This article accompanies the style guidelines found in the wiki's style guide.
Active and passive voice
Avoid the passive voice. The passive voice is sometimes useful to phrase a sentence more clearly and concisely, but in general, use of the passive voice creates weak sentences.
Phrases to look out for:
- is seen
- is shown
Instead of saying "it is seen" or "it is shown", describe what is happening in the scene.
Descriptions from an in-universe perspective
- See also the in-universe guideline
When describing a work of fiction, describe it as a work of fiction and not as actual events taking place. Try not to tell the story, instead try to describe the story. Describe characters as if they are characters and scenes as if they are scenes. This ensures that the description is accurate and not fanciful, and that it describes what's actually depicted and not what the author believes is happening in the fictional "universe" where the events take place. In English, fictional events are described in the present tense.
These are fairly good indicators that a description is from an in-universe perspective:
- Details that are generalized from the actual depiction.
- Details that have to be mentioned with caveats: "appears to be", "possibly", "this must mean that", and so on.
- What the characters' motives are.
- What the characters are instead of what they are described as.
The easiest way to avoid the in-universe perspective is to stick with specific details from the show. The only exception is in segments that summarize the specific details that follow, such as lead-in sections.
Editorializing usually means putting commentary in the text, but on the wiki it might also mean using style conventions that aren't summary-style or list-style conventions, such as journalistic, fiction, instructional, and personal-essay writing conventions. This page, for example, is written like a how-to, and it directly addresses you, the reader. The easiest way to avoid these other style conventions is to avoid the in-universe perspective and avoid speculation.
Phrases to look out for:
- it should be noted
The wiki prefers terms as they are used on the show. Twilight Sparkle is a "pony", Spike is a "baby dragon", the multi-headed monster in Feeling Pinkie Keen is a "hydra", Tank is a "tortoise", and so on. Even if these terms aren't "true" in the broad sense of the word and aren't consistent with other depictions of ponies, babies, hydras, or tortoises, the way they are used on the show is the way they should be used on the wiki when describing the show.