How do you decide whether a submitted topic is viable? Do you tell the submitter if their doc is denied, or if it needs work?
Delcat, April 27, 2013, 08:54:29 pm
Some guidelines that may be of value here:
Like Stog, I generally skim documents. I don't want to be spoiled because I want to be surprised when we do record that stuff, but I do need to come to grips with the content so I'll quickly pick through it, paying less attention to specifics over time.I WANT SUBMISSIONS TO SUCCEED!
I want this desperately. You've gone to all this trouble to gather up shit (and having put together a number of episodes myself, I know it's a hassle), so I want that work to come to fruition. Permit me to give you a few tips that hopefully will be of interest to everyone:
GRAB MY ATTENTION. Put your best (or maybe your second-best) info right at the top. Make it the first entry I read. If I'm all like, "Oh shit!" right off the bat, you got a winner right there. Punch me right in the fucking face with something wicked-awesome.
EFFICIENCY: The material should speak for itself. A tiny intro for context isn't amiss, but don't bold bits of the text or add your own snarky commentary, it's kind of bewildering sometimes when I'm skimming. Additionally, there really is a different sort of humour that comes through when something is read aloud (and reacted to by others) as opposed to what you see with plain text. Seriously, try it for yourself sometime.*
LENGTH, OR EFFICIENCY PART II: We tend to favour things which can be read in five minutes, ten in exceptional cases if it's of unsurpassed quality. Straight-up prose will get read at a rate of about 100 words a minute, possibly slower--so a good snippet length is about 500 to 1000 words max. Forum posts will take longer, but those are easier to skip through. Really long essays generally don't work out, as what's funny on screen may not be when read aloud, or vice versa.
THE TAPOUT LINE: Some topics are non-starters. Overt racism and other forms of hate speech, and exceptionally gross or vile things won't make it. Lou Reads
goes down and dirtier than we do; we're more into idiots and insanity than just gross. Also actually published material is under copyright, so that can't be read at all. Sorry 'bout that.
THE SPOOR OF A GOOD TOPIC: Typos are an easy one. I personally love typo-laden text, reading it is a specialty, but it's like cake icing. It's tasty but it's an adjunct to the actual cake itself, not something you want to eat on its own. What's really good? Sheer stupidity, broken logic, frikkin' weirdness or outright insanity. Did you read it and felt yourself scratching your head and wondering what the hell you just read? Fantastic! SUBMIT! SUBMIT! SUBMIT IT! Some of us have our own preferences.
FINALLY, PROVIDE SOURCES: Provide URLs whenever possible. I put up some static over a recent submission because it was like, oh god, it was gonna be fantastic, but we really needed the supporting forum posts behind it.
Note that these are guidelines and not hard-and-fast rules. Some episodes I thought were relatively weak in terms of content became some of the best because we had brilliant interaction and riffing.
* The reading test: Stuff I used to write for public presentation would get a "verbal edit": after a couple edit passes, I'd put on some music at conversational volume and then read my text to be heard over that music. Speaking at volume changes how things get read, and correspondingly how you'd edit it. S'true! It reveals different stresses and, uhh, stuff. Very technical.