, be considerate, stay on-topic, and don't do anything illegal.

Moderation Misunderstandings B

If you have specific questions you don't wish to discuss publicly, feel free to PM me. If there's another misunderstanding topic you'd like to see, PM me directly rather than post off-topic here. Misunderstood Moderations B – Why are all my friends banned? The short answer is: because all you friends do stuff that get them banned. The long answer? Certain times of the year, there's more banning. When school's out, typically. Holidays and summer vacation. When shows are off the air, temporarily or permanently. People get bored, people have nothing better to do. This summer, 2008. With gas prices up, less people go on vacation, more people stay at home, more people have nothing better to do. People "fight back." The policy is report it and ignore it. Write it in the sky in gossamer teardrops. Repeat and repeat it again. If someone says something nasty, or posts a spoiler, or is just some dope trying to get attention, why the heck do you want to repeat it? What else... off-topic stuff. Often there's an off-topic lounge in a show forum. It's there for a reason. If there isn't a lounge, use a blog. There's a hundred blogs where you can talk to your friends about anything you like. There's only one forum to talk about any given show. Are your friends saying they didn't get many warnings? Have them do a screen capture of their moderation history and send it to you. You'd be surprised... Show forums are for show. Ideas on changing policy, go to the TV.com Idea forum. Specific questions about specific moderations, or you don't understand a policy? Ask the Mods. Got a complaint about mods? PM the staff, danmod or jaxiecracks or whoever is staff if you read this 2+ years from when I post. Griping and complaining? That's why everyone has blogs. Use show forums to talk about shows, use personal blogs (and the occasional off-topic thread) to talk about personal stuff. It's pretty hard to get suspended or banned if you stick to that and play nice with others. Not just your friends: everyone. And finally, there's the vicious circle of banning. One person gets banned. People protest (often without the full story, or being told a false story). People start flaming and posting in the wrong spot to complain. More people get suspended and banned. More people flame and complain about that. Even more people get suspended and banned. And on it goes. Follow the suggestions above, stop the cycle.

Misunderstood Moderations Redux

Hi! Long time, no blog. I thought I'd borrow an idea from fellow moderator Grailwolf and post on a few misunderstood moderations as well. As grailwolf notes there, if you have specific questions you don't wish to discuss publicly, feel free to PM me. If there's another misunderstanding topic you'd like to see, PM me directly rather than post off-topic here. Misunderstanding A: Censor Bypassing The first thing to understand is that some "naughty" words are allowed. On any given day we get users reported for using words that in fact aren't censor bypassing. Hell, damn, crap, and ass are all permitted words. We don't recommend people use them, and if they use them in another context (like flaming) then that's still a TOS violation. But in and of themselves using them is not a Censor Bypassing violation and we don't moderate their use. So if someone typed the word exactly how it is spelled, and the system lets it through so you can see it... it's an acceptable word. Oddly, some people will try to censor bypass acceptable words, even though they don't need to. We don't moderate people for doing that, either. If you're not sure if a word is permitted, create a post with the word(s), check Preview, and see if the system automatically censors it. If it doesn't, then the word is permitted. Then just cancel out rather than post your test message. As moderators there's nothing we can do about the "system hack" naughty words like "c1ass." However, we won't moderate you for bypassing around those words. Censor bypassing to quote from shows is allowed, as long as it's suitable in context. Discussing what Tony Soprano said last week in syndication and providing a quote to illustrate is fine. Posting something like You know what Tony Soprano would say about a jerk like you: [Quote here]." is not. Common sense prevails. Yes, the TV.com filter has some... odd ideas about what words should be censored. Although we have no control over what is censored, we try to keep that in mind. Again, if the word is suitable in context when discussing TV, we won't moderate. ----- Those are the things you can do. What is it you can't do? Censor bypassing on blogs isn't allowed. That's gone back and forth a bit, but currently we're consistent with Gamespot's policy. Typically we'll give you a warning to remove, rather than delete the blog. Use of abbreviations to get around the filter isn't allowed. Using a hack to get around the filter isn't allowed. Even one censor bypass will get your entire post deleted. We don't want to get into the habit of going into people's posts and editing stuff. Most folks don't want us editing their posts. We'll go by the most common and most common sense interpretation of a censor bypass. You'd be surprised at the # of people who say, "Well, that * is an 'o' and I really meant 'Who gives a shot?'" Uh, right... If you had typed "shot" in the first place, the censor bypass wouldn't have kicked in and you wouldn't have tried to find a way around it. If you can't get out of the habit of typing "naughty words," or you're not sure of the best way to make them unrecognizable within the permitted rules, your best bet is simply type them like you would normally and let the system automatically make them unrecognizable. believe it or not, most people are smart enough to figure out what you meant from context. ----- Why is censor bypassing a TOS violation? Several reasons. We have users of all age groups, with access to all shows. Believe it or not, some parents don't want their kids hearing "naughty words." It may be a minority view, but it's one that CNET respects. "Naughty words" drag down the discourse. You swear, other people swear back. Some people end up swearing more than actually saying anything meaningful. Believe it or not, you can make yourself understood without "naughty words." Using "naughty words" doesn't make you a grown up. The fact that most of the people on here who use them are junior and senior high schoolers rather than adults should tell you something. It's understandable that someone might blurt out something naughty in a conversation. It's not understandable that you uncontrollably typed a censor bypass. Why? Because the system won't let you. If you accidentally type a "naughty word" in the heat of the moment, the system will make it unreadable automatically. You have to deliberately go back and make it a little less unreadable. Hope that all helps.

What Am I Watching This Fall?

Well, if you really have to know the intimate details of my viewing habits... Not really looking for a debate on why I should watch a particular show – that’s why we have debate forums. :) Just some people seem to find this interesting. Maybe some day I’ll rig up a webcam so when you’re done watching TV, you can watch me watch TV. It involves a lot of me sitting and typing recaps, though. (Note: this adds up to about 16 hours of TV watching a week, give or take.) Monday: Heroes, of course! It’s interesting enough to keep me going, secure in the knowledge it’ll probably be cancelled quicker and more inappropriately than Night Stalker last year. It’s got Jeph Leob on it, Tim Kring as the guy in charge (Misfits of Science - whoo-hoo!), and it’s got the edginess and originality that Smallville had for… oh, about half a season. Studio 60, I’m kinda watching to see what da buzz is about, but I was never a West Wing fan and this one isn’t doing much for me either. Also a Tales From the Darkside mini-marathon through October. Otherwise it’s wait to January for 24. Tuesday: House! Despite a few off characterizations this season is still rolling along pretty well. My curse this year is with the departure of UPN, our local affiliate switched over to Retro Television Network, in the evening, which means Tuesday is now Mission: Impossible night. One of my two favorite 60s American TV shows. Arrgh, another two hours of my life lost to the tube. Wednesday: Missed the first episode of Jericho tried the second one, kinda liked it, kinda not. Will probably stick with it. Lost, have to follow along to get those hints of vague things that might be answers. Blade is gone for the season (and apparently cancelled permanently). Thanks, SpikeTV, for removing the one original show on your station I liked. Thursday: The killer night for my schedule. Smallville and Supernatural, got to keep up. And RTN strikes again because my other favorite 60s show, Wild Wild West, is on for two hours. Friday: Well, with the SciFi/USA biggies like Stargate and Monk gone, all I really have now is Doctor Who (2005) until that runs out after 13 weeks. Then back to the Stargates after the new year. Saturday: Cartoon day! Legion of Super Heroes, Fantastic Four, and The Batman. Also the old school Doctor Who airs on our local PBS station, so have to watch that as well. Sunday: Venture Brothers until that runs out in a week or so. The new remastered Star Trek is on at midnight if it’s an episode I particularly want to catch. Things on my to-watch when I have spare time (ha!): tapes and DVDs of Planet of the Apes, Night Stalker, Firefly, and Friday the 13th: The Series. ----- *shrug* So there you go. Enjoy whatever insights into my psyche that my viewing schedule mght give you. :)

New Season - Old Rules

Not much to say, not a big blogger. But with the new season upon us, just a reiteration of a few basic rules and common-sense guidelines. Sources For episodes that haven't aired yet, please provide a verifiable source. That would be a reputable major fan site, or an official source. And reputable fan sites provide their sources anyway. If the site doesn't say what the source of the info is, I can't accept it. This policy helps to cut down on Internet rumors. Even the most reputable sites get it wrong occasionally. And I'd rather be 50% slower but 100% accurate, than 100% faster but only 50% accurate. Format Yeah, there's lot of guidelines here, but really formatting boils down to one thing: look at what's already done. Quote format, allusion set-up, TV & movie titles, names, line spacing, etc. Flip back an episode or two if there's nothing for that episode, you'll find something. If you can't figure out how to use the HTML, click on Edit and see the code. Preview Please check the Preview before hitting Submit. If the quote is all in bold, then there's something wrong with your HTML. Hit the Back button and check it. If there's only one word in the preview for your two-paragraph allusion, then you've got something in the wrong place. Hit Back and put it whre it needs to go. Comments The more detailed your Comments on edits and deletions, the more likely I'll accept. I don't really need Comments for new stuff, but if you're editing or changing or deleting, please say why. If you're changing something, say what you're changing. There's no easy way to see what you're changing by comparing it to the original. And please, please put what you want to appear on screen in the Submission field, not the Comment field. That's another one of those things where I could accept it and try to explain in my response-Comments why it's wrong, but then most people won't see it. Rejection Rate I never look at anyone's rejection rate. It doesn't concern me, it doesn't bother me. If you're concerned about your rejection rate, read and follow the above and you won't have many problems. I try not to reject based solely on formatting but if you submit a lot of stuff and it's all incorrectly formatted, I'll reject at least a few since too many people (understandably) don't read Comments on an approval. But (almost) everybody reads rejection Comments. If you absolutely can't figure something out and have questions, PM me. But most of it you can figure out from above. If not...well, some stuff is going to get rejected. I've got rejections, everybody's got rejections, don't sweat it. --- That's about it. Look forward to seeing your submissions!

Allusions and Notes and Trivia - Oh my!

Given the recent increase in submissions, seems like a good time to reiterate TV.com policy, what I understand to be Tv.com policy, and make sure it’s at the top of my blog so I can easily direct people there. :) Sorry if it's long, but there's a lot to cover... Number One - look at other entries on shows by the same editor. The best way to get something accepted is to see what editors have accepted before. Me or any other editor, look at what we've done in the past. Number Two – the following applies to what I edit. Other editors may have different standards. I don’t argue with them about their stuff or tell them what to do, they grant me the same courtesy. See Number One above to figure out how they edit their submissions. If you submit in the wrong category, I will reject and explain in Comments what the right category is. If you want to avoid a “bad mark” on your submission history, either check previous entries as above, or PM me first. I’m around. :) As always, don’t use br or p HTML code. Don’t double-space between lines, either. It might look good in preview, but it messes things up when it gets approved. Put your submission in the Submission box, not the Comments box. Readers won’t see anything you put in Comments, so putting an explanation there is useless. If it’s a new entry, “New Allusion/Note/Trivia” is sufficient as a Comment. If it’s a deletion or edit, explain in Comments and be very specific as to what you’re doing. Remember to click on “More Allusions/Notes/Trivia.” Single-space after punctuation. Base your submissions on your own viewing experience, rather then taking it from another site. We’ve seen most of those sites too, so if the material isn’t already here, we probably had a reason not to put it on. And if they get something wrong, us reposting it just perpetuates the error. In my experience, initially the more you submit at one time, the more likely you are to put something in the wrong category, and the less comprehensive my explanation will be about why it’s being rejected. Making 50 submissions won’t impress me so take your time, focus on one episode, wait to see what I accept and reject, then move on to the next episode. Most people who read this are probably already familiar with my editorial “style,” so once we have a working relationship then is the time to submit more. Unfortunately, it’s the people who aren’t reading this who need to see it the most. :( If I rejected once, submitting the same thing again isn't going to help you. Show and movie titles are in italics. Episode titles are in quotation marks. On to the specifics… 1) Allusions - An allusion is an indirect or passing reference to an existing form of media, be it to another TV program, a movie, a piece of music, or a book. Allusions are prevalent in television shows, and some shows, like The Family Guy, make exclusive use of this kind of humor. When submitting allusions, always credit the original media being referenced with as much detail as possible. An allusion must be a reference. It also should be specific. Either the character should be specific (“This is something like Kafka’s Metamorphosis”!), it should be clear from context (a S.F. character who is a fan of Star Trek referencing a Star Trek quotation even if they don’t say “It’s from Star Trek”), or should be a pretty clear in-joke by the writers. If you're not sure if it's an allusion, it isn't. Format an allusion with a quote on the first line (following TV.com standards for quotes). Then hit Return or Enter on your keyboard. Then provide the explanation. Believe it or not, some stuff predates an association with a particular show. If a show quotes a book but that quote also appeared in another TV show, the allusion is to the book (the “original media”), not the other show. Be complete, and provide a bit of background on the reference. If a character says, “Just like that peanut farmer of a President,” you quoting the line and simply saying “Referencing Jimmy Carter” is not informative. Toss in a little background. No more then one paragraph or about 50 of your own words. Don’t cut-n-paste from other sites. A show referring to something in its own history and previous episodes is not an Allusion – that’s simply internal continuity. If they explain the allusion on screen and make a direct reference, then it’s not an allusion. Thus if a character on-screen explains about Jack the Ripper, and the plot is about Jack the Ripper, you don’t have to submit an allusion about Jack the Ripper. Word definitions aren’t allusions, so please don't provide a definition of a word a character uses, no matter how obscure. Allusions should...allude to something. A character named "Venus" does share a name with a planet and a Roman goddess and a statue. But if the character has nothing specific to do with any of these, and "Venus" is just...well, their name, you don't need to submit an allusion explaining Venus. Just because someone or something in a show shares a name with something historical doesn't mean the writers are trying to reference the latter. Promotional materials aren’t part of the episode and thus shouldn’t be submitted as Allusions. The writers “borrowing” a plot from another show isn’t an Allusion. If it was a plot on one show, it was probably a plot on a dozen others. So it’s not specific, either. If a character notes a similarity of their on-screen adventures to another show or book or movie, then it would be acceptable. Allusions as noted are to media - books, TV, movies. You can find a lot of historical non-fiction stuff in books and TV and newspapers, though, and even Family Guy references historical events. So cultural and historical stuff is generally acceptable. 2) Trivia - Trivia is any small detail or goof that might not be known to people who view an episode. Trivia is attached at the episode level, not the show level. It should be specific to what aired in the episode and not deal with off-camera events, which should be submitted in the "notes" form. A car license-plate number is trivia, and a producer walking off the set is a note. I’m putting Trivia first before Notes because it’s easier. If it deals with what you see on-screen and deals with the “reality” of the episode, it’s Trivia. Trivia can be “cross-platform” if the show is part of a franchise. Thus Stargate SG-1 Trivia that ties into Stargate: Atlantis is acceptable. Stuff across the various Star Trek series, ditto. Trivia is not for plot points. Plot points aren’t small details, and the people who view an episode typically know them. If you submit Trivia and you talk about actors or writers or background music choices or directing techniques...then you’ve strayed into Notes. None of that is on-screen. “On-screen” to me means the story and the setting and the “reality” of the episode itself. Characters don’t hear the background music or notice the lighting techniques. :) Trivia should be significant or at least of some interest. Yep, this is highly subjective – that’s why us editors get paid the big bucks. ;) Do not submit “first appearance of”-type material unless it’s of huge significance. Any episode of any series features a first or last or hundredth of something – again, this would result in dozens of such entries per episode. Internal continuity in general is expected and again, there are so many examples in shows these days that listing everyone would take dozens of entries. However, if the continuity is obscure and “trivial,” it may be accepted. Trivia isn’t for pet theories or what used to (vaguely) be called Analysis over at TVTome. These categories are for facts, not opinions. Discuss it on the forums. As confirmed by missribs, Trivia submissions aren’t for back-and-forth discussion. If you disagree with an existing entry, Edit it or mark it for Deletion, and explain in Comments what you’re doing. Keep in mind that entries were scrutinized carefully before being accepted, so your odds of winning an “argument” are pretty slim. But it happens. :) 3) Notes - Notes are off-camera tidbits about an episode. They should contain off-camera events that deal with a show's production. They should not deal with on-camera events or trivia. Premieres, finales, etc., are stated in the episode lists and don't need to be submitted. As yo might notice, I'm a big fan of avoiding redundancy. If it’s not Trivia as above, then it’s probably production-related and we’re into Notes. Plot points aren’t Notes, either. Plot points go in the Recap. If there’s not a Recap, write one! :) In general do not submit “best known as” Notes for guest stars. Everybody is “best known” for something, somewhere – we could have one of these for every guest star in an episode. Folks can click on the cast links at the top of the page if they want this info. If there’s some kind of direct in-joke to an actor’s previous role, then it would be a Note, yes. Do not submit “similar to something on another show” Notes. There have been tens of thousands of episodes of different series in TV history – I assure you if it’s been done once, it’s been a dozen times somewhere. And then we’d have to provide dozens of such entries per episode. DVD commentary is fair game but please write in your own words rather then cut-n-paste. Ditto cut scenes and such. ----- Hope that all helps.

For Editors - Show Forums

Okay, just to be clear, and hopefully get the news out to a wider audience, here's how it works if you're an editor. If you're not an editor, us forum moderators won't take lock/pin requests on show forums from you. Contact the show editor to forward your request to us. Hopefully this will all go away in a few weeks and you can pin & lock stuff yourselves. We'll see... ;) 1) If you are an editor and want a thread on your show forum locked and/or pinned, use the moderation report pulldown. Report the first post in the thread. Use Strong, put in you're the editor, and ask us to pin and/or lock the first thread. We'll do it. 2) Exception - if you want to lock/pin your own thread, PM us. Currently you can't report your own threads. 3) At this time we can't unlock threads that are locked. Lock stuff with care. 4) If you are locking stuff on your forum for administrative purposes, as opposed to for TV.com forum/policy violations, we will re-mark it as Moderator Discretion - the person who created the first thread will not be penalized or have a mark on their permanent history. 5) If you don't want the thread there, or it shouldn't be there, mark it for deletion. Don't lock it. 6) Report violations of policy normally. ----- Using the moderation system rather then PMing is the most reliable and expedient way to get your forum(s) moderated. Using the moderation system means that your request is going to all the moderators, with a better chance of someone acting on it quickly. Also, while the PM system has had its ups and downs, the moderation system has had occasional 1-to-2 minute bouts of blank-screening where you just have to keep trying, but to the best of my knowledge it has never gone down. Hope that all helps.
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