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Wikidata:WikiProject Narration

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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

Foundational WorksEdit

Introductions and reference worksEdit


Aspects of narrationEdit

Fictional entitiesEdit


fictional character (Q95074), character that may be fictional (Q21070598)

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))



plot (Q217086)

The events that happened in the fictional world the story is set in.


plot (Q1758354)

The events that are told in the narrative in a certain order and with a certain emphasis.


storyteller (Q755070)

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.

Main themes, literary themes and narrative motifsEdit

theme (Q1053916), literary theme (Q42109240), narrative motif (Q1697305)

A narrative work can be described with respect to ideas and notions expressed in it:


Intertextuality (Q667404)

Narrations and fictional entities can refer to other works (and to reality).

  • they can be based on another work --> based on (P144) (especially used for adaptations - works a certain work is based on)
  • they can be based on a work by another person --> after a work by (P1877) (especially if there is no single work by this person the work is based on (e.g. "based on characters by ..."), otherwise based on (P144) <work> is preferable)

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:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
instance ofP31Iteminstance of: every fictional entity has to be an (indirect) instance of fictional entity (Q14897293)Reynard <instance of> fictional fox-
present in workP1441Itemwork: 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 workBowser <present in work> Super Mariocharacters
significant personP3342Itemperson: used to indicate the relation between characters, to be qualified with object has role (P3831)Antonie Buddenbrook <significant person> Morten Schwarzkopf-
narrative roleP5800Itemthe 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 roleP2868Itemrole: 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 ofP4675Itemmythical 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 spiritP4292Itemspirit possession: item which is spiritually possessing this itemJanosz Poha <possessed by spirit> Vigo the Carpathian-
superhuman feature or abilityP2563Itemsuperpower and superhuman quality: superhuman, supernatural, or paranormal abilities that the subject exhibitsScarlet Witch <superhuman feature or ability> reality warping-
has qualityP1552Itemquality: distinctive internal characteristics of an entityScrooge McDuck <has quality> parsimony-
fictional analog ofP1074Itempersons (or other entities) this entity is supposed to representEarth-that-was <fictional analog of> Earth-
inspired byP941Itempersons (or other entities) that inspired a certain entitySimon Dedalus <inspired by> John Stanislaus Joyce-
based onP144Itembased on: fictional entity a certain fictional entity is derived from (for persons that inspired a certain character use inspired by (P941)Alice <based on> Alicederivative work
incarnation ofP3701Itemincarnation: incarnation of another religious or supernatural beingThirteenth Doctor <incarnation of> The Doctor-
first appearanceP4584Itemfirst appearance: work in which a fictional/mythical character or entity first appearedSherlock Holmes <first appearance> A Study in Scarlet-
specific age inside fictional universeP6249Quantityfictional 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:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
lifestyleP1576Itemlife style: Does your Character practice vegetarianism (Q83364) or is she an hermit (Q189829) or is he in the high society (Q17126676)? more valuesMalcolm Reynolds <lifestyle> outlaw-
medical conditionP1050Itemhealth problem: Like post-traumatic stress disorder (Q202387) or claustrophobia (Q186892)Khan Noonien Singh <medical condition> narcissism-
political ideologyP1142Itempolitical ideology: political ideology of this organization or personAang <political ideology> pacifism-

Properties for narrative works:

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
charactersP674Itemfictional 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 narrationThe Sleeping Beauty <characters> wicked fairy godmotherpresent in work
narratorP2438Itemstoryteller and narrator: the character or actor narrating the story or the type of narrator used to narrate the storyThe Usual Suspects <narrator> unreliable narrator-
usesP2283Itemuse: 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 storyused by
narrative locationP840Itemgeographic setting of film: location a work is set inThe Man Without Qualities <narrative location> Vienna-
set in periodP2408Itemhistorical period: period a work is set inMephisto <set in period> 1930s-
influenced byP737Iteminfluence: ideas, developments, disciplines, etc. that remarkably influenced a certain workStrange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde <influenced by> criminology-
inspired byP941Itemworks, events or persons which inspired a certain workCyrano de Bergerac <inspired by> Cyrano de Bergerac-
based onP144Itembased on: work(s) this work is derived fromDaphnis and Chloe <based on> Daphnis and Chloederivative work
citesP2860Itemcitation: works a certain work refers to1Q84 <cites> Sinfonietta-
quotes workP6166Itemquotation: work this work directly quotesHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows <quotes work> 1 Corinthians 15-
after a work byP1877Itemperson whose work inspired a certain workBatman & Robin <after a work by> Bob Kane-
manifestation ofP1557Itemmanifestation: tale type another work is a manifestation ofSun, Moon, and Talia <manifestation of> Sleeping Beauty-
series spin-offP2512Itemspin-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 inP5940Itemsequel, 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 subjectP921Itemtopic: 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-
depictsP180Itemmatter and depiction: an object (e.g. event) described by the narration.The Tin Drum <depicts> Kristallnachtdepicted by
literary motifP6962Itemnarrative 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 storyworld of a certain work with qualifier present in work (P1441): date of birth (P569), occupation (P106), hair color (P1884)

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)

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
ofP642Itemused to restrict a statement to a certain narrative workMaleficent <narrative role> protagonist
<of> Maleficent
present in workP1441Itemwork: used for in-narrative facts to restrict a statement to a certain story worldMahogany Town <population> 14
<present in work> Pokémon Gold and Silver
narrative roleP5800Itemto 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 roleP3831Itemrole: 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 toP2210Itemreference point: to indicate the entity a statement is true relative toThe Little Man <narrative role> foil
<relative to> Pink Panther
stated age at eventP3629Quantityage: 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 indexP4895Quantityto 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
symbolizesP4878Itemsymbol: 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
<symbolizes> science


Identifiers that may be relevant for narratives

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
Aarne–Thompson–Uther Tale Type IndexP2540StringQ23056296 and Aarne–Thompson classification system: index used to classify folktalesCinderella <Aarne–Thompson–Uther Tale Type Index> 510A-

Identifiers that may be relevant for elements of narratives.

Title ID Data type Description Examples Inverse
Fandom Wikia article IDP6262External identifierWikia: identifier of an article on Fandom (Wikia). Format: subdomain:Page_titleKermit the Frog <Fandom Wikia article ID> muppet:Kermit-
Goodreads character IDP6327External identifierGoodreads: identifier for a fictional character on GoodreadsRincewind <Goodreads character ID> 26569-
Iconclass notationP1256External identifierIconclass: Iconclass code that corresponds with an artistic theme or concept. For artworks, use P1257 (depicts Iconclass notation)milkmaid <Iconclass notation> 47I22311-
Comic Vine IDP5905External identifierComic Vine: identifier at the Comic Vine database of comic books, fictional characters, people, films and television series/episodesBatman <Comic Vine ID> 4005-1699-
TV Tropes identifierP6839External identifierTV Tropes: identifier in TV TropesGame of Thrones <TV Tropes identifier> Series/GameOfThrones-
MyAnimeList character IDP4085External identifierMyAnimeList: identifier for a fictional character on MyAnimeListSagara Sanosuke <MyAnimeList character ID> 149- character identifierP6296External identifierBangumi: identifier for a character or group of characters on (Bangumi/Chobits)Freyja Wion < character identifier> 36560-
INDUCKS character IDP4479External identifierINDUCKS: identifier for a character of the Disney UniverseDonald Duck <INDUCKS character ID> DD-
Marvel character IDP5621External identifier for a character on the websiteAnt-Man <Marvel character ID> 1010801-
LGBTFansDB character IDP6780External identifieridentifier for a character entry on LGBT fans deserve better databaseLily Aldrin <LGBTFansDB character ID> lily-aldrin-met-mother-
AniDB character IDP5648External identifierAniDB: identifier for a character in AniDB databaseNanachi <AniDB character ID> 89866-
Behind The Voice Actors character IDP5107External identifierBehind The Voice Actors: identifier of a character from the Behind The Voice Actors websiteRei Ayanami <Behind The Voice Actors character ID> Evangelion/Rei-Ayanami-
FFF character IDP5620External identifierFondazione Franco Fossati: identifier for a character on the Franco Fossati Foundation websiteDiabolik <FFF character ID> d/diabolik-
AnimeClick character IDP5847External identifierAnimeClick: identifier of character from AnimeClick databaseSon Goku <AnimeClick character ID> 5986-
Cultureel Woordenboek identifierP3569External identifierCultureel Woordenboek: identifier for a concept in the Dutch Cultureel Woordenboek ('Cultural Dictionary')Sisyphus <Cultureel Woordenboek identifier> mythologie/sisyfos-
Getty Iconography Authority IDP5986External identifierGetty Iconographic Authority: identifier from the Getty Iconography AuthorityShiva <Getty Iconography Authority ID> 901000021-
CERL IDP1871External identifierCERL Thesaurus: identifier in the Consortium of European Research Libraries thesaurusSimone da Lesina Simonetta <CERL ID> cnp00166993-
Visual Novel Database IDP3180External identifierVisual Novel Database: identifier at the Visual Novel DatabaseDo You Like Horny Bunnies? <Visual Novel Database ID> v133-
Giant Bomb IDP5247External identifierGiant Bomb: identifier at the Giant Bomb database of video games, fictional characters and voice actorsHalo 2 <Giant Bomb ID> 3030-7110-
GND IDP227External identifierGND ID: identifier from an international authority file of names, subjects, and organizations (please don't use type n = name, disambiguation) - Deutsche NationalbibliothekUniverse <GND ID> 4079154-3-
VIAF IDP214External identifierVIAF 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 IDP1695External identifierNational 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 IDP269External identifierIdRef: 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 IDP268External identifierBnF 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 IDP1417External identifierEncyclopædia Britannica Online: identifer for an article in the online version of Encyclopædia BritannicaAlfred Hitchcock <Encyclopædia Britannica Online ID> biography/Alfred-Hitchcock-
Disney A to Z IDP6181External identifierDisney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia: ID of article in online version of Disney A to ZMickey Mouse <Disney A to Z ID> mickey-mouse-
Quora topic IDP3417External identifierQuora: 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):

See also the work done in Fiction WikiProjects dedicated to one work/universe, like

Open QuestionsEdit

narrator (P2438)Edit

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>.

Related WikiProjectsEdit


The participants listed below can be notified using the following template in discussions:

{{Ping project|Narration}}