User talk:Phil Sandifer/Fiction proposal

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Maybe a fifth prong[edit]

First off, I applaud this; I think this is what my FICT was trying to do , but from the blueprint of notability which of course fixed some discussions; I can't find much to fault here that meets my opinion of community consensus including the RFC.

I wonder if there's a fifth prong, and that is the quality of the writing and adherence to all other policy concerns. It's a small factor, but I've seen more favoritism towards articles that are well sourced from the primary work, brilliantly prosed, and all that, than those that have no sources, are very simple, and engage to a obvious degree of OR and POV-ism. The other prongs still matter, but I know there are cases of poor quality articles that are weakly sourced that get deleted and or merged as well.

Please let me know if you don't want anyone else editing this. There's a few things I would add (clear guidance on lists , for example) but I think this is great. --MASEM 16:52, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Please, edit away - including a shot at the fifth prong (which I suspect might be foldable into the fourth prong as well, actually). Phil Sandifer (talk) 17:01, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I figured those into the first prong (narrative complexity). --MASEM 17:48, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

maybe there are two components to asserting notability for fiction[edit]

I'm starting to see two components to a "notable" fictional topic. One is proving the fictional topic is truly "important", and not just any old thing that was made up. The second is providing an out-of-universe perspective that isn't "vain". Reliable third-party sources are supposed to get us both of those things, because the coverage simultaneously proves the concept is important while also offering an out-of-universe perspective.

When I look at the four factor test, I actually see a way to point those factors at those two different components:

  1. Some of the factors focus on proving the concept is "important": the number of episodes, the prominence of the character, the complexity of the narrative, even straight-up popularity. This is meant to raise the standard so that people don't just create articles on every character for someone's self-published web comic, or open source RPG. I'm happy when Wikipedia doesn't become myspace or geocities, or free advertising for something that really has no reputation outside of its own fanbase.
  2. Other factors, especially the fourth one, focus on providing out-of-universe coverage: the availability of DVD commentary, a developer blog, or some kind of significant award. This is incidentally tied into WP:PLOT's requirement of "summary as part of larger coverage of reception/impact", and I think it's what WP:N tries to accomplish with its "independence" requirement (and usually succeeds, but sometimes fails).

I think when you combine those two components, that's how you get notability for a fictional concept. If you can do one and not the other, you might be in trouble if you can't improve it. If you have neither, good riddance. I'm not sure how strict the standard on each component should be, and that's really up to the wider community. But I like that there *is* a standard, and the four factors / two components hint at it. Great job so far, even if I can't say I agree completely. But it's time to put aside our individual opinions and work towards a standard that reasonable people can live with. Randomran (talk) 17:30, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

I think I'd rather see each prong as a single facet. The reasoning here is like how WP:NFCC is worked; we now have a better metric that instead of just saying "this character is non-notable" we can say "this character fails prongs 2 and 4 of FICT". That's a bit better advice for editors to understand what is needed to be fixed. I don't think we need to be as brief, but I'd love to see more exacting reasons that we can then build and argue/agree upon to tighten these further (as I see this as a great living document to go forward with). --MASEM 17:51, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't think the factors are additive. I think some of them are more necessary than others. Maybe an article must meet all four? I don't know. But I definitely think the "out of universe" part for the 4th factor is highly necessary, with the others just offering multiple ways to measure importance. Randomran (talk) 20:47, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, and I tried to suggest that - that the issue is that the article has to perform an all for factors. Phil Sandifer (talk) 20:53, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree that the first three seem to have a shared nature; that is, whether we "should" have an article or not. At the same time, I like them being broken down this way. Nifboy (talk) 16:01, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

On episodes...[edit]

Here's my first suggestion for what I mentioned on the FICT talk page:

"If it is possible, it is often preferable to cover multiple episodes via a list article instead of having individual articles for each episodes. Not only are such lists are much less controversial than individual episode articles, but they may also add significant value to the coverage of the topic. Narrative could well be more easily explained in a general context, and real world aspects of a production may apply to an entire season"

I'd love to include a bitchy rant about the poor quality single-line summaries often found on "list of" episode entries, but sadly I know that it would be entirely inappropriate :P It might be better perhaps to evangelise about the benefits of collected episode articles earlier than I have here, since it is already mentioned at the start that they are "often preferable". What do people think? LinaMishima (talk) 01:50, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree with you on the issue, but I'm not convinced it moves the guideline closer to general consensus. Phil Sandifer (talk) 02:19, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I think my prefered interpretation wasn't actually considered by the RFC process at all, from what I have read of it. That would have been sensible, to look towards compromise :P I would like to think that people would agree that list articles are better when they contain additional material, but I suspect that (the "pro-list/pro-list-if-we-must" viewpoint) might not be sticking point here as such. But as I said, I don't think this was even widely discussed LinaMishima (talk) 02:32, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I agree that it hasn't been widely discussed, which is why I'm inclined to duck the issue for now. I'd rather keep this one flying light and unobjectionable, since honestly, my main priority with it is for it to pass and reach guideline status, oh, let's say, in 2008. So while I agree with you, I'd rather keep that issue separate from this one because, well, it's an unknown, and I don't want to risk an unknown sandbagging what seems to me a direly needed compromise.
Mind you, if you take the viewpoint to Wikipedia:Summary style or something and try to get it in there, I'll be on the talk page as soon as you tell me, and I'll back you up on it. I'm just inclined to be very, very anti-creep on this proposal. Phil Sandifer (talk) 02:51, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I'd agree that it is a bit creep, and better to play it safe :) Summary style doesn't seem to be the best home for this method, I'm not sure were would. In many respects it is more of a common style guideline for certain types of lists LinaMishima (talk) 03:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Just a quick note BTW to say that I approve of your changes made today - good idea to add about non-english sources, and to state that something that just because something meets the guideline, doesn't mean that it is of a high standard (brilliant idea, in fact - covers my issue subtly :P) LinaMishima (talk) 14:46, 21 November 2008 (UTC)