Battlestar Wiki:Think Tank/Character Bio Project
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Character Bio Project
Character bio articles, both central and recurring, are becoming extremely unwieldy to edit or read. A project is needed to study and determine a way to define what should be added to character articles to limit their size but still allow them to sufficiently inform a reader about the character's past significant history and motivations.
- What is the benefit of this proposal to the wiki? A completed policy that manages character biography sizes will allow easy reading and editing of these articles.
- What is involved in implementing this idea? Anyone that cares to submit their ideas through the creating and editing of mock versions of current character bio articles.
- Who is going to do it? Any contributor, with administrators taking point to ensure that the article mockups satisify both brevity and informative natures.
- Why should we do it at all? If character bio formatting is not redesigned from its current designs, they will exceed the internal 32kb warning for text-based browsers and make the articles less consistent in its content, as well as difficult to read.
- How will we use the idea? Once approved, all character articles can be refitted to the new format.
- Should the proposal pass, when will work start on this idea? Everyone who cares to help. Central character bios should take first priority due to size.
- Where will this idea be implemented? (e.g. Will it be on certain types of pages or the entire Wiki in general?) This project would involve character bios for Re-imagined Series characters only (no actor bios: this is covered in a previously approved project).
Additional commentary and suggestions by the proposal champion
This may be one of the more challenging projects as it will take the combined efficiency of Concision Fairies and regular contributors who are enthusiastic, but wordy in their contributions. Many other policies may come into play as well (some challenged) as we experiment with a new design.
Other fiction-based wikis could be used to inspire us on how to concise without losing vital information. Of all of them, two: Memory Alpha, the Star Trek wiki, and GateWorld, the Stargate wiki, have characters with long histories that likely plague its contributors with problems in concision and informativeness. However, as we are a Battlestar Galactica wiki, we shouldn't feel beholden to use these sources; it's a logical place to begin, however.
One idea (don't stick to this one as the only idea -- make up your own if you have it) I have on the proposal is to define a set of journalistic criteria for each bio that define the following:
- What are the character's origins?
- Where did they grow up?
- Who are their parents?
- What were their early accomplishments?
This section is a synopsis on any information on birth, childhood, adolescence, and early career and education.
- What did the character do prior to the Fall of the Twelve Colonies?
- What does the character do now?
- Does the character seem comfortable in their role?
- How has their inherent personality traits or knowledge aided or harmed others?
- Is the character dating or married? How are things overall with their relationship(s)?
This is a non-chronological summary of the character's goals, position, and typical reactions to certain events, other characters, or other stressors. Frequent antagonists and protagonists to the character (friends and enemies, and how they get along) should be noted briefly here. Current family events and their implications should be noted here.
- What is this character doing that is or was important in a storyline?
- What are the ramifications to the character's behavior as a result?
- What of the character's motivations cause significant changes in other characters or events?
This section gets to the meat of the character's significance in very short and simple paragraphs, using many links to episode summaries and supporting articles for the bulk of the information, NOT RETYPING IT in the bio (duh!).
- How did this character die?
- Who mourns for the character? Who celebrates?
- What is gained by the character's passing?
For characters who have passed on, this section could wrap up the character's fate and how it, if at all, shaped the course of the Fleet and its survivors.
- Talk:Laura Roslin: Recent discussion on character bio designs, past and experimental.
- William Adama, Gaius Baltar, Lee Adama and Kara Thrace: Articles experimentally reformatted for season 3 information prior to season 3 by the project champion; the articles are bulleted summaries of past history and character, with standard paragraphs for current season events. Contributors have mixed feelings on the format.