Manual of Style
Image & Video Guidelines
What's this for?
As everyone can edit most of the pages on this wiki, it is important to note that there are still certain requirements to keep the layout and structure of articles consistent throughout the wiki.Do not worry if you find the guidelines to be confusing. Granted, familiarizing yourself with these will help a lot, but if you really, truly cannot follow the guidelines, then this isn't a problem. Edits can be reverted or edited in a short time; nothing is permanent. This is not required for you especially if you just frequent for purposes other than editing. If you rarely edit, allow us admins to correct the mistakes for you. Otherwise, if you plan on becoming a regular editor, you must try to slowly familiarize yourself with these rules. Once in a while, we may leave you reminders or tutorials on your message wall; we will slowly guide you through this. However, if you blatantly just disregard these, repeated violations can be found as vandalism, a serious offense. After a certain amount of nonconforming edits, you will be notified about this by a user. If you don't understand or have any more questions, ask an admin or trusted user on their talk page for assistance.
- To be able to effectively edit the wiki articles, please switch over to Source mode editor.
- See the sample character and episode articles for an example of the layout.
- Information on pages for in-universe elements such as characters, locations, objects, etc., should be as summarized or concise as possible, without leaving the necessary details out; intricate details should be placed on an character's "Unabridged" page (yet to be started) or an episode articles' "Plot" sections instead.
- Generally, articles on the Shadowhunters' Wiki should not be excessively wordy. This does not by any means forbid users from utilizing strong vocabulary, however, excessively long blocks of text become overwhelming to readers who expect an abbreviated synopsis or description. The goal is not to reword the text of the series, rather it is to paraphrase and condense the information. Be inventive, but be concise.
- Accordingly, the information detailed on a page should be focused on the topic of the page; related elements mentioned in the article should not be thoroughly explained, especially if it has its own page.
- Here are more information regarding article content.
- Changes and/or additions to the article format should be discussed with the site administration before being added or implemented throughout the wiki.
- Unless otherwise specifically stated, the books will be used as reference for proper spelling of series terms.
- American English spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage will be the standard on this wiki's official content such as articles and templates because it is the standard used in the source material (unless the official term or source is of another language).
- Formal use of language is mandatory on all canon mainspace articles to be as encyclopedic and authoritative as possible.
- Unnecessary capitalization should be avoided, particularly when the word(s) or phrase is not a title or a proper name (e.g. Physical description, instead of Physical Description).
- In general, do not capitalize articles in the middle of a sentence (e.g. "Robert was once a member of the Circle."); however, some idiomatic exceptions, including titles of artistic works, should be quoted exactly according to common usage (e.g. "Tessa and Will both loved A Tale of Two Cities.)
- Generic names, titles, and other insignificant terms should also not be capitalized, unless it is capitalized in the books (e.g. Turn, a term used to signify the shape-shifting of several creatures in the series, typically capitalized in the books to differentiate it from the standard term).
- Try to capitalize the hidden links (those linked to other words not identical to the article name, e.g. the word "mundanes" [[mundanes|ordinary humans]]) as the visible word is also capitalized (example: [[Angel|Ithuriel]]) OR as you normally would if you wrote them into the linked sentence (example: [[Jace Herondale|the boy]]).
- If in doubt, always refer to the book/s, or contact an admin. (Unless otherwise specifically stated, the books will be used as reference for proper capitalization of terms.)
In line with conforming to what is found in the books:
- For possessives of singular nouns, add another "s" after the apostrophe (e.g., Magnus's instead of Magnus'). Though both are correct, one format (the one in the books) will be enforced for uniformity across the wiki. Do not add an s after the apostrophe when the word is in its plural form.
- No apostrophes for dates (e.g. 1870s); apostrophes are only used with dates when truncated (e.g. '70s).
- Consistent use of the straight (or typewriter) apostrophe ( ' ) is recommended, as opposed to the typographic (or curly) apostrophe ( ’ ).
- Unless otherwise specifically stated, the books will be used as reference of whether or not terms are italicized.
- Series and episode titles, and other titles from the real world such as books or movies, should be italicized in articles to emphasize its separation from the in-universe telling of the stories. The only exception would be in infoboxes.
Linking should be limited to (1) the infobox, (2) the first occurrence of the word or phrase in each article, (3) linking to the page again if the first mention and link is under a different term or alias, and (4) at least one scroll/page/window's distance from the previous link (in its first instance under the section that's around a page or scroll down). This is because spamming too many wiki links makes articles difficult to read. Likewise, headings should not contain links.
As much as possible, link using the whole article name (as opposed to linking using redirects), and simply rename the linked word if deemed necessary (e.g. [[Clary Fairchild|Clary]], [[New York Institute|local Institute]], [[Imogen Herondale|the Inquisitor]]). Include apostrophes in links (e.g. [[Luke Garroway|Luke's]]).
Point of view
Wiki articles that describe the series must be told in in-universe perspective and in chronological order of events. These include articles on characters, vehicles, terminology, locations, events, objects, and species.
An in-universe perspective will strive for verisimilitude; that is, it will be written as if the author existed as an observer within the Shadow World (imagine being an in-universe archivist who lives through the events as they occur and documents the Shadowhunters' adventures as though they are very much real).
Save for the occasional mention of out-of-universe elements (such as books, movies, and actions) in infoboxes, categories, and the "Trivia" and/or "Behind the scenes" sections, the rest of the article should be in-universe.
Articles with topics that are not found within the series will be wholly out-of-universe, or real-world; this is the opposite of in-universe in the sense that articles are written from "our" perspective, and there is acknowledgment that the subject is fictional. This includes articles on shows, books, movies, games, people, authors, actors, crew members, and other real-life Shadowhunters material.
To be able to properly give out the best information, one must write or edit articles with a completely neutral or objective point of view, meaning a user is without any bias, opinion, or general advice.
This simply means that when you edit articles, refrain from using the words like "I"—"I think", or "I like, I hate." Avoid writing about what "some people" or "many fans" say or think. Instead, write about facts from within the series. You may also include information from official sources, but please be sure to provide a link to the source so that other users can verify it's true.
To be able to effectively narrate the stories in an in-universe and a neutral point of view, the third person narrative will be applied all across the wiki's articles.
In the third-person narrative mode, each and every character should be referred to by the narrator as "he", "she", "it", or "they", and never as "I" or "we" (first-person), or "you" (second-person). In this third-person narrative, it is obvious that the writer is merely an unspecified entity or uninvolved person that conveys the story.
The tense varies in the in-universe articles, such as articles of characters, locations, events and objects. Events that occurred in the past should also be in past tense, such as in sections like a character's Biography, or an item, location, or event's History. However, present tense should be used for details which are current or a consistent description of the topic, such as Relationships, Personality, etc. for living characters. For deceased characters, most of the page, if not the whole thing, will be in past tense.
Present tense (literary present) must be used on recaps (Plot sections) in episode articles.
- Characters should be called by the (most updated) name they were most known as or most often called throughout the series. Their other names, birth or married names, can be included on their own page's infobox, instead.
- The article title must be the subject's official name and in its singular form (except for species or lists, which should then be in plural form). The article title should be official but also concise, hence, the character's name must be the name most commonly used, or the name they are most often referred to, within the series.
- When an official name is not available, one that fits the subject's description should be used.
- Ranks should also not be included, unless the character is known only by the title, with or without his/her name.
- Use parentheses to distinguish similar articles.