So you've found a missing recap and want to help, great!
Writing a recap of a TV show or movie is complicated, because this site has the specific goal of recording Jorja Fox's life and career. In doing so, certain information which would be considered crucial to the plot of a movie are unnecessary to the recap for this site.
This guide is intended to help you determine what is and is not pertinent to the recap.
Spelling and grammar count
Try and spell things to the best of your ability. Most browsers provide built in spell checks, however if you know your spelling is terrible, use a word processor to spot check.
As for grammar, you don't need to graft a Strunk and White to your arm. Spell out words and don't use abbreviations. Use 'and' instead of &, avoid ellipses (...), and aim for complete sentences.
Neutral Point of view
If you detest a particular movie, it's fine to write a critical review of it, however you should make a concerted effort to keep your personal view out of it. Write a summary that states the facts. Leave out your own conjectures as to what a certain look may or may not have meant. Remember that there are millions of fans, and every one is likely to view an action in a different way.
Try to keep your opinions to yourself. A recap is a historical record of the fact, a description of what happened. It should not include personal interjections (such as 'Maggie told Romano off, as she should!'), nor should it be colored by your feelings about the scene. If you find yourself unable to describe a situation without letting your viewpoint color it, then you shouldn't write it.
The summary is the main recap of the episode or movie. This is where the plot, as a whole, is addressed, to give the reader a sense of grounding as to what is going on. The goal is to simply and perfunctorily address the basic groundwork of the plot. It does not need to be written 'as it aired,' however, so a summary may not follow the timeline of the show.
See the CSI episode Law of Gravity for an example of this. The episode involved heavy flashbacks and dream sequences. However for the recap for this site, a direct addressing of the plot was more appropriate.
Keep if brief
A recap of any one hour TV show should be no longer than 250 words. A movie should be no longer than 500 words. The overview should simply state the plot of the episode/movie. While these should be longer than the two or three sentence blurbs provided by TV Guide, they do not need to get into explicit detail. This is where you should leave out details like exactly how the killer stalked his victim and subsequently hid the body.
Is Jorja in the scene?
A simple rule of thumb: If Jorja's not in the scene, it's not important.
When the 2000 Lord of the Rings movies were written, the writers decided that if Frodo wasn't in a scene, it probably didn't need to be in the first movie. This is not to say the scene isn't crucial to the plot, but it's not crucial to this site. There's a degree of hair-splitting to be had here, but details for any scene may be omitted if Jorja is not in the scene.
It's okay to go too long
Too much omission makes a scene impossible to understand. A balance between the bullet points and the lengthy essay is needed. If you end up writing something that's too detailed, that's okay. It's easier to trim down than to add in, most of the time.
The character review
Separate from the main plot summary is the review of what Jorja's character has done. This is where detail is desired, as the goal is to record both the character's life as well as Jorja's acting choices. While you should not write out everything that happens, word-for-word, you should provide emotion and detail.
For example, in the CSI episode Law of Gravity, the initial character review was as follows:
Sara gets back from working at a dump. Grissom spots her and tries to talk her up, but Sara says she smells and leaves. Grissom tells her she'll be surprised what the cocoon hatches.
After editing, the review became:
Sara returns from investigating a garbage dump and runs into Grissom at the lab. To a degree, they have traded places in their relationship, with Grissom now being forward and affectionate, but Sara is avoiding him somewhat, citing her smell from being at the dump. Grissom says Sara will be surprised to see what the cocoon hatches.
Notice how in the second example, the awkwardness of the Grissom/Sara dynamic is addressed. As this is important to the character and reflects acting choices, it is important to the character review. However this scene is not important to the main summary of the episode, as it had nothing to do with the main plot.
On some pages, there is a space for character notes. These are simple bullet points of what the viewers have learned about a character. They often duplicate information found in the character review, but also address other concerns, point back to how an action related to an earlier TV episode.
Again, looking at the CSI episode Law of Gravity, in the character review, the tension between Grissom and Sara is noted. In the character notes, we address the similarity between that scene and the one between Hank and Sara in Bully for You.
Quotes need to be specific to the movie or the episode. If you're adding a quote about a CSI episode, then the quote should go on the episode page. Conversely, only quotes from an episode should be on that episode's page.
- (Sara at her locker removing her jacket when Grissom appears in the doorway)
- Grissom: Hey, my cab's here.
- Sidle: (turns to look at Grissom) So you're going.
- Grissom: Yeah.
- Sidle: I'll see you when you get back. (turns back to her locker)
- Grissom: (moves to the inside of the doorway, Sara turns to face him) (long pause) I'll miss you.
- (Sara nods, and Grissom leaves)
If there are multiple quotes in an episode, use :<hr width="50%"/> or ---- to separate the sections.
When referencing other episodes, due to episode continuity or a comparison between events, the easiest way to note these are through references. For example, in the CSI episode Law of Gravity the cocoon, last seen in Redrum, is mentioned. In this case, make a note following the cocoon to link back to the previous episode as follows:
- Grissom says Sara will be surprised to see what the cocoon<ref>[[CSI: Crime Scene Investigation]] episode ''[[Redrum]]''</ref> hatches.
Then at the end of the page, just above the Category tag, you would add this:
It's preferable to use references instead of straight links.
Of course, if you email the recap with straight links, someone with wiki edit power will fix it for you!
Where do I send my completed recap?
Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org