The aim of this project is to discuss, define, collect and document approaches to indicate the narrative features of stories in different media (e.g. folk tales, books, comics, films, audio plays, performances, games, etc.)
Resources about the modelling of narrative features and for informations about narration.
Models and OntologiesEdit
- Ontological Representations of Narratives: Approach centering on "cultural archetypes"
- Drammar ontology: Character centered approach (described in Representing Dramatic Features of Stories through an Ontological Model)
- News Storyline Ontology, storyline centered approach focussing on news
Introductions and reference worksEdit
Aspects of narrationEdit
Agents of the narration.
- Can be distinguished by their role in the narration (e.g. main character, minor character, point-of-view character) --> narrative role (P5800)
- Can recall certain archetypes/stereotypes --> narrative role (P5800) is currently used, maybe there should be an own property <recalls>
- Can have certain motivations and moral values
- Can have certain external and internal character traits --> Wikidata property for items about people (Q18608871). For distinctive internal character traits has quality (P1552) could be used.
- Can carry out certain actions
- Are often in a certain relationship to other characters - both as part of the storyworld (father, enemy, etc.) and as part of the narration (contrasting and corresponding characters)
- one and the same entity can have different characteristics in different works --> either qualify statements that apply (only) to a certain work via present in work (P1441) <work> or (for character versions with distinctive features) create an own item for this version of the character and link it to the original via based on (P144)/said to be the same as (P460))
- Can be a plot device, e.g. as a motivator in the story (MacGuffin (Q488733)) --> narrative role (P5800)
The events that happened in the fictional world the story is set in.
- A story can be set in a certain time and place. --> narrative location (P840), set in period (P2408) on the work item
- A narrative work can recall an archetypical story (Sun, Moon, and Talia (Q2002867), The Beauty Sleeping in the Wood (Q27134782) and Little Briar Rose (Q27134855) recall the story of Sleeping Beauty (Q11824)) --> manifestation of (P1557), maybe new property <recalls> on the work item
- The events have a certain duration
The events that are told in the narrative in a certain order and with a certain emphasis.
- The events told can serve a certain purpose (e.g. cliffhanger (Q665478), deus ex machina (Q203698), flashforward (Q2533706)) --> to indicate used plot devices on the item for the whole work uses (P2283) could be used, if there are items for a (chain of) event(s) (e.g. in the form of scenes or chapters) narrative role (P5800) could be used
- The events told can take a certain place in the dramatic structure (Exposition (Q2642214), <rising action>, climax (Q569250), <falling action>, denouement (Q1974893))
- The order of events told can be linear or nonlinear (nonlinear narrative (Q2894685)) --> Probably uses (P2283) can be used
- The events told have a certain duration and frequency
The point of view and voice from/with which the story is told. Characteristics of the narrator can be either indicated via narrator (P2438) or, if the narrator is a character, on the item for the character.
- with a certain level of knowledge (e.g. <omniscient narrator>) --> narrator (P2438) on the work item and/or narrative role (P5800) on the character item
- from a certain point-of-view (e.g. first-person narrative (Q616622)) --> narrator (P2438) on the work item and/or narrative role (P5800) on the character item
- with a certain focus and voice (e.g. focal character (Q5463844), viewpoint character (Q15841935), stream of consciousness (Q3284176)) --> narrative role (P5800) on the character item or uses (P2283) on the work item
- with a certain attitude
- can have a certain personality (unreliable narrator (Q650118)) --> narrator (P2438) on the work item, other personality traits can be indicated on the character item
- can be part of the story (a character)
Main themes, literary themes and narrative motifsEdit
A narrative work can be described with respect to ideas and notions expressed in it:
- the central idea (theme (Q1053916)) --> main subject (P921) on the work item
- a common story that is given shape in this narration (literary theme (Q42109240) - e.g. Cinderella (Q11841), Tristan and Iseult (Q335367), Romeo and Juliet) --> for traditional stories (folk tales, legends, etc.) manifestation of (P1557) is currently used to express this relationship, but some work could be done in this area to find a nice way to structure things
- for narrative motifs (narrative motif (Q1697305)) --> literary motif (P6962) on the work item, can be qualified with symbolizes (P4878)
- for objects (e.g. events) described by the narration --> depicts (P180) on the work item
Narrations and fictional entities can refer to other works (and to reality).
- they can be influenced by something. --> influenced by (P737) (If applicable, inspired by (P941) should be used)
- they can be inspired by something --> inspired by (P941) (especially used for events that inspired a work, people who inspired a certain character or works another work is loosely based on)
- they can represent an entity --> fictional analog of (P1074)
- they can quote another work --> cites (P2860) (used for works mentioned in a certain narrative work), quotes work (P6166) (used for directly quoted works)
- they can be based on another work --> based on (P144) (especially used for adaptations - works a certain work is based on)
Properties and QualifiersEdit
There are currently two entity types used to describe narrations: fictional entities and narrative works
Properties for fictional entities:
A fictional, mythical, folkloristic or legendary entity has to be marked as such by making it an (indirect) instance of fictional entity (Q14897293), mythical entity (Q24334685), folkloristic character (Q25810847) or legendary figure (Q13002315) (see Wikidata:WikiProject_Fictional_universes). In all other statements you can use the same properties and items that can be used in similar statements about non-fictional entities. Here are just some properties which are especially relevant for entities from stories:
|instance of||P31||Item||instance of: every fictional entity has to be an (indirect) instance of fictional entity (Q14897293)||Reynard <instance of> fictional fox||-|
|present in work||P1441||Item||work: the work in whose story a certain entity appears, can be qualified with subject has role (P2868) to indicate the narrative function the character fulfills in the context of this work||Bowser <present in work> Super Mario||characters|
|significant person||P3342||Item||person: used to indicate the relation between characters, to be qualified with object has role (P3831)||Antonie Buddenbrook <significant person> Morten Schwarzkopf||-|
|narrative role||P5800||Item||the role a certain entity plays in a narration, qualified with of (P642) to indicate the work in which the entity fulfills this function (to indicate that a game character is a player character (Q1062345)/non-player character (Q466466)/boss (Q468388) use subject has role (P2868) - via discussion at Wikidata:WikiProject_Video_games (September 2018))||Anna Karenina <narrative role> protagonist||-|
|subject has role||P2868||Item||role: used on game characters to indicate their role in terms of game mechanics (e.g. player character (Q1062345), non-player character (Q466466), boss (Q468388)) (see discussion at Wikidata:WikiProject_Video_games (September 2018))||Guybrush Threepwood <subject has role> player character||-|
|appears in the form of||P4675||Item||mythical shapeshifter: form taken by this fictional entity (e.g. by shapeshifting or other forms of transformation)||Gregor Samsa <appears in the form of> insect||-|
|possessed by spirit||P4292||Item||spirit possession: item which is spiritually possessing this item||Janosz Poha <possessed by spirit> Vigo the Carpathian||-|
|superhuman feature or ability||P2563||Item||superpower and superhuman quality: superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities that the subject exhibits||Scarlet Witch <superhuman feature or ability> reality warping||-|
|has quality||P1552||Item||quality: distinctive internal characteristics of an entity||Scrooge McDuck <has quality> parsimony||-|
|fictional analog of||P1074||Item||persons (or other entities) this entity is supposed to represent||Earth-that-was <fictional analog of> Earth||-|
|inspired by||P941||Item||persons (or other entities) that inspired a certain entity||Simon Dedalus <inspired by> John Stanislaus Joyce||-|
|based on||P144||Item||based on: fictional entity a certain fictional entity is derived from (for persons that inspired a certain character use inspired by (P941)||Alice <based on> Alice||derivative work|
|incarnation of||P3701||Item||incarnation: incarnation of another religious or supernatural being||Thirteenth Doctor <incarnation of> The Doctor||-|
|first appearance||P4584||Item||first appearance: work in which a fictional/mythical character or entity first appeared||Sherlock Holmes <first appearance> A Study in Scarlet||-|
|specific age inside fictional universe||P6249||Quantity||fictional character: age of a character within a story world, may be qualified with of (P642). Currently stated age at event (P3629) is also in use for this purpose (see qualifiers below).||Bart Simpson <specific age inside fictional universe> 10||-|
If you really want to nerd out about your favorite character, consider if the following properties might apply:
|lifestyle||P1576||Item||life style: Does your Character practice vegetarianism (Q83364) or is she an hermit (Q189829) or is he in the high society (Q17126676)? more values||Malcolm Reynolds <lifestyle> outlaw||-|
|medical condition||P1050||Item||health problem: Like post-traumatic stress disorder (Q202387) or claustrophobia (Q186892)||Khan Noonien Singh <medical condition> narcissism||-|
|political ideology||P1142||Item||political ideology: political ideology of this organization or person||Aang <political ideology> pacifism||-|
Properties for narrative works:
|characters||P674||Item||fictional character: the characters appearing in a work, can be qualified with object has role (P3831)/narrative role (P5800) (see qualifier section below) to indicate the role of a character in the narration||The Sleeping Beauty <characters> wicked fairy godmother||present in work|
|narrator||P2438||Item||storyteller and narrator: the character or actor narrating the story or the type of narrator used to narrate the story||The Usual Suspects <narrator> unreliable narrator||-|
|uses||P2283||Item||use: could be used to indicate the narrative techniques used in a work (maybe there should be an own property)||The Neverending Story <uses> story within a story||used by|
|narrative location||P840||Item||geographic setting of film: location a work is set in||The Man Without Qualities <narrative location> Vienna||-|
|set in period||P2408||Item||historical period: period a work is set in||Mephisto <set in period> 1930s||-|
|influenced by||P737||Item||influence: ideas, developments, disciplines, etc. that remarkably influenced a certain work||Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde <influenced by> criminology||-|
|inspired by||P941||Item||works, events or persons which inspired a certain work||Cyrano de Bergerac <inspired by> Cyrano de Bergerac||-|
|based on||P144||Item||based on: work(s) this work is derived from||Daphnis and Chloe <based on> Daphnis and Chloe||derivative work|
|cites||P2860||Item||citation: works a certain work refers to||1Q84 <cites> Sinfonietta||-|
|quotes work||P6166||Item||quotation: work this work directly quotes||Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows <quotes work> 1 Corinthians 15||-|
|after a work by||P1877||Item||person whose work inspired a certain work||Batman & Robin <after a work by> Bob Kane||-|
|manifestation of||P1557||Item||manifestation: tale type another work is a manifestation of||Sun, Moon, and Talia <manifestation of> Sleeping Beauty||-|
|series spin-off||P2512||Item||spin-off: spin-off of this series (use plot expanded in (P5940) for other kinds of work)||All in the Family <series spin-off> Maude||-|
|plot expanded in||P5940||Item||sequel, prequel and tie-in: a work that expands the narrative in this work (see also series spin-off (P2512) for series); may be qualified with object has role (P3831) to specify the kind of expansion (sequel (Q261636), prequel (Q678345), tie-in (Q1187053))||Where No Man Has Gone Before <plot expanded in> To Boldly Go: Part I||-|
|main subject||P921||Item||topic: the main idea of a narrative work (according to sources). May be contested (in this case one can use qualifiers like statement disputed by (P1310), statement supported by (P3680))||Lolita <main subject> solipsism||-|
|depicts||P180||Item||matter and depiction: an object (e.g. event) described by the narration.||The Tin Drum <depicts> Kristallnacht||depicted by|
|literary motif||P6962||Item||narrative motif: thematic unit used to develop a theme, mood or plot. May be qualified with symbolizes (P4878)||Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde <literary motif> doppelgänger||-|
Often statements about fictional entities have to be restricted to a certain work. There are two properties that can be used as a qualifier for that: of (P642) and present in work (P1441). present in work (P1441) should be used mainly for facts in the storyworld of a certain narrative work, of (P642) can be used to qualify statements that should be true in our world.
Examples for properties referring to the narrative work with qualifier of (P642): performer (P175), subject has role (P2868) (when used to indicate types), contributor(s) to the creative work or subject (P767)
|of||P642||Item||used to restrict a statement to a certain narrative work||Maleficent <narrative role> protagonist|
|present in work||P1441||Item||work: used for in-narrative facts to restrict a statement to a certain story world||Mahogany Town <population> 14|
<present in work> Pokémon Gold and Silver
|narrative role||P5800||Item||to indicate the role a fictional entity plays in a certain narrative work, as a qualifier to characters (P674) (Please note the discussion at Property_talk:P5800 (November 6th, 2018). Currently the use as a statement seems to be preferred)||Sleeping Beauty <characters> Maleficent|
<narrative role> antagonist
|object has role||P3831||Item||role: to indicate the game function of a character in a certain game (e.g. player character (Q1062345), non-player character (Q466466), boss (Q468388)), as a qualifier to characters (P674)||Life Is Strange <characters> Chloe Price|
<object has role> non-player character
|relative to||P2210||Item||reference point: to indicate the entity a statement is true relative to||The Little Man <narrative role> foil|
<relative to> Pink Panther
|stated age at event||P3629||Quantity||age: to indicate the age of a character in a certain work (it's uses could probably be replaced with specific age inside fictional universe (P6249) as a statement)||Bilbo Baggins <present in work> The Hobbit|
<stated age at event> 50
|time index||P4895||Quantity||to indicate at what moment in a certain work (e.g. minute, chapter, fictional unit of time) a statement is true.||1Q84 <narrative location> Shibuya|
<time index> 3 chapter
|symbolizes||P4878||Item||symbol: as a qualifier to present in work (P1441) or literary motif (P6962) for fictional entities or Motifs said (by appropriate sources) to represent or embody an abstract concept in a certain work.||Engywook <present in work> The Neverending Story|
Identifiers that may be relevant for narratives
|Aarne–Thompson–Uther Tale Type Index||P2540||String||Q23056296 and Aarne–Thompson classification system: index used to classify folktales||Cinderella <Aarne–Thompson–Uther Tale Type Index> 510A||-|
Identifiers that may be relevant for elements of narratives.
|Fandom Wikia article ID||P6262||External identifier||Wikia: identifier of an article on Fandom (Wikia). Format: subdomain:Page_title||Kermit the Frog <Fandom Wikia article ID> muppet:Kermit||-|
|Goodreads character ID||P6327||External identifier||Goodreads: identifier for a fictional character on Goodreads||Rincewind <Goodreads character ID> 26569||-|
|Iconclass notation||P1256||External identifier||Iconclass: Iconclass code that corresponds with an artistic theme or concept. For artworks, use P1257 (depicts Iconclass notation)||milkmaid <Iconclass notation> 47I22311||-|
|Comic Vine ID||P5905||External identifier||Comic Vine: identifier at the Comic Vine database of comic books, fictional characters, people, films and television series/episodes||Batman <Comic Vine ID> 4005-1699||-|
|TV Tropes identifier||P6839||External identifier||TV Tropes: identifier in TV Tropes||Game of Thrones <TV Tropes identifier> Series/GameOfThrones||-|
|MyAnimeList character ID||P4085||External identifier||MyAnimeList: identifier for a fictional character on MyAnimeList||Sagara Sanosuke <MyAnimeList character ID> 149||-|
|bgm.tv character identifier||P6296||External identifier||Bangumi: identifier for a character or group of characters on bgm.tv (Bangumi/Chobits)||Freyja Wion <bgm.tv character identifier> 36560||-|
|INDUCKS character ID||P4479||External identifier||INDUCKS: identifier for a character of the Disney Universe||Donald Duck <INDUCKS character ID> DD||-|
|Marvel character ID||P5621||External identifier||marvel.com: identifier for a character on the Marvel.com website||Ant-Man <Marvel character ID> 1010801||-|
|LGBTFansDB character ID||P6780||External identifier||identifier for a character entry on LGBT fans deserve better database||Lily Aldrin <LGBTFansDB character ID> lily-aldrin-met-mother||-|
|AniDB character ID||P5648||External identifier||AniDB: identifier for a character in AniDB database||Nanachi <AniDB character ID> 89866||-|
|Behind The Voice Actors character ID||P5107||External identifier||Behind The Voice Actors: identifier of a character from the Behind The Voice Actors website||Rei Ayanami <Behind The Voice Actors character ID> Evangelion/Rei-Ayanami||-|
|FFF character ID||P5620||External identifier||Fondazione Franco Fossati: identifier for a character on the Franco Fossati Foundation website||Diabolik <FFF character ID> d/diabolik||-|
|AnimeClick character ID||P5847||External identifier||AnimeClick: identifier of character from AnimeClick database||Son Goku <AnimeClick character ID> 5986||-|
|Cultureel Woordenboek identifier||P3569||External identifier||Cultureel Woordenboek: identifier for a concept in the Dutch Cultureel Woordenboek ('Cultural Dictionary')||Sisyphus <Cultureel Woordenboek identifier> mythologie/sisyfos||-|
|Getty Iconography Authority ID||P5986||External identifier||Getty Iconographic Authority: identifier from the Getty Iconography Authority||Shiva <Getty Iconography Authority ID> 901000021||-|
|CERL ID||P1871||External identifier||CERL Thesaurus: identifier in the Consortium of European Research Libraries thesaurus||Simone da Lesina Simonetta <CERL ID> cnp00166993||-|
|Visual Novel Database ID||P3180||External identifier||Visual Novel Database: identifier at the Visual Novel Database||Do You Like Horny Bunnies? <Visual Novel Database ID> v133||-|
|Giant Bomb ID||P5247||External identifier||Giant Bomb: identifier at the Giant Bomb database of video games, fictional characters and voice actors||Halo 2 <Giant Bomb ID> 3030-7110||-|
|GND ID||P227||External identifier||GND ID: identifier from an international authority file of names, subjects, and organizations (please don't use type n = name, disambiguation) - Deutsche Nationalbibliothek||Universe <GND ID> 4079154-3||-|
|VIAF ID||P214||External identifier||VIAF identifier and Virtual International Authority File: identifier for the Virtual International Authority File database [format: up to 22 digits]||Stan Lauryssens <VIAF ID> 120062731||-|
|NLP ID||P1695||External identifier||National Library of Poland: identifier for authority control per the National Library of Poland. Format: "A", 7 digits, "X" or another digit.||Jan Stanisław Skorupski <NLP ID> A11107844||-|
|SUDOC authorities ID||P269||External identifier||IdRef: identifier for authority control in the French collaborative library catalog (see also P1025). Format: 8 digits followed by a digit or "X"||Victor Hugo <SUDOC authorities ID> 026927608||-|
|BnF ID||P268||External identifier||BnF authorities: identifier for the subject issued by BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France). Format: 8 digits followed by a check-digit or letter, do not include the initial 'cb'.||René Magritte <BnF ID> 123735831||-|
|Encyclopædia Britannica Online ID||P1417||External identifier||Encyclopædia Britannica Online: identifer for an article in the online version of Encyclopædia Britannica||Alfred Hitchcock <Encyclopædia Britannica Online ID> biography/Alfred-Hitchcock||-|
|Disney A to Z ID||P6181||External identifier||Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia: ID of article in online version of Disney A to Z||Mickey Mouse <Disney A to Z ID> mickey-mouse||-|
|Quora topic ID||P3417||External identifier||Quora: identifier for a topic on Quora (English language version)||Tim Berners-Lee <Quora topic ID> Tim-Berners-Lee||-|
Missing properties and qualifiersEdit
Should there be an own property to indicate the narrative techniques used in a work or is benutzt (P2283) sufficient?
Some items in the field where some work was done, for inspiration and discussion (please add other interesting items if you find them):
- The Tin Drum (Q899334)
- Lolita (Q127149)
- Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (Q217352)
- The Neverending Story (Q463108)
- Buddenbrooks (Q326909)
- Ulysses (Q6511) (modelling of chapters)
- 1Q84 (Q208971)
- The Decameron (Q16438)
See also the work done in Fiction WikiProjects dedicated to one work/universe, like
narrator (P2438) is currently used for characters, actors and types of narrator. Maybe it would be better to have an own property for types of narrators.
How to indicate the order of certain events
- in the chronology of a certain storyworld
- in the narration (the order in which they are narrated)
The first point is a lesser problem if the story is roughly set in our time line and there is an indication of dates (then one can simply use start time (P580), end time (P582) etc). time index (P4895) can be used to indicate time if there is a fictional system of time measurement (e.g. Stardate (Q1262613)).
The second point could be solved by being able to refer to certain passages of a work. time index (P4895) could be used for that in statements about the work (e.g. its geographic setting). It seems difficult to use in statements about fictional entities, as an entity can appear in several works and it remains unclear which one is meant (maybe one could combine both time index (P4895) and present in work (P1441) as qualifiers).
Narrative techniques and plot devicesEdit
Should there be an own property to indicate the narrative techniques used in a work or is uses (P2283) sufficient?
Characters appearing in multiple works (adaptations, spin-offs) with different characteristicsEdit
Currently there are two approaches how to deal with characters appearing in different works in which they may have different characteristics: 1) Qualify the diverging statements with present in work (P1441) and 2) create a new item for character appearances, linking the character versions via based on (P144) and said to be the same as (P460). An example for the first approach would be Jhil (Q64141306), one for the second approach would be Count Pyotr (Pierre) Bezukhov (Q55033135).
One challenge is to be still able to query for works based on events that happened there or the properties of their characters: If a character died of tuberculosis in one work it appears in but not in all, it should be possible to retrieve only the work in which the character appears and dies of tuberculosis.
The second approach may deal with this challenge generally fine, but it may involve the creation of a lot of characters with possible duplicate or missing information. There may be still the need to qualify statements with present in work (P1441) in case of characters appearing in multiple works set in the same universe.
The first approach could work following these rules:
- Every statement that is not true for all works in which the character appears should be qualified via present in work (P1441), listing all the works in which this statement is true.
- Statements that are true in all works should not be qualified.
Now, to retrieve all works in which a character dies of tuberculosis one would just need to query for all works with characters that a) have a statement cause of death (P509) tuberculosis (Q12204) without a present in work (P1441) qualifier and b) have a statement cause of death (P509) tuberculosis (Q12204) qualified with present in work (P1441) <work>.