Basic Editing Guidelines
As the saying goes, don't bother trying to talk like a Pre-World War One British Aristocrat. But proper grammar, diction, placement and sentence structure will make any possible edits you make be looked upon more positively. Remember little things : "Were" is a descriptor speaking of actions and events in the past tense ; Kouta And Yuka were childhood friends. "We're" is a contraction of "We Are" and therefore placed in a completely different usage ; Mayu said "We're going food shopping." Grammar is your verbal and online signature, and, fairly or unfairly, will play a huge part in how you are regarded. Before you post an edit, eyeball the words for spelling and speak it out loud. If the flow is one you would not have to explain or rearrange for most people, it will probably pass muster.
Spell and grammar checks are limited. They almost never catch everything, and won't always catch mistakes like "were" vs. "where", simply because neither are truly misspelled. One simple trick to spell-check your edits : Switch the edit from Visual to Source Mode. Any unrecognized words (including many character and location names) will be underlined in red. If the word in question is a non-EL specific one, and it is underlined in red, check the spelling.
If you need a negative example for sentence flow (at least in English, and putting aside scanlation problems that are a natural result of that process), here is a prime one from a recent genre movie adaptation :
As with that major motion picture, bad sentence flow can cause your contributions to be dismissed entirely. A bit of extra effort goes a long way on this front, and even in the real world.
The Elfen Lied Wiki takes enormous pride in its comprehensive, meticulous and thorough summaries of the 109 manga chapters and the 14 anime episodes. A link to this Wiki from the German Language Elfen Lied Wiki was requested based mostly on this fact. By and large, these are completed, the result of much exhaustive effort. The first request regarding them would be to avoid adding words to them if these words do not vastly improve the descriptive text.
Examples of this would be the original sentence saying 'Kouta slapped Nana across the face' and replacing it with 'Kouta raised his hand and slapped Nana hard across the face causing her head to turn from the impact'. Both sentences are technically true, but the first one says all that needs to be said. Concise but complete statements are always to be chosen over rambling, run-on sentences.
Grammar, diction, flow and structure are as important as spelling. The article should only be corrected if one of these things does not pass muster. Past tense is used for articles about people and things. Summaries should be written in the present tense.
One situation that could invite major instances of re-editing is new scanlations/translations of the original text. If, for example, it was revealed that Kouta told Lucy "I'm sorry, but I probably could never forgive what you did." instead of the flat statement of never forgiving her, that could be worth an edit, if it was somehow confirmed that this was the truer translation. Remember, scanlations also vary. At least two major fan-scanlation groups have translated the manga, and no official edit exists. Please try and check these and any other major scanlations before making an edit here.
If a new summary is called for by creation of a new official work (we can only hope), or if (as is planned) some of Lynn Okamoto's non-EL works are to be summarized here, then they should flow something like this :
SAT is the third chapter of the Elfen Lied manga series.
Right away, we have the chapter title ( referred to as SAT (Chapter) in the header because of a separate article about the Special Assault Team), what number chapter it is, and what it is a chapter of.
The chapters should be beginning, middle and end with all actions and images relayed in the summary text. There is no need to repeat who the characters are in relation to the story, unless this chapter/episode introduces them. By a certain point, we know who Bando and Kouta are enough to simply mention their names and not provide a biography. When the summary begins, the names of any characters should be linked back to their character article, but only when these names first appear in the summary. 36 links back to Yuka's article will probably produce the same number of readers as one or two.
Objectivity, the ability to stick to the facts at hand, is key. It does not and cannot matter what we wish happened, only what did happen in the series. We cannot allow ourselves to make judgment calls on the characters actions. Kouta may seem mean, or Lucy unrepentant, or Yuka supremely difficult, but calling them that in writing the articles diminishes those articles, whether summary or character-based ones.
As Admin, I am going to pretty much say that no new categories will be allowed without first consulting an admin. You can simply have too many, and unless a number of articles fall into a unique category, too many categories rob from the uniqueness of the articles. If you don't believe that an article can have too many for its own good, you are invited to take a look at this : http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Eric_Cartman - now, some of those may be justified, but a page should not be dominated by that sort of thing. Any new category will be deleted without notice. Out of fairness, let it be said that Villains Wiki has clamped down hard on over-categorization.
In addition, categories must be appropriate to the article. Kisaragi died as the series began, so she is not Pre-Series Dead; Kanae defines that category, especially since her murder defines the wrongs committed by young Lucy.
Avoid Article Overload
Again, the Wiki and those who have worked so hard on it pride themselves on a thorough and comprehensive approach to the series and all its details. Plot, character, background, or what have you, an effort is made to cover everything in this series, both versions. But there is a way we choose to do this.
Not to attack the boy wizard, but here is one such example of how not to do this :
Worst of all, with all their characters, objects and locations, they don't need stuff like this.
Department Of Redundancy Department
Sentences are best when they convey a simple fact and have done with it. Particularly in the case of character articles, repetition of characters' personality traits after they are initially laid out are unneeded, unneccesary, superflous---and you get the point. An edit is best achieved by adding a missing fact or restating a poorly phrased one, not restating one that is stated simply and clearly. To quote M*A*S*H's Hawkeye Pierce, "There's no need to state the incredibly obvious, Charles; the merely obvious will do just fine."
Stubs indicate a work in progress, but progress there must be. Rather than have dozens if not hundreds of stub articles about minor characters with less than ten seconds of air time and little if any dialogue, we have one list of such characters in one article. Some are judgment calls : Arguably, Satou and the woman who claimed Wanta was her dog are not deserving of their own articles, but they were on the edge, having in the end enough impact on the story to merit inclusion. The woman who is beheaded by Lucy at the carnival is gone almost before we realized she was there; Kisaragi was part of the pivotal scene that established Lucy's character beyond dispute. Do Not Suffer A Stub To Endure. Either expand it or flag it to be erased. No offense to the wiki it hails from, but here is my definition of a perma-stub that should be recombined with something else :
Civility In Editing
Too many wikis have admins and users who feel it is not only their job to edit content and regulate the look, feel and shape of their wiki, but have taken it upon themselves to denounce the work of other users in terms that drips sarcasm and disdain. There is no need to, and there is every reason to not, treat efforts you do not care for or feel are unneeded with contempt. To this end, the following practices and like measures will be avoided.
- Refrain from any content-related comments when listing a reason for your edit. If you feel you must list a reason, keep it simple and acid-free. "Incorrect information removed' is fine; "WTF placed this s*** here?" is not
- Unless an article is directly duplicative or otherwise egregious in some fashion, deletion is something discussed among us, not simply enacted. If I myself have not lived up to this, then rest I assured I will from here on. Articles with problems will be reworked whenever possible.
- 'This doesn't belong here' or 'Unneeded' (or sweeping statements of this sort) are personal judgments, and will be avoided.
We are first and last a wiki made by users, not an elite intelligentsia here to denounce. We have neither that many readers nor certainly that many users that we can afford to chase people off. If in the end, we have no choice but to delete a work or ask its user to depart, we do so nicely if possible.
That said, ignoring warnings without response or deleting existing articles is a Ban-Hammer moment and it will be brought down.