Wikipedia:WikiProject Fictional Series/General

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Dec 2003[edit]

I disagree with the plan as it is. Since Wiki is not paper, I think forcing every character into a single page is going to make it look ugly (look at Minor characters from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!) I think every character, every concept, every idea, every pebble referred to by name in a fictional series ought to have a page of its own. Also, I'd vote for putting avoiding headers as much as possible - they look ugly! Even if we go for your plan, I'd suggest something like a paragraph on each character, with the character's name in bold the first time it's mentioned, so it's easy to find. Of course, we lose the ability to link to the character directly, but then again, I believe they should have their own pages. Even if we do it this way, we'd have half-a-dozen redirects into the large articles anyway, which I think is just a waste of page-space. -- Gaurav 10:43, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, I think either you must have misread what I typed or I typed it wrong. I do not want a page for every single character, that's the whole point. For a major character, like Harry Potter or Frodo Baggins, there might be enough material to make it worthwhile, but hopefully not for minor characters. Phil 08:23, Dec 8, 2003 (UTC)

Additional note: We're going to have to come up with a format for ... (series) pages as well as the pages in the series (how do they refer back to the series page for instance; also issues such as "Should the Harry Potter series page be at Harry Potter, since most people go there for the series, with the boy wizard himself at Harry Potter (character) ... "). This is going to be fun! -- Gaurav 11:22, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

I'm tempted to suggest that we advocate the use of disambiguation pages. So a page at Harry Potter (using HP as an example, obviously this would go for any eponymous character) might say: "Harry Potter is the eponymous hero of a series of books. You can find information about the books at [[Harry Potter (series)]] or about the character at [[Harry Potter (fictional character)]]"; note the careful omission of pipe symbols so the parenthesised bits show. This would seem to me to fit the concept most people would have of a paper encyclopædia, so let's make use of their expectations; it would also give breathing space should some non-fictional Harry Potter (or whoever) turn up who needs his own page. Phil 08:29, Dec 8, 2003 (UTC)
I like! Also, I think your suggestion of making it wordy is better than to go with the standard Wikipedia disambiguation page warning. Gaurav 05:02, 23 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The First Plan[edit]

I'm going to suggest that we construct a framework which can be expanded as necessary, but can also be compacted. I envisage a minimal article on a series with Headings for ==Books in the Series==, ==Characters in the Series==, ==Places in the Series==, ==Concepts in the Series==. (Possibly people would be happier abbreviating these to ==Books==, Characters==, ==Places==, ==Concepts==.) Should it prove necessary, separate pages could be constructed with similar titles and referred to in the appropriate section.

To use the Artemis Fowl example, the Artemis Fowl (series) article could be restructured as above with Headings for ==Books==, ==Characters==, ==Places==, ==Concepts==. If one of the sections, say ==Characters==, got large, we could then construct a page for Characters in the Artemis Fowl Series and move the content there; the main page would refer to this page. It would be possible for major characters to be listed on the main page as references into the Characters page, eg:

Major Characters

As regards the structure of each subordinate page, I envisage using Headings again for each item so that the reference would work properly. There should be no problem nesting Headings so we can group characters together on the page, eg:

==Humans==
===Artemis Fowl===
===Butler===
===Juliette===
==Fairies==
===Holly===
===Captain Root===

That's me done for today, I'm going home before I start typing pure gibberish. Someone please wrestle this into a proper framework; I will be as un-offended as you want :-)

The Second Plan[edit]

My proposal is to organise it as much like a real encyclopedia/wikipedia article, without loosing the point that what is being described here is an entire universe. For instance, my structure of a (series) page would be:

  • Introductory paragraph, describing who wrote the series, when, why (motivations: for instance, Gullivar's Travels was a satire against society), etc.
  • Contextualising: Which series/mythological legends was this inspired by (suitably wikified, I can just see a million links from Lord of the Rings (series) to Norse mythology).
  • Plot/Story
    • Summary of the plot of the series as a whole. For LotR, this would be about a paragraph on each of the books, with the title of the book in italics and Wiki-linked to the correct article. Major characters will also be Wiki-linked at this point.
  • Books/Episodes in this Series
    • An ordered list of all the books, with links to article, publishing year, author, etc. Should be a one-liner - anything else which needs to be said needs to go into the plot.
  • Characters
  • To conclude, paragraphs of interesting minutaea: For instance, mention of the fact that Tolkein was writing LotR from the 1920's-30's and through World War II, how he had difficulty in getting Frodo to cross the Dead Marshes, etc. Also *External Links
    • Fan pages, official pages (for series like Star Trek)

Additional Suggestions[edit]

Should we set up the character pages, etc. as subpages? For instance, should we have The_Lord_of_the_Rings/Aragon? Or just leave it as Aragorn with disambiguation links if needed?

Just asked in the Village pump about a very similar question, and it seems to me that this is one of the very few circumstances in which subpages would be valuable. Articles on Hermione Granger or Legolas sitting next to Herman Melville and Loki just don't sit right at all with me. But... if this is done, it should be done very carefully, with only a specified list of universes allowed to generate subpages (those universes which generate *hundreds* of articles, e.g. LotR, Star Trek, etc). At the same time, efforts should be taken to make those articles that do have broader cultural significance (e.g. Mr. Spock) are expanded to comments on that significance. But it only really makes sense to do so with *large*, complex, intricate fictional universes, not small ones (Gulliver's Travels, Earthsea), otherwise we're back to the whole problem of proliferating and inappropriate subpages again. - Seth Ilys 01:57, 28 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Please don't make them subpages!!!!! RickK 02:44, 28 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Perhaps something functionally similar, but differently notated, would work, given the almost-fanatical aversion to subpages around here. FWIW, only two of the argument against subpages really apply (all of the others are essentially negated by the fact that these are fictional universes we're dealing with), and those ("The slash has an ordinary meaning that subpages co-opt" and "Subpage titles are ugly") are a matter of notation, not concept. What about using, say, a colon or double-dash? (The Lord of the Rings -- Aragorn or The Lord of the Rings : Aragorn Of course, the more I think about it, the more unwieldy it seems to unify in format *all* of the articles under a particular fictional universe. Ah, well, at least it's an interesting thought experiment... - Seth Ilys 03:06, 28 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Most people if they're going to see the article on Legolas will just type Legolas, not Lord of the Rings/Legolas, so there would have to be lots of redirects anyway, not to confuse the readers. Ausir 14:27, 20 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Separate The Plot[edit]

User:HappyDog just separated the plot from Harry Potter to Harry Potter (plot). I think it's a brilliant idea! Gaurav 10:50, 31 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Editathon[edit]

This is getting nowhere. I have a proposal. Instead of arguing it out, let's choose one series - say Harry Potter - and we have an edit-a-thon on it? We just attack every single article on Harry Potter and change it into whatever format we like, using a page here to coordinate/argue/flame war about why our options are best. When the smoke clears, we should have a whole lotta pages, and a much better idea about the kinda community decision about what to do. Of course, we'll probably have to go back and clean up any waste pages (i.e. if the decision is, we go with one page for all the minor characters, etc, we'll have to delete redirect it out).

If you guys agree, sign up here Wikipedia:WikiProject Fictional Series/Editathon. Tell me why you thinks this sucks on the associated Talk page. Editathon starts whenever atleast five people ratify any one series. It ends 15th March. Gentlemen, start your browsers! (p.s. Should this be going on on MetaWikipedia instead? Or should it be here since it's - for now - an English-Wiki-only project?)

New Suggestion[edit]

Hey, I don't know if anyone is still involved in this or not (if everyone has disappeared, I'm going to take it over and trash just about everything except what I think are good ideas), but I think what needs to be done before anything else is to decide what main points need to be included on each series' page. I've been doing some thinking and these are the primary characteristics of series' that I've come up with.

  • World/Universe - describe the overall setting of the story. Give the characteristics in relation to reality. The geography of the world (if the story is based on a single world). If it is extremely developed like in Lord of the Rings, a separate page devoted to that universe needs to be created.
  • Characters - There are three main kinds of characters. Each should just have a basic description of their role in the story. In depth character analysis can be done on individual pages.
    • Primary - the characters from who's point of view the story is told or whom the narrator features constantly. Pretty easy to determine. In Lord of the Rings, it would be the 7 companions.
    • Secondary - characters that reappear throughout the story and have a significant role, but not as great as the primary characters. In Lord of the Rings, it would be characters like Elrond, and the various Kings, or the main Ent (I'm drawing a blank on his name right now).
    • Tertiary - characters with very few appearances but have an important, non-episodic role (in the case of television series...i.e. we don't want to be naming the leader of every world in Star Trek). In Lord of the Rings, I'm thinking of characters like Tom Bombadil.
  • Over-rideing themes - i.e. good vs evil, end of the world/saviouristic
  • Critical discussion of the series - pros, cons and neutral
  • Basic story line - details can be done on individual pages

Oh and the series' that I can think of right of hand are Dune universe, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Star Trek, Wheel of Time, Sword of Truth, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Foundation Series, Ender's Game Series (and Shadow), Lord of the Rings, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Earthsea, Chronicles of Narnia, and Riverworld. Several of these probably already have projects/standardized themes to their related pages (like Harry Potter), and that's ok, but they should be referenced by this project, and then have people involved in this project focus on the series' that haven't received as much attention. Bornyesterday 17:23, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

There should certianly be an entry for "Works in the series" in this structure, with posisble links to individual works, IF there are separate pages for them. Whne starting a new series page, I would not automatically make pages for individual works unless you are pretty sure that the page will be considerably more than a stub.DES 29 June 2005 22:56 (UTC)
I would also tend to favor a joint (characters in...) or (major characters in... ) page, rather than a separate page for each character. IMO it should be the fairly rare exception that a fictional character has a separate page -- indeed i think we have too many such pages now, and i am more inclined to merge them, than to create more. Everythign depends on the details of the case, of course.DES 29 June 2005 22:56 (UTC)
For more examples of series, see Category:Fantasy series. DES 29 June 2005 22:56 (UTC)


To continue, the overall goal of this project should be to establish a format for presenting the series' that don't already have their own format. Things like Harry Potter and LotR already have pretty decent coverage. We should let the folks working on those keep at it, and give other series' their due.

Merges[edit]

I have been working some on Category:Fantasy book stubs trying to reduce the number of stubs by expanding articles. I found several cases where there were stubs for several books in a series, but a good page for the sereis as a whole. I have merged the subs into the series page for The Dark Is Rising and The Wheel of Time, and I am planning to do so for The Belgariad. Perhaps we should have some discussion as to when such a merge is a good idea? DES 21:16, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

In the case of stories such as WoT and The Dark Is Rising, I think that is fine. While the stories and events of WoT can be complex, the overall story is not extremely deep with meaning. Where stories and their meanings can be greatly elaborated on, those should have independent pages. Bornyesterday 21:27, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)
That makes sense to me. But I would also say that, whatever the potential depth, if nothing has yet been written about a book beyond a stub, then a merge may well be a good idea. If content is added later that would justify a separate article, it can always be broken back out. Would you agree? DES 22:48, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Yes, absolutely. That sounds like a dandy plan. Bornyesterday 21:57, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC)

Fantasy & SF[edit]

I have recently been trying to clean up Category:Fantasy book stubs a bit. In the process I had several thoughts that are relevant to this project, particualrly since do many fantasy and SF works are parts of series.

First of all, I am making a point to use {{isfdb series}} on all series pages, and {{isfdb title}} on all pages for a specific work, for all Fantasy and SF works I edit. (Of course {{isfdb name}} should be used on the relavant page about the author, if it exists.)

Secondly i have created and I am starting to populate Category:Fantasy series, and i recomend that this or a simialr appropriate category be used on all series entries. I also find that the existing Category:Fantasy novels is not on many articles where it should be. Again similar categories should be applied to articles about other fictional works. DES 29 June 2005 15:07 (UTC)

Is anybody home? Category:Series[edit]

Hello - is anybody still on this project? Categories for "sequels" (as opposed to the original work) have lately been created and discussed at CFDs. Looks like there is some category wrangling in order, and this project seems like the place/people to do it. I posted Qs for discussion at Category talk:Sequels. --lquilter 19:55, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Young Adult Novel Stubs[edit]

I just took a look at the list of Young Adult Novel Stubs and was shocked to find that there were 311. Shouldn't we start expanding them? What is the use of having those articles in Wikipedia if they don't provide encyclopaedic coverage? We should be concerned about them because some of them are about the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys books.--Vaishu2 08:27, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

There are also some 600 fictional character stubs that might need looking into. Vaishu2 08:32, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

On Notability[edit]

  • Lady Aleena dropped me a note and asked me to look in along about the time of that last post... not much seems active. [I be real busy in RL just now] However, in reading through the above—particularly some of the older posts on general organization of things, one thing jumps out at me... NOTABILITY... unless a character can cross that hurdle, and in most series, darn few do, most all series will need to have some sort of list article to handle most characters. For example, seeing some Afd activity along those lines led me to create 1632 characters around Xmas.
    • Secondly, note the organization, Lname, Firstname, Title... the latter of which is quite important in that series. The alternative is alphabetically by lastname, ignore the first name, etc. In this case, I chose to access the list(s) [I'm planning and providing for a historical and main fictional split with minor fictional characters giving three lists] with a

template set that accesses the proper page. [See {{16char}}]

    • The downside to template access is people have to know about them, but IMHO, if someone isn't familiar enough with the series tools they are probably not familiar enough to be doing any major editing on the series, for the one thing that is certain, if one takes one on, there is an endless mountain of work to go on with. OTOH, one can find plenty of examples to mimic, and therefore the template method really isn't much of a hurdle.
    • The same may and probably should be said for Series relevant fictional places, institutions and so forth. The notability nazi's are out to delete articles... don't know why but I couldn't sway them whilst they were writing some of the earliest such, and things have gotten so much worse now. Hence more list articles in a series 1632 places, 1632 series battles, 1632 institutions, 1632 writers and so on ad nauseum.
    • The last and I think important point on this sort of organization is the template and list articles together prevent and defang the need for disambigulations and redirect pages when a character might be called or referred to in-universe by several variations of their name. The much beloved and important "Rebecca Abrabanel Stearns", is equally valid as Becky Sterns, Becky Abrabanel, Rebecca Stearns... etc. depending upon the series time of the reference, and in the case of this weird collaborative universe series which has more short fiction than it's ten novels to date, how the particular author used that in the short story one is recapping in a synopses. Whether she is Becky Stearns the TV personality or Senator Sterns of the United States of Europe (USE) matters a bit given the role in whichever tale is being covered.
  • TTFN, and good writing! // FrankB 20:46, 20 March 2008 (UTC)