Coppermind:Style

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Welcome to the main Coppermind Style Guide. This article is fairly incomplete at the moment, but we're working on it. (Writing style guides are kinda hard, as you might imagine!) So, we apologize for the messiness for now.

These style conventions try to make the wiki both easy to read and easy to write. If you're a new wiki editor, we recommend that you don't really worry about all of the conventions; just write! Other editors will adapt things so they fit more in line with Coppermind standards. The most important thing is new content, don't get bogged down in the details.

Of course, if you're the person who really likes the details and wants to know how to edit other people's work to be in line with the conventions, well, here's a bunch of conventions!

General Style[edit]

When writing articles, the most important thing is to make it feel like an encyclopedia. Keep it informative. Don't include your personal opinion. For example, on an article like Shards, don't add random parenthetical statements that say "I learned this crazy fact!" or, even worse, "This is cool!" or "Where did you learn this?" Articles should stand on their own. If a fact seems a bit extraordinary, you should cite it, so there is no question about its factual accuracy. Above all, there is absolutely no reason to use first person. This is a collaborative effort, and so personal facts or interjections are totally irrelevant. If you find something cool, just add the new fact into the article. That said, all of these sort of personal comments or discussion is totally reasonable for an article's talk page (click the Discussion tab at the top, to the right of "Page")! So, you can totally discuss things like this, but the actual article itself should remain an encyclopedia entry and free of that stuff.

Remember that the Coppermind is not a repository of quotes. Do not simply copy and paste things from the novels directly; put things into your own terms and cite it. It is very obvious when you see a quote pretended to be an encyclopedia entry, because the novels are--shockingly--not encyclopedia entries! Use the primary sources to inform you, but don't copy them directly. When adding information to a topic, try and make it flow with the structure of the article. Or, restructure the article! But new facts should always flow in the article.

Okay, now for more specific style conventions.

Use American English (British English isn't a big deal, but the correct spelling will probably be eventually edited out in favour of its corrupt brethren). So, use aluminum instead of aluminium.

To create a new paragraph, make sure you have an empty line. If you just press enter once, the wiki will render that new line as part of the same paragraph. Do not put each sentence of a paragraph on their own line, just write like you normally would.

When you end a sentence, do not put two spaces after it (Grammar Girl agrees it is a silly, archaic habit that's entirely unnecessary anyway). One space will do.

As in usual written text, typically do not use numerals. Use "one" instead of "1", and so on. There are of course certain exceptions, such as dates.

You don't have to wikilink every instance of every term on a page! That gets tedious really quick. Instead, you need only to link the first instance of a new term on the page (this is why many articles have their first paragraph full of links to other articles!). You can add additional wikilinks if it is convenient. Long articles, for example, can benefit from linking terms in each new section, but that remains your stylistic preference as an editor. However, new terms in the article should definitely be linked.

In a strange turn of events with the wiki software, there's a difference between the quotation marks that, say, Word produces and those that a plain text editor. Normal text editors like Notepad or the wiki edit screen produce characters like " and '. But, if you typed "Vin's" into Word, that apostrophe would be more "curly". Word does this because that makes things look better in a book or printed page, but the wiki software makes a distinction between normal quotes and the curlier "smart" quotes. When possible, use normal quotes. This is especially necessary when dealing with bold and italics, as they use the apostrophe to delimit themselves.

Don't use dashes. Similarly to the smart quotes, dashes are things generated by a word processor. When you want to use a dash, use two hyphens. For example, if I were to give you an example--and wanted a parenthetical statement--I'd do it like this!

Tense[edit]

Generally, write articles in present tense, except when obviously necessary to write in past tense, such as in history sections. There may exist additional exceptions to this rule.

It is important to remember the disclaimer at the top of this style guide: content is king, and other editors will adapt your writing to be more in line with these standards. If you are more comfortable writing in past, then do so. Things will slowly transition to present tense eventually.

Titles[edit]

Article Titles[edit]

Titles of articles should be singular. However, it is easy to have wikilinks that are plural which direct to singular titles. For example: [[Highprince]]s instead of [[Highprinces]]. You can also use apostrophes similarly.

Character articles should not include honorifics (don't include, say "Highprince" to a person's name, and should consist of their full name, like Torol Sadeas (one exception to the full name rule is that Vin should not be moved to "Vin Venture")).

Beware that, on multiple word wiki titles, there is a difference between "Shattered plains" and "Shattered Plains". Always use standard capitalization for terminology. MediaWiki also differentiates articles depending on whether apostrophes are smart quotes or not, so be sure to use regular quotes, not the curlier quotes a rich word processor like Microsoft Word produces.

Section Titles[edit]

Do not apply formatting to section titles, and do not put wikilinks in them either. It just looks tacky.

Capitalization[edit]

Naturally, proper English capitalization should be used (proper nouns capitalized, and so on). But, you knew that already! What you really want to know are the rules for capitalizing all the new terms from the book. Well, fear not, because here you shall now know them!

We always follow the style in the main, published novels (see the note below), so if you see a term capitalized or not capitalized there, that will be our convention as well. But in case you forgot, here are our capitalization conventions, book-by-book, as well as standard capitalization rules for cosmere terms which rarely appear in novels thus far.

Mistborn[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Names and House Names - Venture, Elariel, Tekiel, Kelsier, Vin, etc.
  • Metallic Arts and Users of the Metallic Arts - Allomancy, Mistborn, Misting, Feruchemy, Ferring, Feruchemical, Feruchemist, Hemalurgy, Inquisitor, Thug, Smoker, etc.
  • Specific Terms - the Well of Ascension, the Deepness, the Hero of Ages, the Lord Ruler, the Final Empire, Steel Ministry, etc.
  • Cantons in the Steel Ministry - Canton of Orthodoxy, Canton of Inquisition, etc.
  • Locations - Dominance, Luthadel, Fadrex City, Urteau, Ashmount (and specific Ashmount names), Pits of Hathsin, etc.
  • Individual Cultures and Organizations - Terris, Khlennium, Synod, Keepers, Worldbringers, etc.
  • Honorifics - Master Vaht, Lord, Lady, etc.

Things to never be capitalized:

  • Names of Races - skaa, noble, nobility, koloss, kandra, mistwraiths
  • Metal names and variants - iron, steel, tin, pewter, copper, coppermind, coppercloud, atium, lerasium, bronze spike, etc. (Note: Brandon, in interviews, sometimes capitalizes atium and lerasium. These informal interviews should not be construed as official capitalization, because in the trilogy, atium is never capitalized, and on the official Table of Allomantic Metals, atium and lerasium are lowercase)
  • Verbs and Modifiers related to Metallic Arts - burn, flare, store, tap, charge, spike, atium shadow, pulse, etc.
  • Steel Ministry Rankings when not used as an honorific - obligator, prelan, high prelan, lord prelan, etc.
  • Terms with the Nobility when not referring to a specific case - keep, house, manor
  • Mundane terms - boxing, mists, ashfalls, streetslot, etc.

Stormlight Archive[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Shardbearer, Shardblade, Shardplate
  • Knights Radiant and Orders of Knights Radiant (Windrunners, Dustbringers)
  • Magic systems and their users - Surgebinding, Surgebinders, Voidbinding, Old Magic, Surge, Soulcasters, Lashings
  • Mythological things - Heralds, Voidbringers

Things to never be capitalized:

  • ardent, fabrial
  • General flora and fauna that aren't of mythological importance - skyeel, blackbane, chasmfiends, greatshells

Elantris and Emperor's Soul[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Magic related things - Aon, Seon, AonDor, Skaze, ChayShan

Warbreaker[edit]

White Sand[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Diem
  • Dayside/Darkside
  • Taisha/Taishin
  • Profession (when referring to the official Professions)
  • Slatrification (as a noun)
  • Sand Lord

Things to never be capitalized:

  • sand mastery/master
  • Diem ranks (except for the title Lord Mastrell)
  • deep sand
  • general fauna and flora (e.g. sandling, tonk, dorim vine)

The Rithmatist[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Line of Warding etc.
  • Glyph of Rending
  • Professor (if used as honorific)
  • Knight-Senator (if used as honorific)
  • The names of the Defenses (i.e. Easton Defense)
  • Warding Hall, Making Hall (and two others)


Things to never be capitalized:

  • inception ceremony
  • chamber of inception
  • the office
  • campus
  • (Rithmatic) lines, defenses, offenses etc.
  • (wild) chalkling

Cosmere[edit]

Things to be capitalized:

  • Adonalsium
  • Terms like Shard, Sliver, Splinter, and other derivatives of them, even if they are nonstandard (Shardpool, Shardholder). Similarly, the Shattering and Splintering are also capitalized
  • Names of Shards like Honor, Ruin, Preservation, Cultivation
  • Realmatic Theory, names of the three Realms (Physical Realm, Cognitive Realm, Spiritual Realm). Typically, when referring to something's Physical/Cognitive/Spiritual aspect, they are also capitalized.
  • Names of Shardworlds - Scadrial, Sel, Taldain, Roshar
  • Other terms - Investiture, Spiritweb, Worldhopping

Things to never be capitalized:

  • focus, intent
  • cosmere (this is not consistent, but it is not capitalized in The Letter, and that is our current convention. This may change)

Note that we follow capitalization rules of the main sequence of published novels. Other, secondary titles--especially Mistborn Adventure Game--may not follow the same styles.