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Holonet:Author's Manual

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Holonet contains a multitude of articles, written by many different authors, each with his/her own personality and manner of writing. While individualism is a great thing, it can sometimes be counterproductive to a unified reference like Holonet. This guide communicates several different conventions that have been accepted as good style.

Of course, literary style cannot be confined just to a few lines of rules and ordnances, and common sense is needed in each article. Before creating any articles, authors should spend some time looking through or editing existing articles to get a feel for the mechanics, both technical and literary.

Contents

Article creation and manipulation

When to create

Unless editing only previously existing pages, all authors will be faced with the challenge of creating a new article. Discretion should be used in this facility; it is not always appropriate to make new articles.

New articles should be made when ...

  • ... there is no article that covers an important topic.
  • ... the topic deserves more coverage than is given in another, more general article.
  • ... the topic was a canon event that has been altered.
  • ... the topic is about a Player Character or Protected Non-Player Character that the author controls.
  • ... the topic is about a Non-Player Character that has relevance to the game.

New articles should not be made when ...

  • ... the topic is a small detail, or an event that could be best added as a section under an existing article (for example, an article Han Solo in the Empire should go under Han Solo as section "In the Empire").
  • ... the topic is covered by Wookieepedia in sufficient detail, unless the canonical nature of the event has been altered by the game.
  • ... the topic has nothing to do with the role-playing game (for example, Holonet is no place for a description of the Battle of Yavin, since nothing has occurred that altered or involved the Battle of Yavin in the game).

Once these questions have been considered, a new page can be made by entering the desired title into the search bar, then editing the page when asked. Alternatively, a page can be created by clicking on a broken link.

Naming

Articles should be named as accurately as possible, and also as concise as they can be kept. They are usually sentence fragments.

Article titles also must not be too specific, nor should they be lengthy. For example, an article to describe the Naboo dress themselves could be under "The Culture of Naboo", not "How the Naboo are dressed".

Categorization

Categorization, in this guide, refers to the categorization of articles in MediaWiki categories. When at all possible, the author should try to categorize articles in categories that already exist. A complete listing of this can be found at the categories page. Some of these are subcategories which are themselves members of another category, therefore there could be very specific categories for particular articles.

Additionally, some templates are used to inform about a special type of article and to categorize them with one simple command. Authors should consider these templates and using them wherever possible, as it adds a level of integration and common visual theme to articles.

Organization

Organization, in this guide, refers to the positioning and categorization of elements within a given article. These are called "sections" and are created by tags such as ==Big Category==, ===Smaller Category=== and ====Very Small Category====. Sections drastically improve readability and navigation within articles.

Due to the unique nature of this website, most sections can also be classified as Out-of-Character, In-Character, or something similar. For this purpose, there are several section templates available, and should be used whenever possible.

Writing

Regional variations

Perhaps the greatest difference in opinion rests in the use and spelling of individual words. Spelling differences are, strictly speaking, regional, technical differences.

Between American English and British English, there are many differences. However, most of them aren't significant, and all of them are mutually intelligible. Still, the differences constitute quite a few problems for a small site like Holonet, especially since Wikis feature immense cross-referencing.

Since we are located in the United States, we will be slanted towards American spellings and uses. Please follow the conventions listed below.

  • American spellings should be used for words with only small differences. For example, color instead of colour and saber instead of sabre, and categorize, not categorise (some words use -ize or -ise in both dialects, however).
  • Idioms are a part of language; however, authors should remember that this is a Star Wars Wiki, and that expressions such as "penny for your thoughts" or "come up smelling of roses" really don't make sense. In-Character, conversions into the Star Wars universe can be made, but in journalistic writing the author should try to avoid idiomatic expressions.
  • Collective nouns should always be treated as singular. For example, "The team is very worried.", not "The team are very worried."
  • The metric system should always be used when providing measurements. If desired, the author may place English unit values in parentheses next to the metric measurement.

Numbers

There are a few differences in writing numbers.

  • When writing numbers, numbers under 100 should be written out (twenty-four, thirteen, twenty-five). Numbers above and including 100 should use the appropriate numerals for clarity (100, 342, 500,530).
  • A period (.) is used only for decimal numbers (3.14159). A comma (,) is used for long numbers (1,000,000; a million), not periods.
  • A "billion" means a thousand millions, or 1,000,000,000.

Typographical elements

There are a variety of ways to type. Most of them are not really incorrect, but the use of them together can lead to a inconsistent article. Here are some of the most common guidelines we use. If it's not listed here, it generally will be in accordance with Wikipedia's Manual of Style.

Quotation marks

Punctuation marks occurring in the vicinity of a quotation mark should be kept inside the bounds of the quotation mark, except when such a manner would interfere with the quote. For example, "He said, 'Okay.'", not "He said, 'Okay'."; but, "The identification number was 'I-4.323'.", not "The identification number was 'I-4.323.'".

Parentheses

Parentheses should appear always inside of a sentence, not external to the punctuation. For example, "He went to that place (and it was very dirty).", not "He went to that place. (and it was very dirty)".

Hyphens and multi-word names

Unique coinages

Certain words that have been coined here, such as "In-Character", should be hyphenated and capitalized when used as a subject. As an adjective, they should still be hyphenated and treated as one word, but not capitalized ("It is the in-character version of the article"). When an adverb or a subject complement, the word can be written without the hyphen and treated as a prepositional phrase: "He is speaking in character." or "It is in character." Sometimes, a few certain words deviate from this rule: "He is Force-sensitive." or "The Force-Sensitive fled from The Purge."

Other words

Generally, compound words with spaces should be written with all words capitalized, except for prepositions and articles: "The Imperial Security Bureau was a controversial institution in the Galactic Empire." and "He was the Commander-in-Chief." Aside from nouns such as these, no compounded words should be capitalized.

Section titles and article names

Section titles and article names usually are phrases. Generally, they are capitalized only on the first word, unless the title constitutes a name or something similar: "===Luke Skywalker and the Death Star===" or "===The Temple of Yavin===".

Style

The style of an article is perhaps more important than the sum of the individual parts. The type of writing of two different authors will probably never appear to be the same, but attempts can be made to give readers a similar experience across all of our pages.

  • Articles should always be written in the third person, with the exception of quotes.
  • Editorializing should be avoided in all journalistic works. This includes haughty words or phrases, such as those used to glorify characters or factions. It would probably be infuriating to other players for an author to write that "So-and-so was universally acknowledged as the greatest pilot and secret agent, and also as the best dresser." Examples of this are not always so superliminal. Neutrality in every circumstance is essential.
  • When possible, sections (the ones with two equals signs, "==Section==") should be labeled as In-Character or Out-of-Character with section labels, or any other applicable labels. This will help readers to know what their characters should know and what they would not know.
  • Important, applicable words in an article should be cross-referenced to another Holonet page at their first, and only their first, occurrence in the main body of an article. Links may be additionally repeated in infoboxes and where the key word is extremely essential to the meaning of the sentence[s]. Internal links are easy to create ("[[Name of Article|the text displayed to the user]]").
  • The title of an article should be restated in the topic sentence in boldface. For example, on a page entitled "Han Solo", the first sentence should be something like "Han Solo was a Corellian smuggler...".
  • Out-of-Character and In-Character should not be confused. It would be inappropriate to say "Sergeant John was the emperor of the Galactic Empire. After his conquest of Coruscant, the player resigned from the game." Instead, comments such as these should be separated into defined out-of-character sections.
  • No vulgarities or other indecent words should be utilized in the narrative, unless they appear in quotations. Quotations are still subject to the Code of Conduct, as is all material on this site.
  • In the unspecific third person, any third-person pronoun may be used ("he", "she" or "he/she" are all acceptable).
  • When making references to out-of-character events, never use relative words like "recently" or "a while ago." Instead, use specific phrases, such as "as of December 2007" or "in January 2006."
  • In-character articles should be written in the past tense (naturally, excluding quotations).

User pages

Every contributor to the site has a user page. These pages can be used by the user to describe himself, his opinions, his interests, and his involvement in the game. Users can really write in any style they want as long as it does not violate the Code of Conduct.

There are also several personal templates available for user pages.

Etiquette

Generally, anything submitted to Holonet will be edited freely by any registered user. However, some pages are protected by the administration - this includes rules and policy (like this page). Other pages are made by regular users regarding their characters or designs, and ask other contributors not to edit the content or the article outside of correcting typos or other common errors.

Reporting problems

Certainly, users will run into what they perceive to be problems on the various pages of Holonet. In place of reworking an entire article directly, they have several options to pursue change more passively.

  • Add a label that categorizes the page in the Disputed articles section.
  • Discuss the issue on the talk page of that article.
  • Contact CMAC.

See also

Help:Markup

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