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Writing Episode Plots

Hey guys. I'm writing this blog to expand more on the appropriate length for episode plots briefly outlined in Munkapedia's Manual of Style. As stated in the MOS, plots should state the important details of the episode without being overly detailed or broad. This can vary person to person so this aspect will be touched on further.

In order to determine the right length for a plot, one first needs to know two things:

  • the total length of the episode
  • whether there is a unique plot style

The first is easy to determine. For example, on any given episode page one can find a statement such as:

"Alvin's Summer Job is episode 66 in Season 6 (1988) of The Chipmunks."

The episode number is the indication of the length. If it is a whole number, ie. 66 as above, then episode is roughly 22 minutes long (with the exception of The Alvin Show episodes which are broken into shorts which can be better explained on the series page.) If the number is followed by a letter, ie. 46A, then the episode is roughly 11 minutes long. Consequently, whole number episodes should have longer plots than episodes with a letter in their episode number.

A unique plot style refers to how the episode was made. For example, Big Dreams has a split in the plot in which there is a poor and rich timeline. Another example would be Alvin in Analysis which is a clip episode. These types of episodes require more detail in their plots than a standard episode to explain in a reasonable fashion what happened. Without the extra detail, these episodes would be too broad.

Regardless of the episode length or style, the plot itself should be an even distribution of the episode.

Examples

The following are examples of various plot lengths given their episode lengths. Note the amount of detail in each. Plots will naturally vary a little to be shorter or longer for each episode length but any that are much longer or shorter are unacceptable.

7 Minute Plot Example

11 Minute Plot Example

22 Minute Plot Example

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