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|Title of the story|
|Writer(s)||the story's writer|
|Date published||online publication dates for the first and for the final chapter|
|Words||approximate word count|
|Status||complete or unfinished|
|Type/genre||genre/type of story|
|Featuring||not all characters, but only main characters who also happen to already have a page on the wiki|
|Part of||series the fic belongs to|
|Based on||whatever the story may be based on, usually a non-pony thing|
|Related to||some other fan labor content|
|Show connection||connection to the show directly (usually an episode)|
The article should be started off with an introductory lead section. It should only contain the fanfic's title, author, general length (short story, novella, novel), and a very short summary of what the story is about (no more than two or three sentences). Other important information, like the fic's approximate word count and publication date, should be left to the infobox. In the example infobox to the right, all fields except "image" and external links have been filled in; on an actual page, fields that are not relevant or applicable should be left blank (for example, if a story is not connected in a specific way to an episode of the show, "show connection" does not need to be filled in). If an image is added, it should be directly related to the story in question, either because it is fan art created explicitly for the fanfic, or because the story is accompanied by this image on a fanfic repository like Equestria Daily or FIMFiction. The most popular fan fiction repositories are integrated into the infobox as parameters which can be used to link to the story.
This section is optional. Examples for stylistic observations include
- the story's point of view (first person, second person, third person, mixed),
- narrative voice (limited, objective, omniscient, mixed),
- narrative conceit/address (confessional/epistolary, report, transcript),
- other narrative peculiarities (stream-of-consciousness mode, unreliable narrator)
- tense (past tense, present tense, mixed),
- structure (length/content of chapters/segments, presence of frame story),
- typographical peculiarities (italics for certain characters or situations, mixing of fonts, use of color).
This section is mandatory. It must contain a summary of the primary events that happen over the course of the story. The wiki has no rules about how long such a summary should be, since every story is different and hence every summary has to be different. But it should be detailed enough to give a reader with no prior knowledge of the story an idea of what happens in it, without getting bogged down by too many details that would overwhelm a reader. 8-15% of the overall length of the original for short stories and 2-5% for novel-length stories is a good guide. (This very section has about 470 words over four paragraphs, which would be a reasonable length for a typical 5000-word short story. If your summary is below 300 words and the page does not feature additional derivative works, a spotlight on an author page would be more appropriate.)
As an encyclopedia, this wiki does not warn readers away from potential spoilers. The summary should not do so either, or contain any subjective commentary of any kind. This includes editorial stock phrases like "Now, Pony X must fight against the infection threatening all of Equestria... if she can survive that long" or rhetorical questions like "Will Pony X make it in time? Or will she be too late?". They are perfectly legitimate in the proper context and can serve to entice potential readers to take a look at a story so they can find out how it ends. On the wiki, these phrases should be avoided at all costs.
These "book blurbs" are very popular as descriptions on fanfic repository sites, so please do not simply copy them here; they are also usually of insufficient length, and in any case it is best to use your own words as much as possible. Pages about longer works don't have to start out with a complete summary of that length, but should end up there eventually. For completed fics, please summarize at least the premise, major developments, and the ending of the story if you can't fill in the details until later.
If a story is segmented into smaller installments, it can be helpful to write a summary chapter-by-chapter instead of trying to tackle the whole thing in one go. The plot should be described from the perspective of a reader, not the perspective of the characters; pointing out the chapter a specific part of the summary covers is therefore not only allowed, but desirable. It is not necessary to write one paragraph (or more) per chapter; sometimes a single sentence is sufficient to summarize all the important events that happen in a chapter.
Note that the summary should be written in the historic present tense; for instance: "While Pony X is investigating the sounds coming from the basement, a butterfly lands on the windowsill". For unfinished works, the summary should also only reflect chapters that have already been published.
This section should not contain just a list of characters who feature in the story and nothing else. Instead, it ought to complement the previous section: where the summary contains a broad-strokes overview over the story's plot and the most important actions the characters undertake to bring that plot to fruition, the character section should track the development arcs of individual characters. As such, it is more analysis than synopsis. If a story only has one main character, it is best to forego this section altogether and write about the character's development in the summary.
If the story features original characters, they can be written about here. Any description of such a character should be brief, to-the-point, and focus on how the character is relevant to the story's plot. This also applies to characters from the show whose personalities are very different from what a reader might expect. There is usually no need for complete character biographies: answering the following questions is typically sufficient:
- What kind of character is it (main/supporting; dramatic/comic; race; gender)?
- What role does he/she play in the plot?
- What is his/her motivation?
- Does his/her personality develop?
- What, if any, is his/her thematic relevance?
Fanfics that are very popular often garner derivative works of their own, like sequels, other stories using the same characters, fan art, readings, music, translations. Specific examples can be listed and linked to here.
This section can also be used to quantify just how popular a story is by other means, including the average star rating a story might have on a fanfic repository, or the number of comments it has amassed. Please provide a link or reference if you make such a numerical claim, and always say which day your data is from when citing these statistics.
This is a mandatory section if no link to the story is provided via the infobox. It should be structured as a series of bullet points with links to other websites. One of these links must lead to the story the page is about. The story does not have to be finished, but it needs to have been published "externally"; a non-exclusive list of free fan fiction repositories can be found on the wiki's general fan fiction hub.
- This is an example for an external link; it leads to google.com.
- Other external links are allowed if they are relevant to this page and its topic; a podcast interview with the author, for instance.
- Wikipedia pages relevant to this guide: