Help:Character pages

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This help page provides instructions for how to create, organize and develop articles about characters.

Fans' engagement with a particular character from a television show, film, book, comic strip, etc., can be documented on a character page in the wiki.

This page template includes wiki markup and sample sections for starting a new character page from scratch.

Contents

How do I name the page?

The titles of character pages usually consist of the full name of the character (given name and surname, if they have one). Honorifics and titles (Dr., Captain, etc.) are generally not included. Examples: Ron Weasley, Teyla Emmagen. However, naming conventions may vary from fandom to fandom; do whatever works for your fandom!

See also Help:Naming Conventions and Help:Starting a new page.

Disambiguation

Please check if there is already a page with this name before creating the character page. If not, go ahead. Preemptive disambiguation is not necessary and might even prevent proper disambiguation later on. However, some characters with common names (Jane) or who appear in different adaptations of the same narrative (James T. Kirk) may need to be distinguished from one another with parenthetical phrases because there is already another page with that name. The standard way to do this is Character Name (Fandom). Examples: Martha Kent (Smallville), Sydney (Forever Knight).

Where the character name is the same as the fandom name, the above scheme doesn't work so well. The disambiguation format will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Examples: Harry Potter (character), Merlin (Merlin character).

Which templates and categories should I use?

Copy and paste the character template into the edit window. The template will automatically add the page to the character category. For RPF characters, use the person template instead.

You will also need to add the appropriate fandom category. Some RPF characters may constitute a fandom in themselves and have enough related pages to merit their own category, and some RPF characters belong to an identifiable fandom such as Lotrips, but many may not belong to a clear-cut fandom. In these cases, add one of the generic subcategories under Celebrities & Real People: Actor RPF, Music RPF, etc.

Some fandoms with a large number of characters may have a character subcategory, such as Category:Stargate Characters. If one of these categories is available for your fandom or if you want to create such a category, add the character pages only to Category:FANDOM Characters and not to the main FANDOM category. (The Category:FANDOM Characters page itself should be cross categorised under Category:FANDOM and Category:Characters.)

See also Help:Templates and Help:Categories.

Sorting the page

When you add pages to a category, the category will display the pages in a list sorted alphabetically by the first letter of the page name. However, if the character has both a given name and surname, and that name is in Western name order, please change the default sort order so that the page is sorted by surname. Add this text to the page:

{{DEFAULTSORT:SORT}}

For example, to sort Teyla Emmagen properly, add {{DEFAULTSORT:Emmagen, Teyla}}

What content should I add?

Anything you fancy. Or, specifically, anything about how fans engage with the character, including:

  • fanworks about the character
  • fanon characteristics
  • meta discussions about the character
  • history of how the character became popular
  • conventions and other relevant fan activities
  • controversies
  • links to archives, journal communities, mailing lists, and other online resources for the character
  • ???

A brief overview of the character's canon background information should be included. However, canon information shouldn't overwhelm the fandom information on the page. The proper balance is a subjective matter and can be difficult to agree on; when in doubt, discuss it on the talk page. The amount of canon information to include may also depend on the needs of the particular fandom. See also Fanlore:What Fanlore is not.

How are RPF characters handled?

Real people (actors, pop stars, etc.) are often considered "characters" in the context of RPF fandom. When adding content to a page about an RPF character, their life facts should be treated in the same way any other source material facts are treated: the facts should be mentioned briefly, but that's not what their page should be about. Their page should be about how and why they are of interest to fandom.

Things that might be included in RPF pages:

  • Brief history of the person
  • Common tropes in stories
  • Use of AU
  • Lists of communities
  • Lists of influential fanworks (zines, fic, vids, other media)
  • Controversies that have erupted in the fandom
  • Links to archives and other sources for information

See also Help:People pages and Help:RPF pages.

Examples

Many of the existing character pages have some incomplete sections, so no one example may reflect the "ideal".

RPF characters:

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