Equestripedia:Manual of style
The manual of style is the style guide used by Equestripedia to maintain consistent page structure when editing. If you have any questions regarding the editing techniques on the wiki that aren't gone over in the style, or that you feel aren't explained well, please feel free t contact User:Amelia about it instead.
There are individual guides for specific topics, such as characters, objects, places, etc.
Use of English
For consistency sake, American English is preferred, but a preference is not enforced. My Little Pony as a franchise is very strange in that it's an American property that was huge in Britain and now largely developed in Canada, so we don't really care which dialect you use. Unlike most wikis, we're okay with less-formal English and allow for jokey or sarcastic writing as long as it:
- Doesn't obscure the facts
- Doesn't contain profane, lewd or bigoted language.
This policy is a bit relaxed on articles for real people since the real-world isn't as G-rated as the show, for better or worse. Some people are far more known for their work on very adult works, such as Jose Gonzalez or Carla Speed McNeil, and some people have done horrible things that greatly affected their careers like Chris Savino, which is information worth noting though not covering extensively.
Articles on Equestripedia can be broken up into three categories, in-universe articles, real-world articles, and topical articles. The differences are the following
- In-universe (within reason) articles are written for fictional subjects as if they were real things. However, as the show 'breaks the fourth wall', so to will our articles if referencing real-world subject matter improves the quality of writing.
- Real-world articles are written for real-world subject matter, such as episodes, people, real-world events, etc.
- Topical articles are a bit more complex. They're written from a real-world perspective about fictional occurrences in the franchise to better illustrate a theme or narrative device in the series. For example, Racism in My Little Pony, recounts racist or bighted themes throughout the franchise, both as attempts by the writers to teach kids of these ideas, and potentially unintentional racism as well.
Categories can generally be made as long as three pages fit within that category. Please avoid category names that are vague and interpretive.
Category names should be gender-neutral if possible. Gendered titles are of course allowed to have categories, but for others, typically occupational categories, follow this guideline. For example
- A "Businessmen" category is wrong
- A "Businesspeople" category is right
- A "Waitress" category is wrong
- A 'Waitstaff" category is right
The exception to this rule is the categories for "actors", as the term "actor" has mostly been used as gender neutral in recent years. Some performers do not like that term we do apologize for any discomfort this may cause but there's not really a unified neutral term for this.
When creating a brand-new category, it should generally be as broad as possible without losing focus of the scope. For example, Category:Caretakers was created to cover babysitters, pet caretakers, daycare workers, orphanage etc. These are three occupations with similar work, but are individually not quite big enough to warrant their own categories. Subcategories can be made when at least three subjects fit that category over the original, such as Category:Lakes over Category:Bodies of water.
There are specific naming conventions for a variety of categories aside from the ones above, they are:
- Staff: Actors, writers, animators, musicians, etc,
- Actors: would receive the "work name"+ "actors"/"voice actors"/"foreign dub voice actors" depending on their type of role. Examples are:
- Crew members: have the same treatment, but with their role in the production, such as "writer", "editor", "director", etc.
- Places should have location categories. For example, Golden Oak Library has a category denoting its in Ponyville and Ponyville has a category denoting its in Equestria
Real life subjects
Staff pages are primarily written to be about their involvement and 'relationship' with the My Little Pony franchise and to a lesser extent, fanbase. They are not intended to be comprehensive biographies of their entire life and times. A brief write-up on their early lives, career, education and influences can and should of course be given but it should be that, brief. See Kelly Sheridan or Heather Breckel for examples of staff pages written to these policies.
- Exceptions can be made for people who are particularly important to the My Little Pony franchise or for people who little information has been compiled. If no one else is going to attempt to write a biography for Charles Muenchinger, why not us?
Staff are generally credited under the names that are listed as in the media they are credited under, however, there are of course exceptions to that rule. Namely, some staff no longer identify with the names they were credited under, such as transgender or non-binary staff, such as Lex Heule, who was credited under their deadname. Other staff, such as Toni Kuusisto have had their name misspelled, always use proper spelling if possible, though leave a note about the typo.
As such, obviously, staff should always be listed under the pronouns they currently identify with. As said before, even if a person works on a My Little Pony prior to their transition, their article should be updated if public information comes out. As a sign of respect, photographs or illustrations of staff members should not be used if they predate their transition. If you do not know how to properly write for non-standard pronouns, please ask User:Amelia or look up guides on them online. While ignorance to staff transitions are completely understandable, a willing lack of compliance with this rule will result in a ban.
For mysterious staff members with little-to-no documentation online, such as Dr.Z, use neutral they/them pronouns. Try not to assume pronouns based off names, as sometimes men will use feminine names and vice versa.
Pages for creative staff should generally have a 'selected filmography/discography/bibliography/gameography' section which goes over some of their more noteworthy roles or works, especially if that work has other My Little Pony creators attached to it.
Real-life country pages
We allow for pages regarding real-life countries if My Little Pony has been released there or if that country was referenced in the franchises media. For the former, write the article going over naming changes, media changes, toy releases and dubbing (and other useful and educational info you can find) not as an actual historic overview of the nation. Seriously, we had someone add the entire history of the Soviet Union to our page for Russia before. Historic events are not particularly relevant for pages unless that historic event somehow ties into My Little Pony, such as how the death of Bhumibol Adulyadej derailed the run of My Little Pony Musical: Rainbow Rocks.
- We try to use images from My Little Pony works if possible. That is to say, for in-universe subjects, NO fanart. Artwork produced by staff members but never officially used can also be used, but only under specific circumstances. Fan made vectors can be used for 'Physical appearance' sections if they allow for it.
- Preferred main images include:
- For characters: Head/mugshots in neutral lighting. Textless comic covers or officially released art can be considered as well, such as with Rarity, Megatron, etc.
- For places: Establishing shots if possible are preferred. Ones that show off all, or most, of the place. For big places like countries, maps usually work.
- For staff: We typically prioritize images that have the staff in a context related to My Little Pony media (see: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, Devyn Dalton and Kelly Sheridan for reference). This is not a requirement but it's nice. Images from non-MLP works can work but should be used very sparingly (examples include Susan Blu and Saffron Henderson). Generally any image is fine as long as its not covered up or explicit.
- For episodes: A screenshot of a major part of the story is usually preferred. If the episode has scenes shot in an alternate animation style, those are also good choices.
- For films/TV series/video games, etc: Usually for these, film posters, DVD/game covers or other official art is preferred.
- Comics: For issues, the main cover ("Cover A"). For stories, usually the title card or a big moment.
- Please do not upload personal photographs (usually of staff or merchandise) unless you took it, have permission to post it, or if the file is under a free license or an equivalency. Please note if you upload a photo you took, the rights will be defaulted to CC-BY-SA 4.0 unless you add the proper tagging to the file. This means anyone can use your file with no restrictions aside from crediting you as the author. Please be wary of this.
- Note that photographs of 3D artwork, I.E. toys, games, most merchandise products, are still copyrighted by Hasbro and thus still technically have to be uploaded with the Fair Use templates. This creates a gray area as some toy photos are uploaded under CC-BY-SA licenses but are also copyright by another entity but...eh.
- ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LIST PROPER COPYRIGHT INFO IN YOUR UPLOADS. (Note: Copyright templates are work in progress)
Surprisingly, we are a My Little Pony wiki and that is what we primarily cover. However, sometimes the specifics can get muddled. For how media should be covered, see #Notability policy instead.
- Crossovers: The entirety of a MLP crossover is to be covered. Nothing more, nothing less. We will not cover the entire Transformers franchise because of their close relation to our favorite horses, we will just cover the crossovers and there contents. This includes any character, place, object, etc, featured/mentioned in the crossover as well as the creatives involved.
- Cross-promotions: Similar to the above, we only cover information relevant to a cross promotion. For example, we wont have articles for every employee of Roblox, just the ones who contributed to the MLP x Roblox tie-in.
- Magazines: All magazines that have covered My Little Pony at least once beyond a passing mention or a stock advertisement may get an article, but only an article for that magazine as a whole. Not individual issues, volumes, collections, etc. All relevant info will be presented on a single page. Official My Little Pony magazines can be covered in their entirety.
- Referenced media: We have several articles for media that has been referenced by My Little Pony as a way to compile every reference onto a single page to better organize them. We don't cover anything else from the media unless there is an official crossover, and sadly, the long awaited My Little Pony x Fringe crossover doesn't seem to be happening.
My Little Pony is a big franchise! While our goal is to cover it the best to our abilities, giving every minutia its own page is not practical or useful, and so, we draw a line somewhere.
- Rule of thumb: Everything with a name gets at least a link-to (I.E.
[[Twilight Sparkle]]). This usually means they get their own page, but not always, sometimes they just get redirected to a larger article. Essentially, if something actually appears in one form or another, they may get a page. If all that exists is a name, it will likely exist as a redirect to a larger article, as any information regarding it beyond that is far too speculative.
- Characters: For a character to get a page, they must pass at least one of the following:
- Has an official or prominent fan name: Fan names are usually considered prominent if ListOfPonies or Derpibooru has an accepted name.
- Related to another named or fan-named character and has made a physical or voice appearance: This means that Bon Bon's mentioned but unseen and unheard relatives don't get pages.
- Be recurring, appearing in at least three stories: Adaptations of prior stories do not count.
- Have a speaking line beyond a walla: So any characters listed in credits are usually fine to have pages.
- Places: For places to get an article, they must meet one of the following:
- Be named: Note that named sub-places of larger areas may get merged if they are considered very minor. These are usually rooms, floors, minor apartments or sections of buildings.
- Have a relevant connection to a character: I.E. houses are usually never named, but any house that a prominent character lives in may get an article.
- Be recurring: Same rule applies for characters.
- Objects: For objects to get an article, they must meet one of the following
- Be named: You get the drill.
- Be unique: Most one-of-a-kind objects should get articles. This does not include individual versions of that object (such as a characters cellphone) unless its named or highly customized.
- Be recurring: Three story rule still applies.
- Note: Generic objects such as basketballs and glasses may only get articles if they are relevant to the franchise in a more meaningful way then just appearing a lot or if their are numerous unique versions of that object.
- Species: Every identified species can get a page, including common ones such as rabbits and sharks.
- All credited staff members and companies can get pages! This includes creators of foreign media and dubs. Uncredited creators may also get pages if:
- Their involvement is verifiable within reason: For example, Ruth Bush was never credited for her work, but her involvement has been verified.
- They don't want to be secret: Some particularly minor contributors may've wanted their work done without the greater world knowing of their existence. In short, don't dox people, please.
- Companies have similar requirements. Any company that has official involvement in My Little Pony may get a page. This typically includes releasing merch to publishing media to being dubbing/translation studios and the like.
- Fans can get articles if they've done something unique that has gotten much recognition by official creators or has greatly helped out the My Little Pony fandom, such as translators of foreign media and such. This is of course vague because it's rather hard to gauge what counts and doesn't count and so, fans should be treated on a case-by-case basis.
Since characters virtually never had canon ages given, we don't list in numerical values, instead we use the following age-ranges.
- Infant - Roughly 0-3 years old.
- Child - Roughly 4-12 years old
- Teen - Roughly 13-19 years old
- Adult - Roughly 19-??? years old
- Immortal - Immortals.
This is not a perfect system, but ages of the characters can get very convoluted. This approach of course does lend itself to speculation, however should be more manageable. Speculation using in-universe sources such as statements and dates can be listed elsewhere in the article, usually in
Behind the scenes sections.
Ages are documented as their final on-screen appearance, unless that appearance is a non-canon dream or fantasy sequence. This means the Cutie Mark Crusaders are listed as Adults, despite the vast majority of their appearances as children.
Unlike most other fan wikis, we do allow for what we refer to as "healthy speculation". Which is, speculation within reason. Essentially what this means is that unconfirmed but hinted at information can be posited in articles as long as you write that it's just speculative and provide sources. This usually just manifests as inferred plot points that are purposefully left ambiguous (most infamously being the sexualities and relationships of Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Rarity) or in familial relationships for minor characters. Below are examples of good and bad speculation:
- Good: Lily Pad is likely related to Victoria and Water Lily, likely as the daughter and sister respectively. This is likely the case due to their similar appearances and because Victoria is often seen in public with either Lily Pad or Water Lily. She may also be friends with Mint Chip and Technicolor Waves as they've been seen playing together.
- Bad: Twilight Sparkle may be bisexual due to her relationship with Sunset Shimmer, who was confirmed to be bisexual as well.
Good speculation is using context clues to discern what the authors may have intended without claiming it as the canonical storyline. Bad speculation is using head canon based on loose events.
'Notes' sections at the end of articles serves as a collection of all-purpose information that doesn't really fit anywhere else. They contain both notes of in-universe and out of universe context, as such, they should include unique and verifiable information.
Interest is a subjective term, and so we have no no hard rules on what's considered 'interesting', however, they should not be mundane either. Below is a few examples of stuff to avoid with writing notes:
- Do not write how a character is similar to another fictional character. Fictional characters are archetypical, similarities can be found just about anywhere if you look hard enough.
- Exception: If there's something tangible that links these characters. Such as sharing an actor or creator, or being based off/adapted from another. Similarities within the franchise can also be written about as long as the similarities are notable beyond basic traits or arcs.
- Do not write about a specific pop culture reference a character said or did, that should go on the article for the piece of media that happened in.
- Exception: If the reference is of particular note, such as referencing a previous work by the actor, writer or director, or if the character references that specific thing numerous times.