Wikipedia:WikiProject EastEnders/Manual of style

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Style guideline

This is a style guide for EastEnders articles. It includes guidelines and policies from the following pages:

  1. Wikipedia Manual of Style;
  2. Television WikiProject MoS;
  3. MoS with regard to fiction;
  4. Categorisation;
  5. Verifiability and citations;
  6. Image usage.

General

  • The following pages are guidelines and essays relevant to writing about EastEnders:
  • The article name, when first mentioned, should be bold (or bolded and italicised if necessary).
  • Where mentioned, references to the programme's title should be formatted in italic, as with all programmes (see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (titles)), and should always have both E's capitalised: EastEnders, not Eastenders.
  • British English spelling should be used, and dates should place the number first (dmy format).
  • Storyline synopses should be written about using the historical present tense.
  • Real-world events should be written about using the past tense. The use of the word "has" should be avoided, for example She commented on the character's personality and not She has commented on the character's personality. It may be preferable to say when someone said something, such as In February 2008, she commented on the character's personality.
  • Names should be used in a context suitable to their role. For example, characters such as Chelsea Fox or Minty Peterson should be referred to by their forenames or nicknames, and officials (such as DCI Jill Marsden) by their surnames.
  • Articles should be categorised in the correct subcategory at Category:EastEnders.
  • Character quotations in general are not encyclopaedic.
  • Per Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Writing about fiction, articles about fictional characters should not be written like a biography. For example, do not place undue emphasis on titles or birthdates despite their being unimportant to the plot or interpretation.

Character articles

When creating an article on a single character of EastEnders, note that the section headers below are not mandatory, and several featured articles on fictional characters have different section headers (and placement) than one another. Find the structure that works best for the article in question; regardless of whether you use these headers, the information that they discuss is important to establishing an article with real-world context.

Lead paragraph

Like any article, the first paragraph should consist of basic information about the character: who created the character, when they appeared, who portrays the character. The subsequent paragraphs should be filled with generalised information on the character itself: characteristics, influences in popular culture, and anything else that summarises the character's importance.

All character articles should start with a consistent opening paragraph, formatted as such:

John Smith is a fictional character from the BBC soap opera EastEnders, played by Joe Brown.

Present tense should still be used, even if the character has died or in any other way left the show, as the episodes they appeared in do not cease to exist and the character does not cease to be a fictional character from EastEnders. If the character has changed their name, pages should begin:

Jane Smith (previously Jones and Williams) is a fictional character...

Note that née should not be used, as fictional characters are created, not born (even if their birth is acted out on screen). Names that a character has not been credited by should not be included, even if it is heavily implied they would have had that name in their backstory.

Infobox

An infobox should appear at the top of the page, placed at the top of the lead section. {{Infobox EastEnders character 2}} is deprecated. Instead, please use {{Infobox soap character}}. In the infobox, year ranges, like all ranges, are separated by an en dash, not a hyphen or slash: 2005–06. A closing year is normally written with two digits (1988–92) unless it is in a different century from that of the opening year (1997–2003) (WP:YEAR). Years cover a character's duration broadly, with gaps only when an absence exceeds more than a calendar year, for example, a character in the series from 1999 to 2002, then 2003 to 2009 would have the duration 1999–2009, whereas a character who joined in 2006, left in 2007 and rejoined in 2009 would have 2006–07, 2009– (see discussion). Articles where this rule may not be appropriate can be discussed on their individual talk pages. This rule could apply to other parts of the infobox, but not to a marriage if the same two characters marry twice (for example Sonia Fowler).

Any in-universe information in the infobox should be essential to understanding the character's context in the overall fiction. Where facts change at different points in the series, there may be no appropriate in-universe information at all to add. Notable occupations should be included, though we no longer include the durations (discussion). Do not include family members in the infobox whose name is not known. For example, babies that have not been born, or characters that appeared on screen but were not named such as Bushra Abbasi's daughters. This includes the assumption that a character called John Smith would have a mother called Mrs Smith and a father called Mr Smith. Additionally, do not use the "romances" field of the infobox. Not every family member should be included in the infobox, as it is for information essential to understanding the character's context in the overall fiction. Direct relatives (parents, siblings and children) can be included even if they have not appeared on the show and their names are known, but other named relatives who did not appear are highly unlikely to be essential to the character and should not be included. Even family members who have appeared may not be essential to the character, e.g. Den Watts never met his grandson Dennis Rickman Jr, so Dennis does not need to be included on Den's page.

Storylines

This section should chronicle the character's appearances on EastEnders, and any other appearances on other programmes, or media. This section is not a character's biography and should not be a detailed recording of the character's every move, as this can create an overly long section devoted entirely to in-universe information – the information should be succinct. Try and summarise major events that occur with the character. Avoid using "Biography" in the header for this section, as it can insinuate that the section should detail everything that happened to the character. If possible, use the {{cite episode}} template to source events in the show. Storylines should be written in present tense.

Creation and development

Depending on the amount of information available, creation and development can be combined or separated. Subsections, such as 'Casting', 'Personality', etc., can also be used. The creation section should contain information about how the character was first thought up, what ideas went into creating the character, how the creative team went about casting an actor for the role. If the actor portraying the character had to wear some form of make-up, or body prosthetics, then this is the place where you would detail the work that went into giving the character their specific appearance.

The character's personality can also be included. If essential to understanding the character, you could include a description of their physical appearance (not the same as describing the work that went into creating their physical appearance). Not every character's physical appearance is noteworthy, so use your best judgement. Information for this section will either come from secondary sources, like scholarly journals analysing the character or the show, or television critics, or from the creative team of the show.

Reception

Reception for a specific character may not always be found, or it may have a better home in another section. Generally, this would be where critical response to the character. A character might be deemed to be a hindrance to the show because of poor writing, or poor acting; on the other hand, the character could be deemed important to the show for the very opposite of reasons. Criticisms, praise and ratings can be included.

Impact on popular culture

Some characters have influences on other television shows, or in other entertainment mediums. A character might be so popular that toys, video games, and other merchandise are created based on said character. This section deals with how a character reaches outside EastEnders, and becomes part of popular culture in some fashion.

Family

A family section should not be included in the article, instead, the infobox should be used.

External links

If the character has a page on the official EastEnders website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/eastenders), then this should be linked to in an external links section using the template {{EEcharlink}} such as: {{EEcharlink|ian-beale}} or {{EEcharlink|grant-mitchell|Grant Mitchell}}. Any other relevant links should be included but must follow the guidelines set out at Wikipedia:External links.

Succession boxes

Succession boxes for fictional subjects should not be used. See Wikipedia:Manual of Style (writing about fiction)#Infoboxes and succession boxes.

Navigation templates

An appropriate navigation template should be placed at the bottom of the article.

Categories

Appropriate categories should then be placed after any navigation templates.

Minor characters

Minor characters should not be given their own article, instead, please write about them on one of the appropriate lists. See Lists of EastEnders characters. They are listed in order of their first appearance.

Images

Like every article, the use of non-free images must comply with Wikipedia's policy on fair-use images. When looking for images for the character infobox, it would be best to find images that best represent the character in question. Images in the body of the article could consist of concept designs for the character, behind-the-scenes images, and any other image that has critical commentary adjacent to the image, which requires an image to better understand what is being said.

Non-free images must have a valid rationale for its inclusion on Wikipedia. Free images are available, though these generally show the actor rather than the character. These are particularly helpful in list articles, though in theory they could be used in "out of universe" sections in character pages. A gallery of available free images relating to EastEnders can be found here.