So, thereís a work coming out: the next movie in a series, with a trailer and everything; a TV show that's been previewed at Comic-Con; a book that has had its cover art released; a video game that has been demoed at E3; and you want to see the work page for it. Or you want to make it yourself, because you're super excited.
This is what's known as an unreleased work.
These kinds of works inhabit a grayer area for the wiki. There are mass-consumable parts of the work, and its advertising, but not a whole product. As such, it's not a completely unpublished work, but itís not a wholly released work.
Because of that, we have certain rules for these kinds of work pages. We don't stop people from creating them — we do love some good wiki magic — but due to over-enthusiasm they attract lots of natter and speculation. And, thus, good members of this community have had to do lots of clean-up.
Please note that mass-market works with public media attention are not the same as Unpublished Works. The latter section of the wiki is generally reserved for fan fiction and similar projects that are being made privately and are not visible until publication. See below for specific requirements to be considered an unreleased work rather than an unpublished work.
Hereís how you can be a good troper:
- These pages should still follow the guidelines of How to Create a Work Page, e.g. there have to be at least three non-speculative, trope examples with proper context.
- These pages must have an announced name and official advertising/pre-release materials.
- Because of the wide variety of advertising/pre-release materials, some mediums have stricter requirements than others to be acceptable for troping.
- Works in the following mediums need only pre-release material.
- New media (web animation, web comics, web video, etc.)
- Literature, manga, comic books/strips
- Music, theatre/live performance
- Works in the following mediums need both pre-release material and release schedulingnote
- Video games (whether released on a console or online service) must either have pre-release material and release scheduling or gameplay footage.note
- Works in the following mediums need only pre-release material.
- Never add information from Content Leaks. Only information from officially released material is allowed. Even content leaked many years ago is still a leak, so it is not exempt from this rule.
- These pages are based on an incomplete version of the full work. Certain trope types will, by virtue of their type, be speculative. Do not list tropes in the following categories:
- Anything that requires a certain duration of time. For example, if the work isn't released, then it can't possibly be a Cult Classic.
- Anything based on critical or audience reception post-release. For example, if we don't know whether its premise actually affected sales, it cannot have an Audience-Alienating Premise.
- Tropes that depend on their role in the story. If you donít have the full story, you donít know how it fits into the narrative. See Beginning Tropes, Climactic Tropes, Ending Tropes.
- Audience Reactions may not be used if the particular reaction is dependent on the full work. For example, Best Known for the Fanservice requires seeing the rest of the work to know if the fanservice is the most memorable part of it. The same goes for Headscratchers — the work, once released, will likely give an answer to pre-release questions, so there's no sense in creating a Headscratchers/ page before it's even out.
- All There in the Manual, Word of God, and Word of Saint Paul, for practical and pragmatic reasons, are banned from being the sole source of an example, or having examples of their own. They are defined by their relationship to the final work, but we cannot compare it to said work until we have the released work. In covering pre-release works, we are only troping things that purport to represent the work itself, and its advertising solely as advertising.
- Things that purport to represent the work itself includes trailers, teasers, gameplay footage, demos, open betas, and text excerpts. They are representing the work, instead of describing.
- Advertising includes official websites, press releases, posters, etc. These are items intended to hype up the work itself, but typically do not include materials from within the work itself. We will not presume that a statement on a website is confirmation of a trope unless it is further corroborated with footage from the game/a trailer of the movie/an excerpt of the book/etc. If it does not fit under Advertising Tropes, it should not be included.
- If you create a Moments (e.g. Heartwarming/, Awesome/, etc.) page for the work prior to its release to the public, do not add an image to the page, as these are often poor quality screencaps from trailers, may not have the proper context just based on the trailer, and the entire work may have something that works better than anything that was in the ads or trailers.
- Moments pages for highly anticipated upcoming works frequently attract "meta" examples (Real Life troping). As our priority wiki-wide is troping fiction, and these pages are highly prone to bloat already, do not add "meta" examples pre-official release. And, of course, keep in mind that this is banned entirely if something is marked No Real Life Examples, Please!.
- Since multiple teaser images are usually released to the public when a work is in the pre-release state, it's been ruled that whatever promotional image is placed on the page when it's first created is to be left in place until the work is officially releasednote . Further images released in the interim are to be placed on an Image Links page for the work. Once the work is released, an IP thread can be started to decide what will be the "official" image on the page.
What's a good idea?
- Whatís left to trope? Well, anything that's not in the above categories may qualify, but here are some good places to start:
- Advertising Tropes. Unreleased works are entirely curated by advertising and marketing. This is the bread-and-butter of unreleased work troping.
- Audience Reactions may be used if the particular reaction is not dependent on the full work. For example, Tainted by the Preview is explicitly for unreleased works.
- Costume Tropes. The outfit is in the trailer? Awesome! Just make sure it meets the trope description as based on whatís in the trailer.
- Stock Phrases. Thereís a phrase, it's used in the trailer/preview/what have you.
- Title Tropes. As these pages require an announced title, perhaps it fits one of these tropes. Keep in mind that titles sometimes change before release.
- When writing an example, make sure you are noting the source. Because the finished work is not available yet, it is not your source of information. Your source is [Trailer A], [Poster B], the open beta, the E3 demo, etc., so your example should cite that: "In [Trailer A]..."
- Avoid weasel words. Don't assume, donít take for granted that something will happen and say "it's a work in [franchise]! Naturally, it will have [Trope X]!" You may think that this is a guarantee, but there are Lying Creators and Plot Twists and last-minute changes all the time.
- Never add pre-hidden (e.g. %% * BadassBoast) examples. This is more often than not an attempt to get around other rules around unreleased works. If an example can't fit based on pre-release materials, don't try to circumvent it by having it commented out ahead of time.
What about after release? What do we do with this material?
- For examples based on trailers and other marketing, if these are not converted into examples from the work itself, they should remain tagged with their source, or turned into something from the Never Trust a Trailer index, as appropriate.
- For examples based on game demos or public betas, if they talk about content that did not make it into the final product, they should be deleted or moved to the Trivia subpage as examples of What Could Have Been, Dummied Out, or other appropriate trope.
What if the product is cancelled?
- Any trope examples based on marketing or advertising may still be listed, as said marketing/advertising still exists and can be referenced.
- Any trope examples about the content of the product should be deleted if that content was not available to the public prior to cancellation.
- If there is no longer a viable article once these steps have been taken, the article should be cut.
You may ask why, with all these rules, we even bother to allow articles for unreleased works.
The simple fact is that work pages are an essential part of TVTropes, and we would rather see these pages well-implemented, instead of banned altogether. However, if a particular page proves too problematic, then it may end up getting locked until itís released in full Ė or, in dire needs, it will get cut and locked.
Letís do our best to avoid that, mmkay?