Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Novels

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Boldfacing Character Names in Characters Section?[edit]

My understanding is that per MOS:BOLD, when there is a list of characters provided in an article for a novel, the characters' names should not be in boldface. Boldface would be acceptable if the article was a list of the characters, but not when the article is about the novel. I am in discussions with an editor who feels that with regards to the Characters section of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry the article is improved if the character names are boldfaced. I reviewed MOS:NOVELS and the Characters section doesn't appear to discuss formatting. MOS:FILM makes it explicitly clear that character names should not be in boldface, but I don't want to assume that the same guidelines apply to novel articles. Thanks for your input! Doniago (talk) 12:19, 29 June 2011 (UTC)

Input was provided here. Based on that I'll assume the answer is not to boldface unless I get more feedback to the contrary. Doniago (talk) 19:38, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
It clearly states on MOS:FILM that:

Cast lists should not use table formats (see Wikipedia:When to use tables). Neither the actor nor role name should be bolded.

The editor who responded to Doniago (talk) here, stated that MOS:FILM should be applied to MOS:NOVELS as well, and I would think it would then logically also apply to MOS:TELEVISION SHOWS. If this is true or has been reached by consensus in the past, then I suggest the following language should be added to MOS:NOVELS:

Character lists should not use table formats (see Wikipedia:When to use tables). The character names should not be bolded.

Otherwise, can an RFC be conducted to see what consensus finds here for MOS:NOVELS bolding character names? Does an RFC take an administrator to start or what? --RedEyedCajun (talk) 02:49, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Anyone can start an RFC. WP:RFC would be a good starting point. (smile) As far as modifying the guidelines themselves, I'm not sure there's a reson to add what shouldn't be done unless it's pernicious enough that there is a feeling that it needs to be explicitly delineated. In this case, defaulting to the more general guidelines suggests that bolding shouldn't be used. My opinion, of course. I have to admit, given what I perceive as relatively low activity levels here I get the feeling that either the project is going smoothly enough that there's rarely much to discuss, or not many editors are particularly invested in it. Doniago (talk) 14:09, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
I don't know what our exact policy is, but I never ever put them in bold. None of the novel FA articles have character names in bold as far as I'm aware. Btw - the discussion isn't on the article talkpage where it should be. Can you link to it? Thanks. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 14:23, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
This one? Doniago (talk) 16:17, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Not the one to the MoS discussion - it had to have started somewhere else, but I haven't time to look. Anyway, I started a thread on the Roll of Thunder page with a few suggestions. That's where discussion should be happening, I think. Try to work it out on the article talk page first. I'm popping in & out, and a bit busy, but I'll add to the talkpage examples of novel articles where the character names aren't bolded. Truthkeeper88 (talk) 18:59, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
Ah, I think I see what you're asking. An editor boldfaced the names on the RoT page. When I unbolded them because of MOS:BOLD they started a discussion on my Talk page. As the situation seemed to concern overall policy rather than policy for a specific article I started the discussion here, and when that failed to engender a response I went to the overall MOS page and linked to here. I'm not sure why the editor who felt the names should be bolded didn't bring it up on the article's Talk page, but editors going directly to editors rather than an article's Talk page seems to be a trend. Doniago (talk) 19:16, 12 July 2011 (UTC)

Different language, different wiki[edit]

It would be really useful if there would be an equivalent in Romanian, can I just create it through a ro:Manual estetic/Roman link or do I need superior clearance or permission, or a particular format?-Eb00kie (talk) 12:24, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

Manuals of style are guidelines developed within each language by that language community. If you are going to take part in developing a manual of style for Romanian on Novels, fiction, etc. you should propose a draft there and modify it per the language community. Remember, each language community creates it's own policies beyond the 5 pillars, thus some languages will find they need certain policies, while for others the policy may be unneccesary because the community isn't dealing with the same complex issues. This is particularly true of taking English policies to other communities, because English is dealing with much more complex issues because of its size and popularity then other Wikipedias, Sadads (talk) 14:20, 19 January 2012 (UTC)

More explicit Characters section guideline[edit]

As detailed in one of the previous sections, it is currently ambiguous (in the MoS) as to whether character names in the Characters section should be in bold. Even aside from this, however, there are still a lot of differing interpretations when it comes to the formatting of these sections. Many are formatted as lists, with *, **, etc. while more rarely they are organized in tables. The notability of the work and subsequent attention to its article mainly determine the number and detail of characters listed, which is not at issue. In the spirit of consistency, it may be worth considering the inclusion of more explicit guidelines on the style of the Characters section for fictional works/novels. This may or may not require a RFC, but in my opinion it would be worth the effort so the project may present a more unified front towards the inclusion and organization of character lists.

Please indicate if this is the appropriate place for a discussion of this scope. I welcome any constructive responses to this proposal. HectorAE (talk) 02:43, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

RfC: Should every novel include a Plot Summary?[edit]

D A Patriarche, BSc (talk) (talk) 04:44, 21 May 2014 (UTC) There is a conflict between the policy suggested here for plot summaries and "The Missing Manual". The latter is clear that Plot Summaries are not suitable Wikipedia content; Personally I think a Plot Summary is OK content, but I can see the the argument that it is not Encyclopaedic material: would Encyclopaedia Britannica have a plot summary for every novel listed? Perhaps major novels (however defined) should have a Plot Summary, for others a description of the genre of would suffice. D A Patriarche, BSc (talk) (talk) 04:33, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

  • Encourage but do not require plot summaries in all cases. I've read articles on works of fiction that have plot summaries and those that don't. I'm usually reading the article because I want to know "What is this book/show/movie actually about?" and articles with plot summaries answer that question much better than those without plot summaries. The kind of information usually covered in secondary sources, such as the critical response, production process or cultural impact, is far less useful if the basics are not addressed first. Darkfrog24 (talk) 22:42, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Encourage, but don't allow the plot summary to be more than 50% of the article's content, per WP:PLOT (plot summaries are allowed and encyclopedic, but they must be put in real-world context). Also, note that whenever an informative page like "The Missing Manual" contradicts a policy, the policy takes precedence. Diego (talk) 08:58, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Please withdraw and close this RfC: there is no conflict here. "The Missing Manual" referred to by the OP is a help file that explains how we use WP:PLOT, and it does so erroneously. Because of this error, the OP is reading this literally and out of the original context of the original policy (WP:NOT) which specifies that "summary-only descriptions of works" are to be discouraged, not the inclusion of plot summaries in and of themselves. This is covered in its entirety by MOS:PLOT. Obviously, the help file needs to be changed because 1) it is wrong, and 2) it has confused at least one editor, and likely several more. I have remedied the problem here. Viriditas (talk) 09:46, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
  • +1 to the reasoning put forward by User:Viriditas to close the RFC. This is not a policy level issue, just a help manual that doesn't wholly interpret the community consensus well, Sadads (talk) 14:11, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
  • Close Viriditas is correct, The Missing Manual was in error. --SubSeven (talk) 07:47, 1 June 2014 (UTC)