This manual of style is here to establish a uniform style for use here at NWNWiki.
For information on the most basic writing techniques and styles, which are used here, see Wikipedia's Manual of Style.
Below are some basic NWNWiki formatting do's and don't's.
For articles that include official descriptions from the game (such as those in the feats, spells, etc. categories), please leave the BioWare description unchanged even if it includes an error. The error should be indicated in the "Notes" section, so people are aware of the mistake (and are then not inclined to change the description back to the official version, thinking it was a NWNWiki error instead of a BioWare error). For example, see rapid reload.
Make only links relevant to the context. It is not useful and can be very distracting to mark all possible words as hyperlinks. Links should add to the user's experience; they should not detract from it by making the article harder to read. A high density of links can draw attention away from the high-value links that readers would otherwise follow.
Redundant links clutter up the page and make future maintenance harder. A link is the equivalent of a footnote in a print medium. Imagine if every second word in an encyclopedia article were followed by '(see:)'. Hence, the links should not be so numerous as to make the article harder to read.
Generally, links should only be used with the first occurrence. For example:
- Don't do this: The invisibility purge spell is effective against the improved invisibility spell but not against the concealment spell.
- Do this: The invisibility purge spell is effective against the improved invisibility spell but not against the concealment spell.
Also, do not put links in any section title.
Only the first word of article (and section) names should be capitalized unless it's a proper noun. For example, Prestige class not Prestige Class. This allows other articles to link to the page without needing to capitalize.
Only create article titles that are in the singular, unless that noun is always in a plural form.
Avoid the definite article ("the") and the indefinite article ("a"/"an") at the beginning of the page name.
The first time the title is mentioned in the article, put it in bold using three apostrophes. Here's an example:
'''article title''' produces article title.
If possible, make the title the subject of the first sentence of the article (as opposed to putting it in the predicate). For example, write "This manual of style is a style guide" instead of "This style guide is known as the manual of style." In any case, the title should appear as early as possible in the article -- preferably in the first sentence.
Categories should only include a short introduction (usually no more than a sentence) that includes a link to the article related to the category. For example, category:skills only includes a single sentence that links to the skill article with more detailed information.
Avoid self-referential pronouns
NWNWiki articles cannot be based on one person's opinions or experiences. Thus, "I" can never be used, except, of course, when it appears in a quotation. For similar reasons, avoid the use of "we" and "one", as in: "We/One should note that some critics have argued in favor of the proposal", as it sounds more personal than encyclopedic.
Avoid the second person
Use of the second person ("you") is generally discouraged. This is to keep an encyclopedic tone, and also to help clarify the sentence. Instead, refer to the subject of the sentence, for example:
- Don't do this: When you move past GO, you collect $200.
- Do this: When a player moves past GO, that player collects $200.
This does not apply to quoted text, which should be quoted exactly.
Dates should be written as 10 January 2006 (or 10 Jan 2006). This should avoid confusion, because in some countries 1/10/06 means 10 Jan 2006 while in others it means 1 Oct 2006.
The use of typographical punctuation should be avoided. Typographical punctuation marks are typically used for printed material and differ from the symbols produced with a standard computer keyboard. This is most often seen with:
- Apostrophes: ( ’ ) instead of ( ' )
- Quotation marks ( “ ) ( ” ) ( ‘ ) ( ’ ) instead of ( " ) ( ' )
- Acute and grave accents or backticks ( ´ ) ( ` )
When copying text from another source, please make sure it does not include typographical punctuation as it will cause problems with links and searches. For example, bull’s strength will not link with bull's strength.
For dashes ( - ) ( − ) ( – ) ( — ) ( ― ), see Wikipedia:Manual of Style (dashes).