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FicSpecies:Layout guide

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Species pages here at FicSpecies follow a certain pattern, so that all pages look roughly similar. In short, every page includes the species infobox in the top right corner, and uses similar headers for breaking the article up into sections. When adding a new page, if you choose the "Standard layout" option you will notice that this is already done for you. Note that user-created species use the exact same format, but use the user species template.

Species articles at FicSpecies are written entirely in-universe. In other words, try not to mention that you are talking about something fictional, as this destroys the feel of the wiki. Also try to use the present tense as much as possible. "Hobbits are a race of..." not "were a race of...". The only exception to this rule is species that are considered extinct.

Page titleEdit

The title of the page should be in singular form. When a species has more than one name, use the most common. Be sure to capitalise separate words. So, Dwarf is better than Dwarves, Wood Elf is better than Wood elf, Orc is better than Ork, and Mermaid is better than Merman or Merperson. All user-created species should include an asterisk * after the page title, e.g. My Creature*. This is to make them easily distinguishable when browsing.

InfoboxEdit

Always make sure the "species" template (shown by a little green puzzle piece, if not in source view) is at the very top of your article. Note that the infobox automatically adds a page into certain categories, based on the values you insert. So be sure to fill the universe, sapience, diet, danger and status fields carefully.

The symbol-based habitat system may seem a little bit tricky, but it is in fact quite easy to understand once you get the hang of it; see here for detailed info on how to use it.

For user-created species, replace the species template with the "user species" template. The only difference is that the universe field is replaced with a user field (which should be filled with your username, e.g. user=MyUserName. You should also include a license field and fill it with either public, private or semiprivate, depending on whether you want other users to edit your work or not.

Introduction and overviewEdit

Every species article should start with a short sentence or two introducing the creature. A typical and useful formula is to mention the species' name, followed by a very brief (three-word) description, followed by some inclination about where it can be found. Any other common names used to refer to the species should also be included here (though not taxonomical latin names, as these are featured in the infobox). Always write the first mention of a species name in bold! Names in foreign languages (real or fictional) should instead be in italics.

Examples:

Example Creature is a short purple hippopotamus native to the North Pole.
Sturmbeest, known as talioang to the Na'vi, are large horned mammals native to the jungle moon of Pandora.
Night Elves are a race of purple-skinned elves from Kalimdor, the western continent of Azeroth. They are known as kaldorei, meaning "children of the stars", in their native tongue of Darnassian.
Orcs (sometimes spelled Orks) are a warrior race of typically green-skinned humanoids that can be found in many worlds, including Middle-earth and Azeroth.

After the introduction, the next paragraph should consist of a brief description giving a broad overview of the creature.

Example:

The example creature likes to robot dance and bake apple pies. It also has a habit of collecting Richard Simmons paraphenalia. Example creatures live in small villages scattered around the North Pole.

Alternatively, if there isn't enough information on a given species (around a paragraph), you can just put all the info you have here, and add the {{stub}} template to the page. If there is more than a paragraph of information, try to spread all information into the subcategories outlined below (different for sentient and semi-sentient species).

Sub-sectionsEdit

Anatomy and appearanceEdit

This is where you'll put information regarding a species' biological features and physical appearance.

Example:

Example creatures are 3 foot tall purple humanoids that resemble hippos. They can shoot lasers from their eyes.

Behaviour (and intelligence)Edit

This section is typically only used for non-sapient or semi-sapient species and deals with information regarding how a creature behaves. Whether or not it is aggressive, social, etc. should go here, as well as all details about social life and diet, as well as other habits unique to the species.

Example:

Example creatures gather in large warbands to go bow hunting. They are strict carnivores, their favored prey being clowns. Example Creatures also enjoy book clubs and knitting.

Society and cultureEdit

This section should only really be used for sapient species, and possible some semi-sapient species. Here is where you'd put information regarding the society, religion or technology of a paticular sapient species.

Example:

Example creatures are a tribal society that worship the Flying Spaghetti Monster. On the third day of every month they throw huge parties and get super wasted in its honor. Example creatures are also famous for inventing rocket-powered catapults and cow tipping; the combination of the two led to the messiest period in their history, commonly referred to as the "Oh dear lord what is that on the ceiling?!?!?" period.

Range and population / DemographicsEdit

Also entirely optional, and should only be included where information regarding a species' distribution and location is not aptly summarised in the overview. Use "Range and population" for non-sentient or semi-sentient species and "Demographics" for sentient species. For species that inhabit multiple fictional worlds, these could be separated into their own sub-headers (e.g. Azaroth, Arda, Discworld).

[Species name] subspecies/subraces/varietiesEdit

Also entirely optional, this section is used to describe other organisms that are closely related to the species. You could put some information regarding known varieties or subspecies; just make sure you change the title accordingly. Feel free to use subheaders for individual subspecies/varieties, or list them in bullet format. The first mention of any particular subspecies' name should be in bold.

Example:

Blue example creatures are a larger blue variety that live at the South Pole. They are 5 feet tall and really like to chill out and listen to some Pink Floyd. They are currently at war with the other example creatures over a disagreement as to whether or not the Flying Spaghettti Monster is the son of Buddha.

Relationship with other speciesEdit

Optional. Use this section to include information about how the species interacts with other species in its environment. You may use separate subheaders for individual species.

TriviaEdit

This is a good place to list interesting facts or additional tidbits of information that don't really fit in anywhere else. Trivia is the only section where out-of-universe things can be mentioned. Use bullet format.

Example:

  • Example creatures were originally pink, but their skin tone was changed to purple in later appearances.
  • Example creatures are loosely based on the examplataurs of Greek mythology.

GalleryEdit

Here you can include a gallery of images of the species. This is particularly useful when individuals of the species vary greatly in appearance. This is also a good place to dump additional pictures that would take up too much space if added elsewhere on the page.

CategoriesEdit

See the little bar at the end of the artcle, the one with "add category" in the box? Surprisingly enough, this is where you add categories to help navigate articles on the wiki. If you used the Species template, your article will already be added to the Species category, a category for the universe it belongs to, as well as categories like "Non-sapient", "Carnivore", etc. Feel free to add more relevant categories to the article as you see fit. This will help group similar articles together and make browsing fictional species much easier. As a rule of thumb, keep category names in the singular form; e.g., "Humanoid" instead of "Humanoids".

ExamplesEdit

For a good example of how this all looks when you put it together, see Dyga19's Example Creature* page, built from the examples used in this guide. Your new species article should look very similar to this (well, hopefully more detailed and less absurd).

Other good examples of species pages are Halfling (sapient) and Bantha (non-sapient).


So there you have it, a simple layout guide for how pages should look on FicSpecies. Hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, or need help with anything, don't hesitate to contact Dyga19 or Kyoo Moo. :)

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