Since a couple of people have asked me about this privately, I talked to Lemon and he said it would be okay for me to make a thread about creating and submitting a document for the ridiculists to read. So, here are some tips and tricks I myself use when editing a doc. Note that these are in no way official or something you have to follow, I am merely trying to give some advise on how to best make sure your submission gets read.
Collecting the material
So, you've found something on the Internet that
the world F Plus listeners absolutely must hear about. Great! Now the only problem is how to convince others of the greatness of your find. Here are the very first things you should do.
- Close down the webpage (after you've bookmarked it obviously) and then wait a day. The next day open the page and look at it again. Still funny? Good, this means it's not just your tired brain/beer goggles making it seem that way.
- Now that you have established that the material is still funny to you, you should think if it's funny to others. Is the material very offensive or controversial in nature? Does it require an in-depth knowledge of a particular fandom to be funny? Everyone has their own sense of humor, so of course it will be impossible to predict if others will find things as amusing as you do. However, if it isn't something that will amuse a person who's never heard of a particular fetish and/or fandom, it probably won't make for a very good Fplus episode. Likewise, if your topic is offensive enough to make people visibly flinch away from you when you mention it, it's probably best to scrap your idea and start over from the beginning. While gross stuff can make for a good episode, you should try to remember there is a difference between funny-gross and creepy-gross.
- Still convinced that everyone is going to find this amusing? Then it's time to start actually collecting the material. But before you do, take a moment to think of the topic of your doc. Are you trying to highlight a certain webpage, or are you collecting material based on a theme, like for example a particular fetish? Which ever it is, be sure to keep your content focused on the thing you've selected. No matter how tempting, don't go adding stuff that's not related to your topic, as this will only serve to prevent people from understanding what you're actually trying to present. You can always save the unrelated stuff you find for when you're making another Fplus doc.
- After you're clear what your topic is, it's time to start collecting your material. At first it's fine to add everything that you think is funny without being too discriminating. However, after you have about 20 pages of material you should stop and go through what you have at this point, deleting everything that does not seem as funny the second time you read it. Do this until you have about 20-25 pages of material you don't want to delete. It's not likely that the ridiculists will read it all, but it's good to give them the ability to pick and choose what they like.
At this point you should have a document of about 20 pages full of good material. It's time to think about the presentation of that material. This step is perhaps even more important than your actual topic, as some good editing can make even mediocre material shine. Likewise, if your document is a complete mess it will be very hard for the ridiculists to determine if there's anything there they actually want to use. Here are some basic editing tips to make your doc easier to read.
Editing your doc
- Make sure your submissions follow each other in a logical order. It's good to start of with something that briefly introduces the topic and the material. This introduction can come from the material ("About us" pages are good for this) or it can be written by you, in which case a few sentences will suffice. Sections of the material should be organized so that similar entries follow each other in the doc. For example, if you have material collected from several different websites you should make sure that material collected from site A is grouped together with other site A entries, followed by all site B entries etc. Alternatively, if you only have one source for your material, entries should be grouped together if they revolve around very similar topics. For example, if you've collected posts from a forum then all posts collected from subforum A should be grouped together etc.
- In relation to the previous, short entries should be grouped together if possible. It's very confusing to read doc which has a one sentence entry, followed by a one page entry, followed by two one sentence entries etc. By grouping all shorter entries together it will be easier for the ridiculists to pace themselves and pick what they want to read.
- Don't try to be a comedian. It can be extremely temping to add your own commentary on the material, but this not going to do you any favors. It's the ridiculist's job to make the jokes in the podcast, not yours, and by attempting to write a ready script for them you are just making your material seem lame. After all, if it was funny by itself it wouldn't need a running commentary from you, would it? If you feel like a certain entry warrants a comment from you, then you should keep it short. One or two sentences is enough, unless it's something really important. You should also make sure that your comments are clearly discernible from the material. I prefer to use a different color in my comments so as not to cause any mix-ups. A single entry from me will probably look something like this.
My comment here
Link to material
Actual material copy/pasted.
At this point you should have a document of about 20 pages, full of reasonably well edited material. However, before you submit it for review you should go through it one more time. Make sure the content is not too samey. People who think they're actually a dragon/cat/fairy hybrid are amusing, but nobody wants to read pages and pages of just "I'm Annie Kitsune and I'm a dragon/cat/fairy hybrid". If it seems to you that some of the entries in your doc are too alike, don't be scared to scrap one of them and try to find something else to replace it. If you can't bare to drop something out completely, then you can always include a list of "Additional reading" at the end of your doc. This should be nothing more than a list of links, with maybe a one sentence introduction from you to summarize what each links is about. This way the ridiculists can check out the additional stuff if they feel like it, but if they're not interested they can easily just ignore the additional contributions.