- Find the blank page to edit
The first step is to find the page where your work is going to go. You can do this by changing the URL of an existing wikipage (e.g. open https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NamespaceGoesHere/TitleGoesHere, change "TitleGoesHere" to the name of the work, and "NamespaceGoesHere" to one of the namespaces below) or by creating a Red Link (in the form of Characters/TitleGoesHere) on the Wiki Sandbox (or anywhere else) and clicking it. Either way, once you've arrived at that page, click the "Edit" button at the top to start editing.
Remember to use the Characters/ namespace for the article.
- Add characters in folders
Each character should have their own individual folder, using the [[folder:Character Name]] [[/folder]] markup.
Each character should have their own description in the folder. While it is necessary to provide context to the tropes, the description should not be overly long, nor should it be written as a progression guide. We here at TV Tropes are not interested in a character's stats, favorite things, abilities, or birthday. Unless it is needed to contextualize an example, that information is best left to other wikis, and if it is pertinent, it should be in the relevant trope's example text, not the description. A short summary that familiarizes the reader with the character's basic premise will suffice.
At the bottom of the description, type ---- (four hyphens) to create a horizontal line. Then start listing tropes. Remember: Each example needs to follow the normal Zero-Context Example guidelines. If a character does not have at least one non-ZCE trope, they should not be on the page.
The trope examples should be in a bulleted list, alphabetically, with one entry per line, followed by a colon (:) and a brief explanation of how the trope applies. Check the Text-Formatting Rules if you need help with the wiki markup, and How to Write an Example for miscellaneous tips on style.
Rules for spoilers are the same as on other pages, but still important to keep in mind. See Handling Spoilers.
Tropes on a character sheet should describe the character — their appearance, personality, or any characteristic actions. If a trope example that the character in is an action, or is more about the plot or the setting (eg. Foreshadowing, Paintball Episode, or Green Hill Zone), it should go on the main page. The exception is when an action is a recurring character trait; those can be put on the character sheet and explained as such. For example, a one-off incidence of Map Stabbing should go on the work page, but if Captain McStab drives a dagger through every map he sees, it can warrant an entry in his character sheet. For input on whether a trope is better on a main work page or a character sheet, consult this forum thread.
You may add an image for the character. You can use the upload form under the "More" dropdown of the article header to add an image. See How to Pick a Good Image for more info. If you're not sure, you can just skip the image; it looks nice, but it's not required. Don't go overboard with images, either — the goal of a character sheet is to list tropes, not catalog all their appearances. One or two representative images will do; others may be listed on an Image Links subpage.
You may add a quote for the character. See Quotes Formatting.
You may add an actor (if they have one) above the description. Please note that only the actors for the language of the original production and the language the character sheet is in (if different) should be listed first. Any foreign voice actors should be listed in a [[note]] tag after the original and local VAs.
Once you have a description and a trope list, click "preview" to check your work and then click "save" to save your edits and publish the page.
- Add indexes
Find an index where the work belongs. Most character pages just have a single index based on media type. So a tv show would be Characters.Live Action TV, a webcomic would be Characters.Webcomics, so on and so forth. Add the character page to the index, in alphabetical order.
How Indexing Works covers this topic in more detail.
And that's it! You're all set. Feel free to click the "add watch" button at the top of the page if you'd like to track changes through your Watchlist.
If you have any questions about this process, don't be shy! Create a query in Ask The Tropers or start a thread in Wiki Talk, and you should get a response pretty quickly. You can also use this page's discussion section.
If you need help writing up a description or coming up with applicable tropes to list, you'll want to find other fans. Try posting in the appropriate Media section in the TV Tropes Forum to get help and advice from the tropers there.
Frequently asked questions
- How many characters do I need to add/can I add to the page?
As many as you feel is appropriate, so long as they have a description and a trope list. Without those, the character will be removed, no matter how important they are in the work.
- What do I do with characters from a foreign work with inconsistent name translations?
TV Tropes is an English-language wiki, so we prefer to use the official English names where applicable. If there is no official English name, then try to use the most common translation. However, be careful to never ever get in an edit war over it; if there are arguments, take it to the discussion page or Ask The Tropers.
- What are the spoilers rules for character pages?
Spoilers on character pages are exactly the same as every other page on the wiki, as covered under Handling Spoilers. However, many of the rules are more immediately relevant or problematic on character pages. So remember:
- Never spoiler-tag the trope name in the example list. If something is so much of a spoiler it can't be under a character entry, it can go on the main page instead.
- Never spoiler-tag anything above the example line. This includes folder titles, descriptions, and quotes.
- If a character is a Walking Spoiler, the folder title still must have their name or a description. Concealing their name by calling the folder "Spoiler Character" is not allowed. If there are too many Walking Spoilers on the page, then all spoiler tags should be removed from the page, and a warning about spoilers placed at the top of the page.
- For ongoing works, it may be useful to remove all spoiler tags before a certain point (e.g. before the current book/season/movie), in order to cut down on clutter. A similar approach can be used for pages covering Shared Universe characters who appear across multiple works. If so, a clear warning that spoilers before that point are unmarked should be added to the top of the page.
- Once a Characters page is live, changes to its spoiler approach (including the cut-off point for tagging spoilers, if it uses one) should be agreed on the discussion page or on relevant forum threads, not made unilaterally.
- What are the ZCE rules for character pages?
Zero-context examples on character pages are exactly the same as every other page on the wiki, as covered under Zero-Context Example. However, many of the rules are more immediately relevant or problematic on character pages. So remember:
- Every example needs context, no matter how "obvious" it is.
- This includes appearance tropes that can be seen in the character's picture.
- Examples should not reference the image or quote "as you can see in the picture..." The example needs to be able to stand on its own.
Example character entries:
The hero of the story, the last survivor of her village.
- The Chosen One: Named by ancient prophecy to destroy The Empire. Which is why the Empire attacked her village.
- Doomed Hometown: The Empire attacks her village in an effort to avert the prophecy by killing her before she came into her power.
- The Hero: Prophecy aside, Alice is courageous and always quick to help people in need.
Robert "Bob" Beta
Alice's best friend, who was out of town when the village was destroyed.
- The Lancer: Much more level-headed than Alice, he provides a voice of reason for why jumping head first into any situation might not be the best idea.
- The Mole: Turns out the reason he was out of the village was because he knew The Empire was coming. He didn't expect them to kill everyone, though, just The Chosen One (who he didn't know was Alice).
- The Unchosen One: He explicitly has no special destiny, as pointed out by a seer.
Charlie Charleson III
A researcher at the city closest to Alice's village.
- Gender-Blender Name: The fact that everyone initially assumes Charlie is male saves her life when The Empire comes looking for her.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: She almost got kicked out of university for unsanctioned experiments, but she was ultimately cleared. She mentions she's lucky they didn't check the basement.
- The Smart Guy: The only main character with any actual schooling, she serves as Mr. Exposition for every new town they wander into.