This is an essay on notability.
It contains the advice or opinions of one or more Wikipedia contributors. This page is not an encyclopedia article, nor is it one of Wikipedia's policies or guidelines, as it has not been thoroughly vetted by the community. Some essays represent widespread norms; others only represent minority viewpoints.
|This page in a nutshell: Fictional elements are expected to follow the same notability guidelines as any other topic.|
There is no special guideline for the notability of fictional elements (such as characters and episodes) on Wikipedia. See other relevant policies and guidelines in order to determine which fiction-related articles are appropriate for inclusion on Wikipedia. In particular, editors should review:
- The general notability guideline
- The policy on what Wikipedia is not
- The manual of style for writing about fiction
For starters, the main work must be notable to begin with. If the work itself is not notable, it may be pointless to discuss the notability of its characters or episodes.
History and rationale
Several attempts have been made to establish specialized guidelines to cover the notability of fictional elements within Wikipedia. Until there is a successful proposal to treat fiction in a specialized way, consult other policies and guidelines for guidance on a wide range of topics, including fiction. Existing policies and guidelines have wide acceptance among editors and describe standards that all users should normally follow.
A quick rule-of-thumb test on whether the article about a fictional topic is likely to be notable is to see whether it has a section on reception or significance. Note that sometimes relevant information may be contained in the lead. Barring that, a section on development history (creation) can occasionally contain useful content as well. Bear in mind that content in such sections should be referenced to reliable, independent sources.
If such sections do not exist, before nominating the article for possible deletion, please adhere to WP:BEFORE and check whether sources to improve the article exists. A possible solution in the spirit of WP:PRESERVE can also take the form of redirecting the article to a list of similar entities or the article about the related, notable work this fictional element appears in.
Relevant guidelines and policies
The Wikipedia's general notability guideline is appropriate and sufficient for demonstrating the notability of fictional elements. Specifically, fictional elements are presumed to be notable if there is significant coverage in independent secondary sources about the fictional element; when a fictional element is presumed notable, a separate article to cover that element is usually acceptable.
There are specialized notability guidelines for works of fiction which can be found in the following guidelines:
What Wikipedia is not
Articles on fiction are expected to follow existing content policies and guidelines, particularly Wikipedia is not simply plot summaries. Articles on fiction elements are expected to cover more about "real-world" aspects of the element, such as its development and reception, than "in-universe" details.
Manual of style
Editors interested in writing articles on fictional elements are encouraged to review Writing About Fiction and Wikipedia:Writing better articles#Check your fiction to understand the general approach and content of these articles.
Lists of fictional elements
Individually non-notable elements of a fictional work (such as characters and episodes) may be grouped into an appropriate list article. Advice for the appropriateness of these list articles can be found at the general notability guideline and at Stand-alone Lists and Topics.
Editors should also review guidelines and recommendations made by WikiProjects that deal primarily with works of fiction. These include but not limited to:
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Television
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Soap Operas
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Film
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Novels
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Anime and manga
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Comics
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Video games
- Wikipedia:WikiProject Fictional characters
A Wikipedia:Fiction/Noticeboard was created in 2009 but it was retired in 2010.
- User:Deckiller/Notability (fiction), the original attempted rewrite from c. 2007-2009
- Wikipedia:Notability (fiction)/proposed-12-9-07, a previous failed proposal from 2007
- User:Phil Sandifer/Fiction proposal, a previous proposal abandoned in 2008
- Wikipedia:Plot-only description of fictional works, a previous failed proposal, in 2011 recategorized as an essay