CollinWiki's Manual of Style is a collection of guidelines and rules of thumb that are designed to set a standard format and appearance for all of its articles. In addition to accuracy and completeness, one of the major goals for which CollinWiki strives is consistency.

This Manual of Style is designed to make articles:

  1. easy to read and understand
  2. appear better organized and consistent
  3. attractive to the reader, and
  4. easy to edit

Of course, none of these rules are set in stone. They are merely what the creators and editors of CollinWiki currently feel is the best way to accomplish the above goals. Keep in mind that, like CollinWiki itself, the Manual of Style is still in its infancy. More "rules" will be added or changed as the months progress, so check back often.

If you come across something that is missing here, feel free to either add a description of how you feel is the best way to organize an aspect of the site, or discuss possible options on the discussion page. Remember that everyone has a say in how CollinWiki is done.

Article titles Edit

For the most part, it's sufficient to merely include the common name of any character, location or item when creating the name of an article. When naming character articles, include only the person's name and not any title they may carry (such as Dr., Mr., Prof., etc.) An exception to this might be if only a last name is given (ie. Captain Hook).

Continuity tags Edit

Some article topics may have various versions, depending on which continuity they come from. In these cases, the preferred method of distinguishing these versions is by creating separate articles for each one, rather than combining them all into one article. The title of each article includes a tag in parentheses indicating which world the character belongs in. Examples include:

Roger Collins (1991) - from the revival series
Burke Devlin (Paperback Library) - from the Marilyn Ross novels
Maggie Evans (MGM) - from the MGM theatrical movies
Barnabas Collins (WB) - from the 2012 Warner Bros. motion picture
Angélique (PT) - from the original series' Parallel Time
Carolyn Stoddard (comic strip) - from the daily comic strip
Quentin Collins (Gold Key) - from the Gold Key comic books

Also, except in instances where it's necessary to distinguish one version from another, the tags should be hidden in most links. For example, instead of typing "[[Barnabas Collins (1991)]]", include a pipe followed by just the character's name: "[[Barnabas Collins (1991)|Barnabas Collins]]".

For characters that only appear in one continuity, it is not necessary to include a tag, however a continuity marker may still be required (see below).

All of these conventions apply not only to characters, but also locations and objects as well, such as Collinwood (Gold Key), vampire (Paperback Library), Collinsport (1991). For information on all of the different Dark Shadows continuities, see Continuities.

Redirects Edit

Occasionally, certain characters or items are known by more than one name or more than one spelling. In most situations, it's wise to create redirect pages for any and all alternate titles that may be queried when looking for a specific article.

To create a redirect page, merely type the following in the edit field:

#REDIRECT [[RealArticle]]

Continuity markers Edit

There exist many different continuities of Dark Shadows. Beginning with the novels by Marilyn Ross in 1966, there existed a parallel world where many characters and situations were somewhat different from those seen on the TV show. Later on, the show itself introduced the element of Parallel Time, where viewers were shown alternate universes in which history and relationships between characters were changed around.

CollinWiki strives to be as complete and thorough as possible and therefore includes information on every item in every continuity, so in order to make it easy for readers to know which continuity they're currently reading about, markers are added to the very top of each article, indicating to which continuity the item belongs. Since the bulk of the information found on CollinWiki pertains to the standard continuity of the original series, it is not necessary to include a marker for these articles. Any in-universe article with no marker is assumed to be from the standard continuity of the 1966 series.

{{Marker-comic}} shows up as:
This article belongs to the continuity of the Gold Key comic book series.

Note: Continuity markers only apply to people, places or things within the many Dark Shadows universes. They are not necessary for articles about story material such as episodes, comics, novels, etc. or articles about real-life people or things such as actors, crewmembers, authors, TV networks or anything else that doesn't exist within any of the fictional Dark Shadows worlds.

For a list of continuities and their appropriate markers, see Continuities and Markers.

Introducing an article Edit

Every page should begin with an introduction, briefly summarizing the article for the reader and giving a quick explanation of what the article about. The length of the introduction can vary from a single sentence to multiple paragraphs.

The title or subject of that article should appear in the first line in bold. Even though the article title is already listed, it's useful to emphasize the article's subject for the reader.

The basement of Collinwood was a dusty, cobwebby place filled with cluttered boxes and unused furniture and books.

Tense Edit

All in-universe articles should be written in the past tense. Even the "present day" events are to be written from the vantage point of someone in the far future.

Articles pertaining to real items such as episodes, cast/crew, publishing companies, etc. can contain a combination of past tense and present tense as would any encyclopedic article that strives to be current and accurate.

Characters Edit

Actors Edit

For articles on in-universe characters, the name of the actor should appear at the bottom of the article, indented and italicized.

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard was played by Joan Bennett.

Citations Edit

All information in the entries for characters, locations and items in the Dark Shadows universe must be cited. For example, it's not enough to know that David Collins once had a dog named "Dog," you have to know that this information came from episode 153 before it can be input. Citations should appear directly after the sentence or paragraph to which it pertains, before the period.

David once owned a dog which he'd simply named Dog (153).

Sometimes certain events span the course of two or more episodes and it's structurally awkward to interrupt paragraphs with specific citations. This may also be the case for references to unseen past events. In these cases, it's acceptable to include all of the episode citations at the end of the paragraph.

When Burke Devlin returned to town about a month later, Roger feared he'd come back to destroy or kill him (4, 13).

Citations aren't necessary for the introductory paragraph(s) of an article, since most or all of this information will later be repeated in detail later in the article.

If there is some information you want to add to an article, but don't know where it specifically comes from, make a note of it in the appropriate discussion page, requesting others to help find the source. Be sure also to add the "Needs Citation" template, {{pna-cite}}, to the top of the page and add it to the category "CollinWiki pages needing citation."

Real-life items Edit

Dark Shadows often makes reference to people, locations or items which exist in the real world, i.e. outside of the Dark Shadows universe. When writing in-universe articles for these things, it's important to only include information that was actually given in the story, and not assume that other "known" facts exist within the Dark Shadows universe as well. For example, Maine is mentioned many times throughout Dark Shadows, however it would be inappropriate to include the year of its inception into the U.S. unless it was specifically given.

Sometimes however, no information is given about a real life article and it is necessary to add one or two facts in order for there to be enough to even create an article. For example, Dracula was mentioned in episode 4 of the original series, but no mention was made of Bram Stoker, the plot or characters of the story, or even who or what Dracula is. In this case, mentioning that Dracula was the name of a fictional character would be acceptable. It would also be wise to include an external link for more information on the subject.

Other examples of real life items include: Maine, Paris; The Rover Boys.

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