Please email any plotlines, reviews, recommendations, favourites, top-10 lists, worst-10 lists, cast-and-crew annotations, banner art, CD artwork, radio scripts, biographies, comments, suggestions, criticisms or questions to me at:
rhurdle at otrplotspot dot com
Please be sure to include a subject—I will not open mail listed as 'No Subject'. In the past, I have had intermittent problems with my email. If I don't respond within a few days, please send me another email because yours was probably lost in the aether.
It costs cash, time and countless lives to provide you with free entertainment. Please consider giving something back to help make the sacrifice of so many millions of innocent people worthwhile by sending in reviews of shows (you can remain anonymous, if you like).
Thanks for contributing!
Many people have asked for a guide to writing reviews and plotlines. So, er... here it is.
Reviews are easy. Just tell me if you liked an episode or not... and how you wish to be credited (if you prefer, you can remain anonymous or make up a name). That's it. You're done. Thanks for contributing!
A review can be as short as a single word, if you like, but a really good review will also explain why you liked it or didn't. This is a bit harder. The reason this is important is that there are many different elements to story telling: characterization, mood, tempo, style, conflict, dialogue, plot, setting, point of view, tone, acting, music, and sound effects. If you are in the mood for a fast-moving story with a lot of action and I'm in the mood to relax and let an author's descriptive imagery wash over me and paint pictures in my mind, then we might not be ready for the same story.
So, if you can, tell me why you liked it. You don't need to know about all those story-telling elements—you aren't writing a book report for your secondary school English class—you're just telling me why you liked it. To help figure out why you liked it (or didn't) here are some questions you might ask yourself:
If you are still having trouble figuring out what to write, read some of the other reviews on this site and ask yourself which ones were helpful to you and which weren't. That should help you decide what to include and what to leave out.
May the muse be with you.
Plot summaries, on the other hand, are much more difficult to write. Many of the early plot summaries written for this site are short (one sentence) and cryptic. This is great in that they provide the general theme or mood of a story without giving away any plot twists, but I'm finding this presents two problems: proper identification and database searching.
This is especially true with some of the more obscure series. Take Exploring Tomorrow, for example. Almost none of those episodes announce the title in the opening or closing credits. So, if you are trying to identify an episode that you just listened to, how can you tell if it is 'The Happiness Effect', 'Do It and Like It', or 'The Brain Writers' [These titles all exist in the OTR community, but I think they are alternate names for the same episode]. Or how can you tell if it is 'The Cold Equations' or 'The Stowaway'? [many in the OTR community claim these are the same show, but I think they were two different episodes—one of which is lost.]
Well, you would probably identify the episode by comparing the plot of the story you just listened to with the transcribed plot of each of the available titles. But a one-sentence plot just isn't going to cut it.
Think of it this way... compare the following plot summaries:
Would you recognize these plot summaries as the same story? What if the name 'Ebeneezer Scrooge' were inserted into each?
And that brings me to the second problem. If you were looking for a story and couldn't remember its title, could you find it by using keywords and searching in a database? Which words would you use for 'A Christmas Carol'? Scrooge, Cratchit, Tiny Tim, Christmas, ghost, Marley, Fred, humbug?
So now when I write new plot summaries, I strive for 2-5 sentences. And I try to include details that someone might search for... without giving away too much of the plot. As I said, it's not easy...