All The Tropes:Wikizen Introduction
Welcome to the Wiki!
This page is an introduction those of you who have been part of the great history of wikis on the net. If you're a relatively inexperienced user of wikis, you'll want to check out our New User Introduction instead.
Just like with Ward's Wiki, we are concerned with People, Projects, and Patterns -- but our topic is entertainment, not programming. In our terminology, the people are Creators, the projects are Works, and the patterns are Tropes; but these are two sides of the same coin. Those of you who are coders know that programming is just a different form of a creative work, but nonetheless just as creative.
Instead of looking at the building blocks of programs, we look to tropes to provide the tools for building stories. While not everything in a story come from these elements, certain patterns are often repeated in storytelling. They can Art Imitates Life, like Freudian Slips or Kangaroo Courts, or they can be completely fantastic like Beam Spam or Really 700 Years Old. The question of whether something is a good idea or not (a pattern or anti-pattern) is up to debate, but the general consensus is that Tropes Are Not Bad.
All The Tropes is in a bizarre spot with regards to its content, somewhere between a Content Creation Wiki and a Content Classification Wiki. The site we forked from, TV Tropes, started with from a similarly mixed state, but has been moving towards the Classification end, with policies against Natter and de-emphasis of subjective (YMMV -- Your Mileage May Vary) tropes. And the idea of breaking down a story into its constituent elements is itself a form of classification.
At the same time, we want to move more towards the Creation end of the spectrum. This means Thread Mode is permitted. And we would really like to develop the Analysis pages, which tell about why tropes are the way they are, and what the Themes of works are, as well as a new section unique to us on the Mechanics of Writing. So we're going to Take a Third Option and say that we're a Content Creation and Classification Wiki!
We want to strike a balance between informal and informative. Try to be educational, but don't let that stop you from being entertaining too. For more on that, see ATT:Goals.
Anyway, that's it for this page. Go ahead and take our standard New User Introduction to get a better feel for the pages around the site, look at our Starting Points, look at Help:Editing for markup help, or just go on a Wiki Walk and start editing what you see. It's your choice. You're already a good wikizen (called tropers here), so feel free to contribute anywhere!