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This page is a Star Wars Fanon guide or help page.

It gives an in-depth explanation about its subject, such as a policy or Star Wars Fanon feature. Feel free to update the page as needed, but please use the discussion page to propose major changes.

The featured article tutorial
Attribution
Author(s)

Atarumaster88, Brandon Rhea, Solus

Publication information
Publisher

Star Wars Fanon Wiki

Released

2010

Type

Online article

General information
Genre(s)

Tutorial, self-help

Canon

None

This featured article tutorial is brought to you, the Star Wars Fanon Wiki, by Atarumaster88 and other authors starting in 2010. It was motivated by a shortage of featured articles to display on the Main Page. After reading a community discussion on the matter, I decided to write this to serve as a possible solution for the featured article—henceforth referred to as "FA"—shortage. The idea is to create a work that serves both as a guide for prospective featured article writers, as well as model the appropriate layout and writing style that Star Wars Fanon requires of their featured articles. The inspiration came from tutorials that myself and other Inquisitors produced on Wookieepedia to aid writers on that wiki. I also recruited three other users – Brandon Rhea, Solus, and Squishy Vic – to assist with this project by lending their expertise in certain areas.

When I was writing this tutorial, my goal was to make something that would show off qualities such as proper spelling and grammar. The sentences are all standardized in American English, so as to avoid reader confusion and, since this is an Out-of-Universe work, written in present tense. If you count the words on this tutorial, there are more than two hundred in the introduction, just like what is expected for a featured article. The sections are laid out and written to cover topics and concepts pertinent to prospective writers on the Star Wars Fanon Wiki, based on my experience reviewing writing featured articles on Wookieepedia and reviewing of featured articles on Star Wars Fanon. And remember, the full list of requirements and guidelines can be found at either the Manual of Style or featured article requirements.

Before the main articleEdit

ErasEdit

“Eras” refers to the little square icons you see up at the top right hand corner of an article. Featured articles, for the most part, are required to have these era icons, but only if the article covers a non-timeless subject. A non-timeless subject would be a character, organization, vehicle, weapon, or anything else that’s not going to exist forever.

Let me add a caveat to this, since I know some people here will and do create characters that live forever or organizations that are never, ever defeated in the long history of the universe. Those types of characters aren’t going to be allowed to become featured articles anyway, due to the hard and fast stance against Mary Sue articles becoming featured articles (and good articles, for that matter), so arguing that your character is timeless is not going to fly.

Timeless subjects are seen as things that will typically be in existence for the entire history of the galaxy, or at least most of it. These are subjects such as planets and species. Neither of these types of articles should be given era icons, excluding the good and featured article icons. OOU articles should also have both the real-world icon and the icon(s) of the era(s) it takes place in.

Era icons are placed in an article using the {{Eras}} template. A complete list of all era icons can be found on the aforementioned template. An example of an eras template on a character article whose subject lived from the Rise of the Empire era to the Legacy era is as follows, complete with the featured article icon:

{{Eras|imp|reb|new|njo|leg|featured}}

This tag inserts the icons into the title bar of the article, thereby indicating which era(s) the subject of the article existed in. The icons can also indicate if the article was a good or featured article in the past; “fga” gives the article the former good article checkmark, while “former” gives it the broken featured article star to indicate that it is a former featured article. Articles that are both a good article and a featured article are required to be marked with “gfa” – good and featured article – as opposed to both “good” and “featured.”

It should be noted that the canon eras (from Pre-Republic era to Legacy era) are publishing eras, not in-universe spans of time. These eras are not to be listed in the in-universe text of an article.

InfoboxesEdit

An infobox is the colored template to the right of an article’s introduction. This template is used to present vital statistics of a subject, including (but not limited to) date of birth, date of death, homeworld, species, sex, and affiliation. These are required on good and featured articles, and should be placed on all articles in general if enough appropriate information is available.

There are a number of infoboxes you can choose from, each one based on a certain type of article. Most of the infobox templates can be found here. The parent category also contains a number of sub-categories for campaigns, characters, families, media, and vehicles.

Try to find the most applicable infobox for your article. For example, if your article is about a Jedi Knight, it makes very little sense for you to use the {{Sith character infobox}}. For characters, the best way to determine what infobox to use is the affiliation of the character at the end of their life or at the end of their current storyline. For example, if at the end of their life and/or storyline they were a Jedi Knight then the {{Jedi character infobox}} should be used, even if they were once a Sith Lord.

Certain infoboxes also come with a default color, such as gray, that can be changed using color codes. A complete list of these hex codes can be found here. If, for example, the infobox was the {{Organization infobox}}, you would place these color codes into the “BG1=” and “BG2=” fields to change the background colors of the infobox. Try to choose colors that are relevant to the character’s affiliation and visually appealing to readers.

IntroductionEdit

The introduction is your chance to summarize your article. It must be at least 200 words long, but you don't want to make it too long. My personal recommendation is that your introduction should have at most three or four paragraphs and that's only if the article is over 150 KB long. A good general length is 2 paragraphs of about 100-150 words. Remember that the introduction is what goes on the Main Page, so you want it to be as interesting and well-written as possible.

For one, make sure that you bold the article title in the first sentence. A standard opening sentence runs something like this:

Article name was a thing that existed whenever and was known for stuff.

Future sentences elaborate on the opening sentence and the subject of the article and it develops from there. Some people prefer to write the introduction last after completing all their other sections. Some people prefer to write the introduction first in order to cement their idea of the article in their mind. Either approach works.

Make sure that you follow all of the other conventions listed below in this tutorial (diction, syntax, linking, tense) when writing your introduction. Your work will be judged by its introduction; if I don't like an introduction, I won't read the rest of the article.

You can write the introduction to be complete, but without spoiling the ending of the story. For example, if you were writing about the canonical Darth Maul, you could say that Maul's desire to directly combat the Jedi was realized in 32 BBY when he dueled Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo. You wouldn't necessarily have to relay the fact that Maul died there, but some reviewers may ask you to do so. For battles and events, you will have to detail how the battle ended and its results in the introduction.

One last tip for introductions: don't make it just history. For characters, describe some of their personality. For planets, describe some features. For battles, describe the aftermath and the results. Don't restrict yourself to just telling the events contained in the article—give some pertinent background information as well.

General writing tips and conceptsEdit

The question of tenseEdit

Tense. It's an important part of any article, and I'm not referring to a state of suspense. I'm referring to tenses as in verb tenses. Generally, there are two very distinct classifications of articles: In-universe and Out-of-universe, and the classification into which your piece falls into determines which tense should be used, more or less.

In-universe works are written as if the Star Wars universe was real and cover people, places, things, and ideas that reside in the Star Wars universe. They include the vast majority of articles on SWF. Examples include:

  • Characters
  • Ships
  • Weapons
  • Species
  • Planets
  • Vehicles
  • Battles
  • Wars
  • Organizations
  • Lightsaber forms/combat styles

All of these types of articles should be written in a consistent past tense. Here's an example of what past tense looks like:

Note how everything is written as if it happened a long time ago. The perspective presented in the article is that the character's life story occurred years and years prior to the article's writing. At no point in an in-universe (IU) article should present tense verbs be used—not in the introduction, not in the biography/history section, not in the personality and traits, not in the users, nowhere. Not at all. If you want to write an IU FA, this is one of the hard-and-fast rules. I can't make it any clearer than that. See below under "Behind the scenes" for a possible exception.

Out of universe (OOU) articles are articles that discuss real-world topics, such as books, photonovels, or real-world authors. They're written from a real-life perspective, that is, they treat the Star Wars universe as fictional. Examples include:

  • Books
  • Photonovels
  • Fan series
  • Fanon video games

These are usually written in present tense. In fact, they have to be, according to the Manual of Style. Present tense treats the subject as if it is currently undergoing or performing an action. The perspective is that the topic at hand is active right now, and so should use the present tense. It is possible to employ some past tense, usually in the form of present perfect tense in an OOU article. A bit more confusing, I suppose. I'm not going to explain past perfect or present perfect tense—go look it up online. This isn't a grammar book.

Note that the article is primarily written in present tense, but contains elements of past tense. The distinction is common sense, more or less. For example, the novel Fugitive could only be released once. It would not make sense to say that "Fugitive is release in June 2007". Actions that happened in the past and are no longer active at this moment in time should be written in past tense. However, things without a strict timeline, such as "characters of the story must each confront the grim reality," should be left in present tense. It's a trickier distinction to make, but a bit of common sense and a good copyedit usually makes things clear.

LinkingEdit

How to linkEdit

Linking is a simple concept, so I'll just say this: One links to another article on SWF using brackets. For example:

[[Ussej Padric Bac]]

That code links to the article Ussej Padric Bac. Simple, right?

Pipelinking is slightly more complicated. You link to one article, but it's done indirectly—the text shown isn't necessarily the title of the article. For example:

[[Ussej Padric Bac|Some silly Jedi]]

This still links to "Ussej Padric Bac", but it shows up on the screen as Some silly Jedi.

External linking involves linking to websites off of SWF. There are a couple ways to do this. The first, linking to other wikis, can be accomplished with some templates. These can also be pipelinked.

{{SW|Chewbacca}}

This links to Chewbacca on Wookieepedia.

{{W|Mary Sue}}

This links to Mary Sue on Wikipedia.

The other way is to use URLs with a single bracket:

[http://darthipedia.com/wiki/TGC] 

However, this makes your link look like a [NUMBER] with the number linked. Like this: [1] Not very attractive. Try this instead:

[http://darthipedia.com/wiki/TGC a Darthipedia webcomic of Epic Lulz]

This displays a Darthipedia webcomic of Epic Lulz. Note the space in between the caption and the URL.

For internal linking, a redlink indicates that the thing you're linking to doesn't exist. Broken external links still appear as a working blue link, so you must check the link to make sure it exists.

What to linkEdit

Link everything that you can. You should link a given topic on first mention:

  • In the introduction (if applicable)
  • In the infobox (if applicable)
  • Possibly in the photo captions (if applicable, and I believe this is personal choice)
  • In the main body of the article once. This includes the behind the scenes section.

Don't overdo the linking; redundant links are useless and look bad.

QuotesEdit

Quotes aren't required, but if you're going to use them, you should use the {{quote}} template.

This is how it works:

{{Quote|I think he was the only Sith in history that killed out of boredom.|—Anonymous historian}}

It yields:

I think he was the only Sith in history that killed out of boredom.—Anonymous historian

A final word on quotes: don't overuse them. At the most, one at the beginning of the article and at the beginning of each section. Not in the middle. Also, try and make them sound somewhat realistic. Inane quotes will be objected to. For an example of an absolutely silly quote, let me point you to:

Ladies and gentlemen, there is only one rule here and that is to SHAKE...YOUR...BOOTIES!!—A DJ welcoming visitors to Club StarDust[src]

Just. Don't.

From my point of viewEdit

One of the biggest problems I see new writers having is called POV, or point-of-view, and it typically shows up when you're trying to elevate or demean something. Writing FAs demands that you be neutral and objective, and not biased. Ergo, you cannot say that Darth Vader was evil. Evil depends largely on one's perspective, as Anakin Skywalker so pointedly reminded us at the end of ROTS. Also, if words carry certain positive or negative connotations (such as "brutal"), they can be POV. Let me show you a quick example of right and wrong:

He was an excellent swordsman and duelist and was noted for his unique fighting style.—A sentence that exhibits clear bias, or POV[src]

The key word that shows up here as POV is "excellent". Excellent compared to what? To whom? Those questions depend on the point-of-view of the person answering them. It's a bad, unprofessional way to write. Other words that are usually pretty clear indicators of POV include:

  • "Fortunately" or "luckily" when used by themselves
  • "Legendary" or "epic" when used by themselves
  • "Excellent", "evil", "brutal", "atrocious", "horrible", "mysterious" and other similar words.

Now, the good thing is that most biased phrases can be easily fixed. Here's how I would fix the example above:

He was considered an excellent swordsman by his peers, based on his unique fighting style—A better sentence

The key word here is "considered". You're not saying he was an excellent swordsman, which is a subjective statement. You're stating objectively that other people considered him to be an excellent swordsman. One is factual, the other is self-glorification. That said, POV objections are usually pretty easy to fix if you remember the above tips.

Prosetry, or the art of growing prose flowersEdit

Another common objection to new writers is prosetry, or as it's called on Wookieepedia, "flowery prose." This is where your work does not carry a tone befitting an encyclopedia entry. I won't explain tone here—go look that up online also.

Here's an example of something with a lot of prosetry.

Screaming to his creations to continue their attack, Gloed was getting a little bit frightened. Where was the bleeding profusely, almost dead, Ichi Go he had left to be finished off? What had happened in such a short time for him to have regained his strength and composure? Questions better left for later, as Ichi Go had just defeated the last of the Sithspawn Gloed had brought with him. Cursing him to Chaos, Gloed brought out his twisted Zangetsu and jumped from the hill he had been standing on to get to Ichi, if his minions could not end this, then he would.—A piece of flowery prose[src]

This is written like it belongs in a book or something. There's a rhetorical question. There's a fragment. There's melodrama. All of those are characteristics of flowery prose and should be removed. Here's something along the lines of how it should be written:

Gloed became frightened, even as he screamed at his creations to continue their attack, due to his inability to locate his injured opponent, Ichi Go. The other man had already defeated the rest of Gloed's Sithspawn companions and now Gloed moved to engage him, cursing his foe to Chaos. Drawing his twisted Zangetsu, he charged Ichi Go.—The same thing, written in a far more appropriate manner for an encyclopedia

This is far less flowery. Sure, it doesn't convey the same sense of suspense or action, but it gives you more or less the same information. It's not nearly as dramatic. That's how encyclopedia articles are supposed to read. Yes, I know SWF isn't really an encyclopedia, but its FAs are held to the principles of having encyclopediac prose. If you want to write with lots of suspense, action, and melodrama, don't write articles. Write a story or a novel. That's the bottom line.

Common spelling and grammar errorsEdit

These are some of the most common errors that pop up on the FAN page.

  • My personal pet peeve, it's and its:
Wrong: Its common knowledge that the Decreto Order's leadership had a bug up it's collective rear.
Right: It's common knowledge that the Decreto Order's leadership had a bug up its collective rear.
Its is possessive. It's means "it is."
  • Hanger versus Hangar
Wrong: "the starfighter hanger"
Right: "the starfighter hangar". HangErs are for clothes. HangArs are for vehicles.
  • Galaxy versus galaxy.
Wrong: Darth Lulz controlled the entire Galaxy at the peak of his power.
Right: Darth Lulz controlled the entire galaxy at the peak of his power.
  • Clone versus clone.
Wrong: The Clone troopers killed Aayla Secura on Felucia.
Right: The clone troopers killed Aayla Secura on Felucia.
  • Ranks
Wrong: The brass assembled on the bridge; three Generals, an Admiral, and a Colonel from Intelligence waited to hear admiral Ackbar's description of the Imperial trap.
Right: The brass assembled on the bridge; three generals, an admiral, and a colonel from Intelligence waited to hear Admiral Ackbar's description of the Imperial trap.
Capitalize the titles only if it is immediately followed by someone's name, or is a proper title, such as Grand Master of the Jedi Order. Generic ranks like king, general, and sergeant do not get capitalized. Master is always capitalized.
  • System versus system
Wrong: The Death Star emerged from hyperspace in the Alderaan System.
Right: The Death Star emerged from hyperspace in the Alderaan system.
  • Human versus human.
Wrong: Darth Tyler hated all humans because they were meatbags that made fun of his absurdity.
Right: Darth Tyler hated all Humans because they were meatbags that made fun of his absurdity.
  • There, they're, and their.
Wrong: There headed to Coruscant on there ship, hoping to find a party there.
Right: They're headed to Coruscant on their ship, hoping to find a party there.
"They're" means they are. "Their" is possessive. "There" has several uses, but is generally used to indicate direction. It is never possessive.
  • To, too, and two.
Wrong: The to Force-sensitive battle droids were also to ridiculous too be cast in the next episode of Lulz Wars.
Right: The two Force-sensitive battle droids were also too ridiculous to be cast in the next episode of Lulz Wars.
"Two" is a number. "To" is a preposition or part of an infinitive (usually). "Too" is an adverb (usually). Don't confuse them.
  • Where, we're, and were.
Wrong: Ussej and Damien where saddened as they arrived at the Dantooine ruins, were so many other Jedi had died. Upon seeing the ruins, Ussej told Damien "were doomed."
Right: Ussej and Damien were saddened as they arrived at the Dantooine ruins, where so many other Jedi had died. Upon seeing the ruins, Ussej told Damien "we're doomed."
"Were" is a verb in the past tense. "We're" means we are. "Where" is used to indicate direction or serves as a pronoun.
  • Possessives
Wrong: The terrified criminals guns fell from their hands as they stared at the glowing swords tip wielded by the Rohi standing in front of them.
Right: The terrified criminals' guns fell from their hands as they stared at the glowing sword's tip wielded by the Rohi standing in front of them.
  • Plurals
Wrong: The Jedis ran through the street's of Coronet City, chased by the three group's of Siths.
Right: The Jedi ran through the streets of Coronet City, chased by the three groups of Sith.
Once again, use the bloody apostrophe correctly. Plurals are NEVER denoted by "apostrophe s". And the plural of Jedi is Jedi. The plural of Sith is Sith.

Diction and syntaxEdit

This is sometimes referred to as the art by which one proliferates and disseminates their comprehension and capability to select and structure words in a manner which is aesthetically pleasing. Not really, but they are two key concepts that can either enhance or condemn your writing.

Diction is your word choice. The larger your English vocabulary is, the more words you will have at your command. Repeating the same expression, or in particular using the same adjective repeatedly grows tiresome to the reader. For example, if you were talking about the clash of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader on the First Death Star, the following would make a very boring pair of sentences.

The fugitives witnessed the second clash between two of the most powerful Force-users as Darth Vader wielded the power of the dark side against Kenobi's lightsaber. Though the duel did not significantly affect a space station as powerful as the Death Star, both duelists exerted all their power as they fought for the future of the galaxy.

The words "power" and "powerful" are used 4 times in two sentences. Just 4 times is enough to make it read poorly. Instead, vary the descriptions you use. A better version might read:

The fugitives witnessed the second clash between two of the most powerful Force-users as Darth Vader wielded the might of the dark side against Kenobi's lightsaber. Though the duel did not significantly affect a space station as massive and destructive as the Death Star, both duelists exerted all their strength as they fought for the future of the galaxy.

When you consistently use the same descriptive phrase or adjectives, it makes you look uneducated, as if you cannot find any other words to use. One of the more well-known Star Wars authors, Kevin J. Anderson, used the phrase "brandy-brown" when referring to the eye color of the Solo twins' eyes in his Young Jedi Knights series. It was nauseating. Do your best to avoid using the same adjective more than once every three sentences (not counting articles or pronouns). Doing so is occasionally called a "doublet" and may draw an objection from some of the more detail-oriented reviewers.

Syntax is the structure of your sentence, and just like diction, is should be varied. There are numerous types of sentence—simple, complex, compound, compound complex, and others that are all contained in an excellent grammar book. Varying the lengths of your sentences will make the article more readable. While sometimes a series of short sentences are used in fan-fiction for emphasis, you will want to avoid doing so in article writing.

Here's an example of poor syntax:

Jar Binks looked around for his friends after the fight. They deserted him. Then he was exiled by his government after a brief trial. He lived alone until he encountered a pair of Jedi. He accompanied them on a mission to save Utapau from invasion.

All of those are simple sentences and it reads very poorly. Here's almost exactly the same words, but with the sentences re-arranged to vary up the length of the sentences.

Jar Binks looked around for his friends after the fight, but they had deserted him. Then he was exiled by his government after a brief trial, living alone until he encountered a pair of Jedi. He then accompanied them on a mission to save Utapau from invasion.

Just varying the syntax is enough to make the second example look more professional and readable. Doing so will subconsciously help the reader keep reading, and since fanon is really all about garnering as much attention as possible for your work, you'll want to do that.

Transition and flowEdit

It doesn't flow well.—Anonymous reviewer

This can be one of the most aggravating aspects of writing an article and even professional writers sometimes have issues with this. The basic idea behind transition and flow is that you want each thought, and in particular each sentence and paragraph within a section to have a logical connection. You want to make your work make sense and the harder the reader has to think about your first sentence is related to the next one, the less willing they will be to read your masterpiece. Also, it will make your work look less professional, etc. and a bunch of other things you want to avoid. Adding a transitional sentence at the end of a paragraph can also help convey a sense of transition, connecting two paragraphs. This can be one of the more subjective areas of writing, which is why it can be frustrating for newer writers. The key is to practice and consciously attempt to connect all the sentences together.

Primarily created for the aid of sabotages, assassinations, or kidnappings, these were used by only the best of Rebel marines and infiltrators, though they were given to war heroes. The E.C.H.O. Visor was a near perfect detection device, able to see through heat, sound, and visibility hampering devices. It could tap into and read the devices' electromagnetic signature—a feat once believed impossible. The Visor would be able to "phase" through the cloaking devices, rendering them useless to the Visor's vision.

The general cost for its three-fold binding technology estimated to a retrieving cost of around 650,000 credits per pair, although it wasn't uncommon for its costs to escalate to a high 1,500,000 credits. That being said, for five pairs of E.C.H.O. Visors would required vast funds of at least 3,500,000 credits, and worst case scenario, up to 7,500,000 credits.

Here's the version with appropriate transitional elements inserted to help it flow.

Primarily created for the aid of sabotages, assassinations, or kidnappings, these were used by only the best of Rebel marines and infiltrators, though they were given to war heroes. The E.C.H.O. Visor was a near perfect detection device, able to see through heat, sound, and visibility hampering devices. Its secret wasn't actually by seeing through the devices themselves, but was by tapping into and reading the devices' electromagnetic signature—a feat once believed impossible. Once siphoned, the Visor would be able to "phase" through the cloaking devices, rendering them useless to the Visor's vision. The E.C.H.O. Visor was exceptionally expensive to produce, a large part of the reason for its rarity.

The general cost for its three-fold binding technology estimated to a retrieving cost of around 650,000 credits per pair, although it wasn't uncommon for its costs to escalate to a high 1,500,000 credits. That being said, for five pairs of E.C.H.O. Visors would required vast funds of at least 3,500,000 credits, and worst case scenario, up to 7,500,000 credits.

Note that the first paragraph flows much better and the last sentence of the first paragraph discusses its cost in the context of its rarity, leading into the next paragraph, which discusses the cost.

The main bodyEdit

SectioningEdit

The Manual of Style and Layout Guide have a lot more to say about sectioning than I particularly care to. Make sure that you follow those guidelines and you should be okay. There is some leeway involved with some of the sections, especially for OOU articles, but don't try and nominate a character article without a Personality and traits section, or any in-universe article without a Behind the scenes.

ImagesEdit

Images uploaded onto Star Wars Fanon have to abide by certain copyright laws and guidelines when they were uploaded, many of which are provided for in the image policy. This insures that the images can be legally used. However, many people don't seem to comprehend how to properly source their images. Even if the image is from a movie, people will state that the image came from the site they found that exact still on instead of the movie that the image is originally from. This is wrong, and may result in the friendly administration knocking on your talk page. If the image is from a comic or a sourcebook, do not cite the source of the image as Wookieepedia or Google. Rather, give the source as the comic or sourcebook or whatever the image was originally from. Star Wars Fanon reviewers look for the original source whenever people upload images and use them in writing proposed Featured Articles. Additionally, if you create a montage of images, don't try and claim that the montage was self-created. It was not. Though you created the montage, the images used were not made by you, in general. You have to change the source to list where each image came from originally. Self-created as a source is only plausible if the image was a photograph taken by the user or if the image is personally drawn or created by you in its entirety. The bottom line: if you use an image that you didn't take or make ALL of, you must provide the source.

In addition to legal and technical aspects to keep in mind when uploading images, there are aesthetic aspects that the Council of Seers looks for in featured article proposals. When choosing an image to put in an article, it's a good idea to pick images with some illustrative value. Unless the image is for the main infobox, whose purpose is to catch the essence of the article in question, it's not suggested that your image be merely a head, unless it shows some expression, or else all of the images in the article would look the same. Action in images or else something that could only be easily expressed in an image is also encouraged.

In relation to image formatting, it is highly recommended (read:almost mandatory) that images be staggered right-left-right, and so forth, as the first image, the main image, is always on the right. Arrange the pictures so that the following images switch sides to even out the article. Another formatting suggestion is to have only as many images as needed to illustrate the text, and not to clutter the article with images, however illustrative they might be. Lean on the side of "less is more." Also, some places not to stick images: in the introduction, in the sources, external links, or in the appearances sections.

DetailEdit

People respect detail and research in articles, if not carried too far. Therefore, it is often a big plus when an author includes these in an article. Good detail includes things like how something was accomplished, without going too far as to describe a matter play-by-play. As well, good detail includes when an author does his research. This is an example of poor detail:

Without a good guerrilla force to fight the invaders, then the entire plan they had was fruitless, so they decided to liberate some slaves from right under their master's noses. While Renton planned to distract the Ottiumigon guards, Ichi was to use his lightsaber to cut through the chains the slaves were held with.—A piece with poor detail[src]

How did they get to the slaves? How did they distract the guards? Why were the slaves held by simple chains when there are much better and higher-tech restraining devices in the Star Wars universe? Why did the two of them do this in the first place?

The "how" questions regard how something is done. It would have been interesting to know exactly how Ichi and Renton accomplished this in the first place. It might have added to the plot. As it is, it does not.

The third question regards research. The author did not bother to go to such places as Wookieepedia to look at all the restraining devices there and how they worked, then come up with a way they might be disabled. Stun cuffs has a whole article about the Star Wars version of handcuffs alone. Then there's Slaving collar and an especially interesting form of enslavement called Smilers. Then of course, there was the slave chip that young Anakin quaintly described in The Phantom Menace that blew one up should one try to escape.

The last question brings up something called Human nature, i.e. how Humans decide what they are going to do. Even aliens have to have motives. A Human does not simply kill someone just because he spoke to him the wrong way, Dark Lord of the Sith or not. Humans ignore. Humans generally have some form of common sense. Unless they are insane, they generally do not go to a heavily guarded planet with only one other person to attempt to free thousands of slaves. There has to be planning, extra people, lookouts, etc.

Here is a better example of detail:

Under orders of the Jedi Council, he did his best to peacefully negotiate with the Mandalorians, but it was fruitless. Because of their determination to make war with him, Tulak was ordered to pull away from Mandalorian affairs, but in a last effort to stay a rebellion, he attempted one last negotiation, but it ended in an assassination attempt for Tulak's life where he was shot in the upper arm. Disregarding his orders to avoid rebellion at all costs, Hord retaliated, first working to forcefully disarm his opponents with his lightsaber then by killing those who continued to try to kill him. Despite being done in self-defense, the rebellious faction saw it as an open invitation to war, and began besieging cities who sided with the Jedi, especially Tulak in particular. In an effort to undo the harm he had done, Tulak did his best to end the uprising as quickly as he could manage. This, however, equated into needless deaths, something that Tulak did not want to do. After trying and failing several times to stop it by capturing, or assassinating, key individuals, Tulak was forced to give in to their requirements, and returned to the Jedi to leave the Mandalorians to themselves.—Better detail[src]

This tells how Tulak tried to accomplish peace, shows at least some research into the Mandalorian mindset, and reveals Tulak's Human nature—the want to retaliate then regretting it afterwards.

However, there is some detail that is overdone, where there is too much that needs to be there to explain the situation. This is called play-by-play.

Ichi Go, brash after defeating Hollow, sheathed his lightsaber and yelled in defiance at Gloed, attempting to get him to come out and fight him. While he was yelling, he was barely able to react in time and get out Zangetsu to counter Gloed's stealth attack. Announcing that he was there to finally end his family's shame, Gloed sheathed his lightsaber and brought out his own vibroblade, a dark and twisted version of Zangetsu. Ichi's self-control lost at the sight of the desecration before him, he lost all of his thought processes and attacked Gloed with a blind rage. Laughing the entire time, Gloed goaded Ichi on and on, attempting to make him fall to the dark, and then intending to kill him when he did so. Ichi, however, informed Gloed that he had no intention of falling, as his true Master, Nathan, had always shown him ways to use his anger for the betterment of all. He didn't see things in shades of black or white, he saw them in grey, and planned to make sure Gloed would know this as well, because he was going to turn him to the light.—An example of play-by-play[src]

Notice that every movement is described, every expression is noted, everything. It is too much, it is as if the author was writing a novel. Such detail is unencyclopedic. A better version would be:

Ichi Go took a defiant stance at Gloed, tempting him. In response, Gloed attacked him almost too suddenly for Ichi Go to react, mocking Ichi Go by claiming he was a shame to his family. Ichi Go lost his self-control, attacking Gloed, surprised that Gloed's sword could withstand his own. Gloed continued to goad Ichi Go, though Ichi Go tried to convince himself that he could handle his rage, and that he was determined to use it to bring turn Gloed from the Dark side.—Better detail[src]

In addition to this, bad detail is related to prosetry, which is described above. And both bad levels of detail and play-by-play will get your article hammered on the review if it's nominated for GA or FA. As will prosetry. 'Nuff said.

Wrapping it upEdit

SubsidiariesEdit

Subsidiaries are other sections besides the main part of the story that you're trying to tell. For a typical article, the most time and effort are lavished into either the biography section for a character or a history section for pretty much anything else. That said, there are some important things to consider and those are subsidiary sections. The Manual of Style has the list of what's expected, but I would strongly urge you to do a good job on those and not make them small one paragraph settings. As a reviewer, I often skip straight to those to see how interesting the author has made the extras. Since most articles written on SWF are characters, please, please, please write an interesting personality/traits and talents/abilities. Don't put a list in it. Don't skimp on details. I won't go into lavish detail on what each section should have—the MOS has it all. Just remember that they exist and shouldn't be done half-heartedly.

CategoriesEdit

Categories are essential and there should be at least two on every article. The first should be your category, like "Category:Articles by <insert name here>". The others should place the topic of your article in a category with other similar topics. You can also make new categories as needed. I've found the following three special pages useful for finding which category to use:

There's too many categories to talk about even a few of them in-depth. My suggestion: find similar articles to yours and copy the applicable categories. Also, the categorization page can really be helpful when categorizing articles.

Do take the time to fix up the categories and make them correct. Using {{DEFAULTSORT}} will alphabetize your article correctly. For example: {{DEFAULTSORT:Korr, Jaden}} would place the Jaden Korr article in the "K" heading of all the categories it's in. K for Korr. You knew that. This is somewhat more professional and should be done for all names, battles, Sith names, etc. There are other ways to pull off the same trick, but placing DEFAULTSORT in your article is probably the simplest. Also, don't be offended if someone changes a category on your page. This is normal and fairly painless.

Subjectives and extrasEdit

In this section, I'll discuss a pair of subjective concepts, as well as an optional piece of coding you can use, called referencing. By contrast, referencing, or the lack thereof, is generally not objected to unless done incorrectly, whereas writing Mary Sue or a completely unrealistic article have been and will be objected to.

Mary SueEdit

In simple terms a Mary Sue is a character, who always has the answer, powers, know how, charm, skills to save the day and win the main hero's (heroine's) heart. In other words they can be really good or really, REALLY annoying...So is your Star Wars/Fox Character a Mary Sue (Gary Stu)?―The Mary Sue Litmus Test Star Wars/Star Fox Edition[src]

Wow, that was easy, we can all go home now, right? Well, I suppose not. Anyway, the above statement does a pretty good job of defining a Mary Sue/Gary Stu. They're talking about characters that are utterly overpowered, always or almost always prevail against their foes, usually have some superficial love interest, and are also overpowered. They're often idealizations of the author—a fantasy character that the author wishes that they were.

To be blunt, I hate Mary Sues. Some other people—chiefly those responsible for reviewing and objecting to FAs and GAs here, do as well. Why? Why do you discriminate against a particular class of article? Why can't people write their articles and characters how they want to? Those questions and others similar to them have been asked on numerous occasions. The reason is that they are very boring, monotonous reads. The storyline is predictable, there is no conflict, and, except for the author, nobody identifies with the character's experience. Furthermore, it's just silly to imagine characters with that much power and style. Nobody is that perfect. That, and the oft-seen insistence of the author that their character is amazing, is what drives a lot of people to despise Mary Sues/Gary Stus.

I stand by my statement that there are Mary Sues that are enjoyable to read. That said, I have yet to find one. Furthermore, SWF does not allow Mary Sues to attain GA or FA status. Plain and simple. You're free to write them all you want on this website, but there's no chance of getting it on the Main Page. To help you decide whether or not your article is a Mary Sue, I recommend this test. Be honest when you answer the questions.

If you've read all this, taken the test, and you still don't have an idea of what a Mary Sue is, or you're just looking for some things to avoid, here's a list of a few known Mary Sues in a subjective ordering roughly corresponding to their notoriety, along with a tagline of their most ridiculous characteristics—it would take hours to fully describe the depths of some the Suedom on this site. Also good for a laugh.

Author's Abuse Awards: The Top Ten Mary Sues/Gary Stus on SWF
  1. Nathaniel Kenobi Solo—the longest and one of the more infamous. The name almost says it all, but he's almost the stereotypical over-powered Jedi who dabbles with the dark side and wins the girl. See here for ranting.
  2. Darth Tyler—a Force-sensitive battle droid that somehow becomes a Sith and builds an Empire. See here for ranting.
  3. Unit 8311—to quote a certain former Seer, this is Darth Tyler with a logic upgrade.
  4. Troyb—A bumbling Neimodian who conquers the galaxy with the aid of Darth Tyler. Out-thinks every other being in the galaxy and PWNs most of them too.
  5. Ichi Go—Imagine the cousin of Nathan Kenobi Solo. Then make him less realistic. This is Ichi Go. Ranting courtesy of this page.
  6. Darth Abeonis aka Jasca Ducato. Another infamous one about a Jedi who turns Sith who turns Jedi who turns Sith numerous times. All the while defeating numerous opponents and, of course, getting the girl and making an empire.
  7. Swerto Dragonouve. Mercenary extraordinaire who manages to work for and betray practically every major faction in the Galactic Civil War before making his own. Ranting here.
  8. Isaac Leonhart—Overpowered beyond all reason, the immortal, the all-powerful.
  9. Anthony Doowkool—"Anthony Doowkool was a Human Male Sith who took control of the galaxy and all of the Sith five years after the death of Desann." I really do think this one is a joke. At least, I hope so.
  10. Your Mary Sue—a very funny, tongue-in-cheek look at Mary Sues.
  • Honorable mention: Sadly, SWF has lost one of its worst Gary Stus, and a strong contender for the Author's Abuse Awards' incredibly un-prestigious first place position. Alas, we will (not) miss seeing Lightning, also known as Commander Lightning around. A historical record of his existence has been preserved here for posterity.

Try not to emulate the above examples if you seek to write FAs, okay? It's not professional, the resulting story is usually lacking in quality, and, finally, it does little credit to you as a writer.

SurrealismEdit

Okay, so if you're still reading this, you've been through most of the technical stuff. Now, I'm going to step on some toes and say that whatever you're writing should vaguely make sense, or if it doesn't, it should have a good explanation. Yes, this is fanon, and for better or worse, you can write whatever you want to, but that doesn't mean the reader should be left scratching their head. And, the reader's opinions are important if you want to FA something. If you didn't, why are you reading this? That said, making Tatooine a tropical paradise doesn't make a whole lot of sense to anyone who knows the first thing about Star Wars. Other things that don't compute—under no circumstance should any lower-ranking officer in the Imperial/Sith Navy ever be allowed to get away with talking back to any kind of Dark Jedi or Sith. It doesn't matter what type of fanon you're writing, it just does not make sense for the characters to interact like that. And "they do because I wrote it that way" is a rather silly way of explaining that away. Bottom line: Just because it's fanon doesn't mean it can make absolutely no sense.

Starships that are bigger than moons please take note. Same with immortal Jedi (there are exceptions to this one). Also, this can vary, but I would recommend not incorporating too much Earth into your story unless you are specifically doing a story directly involving Earth. I mean, go ahead and have your protagonist have a weakness for Chandrilan apple pie if you want, but the originality suffers when he plays football or when the vast majority of the weapons revolve around firearms, jet fighters, and helicopters instead of blasters, starfighters, and repulsorcraft. There are exceptions to these rules, and it's all very subjective. The important thing is to make your work yours while still keeping it within some realm of reality that your readers can understand and follow along with. Enough said.

ReferencingEdit

Referencing is something that's…not required at all. It is on the Mighty Wookiee(pedia), but not here. Obviously, that's because your content is typically created by you. What referencing does is create footnotes on your content—this is especially useful if you're writing an article using content from either Wookieepedia or a fan work/novel you made. It looks more professional, but it needs more work. Oh, and don't reference stuff that isn't actually written. That's silly.

Here's the simple way to reference something:

<ref>''[[Acceptance]]''</ref>

However, this method doesn't really work if you want to reference the same thing more than once. To do that, use this format: The first reference to a given source looks like this:

<ref name="Acceptance">''[[Acceptance]]''</ref>

All subsequent references look like this:

<ref name="Acceptance" />

That will generate a list of references at the bottom of your page. In order to get the footnotes to show up, you need to make a separate section and use the following code:

==Notes and references==
 <div class="references-small"><references /></div>

That's pretty much all there is to referencing. You can make it slightly more complicated, but since most people don't use it on SWF anyway, I don't see the point. Personally, I've seen a lot of fanfiction authors write articles for characters and events, etc. based on their works, and that's where most of the site's referencing comes in. So ask Brandon about it. Or see Wookieepedia.

The processEdit

Good article nominationEdit

To put it simply, a good article is one that adheres to all quality standards and is as complete as possible, but still cannot reach featured status because of its limited content. The quality standards are dictated by both the Manual of Style (as well as all other relevant policies for that matter) and a set of good article requirements that all good article nominees have to meet in order to successfully pass through the nominations page.

A nomination page, whether it is for good status or featured status, can be a new experience for a lot of users who haven’t yet nominated an article. The first thing you want to do is ensure that your article is as close to the good article requirements as you can possibly bring it on your own. Once you think that the article is ready to go, you need to put {{GAnom}} at the top of your article. This indicates that it’s a nominee for good article status, and also links to what will be your article’s eventual review page.

Once your article is ready to go and tagged as a nominee, you’ll want to put it on the nomination page using the format provided in the “How to nominate” section. The format is as follows:

=== [[Article name]] ===
'''[[CS:Article name|Objections and discussion]]''' – '''(0 Seers/0 users/0 total)'''

Please place your nomination at the bottom of the list of current nominations. That means not at the top, not in the middle, and not anywhere else other than the bottom.

When your article is on the nomination page, you’ll notice that the “Objections and discussion” link is red instead of blue (red meaning that the page doesn’t exist and blue meaning that it does). Click on that red link and add the appropriate header, information, and sections to it. If you don’t know that information, check out another one of the “Objections and discussion” links on the nomination page and copy and paste that page’s content into yours. Be sure that you don’t copy objections or comments from another page, and also be sure to clarify what article it is.

Now that your nomination is fully set up, all that you need to do from here on out is correct any objections that regular users and/or members of the Council of Seers put forward. You may be surprised by the amount of objections that your article receives, but please don’t panic! This isn’t a personal insult to you, nor is it out of the ordinary. Very rarely will an article be nominated that doesn’t have a list of objections. Even if the list of objections your article is given is long, you’ll be able to get through. Never be afraid to ask for help!

If your article receives four (4) votes from members of the Council of Seers, two (2) votes from anyone else who meets the requirements of the voting policy, and has no outstanding objections, then it clears the nominations page. If it does, then congratulations! You have a good article on your hands! Sometimes, though, if an article is in need of a lot of serious work, the Council of Seers will vote to reject it. This doesn’t mean you can never nominate it again! Ask for help from other users, visit the Writing Center, and most importantly keep at it! The only way to improve is if you keep doing what you’re doing.

Featured article nominationEdit

A featured article is an article that represents the best that this wiki has to offer in terms of high encyclopedic quality. The quality standards are dictated by both the Manual of Style (as well as all other relevant policies for that matter) and a set of featured article requirements that all featured article nominees have to meet in order to successfully pass through the nominations page.

Like what was said in the previous section, a nomination page like this can be a new experience for a lot of people. The first thing you want to do is ensure that your article is as close to the requirements as you can possibly bring it on your own. Once you think that the article is ready to go, you need to put {{nominated}} at the top of your article. This indicates that it’s a nominee for featured article status, and also links to what will be your article’s eventual review page.

Once your article is ready to go and tagged as a nominee, you’ll want to put it on the nomination page using the following format:

=== [[Article name]] ===
'''[[CS:Article name|Objections and discussion]]''' – '''(0 Seers/0 users/0 total)'''

Please place your nomination at the bottom of the list of current nominations. That means not at the top, not in the middle, and not anywhere else other than the bottom.

When your article is on the nomination page, you’ll notice that the “Objections and discussion” link is red instead of blue (red meaning that the page doesn’t exist and blue meaning that it does). Click on that red link and add the appropriate header, information, and sections to it. If you don’t know that information, check out another one of the “Objections and discussion” links on the nomination page and copy and paste that page’s content into yours. Be sure that you don’t copy objections or comments from another page, and also be sure to clarify what article it is.

Now that your nomination is fully set up, all that you need to do from here on out is correct any objections that regular users and/or members of the Council of Seers put forward. You may be surprised by the amount of objections that your article receives, but please don’t panic! This isn’t a personal insult to you, nor is it out of the ordinary. Very rarely will an article be nominated that doesn’t have a list of objections. Even if the list of objections your article is given is long, you’ll be able to get through. Never be afraid to ask for help!

If your article receives four (4) votes from members of the Council of Seers, three (3) votes from anyone else who meets the requirements of the voting policy, and has no outstanding objections, then it clears the nominations page. If it does, then congratulations! You have a featured article on your hands! Sometimes, though, if an article is in need of a lot of serious work, the Council of Seers will vote to reject it. This doesn’t mean you can never nominate it again! Ask for help from other users, visit the Writing Center, and most importantly keep at it! The only way to improve is if you keep doing what you’re doing.

Council of SeersEdit

The Council of Seers is a review board tasked with overseeing the review and potential passage of good article and featured article nominees. The members of this board are elected by the community, and anyone can nominate themselves or another user to become a Seer so long as the person who is being nominated meets the requirements of the voting policy. The current Seers are Brandon Rhea, Darth Wylind, Drewton, JediCommando, Nacen, Solus, Trak Nar, and Unit 8311.

Seers are required to review all articles that are nominated for good and featured status. Often times you will see them leave a list of objections on your nomination’s “Objections and discussion” page in order to make sure that your article is fully up to the standards of the status you’re aiming for. Remember, this is normal. Don’t panic if you see a long list of objections!

Once their objections, as well as the objections of any other non-Seer who wishes to participate in the review process, are corrected, the Seers will vote on the nomination. Seer votes are marked with the Council of Seers vote template to distinguish them from non-Seer votes. At least four (4) Seers must vote on a nomination for it to pass; good article nominations and featured article nominations also require four (4) votes and five (5) votes, respectively, from anyone else who wishes to participate in order to pass.

If an article successfully passes, a Seer will archive the full nomination on the “Objections and discussion” page as well as on the relevant good and featured article pages, depending on what type of nomination it is. Successfully passed good articles will be placed onto the random good article list, while featured articles will be placed into the list of upcoming featured articles.

Alternatively, Seers have the ability to reject nominations if need be. Sometimes, certain articles that are nominated are too far from the required standards for the Seers to consider giving them a full review. It’s important to note that the good article and featured article nomination pages are not meant to strictly be used as improvement pages. While users will certainly improve with experience on these pages, the pages are meant for promoting articles to their desired status as opposed to strictly trying to have the articles be improved. Users are free to visit the Writing Center if their articles need significant improvement, whether they were rejected or otherwise.

AcknowledgmentsEdit

I'd like to thank Wookieepedia for getting me started on article writing. I'd like to thank 4dot for inspiring me to write tutorials. Also, my acknowledgments go out to Solus, who requested that I explore this idea and helped write it. Further thanks to Brandon Rhea for prodding me to finish this and pitching in his two creds also. And to whatever lucky victims let me use their articles as fodder for my examples, thank you as well, for being so willing to let me use your work as an example to others. Whether you knew about it or not. To all the authors on the Author's Abuse list, I encourage you to keep your Mary Sue somewhere and keep writing, with the aim of improving your work. Then, years later, when you've improved significantly, pull out that Mary Sue and have a good chuckle at your own expense.

I suppose a nod of sorts should also be made to the Star Wars Fanon community, for precipitating the events that led to this being created. Now, go write some FAs or something.

FeedbackEdit

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