This page is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This page is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was no consensus; no change. Graestan(Talk) 03:12, February 9, 2011 (UTC)
Hey there, everyone.
A few months ago, I brought up some ideas for a layout guide on out-of-universe articles. There didn't seem to be any opposition to it in the Senate Hall thread, so I've taken the time to fine-tune the wording, and now here I am proposing it to the community to vote on. As far as I know, this model was first used by Greyman for Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi and Sikon for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (comics), and it's the model that I've used for every OOU article on a published, narrative work that I've written and nominated to be a featured article. Using it, I've brought to featured status articles on a book duology and a short comic story, both of whose nominations were met with immediate and enthusiastic support. I currently have on the FAN page articles on a comic issue and a short story, both of which have several votes by inquisitors and users alike already. I was considering giving the layout one more test run on an episode of The Clone Wars before proposing this, but I think it's already fair to say two things: Firstly, that this format works, and secondly, that at least a few members of the community agree.
In the above link to the archived Senate Hall discussion, Taral-DLOS expresses interest in writing articles on individual issues of KOTOR using this layout guide. I don't intend to stop writing articles on OOU topics using this layout guide, either, and several other users have been writing OOU articles recently as well. Two articles on actors are currently on the FAN page, and two articles on pieces of music are currently on the GAN page. It's important to note that the bulk of this CT is limited to articles on published narrative works, including but not limited to books, book series, comics, comic series, comic arcs, short stories, video games, and TV show episodes. However, this is a multi-part CT, with some of its voting options affecting every out-of-universe article.
So, please take a look. If you have any feedback, definitely let me know in the comments section how you think I can improve this proposal. There are three different votes in this CT. Menkooroo 05:31, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
This is what worked for Greyman and Sikon, this is what works for me, and this is what some members of the community have supported in my FANs. Some of it is drawn from current practices, as well, such as the Appearances section, which you'll find in an article on a single book, comic issue, or TV episode, but not in any sort of collection such as Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi or the Thrawn Trilogy.
Notably, OOU articles should not have a Behind the scenes section. The entire article is behind-the-scenes information, not just a single section.
There's some wiggle room here, as indicated by the note "Though there is some flexibility" and the word "typically". For example, if someone FA'd Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance and wanted to include the "Opening Crawl" section somewhere, the rules wouldn't explicitly say that they couldn't. It's good to have this general framework in place, I think, but let's not forbid tweaking --- after all, not every OOU work is the same.
By "published narrative work," I mean something that would go in an IU article's Appearances section, not its Sources section. And one that was published, so, not Blood Oath, for example.
If passed, this would go at the very end of Layout Guide. I've used a rough approximation of what I imagine the actual code to be like, but, uh, if it passes, please tweak it to match what Items 10 through 14 of the Layout Guide look like, complete with the pretty yellow background. :D
Out-of-universe articles on published narrative works
Wookieepedia also has guidelines for the organization of out-of-universe articles on published narrative works, including but not limited to novels, book series, comic issues, comic series, short stories, and video games. Though there is some flexibility, an out-of-universe article on a published narrative work should typically be structured as follows:
Items 1 through 9 of the layout guide and an introduction begin the article. The body of the article is then composed of the following sections.
Conception discusses background, events, and decisions that brought about the development of the work. These events should be written in the past tense. This can be further sub-sectioned if necessary.
Production discusses decisions made by, ideas of, and concepts discarded by the author(s)/developer(s) throughout the production of the work, as well as information on the work's publication and release. These events should be written in the past tense. This can be further sub-sectioned if necessary. If there is not enough information to justify two sections, Conception and Production can be merged into a section titled Development.
Main characters is a sub-sectioned section that individually gives brief descriptions of major characters who appear in the work, and their role within. If pictures of the characters exist, they should be included consistently on either the left or right side of the page. If available, pictures of the characters from the actual work (book cover, comic pages, etc.) are preferable.
A character profile should be written in-universe in the present tense, but a leading out-of-universe paragraph giving background information on the character is optional.
Plot summary summarizes the plot of the work, written in-universe and in the present tense. If the article is about a collection of multiple works (eg, a book trilogy or a comic book story arc), the summaries should be more condensed than if the article is about an individual work (eg, a single book or comic). If the work includes an Opening crawl, it can be added at the beginning of this section using Template:Opening crawl.
Continuity discusses past continuity used/referenced/retconned by the work, continuity errors, and significant continuity created by the work that has been later used/referenced/retconned.
Reception discusses response, reaction, and reception to the work, including professional reviews, significant fan response, awards won, sales, and media spotlight. If no such information is available, this section need not be included.
Legacy is a section that discusses the impact of the work on later Star Wars media, and, if applicable, broader popular culture. If no such information is available, this section need not be included.
Media is a section with different uses for different types of articles. Articles on comic series make use of Template:Prettytable. Articles on individual works include a cover gallery, if more than one cover exists. Articles on novels list the various editions of the work complete with ISBN numbers and publication dates. For other types of works, the section is optional and can be filled with applicable media at the editor's discretion.
Appearances uses Template:App and is only necessary for an article on an individual work, such as a single novel or comic.
Collections is a bulleted list of any collections the work has appeared in (such as trade paperbacks or short story collections). If not applicable, this section need not be included.
Following this, items 19 through 23 of the Layout Guide conclude the article.
I agree (to a degree) with jSarek. But we've had plenty of OOU articles go through FA/GA before, and no one contradicted this then. And I don't feel strongly enough about it to derail the idea of passing this guideline. Jonjedigrandmaster(Talk) 05:07, December 21, 2010 (UTC)
I've sat debating this so long it's probably too late to matter, but I really don't feel putting information on development of a project (conception, production) before the meat of what that project IS (main characters, plot summary) makes for an effective article order. jSarek 12:35, December 16, 2010 (UTC)
You know, that makes sense. They do put the credits at the END of the film. :) MasterFred(Whatever) 13:34, December 16, 2010 (UTC)
I believe the reasoning, or at least the way I've always thought of it, is that you start with how the project came to be, move on to what it is, and finish with what its impact has been. - Lord Hydronium 06:52, December 18, 2010 (UTC)
I agree with jSarek. I think this proposal is a very well-thought-out layout for articles, but it would make more sense to describe the thing before describing all the nitty gritty of how it was made. This is how Wikipedia does its FA articles on works of fiction, for example. That said, I won't be upset if the current layout passes! ~ SavageBob 16:05, December 16, 2010 (UTC)
For the most part I think this is good, but I strongly recommend leaving in the "Publisher's summary" sections. These are typically faster reads than the plot summary without giving away big spoilers and are great if you're just checking if you might be interested in the book. In addition, I can vouch for the fact that sometimes these summaries can be very difficult, nigh impossible, to find for some books, and ours are often much more accurate than even some booksellers' sites. I think that's my only real objection. —Xwing328(Talk) 03:18, January 4, 2011 (UTC)
I, too, have given this entire proposal long consideration. There's a certain saying that "the devil is in the details," and I think that, in a way, best sums up my overall opposition to this proposal in its current form. Although I was glad to provide some counsel and guidance for the shaping of the layout in its development, I have to agree with jSarek that there is nevertheless a better way of ordering it. I don't think anyone here is opposing the basic idea behind this proposal, and I think most everyone thinks its general purpose is a positive thing, they would just like to see it laid out a bit differently. If these changes were considered, I suspect it would garner 100% support. Toprawa and Ralltiir 23:12, January 12, 2011 (UTC)
jSarek is correct, in my opinion. I've thought about this so many times over the last couple of years. I too like the basic idea, but it needs some modification. — Fiolli; 02:49, January 16, 2011 (UTC)
Per all above. I would not hesitate to give my vote if the suggested changes were reconsidered, but I feel that they should be considered first. CC7567(talk) 18:43, January 16, 2011 (UTC)
Thought about this a lot, and per Xwing and jSarek. Chack Jadson(Talk) 13:59, January 23, 2011 (UTC)
Karohalva is pleased with the proposal with the exception of including brief descriptions and pictures of characters. This, he fears, can too readily clutter articles with things better suited for each character's respective article. Perhaps a simple list, albeit identifying them as protagonist, antagonist, and major or minor characters? Karohalva 03:20, February 4, 2011 (UTC)
Admittedly, the passing of this CT would render several of our current out-of-universe Good articles contrary to the Manual of style and the Layout guide. If the authors of those GAs wished me to, or were unavailable for comment, I would take it upon myself to fix them. Most of them are The Clone Wars webcomics, and would require the quick fix of moving their current "Behind the scenes" section to the top of the article and renaming it "Development." In addition, I would create "Main characters" and "Continuity" sections, but other sections like "Reception" and "Legacy" would likely not be applicable. I would do some research, though, just in case. Menkooroo 08:52, December 1, 2010 (UTC)
Also, if this current CT passes, I think the line "Following this, items 19 through 23 of the Layout Guide conclude the article." will have to be changed to "items 20 through 24." Menkooroo 05:31, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
I have just one minor concern. The CT describes that "For example, if someone FA'd Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance and wanted to include the "Opening Crawl" section somewhere, the rules wouldn't explicitly say that they couldn't." I'd like to see the sectioning define where this somewhere is specifically. Per our own discussion regarding this, we established the most ideal place for the crawl would be the "Plot summary" section as a complement feature. That's where I think it would fit best. Toprawa and Ralltiir 05:36, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
How about... "If the work includes an Opening crawl, it can be added at the beginning of this section using Template:Opening crawl." added to the end of the Plot summary description? Menkooroo 05:43, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
Done! Thanks for the tip. Menkooroo 05:50, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
Changing the current Manual of style section on OOU reference worksEdit
If the above vote passes, this section of the Manual of style will be obsolete. Also, as the above vote only applies to published narrative works, this vote is important for all OOU articles, in that it officially negates the need for a "Behind the scenes" section and allows them the freedom to read more like an OOU article and less like an IU article.
In the above vote, you'll notice that I've included the currently-existing "Editions" and "Cover gallery" sections within the new "Media" section. I've jettisoned the "Publisher's summary" section, however, which, IMO, the need for is negated by the "Plot summary" section, which gives an adequate summary in a less dramatic and more encyclopedic manner. If a publisher's summary is available online, it can be linked to in "External links," but I don't see it as necessary for inclusion in the article. If you disagree, definitely let me know. Also, keep in mind that the aformentioned allowance for flexibility and the freedom for tweaking would not forbid an article writer from including a publisher's summary as a lead-in to their "Plot summary" section or something. So, basically, while an OOU article-writer could include a publisher's summary if they wanted to, the rules don't necessitate it.
The link to the layout guide and the "Please note that not all articles use every section" note at the top are, IMO, sufficient to indicate that some OOU articles on published narrative works should be formatted differently than others (ie, articles on works such as trilogies/comic arcs/comic series not needing an "appearances" section, which is instead reserved for the articles on the individual books/comic issues/etc.).
The final paragraph is there for the exact reason it purports: To encourage article writers to use a similar, but not identical, layout on other types of OOU articles. Sections like "Continuity" aren't really applicable to pieces of music, sections like "Reception" aren't really applicable to canceled products, and sections like "Main characters" aren't really applicable to sourcebooks. However, a generally similar structure worked well for me when I wrote Blood Oath and Knightfall Trilogy. Please note the words "encouraged" and "generally," which aren't restrictive and leave quite a bit of wiggle room.
So, the proposal is that the Manual of style's OOU articles on reference works section be changed to the following:
All out-of-universe articles on published narrative works, including but not limited to books, comics, short stories, and video games, should generally be structured as follows. For more details as to what each section of an article should contain, see the Layout Guide. Please note that not all articles use every section.
Stub (If applicable)
Notes and references
Articles on several other types of out-of-universe articles, including but not limited to sourcebooks, pieces of music, and canceled products, are bound by less restrictive guidelines but are encouraged to follow a generally similar structure.
This section is an archive of a community-wide discussion. This section is no longer live. Further comments should be made in the Senate Hall or new Consensus Track pages rather than here so that this page is preserved as a historic record. The result of the debate was update GAN item 15 to read: include a "Behind the scenes" section for in-universe articles.—Xwing328(Talk) 04:27, February 8, 2011 (UTC)
A natural extension of this CT. Item #15 of Wookieepedia:Good article nominations's "An article must... section reads: "…include a "Behind the scenes" section." I propose this be changed to …include a "Behind the scenes" section for in-universe articles. This is taken verbatim from the CAN page, so a precedent exists.
As a general comment, big thanks to Tope, Xicer, Kasra, CC, Hydro, Trak, Karo, Olioster, Naru, and anyone who was in IRC a couple days ago that I've missed, for proofreading this CT and giving suggestions on how to improve it. Menkooroo 05:37, December 3, 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made elsewhere.