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This is a set of guidelines for consistent pages for characters. It is not a standard, per sé, as community produced content invariably has some variation. Also, not every page needs all the sections.

Thanks to User:Nothing much, you? and User:Horrorsurvivor for contributions.

For clarity's sake
  • Regular = The actor's name is in the Opening Credits
  • Recurring = The actor's name is listed as a guest star for more than one episode
  • Guest = The character is only in a single episode.

To create a character page using this template pre-installed, you can use this link or

{{Infobox/Character}} (Fill this as much as possible. See the documentation. "Last appearance" shouldn't include regular characters or commonly recurring (like Moira, who is in every episode). Not actually needed for guest characters. If there's a subpage, like Theories, don't forget it here and below.)

Introductory Paragraph: {Ben Harmon is a (regular | recurring | guest) character. He is a psychiatrist and the patriarch of the Harmon family.}

Background

This would be information on the character that happened before the series and in flashbacks. It should also include the significant events during the series that impact the character. In essence, if someone starts watching in (hypothetical) Season 3, this should tell them everything they need to know to jump in without serious confusion. Single episode guest characters (think R. Franklin from Home Invasion) should just have this section as "In Episode Name".

Personality and Appearance

This would describe their personality. {"Constance clings to a set of Southern manners, but she is no lady."}

This would include what they look like. Generally this does not include clothes, unless they're the same in most episodes (like Moira's uniform) or follow a general theme ("Tate usually wears long-sleeved, dark, grunge inspired clothes").

Episodic Appearances | Story

This section shows the character's part in the story.

For regular characters, it uses the heading "Story". A narrative (and referenced) rather than bulleted format is preferred.

For recurring characters, this would use the heading "Episodic Appearances" and be more like:

In Halloween: Part 1, Troy and Bryan threw eggs at the house until Ben chased them away.

or more preferred

One of the nights just before Halloween 2011, Troy and Bryan threw eggs at the house until Ben chased them away.<ref>[[Halloween: Part 1]]</ref>

For single or limited episode characters, this section would not be appropriate. See "Background" above.

Notes

Special information that doesn't really fit into other sections. And no obvious info here.

  • Constance has an uncanny ability to smell Vivian's pregnancy. This ability is yet unexplained.

Subpage Amboxes (and any successors we come up with to make them easier) should go here, the only appropriate place. They're important because the link in the Infobox is very easy to miss, and subpages are not always appropriate. I use:

{{Ambox
|type = Theories
|info = Theories regarding this character can be found on [[/Theories|this subpage]].}}

Subpage Amboxes are no longer necessary with {{Article footer}}.

Quotes

Memorable quotes go here and would look like this:

  • (To Constance) "You have to pay for what you've done."

Ideally, it should use {{Line}} or {{Dialogue}}.

References

Where they got the information; Uses <ref>Reference</ref> and {{Article footer}} (which contains <references /> to make these into automatic footnotes.



Narrative vs the Infobox

Not everyone can see the Infobox. Especially true of mobile browsers and screen readers. The Infobox should not ever be counted on as the sole source of a piece of information. It's also painfully easy to delete by mistake.

Page Significance

It's a fact of wiki: Not all pages that do exist, should exist. Some of those articles are marked as stubs, and will always be stubs because there's the sense that there's more to say about the topic than there actually is. Brief pages that provide only a few sentences with no valuable information aren't particularly helpful. Just because a character is named does not mean they should get a page. Finding such a page is like running for your life and finding a dead end alleyway. Characters, in particular, should only get individual pages if they have significance and / or relevance to plot or main characters. The deciding factor is whether they can reasonably be linked to by more than one page, and whether those links are reciprocal.

There are multiple ways to approach this: For guest or recurring characters associated with an event, like R. Franklin/Murders or Westfield High/Massacre, the character has a heading to themselves. Often a redirect is then placed under that character name and the redirect (not the article) given the Category:Characters; this ensures that the character still appears in the Character guide by name. If the character gains enough attention, it can graduate to its own page. This also works for characters directly linked with another article topic where they can be used interchangeably, like Eternal Darkness Tour#Stan or Troy and Bryan. Characters with only a single episodic appearance can also be embedded directly into a header in the episode's article, such as the case with Piggy Piggy#Derrick.

A standalone character page with limited or no links, but that can be strongly associated with another article should be merged into (via suggestion by {{merge to}}) that topic.

Names

Whether a full article, redirect, or a heading the name only should be used. Do not include the occupation or honorific in the title. This means Jack Colquitt (not Detective Jack Colquitt or Det. Jack Colquitt), Angie (not Nurse Angie), Charles Montgomery (not Doctor Charles Montgomery), Jack Sparrow (not Captain Jack Sparrow or Capt. Jack Sparrow), and Elmo (not St. Elmo, Saint Elmo, or Pope Elmo). The exceptions here would be if the character is not given a first name and naming the article by the last name would be unduly confusing (eg. Dr. Hall) and where protocol dictates otherwise (eg. Sister Eunice should never referred to as simply Eunice); the rare articles of the first exception should be changed as soon as the character's first name has been revealed.

For main and frequently recurring characters, a redirect (WITHOUT Category, which would make for double entries) from the first name to the full name ([[Ben]] redirects to Ben Harmon) is permitted, with link use discouraged. [[Ben Harmon|Ben]] is preferred to [[Ben]].

Subpages

Subpages for characters should be listed in the Infobox, as well as at the bottom as the first notes in the Notes section. Subpages are automatically visible in the appropriate section of articles that contain {{Article footer}}.

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