All The Tropes:Trope Workshop Guidelines
Here are the rules for starting trope pages on All The Tropes, as well as how to use the Trope Workshop.
Are you starting a work page instead? You can skip this entirely because Works Pages Are a Free Launch. (Unpublished works by you go in your own userpage namespace.) If you think you'll need help with the write-up, you can continue on this page.
- Look around to see if it already exists first. Looking at indices is a good way to help find trope pages. (Topical Tropes, which is an index of trope categories, is a great place to start.)
- Come up with a good name. The ideal trope name is clear, concise and witty, but two out of three ain't bad.
- Think up 3 examples of the trope. Statisticians need at least 3 data points to establish anything, and we do too.
- Write a brief summary of the trope. Try to include related tropes in the description, which you should have found from step #
- Take your write-up and examples, and post it into Trope Workshop:, using any appropriate templates. (The shortcut for Trope Workshop is YKTTW:)
- Let the proposed trope pick up responses for the next couple of weeks, and let people try to refine the description.
- While you're waiting, look at other Trope Workshop entries, and let other people know if they're good tropes. Add any works using those tropes you can think of. Let people do the same for your entry.
- If other tropers have major issues, try to address them.
- Prelaunch checklist:
- If enough tropers agree and enough time passes, go ahead and launch the trope by moving it into the main namespace. If you see Just Launch It Already a couple of times on any trope, feel free to move that one into the main namespace, too.
- Add backlinks from the examples so people can find the new entry, and be sure to add to appropriate categories and indices.
- Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
To determine if your candidate is a proper trope, try to eventually include as much as possible described below in the main text, before the examples. Where it makes sense, corresponding categories should be added to the candidate:
- Consistency type: How realistic the trope is and how often it's used compared to real life. Tropes can be completely unrealistic (Wraparound Background, Stock Visual Metaphors), present much more commonly in fiction than in real life (Catapult Nightmare, Stock Phrases) or be as common as in real life (Berserk Button). Note that if a said phenomenon happens as often as in real life and doesn't convey any meaning, it can easily fall into People Sit on Chairs territory.
- Type of a trope: This can be a Narrative Device, Spectacle or something else.
- Medium type(s): Which mediums use the trope. Some tropes are exclusive to one medium and can only be discussed or parodied in other mediums (Camera Lock On is a video game exclusive trope for an example), some are mainly in one medium, but can be present in other places too (Spikes of Doom for an example, are much more common in video games than in other media) and others can be found pretty much everywhere (Fire and Brimstone Hell is an example).
- Origins: The earliest examples of a trope. Sometimes a trope has a reason why it happens and why it fell into use. Maybe they happen to imitate a work they're based on (Mascot with Attitude for an example), maybe it fell into use due to technical limitations during that time (Suddenly Blonde) or maybe this is due to laws and polices (Censorship Tropes).
- Popularity through time: A trope should have a clear pattern. Try to include the information about the popularity of the trope through time, when the occurrences of the trope started to raise and when the popularity of the trope reached its peak and if the trope has fallen out of favor. Also pay in mind that a trope can be region-specific (a trope used in works only or mostly in certain countries or regions). For an example, there might be a trope exclusive to Romanian animation. If the examples of the trope are just random occurrences with no clear pattern, it has a danger of belonging to the Too Rare to Trope category.
- Current Trope Life Cycle status: How seriously the trope is taken nowadays. It can be still an commonly-used trope, it can be a Discredited Trope when a trope is considered a cliché, it can be Dead Horse Trope where parodies and Lampshade Hangings far outnumber straight examples, it can be an Undead Horse Trope when, despite being mocked a lot, is still used straight, it can be Forgotten Trope when it's not used at all and it can be a Dead Unicorn Trope when the trope was rarely, if ever used straight at all.
- IMPORTANT: Copying verbatim from TV Tropes is copyright infringement, and a good way to earn speedy deletion. See All The Tropes:Copyrights if you want to know why.
- Read Not a Trope before you start. This can avoid much embarrassment in the long run.
- The main writeup has to be well written, properly formatted, use correct markup and make sense. Make sure you're familiar with the wiki's Good Style and Text Formatting Rules. Check the page once it's written. There's nothing wrong with being a Serial Tweaker.
- It's generally a better idea to write the whole page out in full at once than add it piecemeal, as someone going through the Trope Workshop category might happen across a half-finished page and decide to jump in and finish it themselves. You don't even have to write it out on the wiki - type the page up offline in a text editor, and paste it all in at once.
- Helpful things to add that aren't examples are related tropes and the categories that this trope belongs in.
- Just as nothing is completely Self Explanatory, no example is so well-known that no description is needed. An example that consists entirely of "Series... Just, Series." or "One Word: Series" isn't very informative or interesting.
- Don't dump all the examples together in a single lump. If you created the page with the Trope Workshop template, you should have all the media types already in the page, but if for some reason you created it by hand, you will want to import the Media Headers template to make it easy to break out the examples by media type.
- Don't forget to delete any unpopulated media types before you launch the trope.
- Don't forget to add all the categories that the trope belongs in to the page.
- When you've launched the trope, it helps to go to the pages for its examples and add it there (there's nothing wrong with copy-pasting the example text). This is not mandatory, but all too often a trope page withers and dies because nobody even noticed it was added. A good rule of thumb is that a healthy trope page should have at least 15 wicks; if you absolutely can't get it there, you should probably list it on Pages Needing Wicks. If there are tropes related to the one you launched, add "See also" sections to both tropes. The more pages linked up, the better the Wiki Magic flows.