This short guide will help establish an editorial style for all content added to the Leverage Wiki. Up to now, the wiki has had no style, and has become over-run with unexplained bulleted lists, questionable "inside" references, and red links. This guide is designed to offer editors some simple guidance with development of articles and formatting of new content.
Leverage is an American show, and all entries here should follow grammar, spelling, syntax, semantics and punctuation rules for American English. Non-American editors unsure about correct American form are encouraged to consult the Elements of Style (Strunk & White) or any good printed guide to American English. All new edits will be reviewed for adherence to American English.
Correct spelling, capitalization and punctuation are particularly critical. Entries in the Wikipedia should be correctly spelled, capitalized and punctuated. Entries in “text English” may be removed in totality, or may be heavily edited to comply with this guide.
All entries should be written in present tense, unless an exception is needed to properly present content, such as with episode summaries. We are describing the characters in-universe, and that means in the moment. Only historical events should be described in past tense.
Episode titles should be presented in quotation marks (no bold face or italics), with two exceptions: when hyperlinked, and when in parenthesis.
Titles of television shows, plays and films, such as might be discussed in an actor’s biography, should be italicized.
Starting and Developing an ArticleEdit
A wiki is, above all, a place to relax and have some fun. At the same time, a bit of structure and organization makes a wiki more fun, and accessible for everyone. This is particularly true when it comes to creating articles. A new article isn’t always the best place for something you want to add; often times the best contributions are the ones that build stubs into bigger articles, or keep good articles up-to-date. Before you start, think about where the content you want to add will be best showcased as well as where it will make the most important contribution to the wiki. Who knows – a small edit may turn into a satisfying project as you work on an article that needed development. Regardless, everyone has a contribution to make!
Starting an Article v. Adding to an ArticleEdit
This is always a tough call. Fewer articles make content more connected, but may make it harder to find. Many articles fragments content and creates a disconnect between characters or episodes and related content such as locations, equipment or cons used. Good editorial judgment is key: stop and think before you start a new article.
The best rule of thumb is to evaluate how substantial an article will be on its own. At present, there are numerous short articles, often no more than a couple sentences apiece, about Leverage features such as Parker’s various rigs or pieces of Hardison’s equipment. These are fun elements of the show, but are better presented in reference to Parker or Hardison, and therefore as a subsection of their articles rather than on their own. On the other hand, the vans Hardison uses are characters on their own, and there is a long history with the van the team uses. In this case, the content is substantive enough to merit its own article, and can be linked in Hardison’s article.
As always, the Admin. reserves the right to delete, edit, move or combine stub article content.
Linking Content in an ArticleEdit
The impulse in wikis is to hyperlink important content every time it appears, such as with episode titles or character names. Such linking, however, can make narrative difficult to read. The general rules for linking are as follows:
- Link on the first mention. For example, the first time each character’s name appears in an article, it should be linked.
- Link more than once only if an article is lengthy. Use good judgment: long, content heavy articles may need more than one link to character names or other important elements of the show, with the second link coming at least halfway down the article. There are few articles at present where this will need to be done.
- Link names in an infobox only if there is an article to link to.
- Linking to common items, such as cell phones, or locations, such as London, is not appropriate.
Red links are links to as yet unwritten articles. By putting in a red link, an editor makes a commitment to write the article to which the link will eventually lead. Red links that remain more than a couple weeks may be removed at the Admin’s discretion. Think carefully before red linking. Under no circumstances should red links be included in infoboxes.
Episode articles will be added with a specific layout, that capture the basic format of most Leverage episodes. The headings below will be added, along with an infobox using (Template: Infobox Television episode), to each article at the beginning of the season, under the episode production number (see #515 for example). At titles are announced, the episode articles will be renamed and linked in broadcast order.
The layout begins with a quote from the episode that captures the episode’s theme, and a brief summary of the episode. The following major headings will be included in the template article.
- The Client
- The Mark
- The Con
- Familiar Aliases
- Episode Notes
- Episode Media
Locations can be included when they are important to understanding the episode; lists of locations, particularly well-known locations, should not be included. Locations can be moved below the heading for The Con to improve readability, as needed. (See: The Long Way Down Job)
Familiar Aliases should identify and describe aliases the team has used more than once. Lists of all aliases used mean very little; these should be described in the narrative discussing the episode’s events. However, as the show progresses, the team began to use aliases more than once, as real-life grifters do. Notes on these aliases can be included. (See, for example, Kristy Connelly in The Miracle Job and The Scheherazade Job).
Episode Notes and Trivia can be fun, and the show DVD’s along with cast interviews and John Rogers’ blog are rich fodder for gathering notes and trivia. Be careful to add what you know, not what you think you know.
Which is which? The line dividing the two can be fine; use best judgment. Plot points belong in episode narrative.
- Episode notes are behind-the-scenes information about an episode and information that helps the reader understand the episode. Notes should be sourced; DVD commentary, online or print articles and John Rogers’ blog are good sources for notes.
- Episode trivia is small detail of interest regarding the episode itself.
At present, the Wiki is overloaded with lists of references, notable elements, key episodes and more that have no explanatory text. Unless a reader is a very regular viewer, these decontextualized lists will have very little meaning. It also has an abundance of short “stub” articles with content that would be easier to find and better served by including it into a larger, more substantive article or which need development. For example, Hardison's Vans combines what were four short articles into one substantive one about the vans used over the life of the show, and captures the in-joke that the van tends to be destroyed in the finale. Everyone has a contribution to make, and you can help!
Although this is a fan wiki, it is hosted on a commercial website. Consequently, reproduction of copyrighted material, notably from articles or press releases, should be done with care, and on a limited basis only. Direct reproduction of copyrighted material should be designed to enhance or support an editor’s own writing, not replace the need to do so, and should be fully cited to the original source.
TNT provides episode summaries on periodic press releases, as do other sites (such as TV Guide or Futon Critic). The TNT summaries are added to the episode pages, with attribution, until such time as more extensive episode synopses can be written after the episode is broadcast. The TNT and other such summaries are not suitable for the episode summary table both because they are copyrighted and because they are written for PR purposes (to attract viewers) rather than for the purposes of understanding an already-broadcast episode.
Addition of material from another source without quotation marks and full attribution is plagiarism. All plagiarized material added to the Wiki is subject to immediate removal. Direct quotes from secondary sources should be limited, and designed to place emphasis or enhance a key point an editor is making.
Sections of the articles that consist solely of lists, particularly bulleted lists, should be avoided. Lists are acceptable if they are a small part of a paragraph that provides context, or each element in the list includes substantive content. As an alternative to lists, editors should write narrative discussions of content such as a character’s skills, key events or similar content now presented in list form. Short lists of examples can then be included to support the narrative. New lists, or new additions to lists absent any explanatory content will be removed at the Admin’s discretion.
Given this is a fan site, not a more serious (if questionably scholarly) project such as the Wikipedia, sourcing is informal. External sources are not important unless they source details of upcoming programming or an edit is controversial. More important is sourcing to episodes when key events or characters are discussed in an article.
Sourcing to episodes should be done using episode names only, and linked the first time an episode is used as a source in an article. Notation such as S1E12 means nothing to a reader without a list of episodes. Linked episode names are more informative and allow the reader to read the episode summary if they desire.
Episode Notes and TriviaEdit
Episode notes and trivia can be fun, and the show DVD’s along with interviews and John Rogers’ blog are rich fodder for gathering notes and trivia. Be careful to add what you know, not what you think you know.
Which is which? Episode notes are behind-the-scenes information about an episode. Notes should be sourced; DVD commentary, online or print articles and John Rogers’ blog are good sources for notes. Episode trivia is small detail of interest regarding the episode itself. The line dividing the two can be fine; use best judgment.
Rumors and SpoilersEdit
Rumors are the stuff of message boards, but don’t belong here. They tend to get people agitated, and more often than not, are not true. Rumors will be removed.
Spoilers can be included in articles as long as they are appropriately sourced to a reliable media source (such as TV Guide or Zap2it). Advance information about an episode, plot line or character is a spoiler only up to the first time an episode is broadcast in the Pacific time zone. After that, it’s up to individual editors to exercise a measure of personal responsibility and avoid reading articles about unseen episodes.
Use of “Notable”Edit
Notability is subjective. Lists of notable episodes, guest stars or other content reflects the judgment of editors against individual, and personal, standards. What’s notable to one editor may be inconsequential to another. Use of notable should be done with care.
Rule of Thumb for Determining Notability: an episode that strongly features a character is not notable whereas an episode that includes significant character development or exposition (such as Eliot’s confession he was connected to Damien Moreau in The Big Bang Job is.
Fancruft, Fluff and Tangental InformationEdit
Fancruft (content understood only by regular, strongly vested viewers) is a problem in every wiki. Lists of minutia or ephemeria associated with an episode or a character, such as the lists of “known organizations” present in many episode articles adds little to the article and are largely meaningless to a reader who has not seen the article.
Similarly, articles on discreet pieces of equipment, such as Parker’s individual wirework rigs or Hardison’s laptop have little potential to be developed into substantive articles, and as such are fairly fancrufty. Most content such as this is far better build into articles about the characters, where readers will most likely start reading.
Discussions of cities/states/countries should be limited to how they relate to Leverage. Link to a city's website or other appropriate site for information on a real-world location (see Leverage Locations, which links four cities to their official city websites).
Future, Internal/Inside and External/Outside ReferencesEdit
One of the most meaningless edits are so-called “future”, “inside” and “external” references. Most are a product of an editor’s imagination or coincidental. For instance, it’s impossible to refer to the future, making “future references” particularly absurd.
Editors should avoid so-called "external" and "inside" references unless there is a substantive connection between two episodes (such as between The Nigerian Job and The Last Dam Job.) Even then, it’s best to simply add a note where appropriate when two episodes or events are related in the episode articles’ notes section, and avoid pigeonholing such occurrences into a specific category of reference.