Fictopedia:Frequently Asked Questions
If you have questions that are not answered here, or think that a specific issue is not addressed properly, you can:
What's the Point of Fictopedia?
Q: Wait, I don't get it. This whole thing seems sort of pointless to me.
A: Okay, think about it this way: Wikipedia (or any traditional reference source) contains descriptive information about various topics in the real world. An article on Shakespeare's Hamlet, for instance might discuss a plot synopsis, give a list of characters, and have information about when and how the play was written. What it would not contain is the full text of the play. Likewise, there are lots of sites dedicated to acting as encyclopedias for specific fictional universes. Wookiepedia works just like any other reference encyclopedia, except that it describes people, places and events from various Star Wars movies, games, books, etc. How do people know what information is "true" in a reference like that? They go to the source material, the movies, books, and games where that fictional universe has been described. Imagine fictopedia as an encyclopedia of information for all those fictional universes that HAVEN'T been created yet. With Wookiepedia, the movies came first, and then people started summarizing and describing what happened in them. With Fictopedia, users just start describing things AS IF there was a book or a movie out there.
Q: So what's the point of doing that? If people aren't describing something that's already out there, how will we know if what they write is correct?
A: What they write will always be correct, because the articles describe whatever universes are kicking around in the imaginations of our users.
Q: But hold on, won't things get inconsistent pretty darn quick?
A: One of the guiding principles of the Fictopedia experiment is to see if people can learn to live with a little inconsistency. We're so used to treating our legends and fictions as if they were academically researched, factual histories, that we forget that stories don't have to add up, as long as they are GOOD. Thus, if someone writes an article about a character and then 3 people incorporate that character in other articles in ways that are totally inconsistent (in one article he's a knight in a fantasy world, in one he's space captain, in a third, he's a private in WWII), its nothing to worry about. Its just 3 creative reinterpretations of the same character.
What Is Appropriate?
Q: Is there anything that DOESN'T belong in Fictopedia?
A: For the most part, the goal is to let people be creative and see where it leads instead of telling people how and what they should be writing. However there are few outer boundaries that are very important.
- Fictopedia is NOT for already copyrighted material: Please do not post material appropriated from someone else's work unless you have explicit permission. If you're not sure if you do, you don't.
- Fictopedia is also not for articles primarily ABOUT already copyrighted fictional universes. There are lots of sites out there already devoted to Star Wars, or Harry Potter, or Lost. If you're a fan, that's great, but keep articles that are mostly about those worlds on those sites. Of course, that doesn't mean you can't mention existing fictions in the context of your own idea (your fictional character could be a big fan of Star Wars, for instance; he could not, however, live in that universe... unless of course he had access to a Trans-Fictional Vessel...)
- Fictopedia is intended to be accessible by all. That means please use your mature judgment about what is appropriate. Gratuitously violent, sexually explicit, or offensive material should be avoided and will be removed at the discretion of the Administrator.
Q: So what does that leave?
A: Almost anything your imagination comes up with!
Q: Is there a minimum length for an article?
A: Nope! In fact, if you have even the faintest sketch of an idea, that you want to describe in a single sentence, feel free to make an entry. Other users may be inspired to expand on your idea. But if you have 30 pages of detailed information about various characters you've concocted floating around in your head, that's fine too.
Q: Are there any other rules?
A: Not so much rules, as guidelines for fair play. Fictopedia is a collaborative project, intended to be a place for people to share and mingle their creative impulses. But we are not writing a script here. There is no "correct" version. If you don't like what someone has put in an article, follow the "yes, and" rule: Write another article that adds more and different detail. DON'T just go in and delete someone else's work. That's mean.
Q: This FAQ isn't particularly detailed, isn't there any more?