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Stories are now revealed for the Worldbuilding Exchange 2017, so here is my post talking about what I wrote, a Leverage fic called Pseudonyms Are Expected (You can find my recs over here).

I wanted to make a few more comments about process of writing, so here's that post (which I've also linked to from the comments of the story.)

Should anyone want to write other installments of this list, have fun with it! I did not get to write all the sections I wanted to.

(If there is a background conceit on why these were collected, I think Hardison gave them to Sophie as a present, sometime after the last message.)

The request

Prinzenhasserin asked for...
That weird thief in “A Girl’s Night Out” is definitely a Parker stan, and stalks all her crimes across a variety of message boards.
Lots of fans start out with just one of them; Parker, Hardison and Sophie are kind of infamous, and they probably had a following before teaming up, but it really starts getting intense when there are rumours of them working together (!!) to take down even worse criminals (!!)
That’s when Hardison organises the first con
There are probably volunteers for identity theft
(oh god. ship wars.)
tumblr-sites dedicated to finding out if what Parker can do is actually humanly possible
the desperate hunt to find out which WoW avatar Hardison is playing
in-universe fanfiction, in-universe meta, chat-streams, twitter messages

Which both gave me plenty of ideas, and left me plenty of room to play round with things, but without focusing too heavily on the 'what does someone do with the public information' from a direction that might come out a fair bit like [personal profile] copperbadge's excellent The Job Interview Job.

From there, I did a rewatch of (almost) the entire series to figure out what information from each episode might reasonably surface to the kind of people who would be on this kind of email list and assuming that some of them might have some unusual sources, but not necessarily reliable.

(I ended up having to skip over several episodes of season 4 where I already knew the answer to what was public without rewatching due to time. I have since gone back, of course, like you do.)

And then I wrote a bunch of it, fairly fast.

Then I filled in sections I'd been able to identify as things that would be visible to outsiders, and then filled in some gaps in the timeline (like the question of 'what would they talk about while Nate was in prison?')

I ran it by two betas (thank you, [personal profile] kiya and [personal profile] elisem), and Kiya pointed out a lot of unsatisfying gaps. (The original version had almost no Sophie, because I hadn't been sure how to put things in in a way that wasn't horribly heavy-handed. Also, time crunch problems.)

So then I went back and added a bunch of bits (all the Leopard and Azadi bits, and parts of conversations other places, and a couple of my favourite lines) and there you are! Fic!

I relied heavily on the Leverage wiki and Acquariusgb's timeline on Tumblr, but fudged dates a couple of places for logistical reasons (for example, to make them line up with real life events: the one I remember nudging is Boston Fashion Week.) Within each series of discussion, I basically picked random times and intervals, with a vague sense of which characters post at odd times, and which before or after work.


I hit on the idea of email list of people watching this from (mostly) the outside very early on, because it seemed likely to go interesting places, was something that could be plausibly obscure (unlike, say, Twitter.)

The list rules were the first part, since I needed to have a framework for what kinds of posts would show up.

The moderators were inviting people from the wider Internet who were interested in having conversations, not monologues, but who had a bunch of different points of view, which is why this mailing list is filled with reasonably articulate people and not trolls. The mods have kicked people off in the past, but that's not visible in this fic.

The links I wanted to figure out, because they're a thing people send (and because I can do some fun things with easter eggs: the first link to the Biltmore Hotel, for example, is where they filmed the exteriors for the first set of offices that blow up.)

When possible, I snagged links from the actual appropriate time for that link to show up. I thought the list would require some obscuration (hence the links) but coded them in the fic so people could see where they went if they hovered.

(This is not entirely as accessible as ideal, since in an ideal world, the links would have identifying text, but I hope I may be forgiven for the fictional conceit here.)


Some of whom appear in canon with names, some of whom appear on screen, and some of whom are entirely fictional. In order of appearance by category...

Appearing on screen

OrcHunter is Dave from The Mile High Job (where they save the plane from exploding in season 1, and Hardison oversleeps because of the WoW expansion.) I always sort of liked Dave.

In my headcanon, he got together with Marcy, the accountant on the plane, in the aftermath, but she is not a member of the list, because that is Way Too Weird To Talk About.

Dave did not found the list, but did join it pretty early on, and eventually replaced one of the founding mods.

Ice is indeed Hardison, though I figure Hardison has a lot of experience not sounding like himself online, and let himself relax over the course of the list. Ice for both taking down Iceland's banks (in a flashback in one episode), and for The Ice Man Job in season 2. He found the list right around the thread about Jim's promotion.

MrP is of course Eliot, for Mr. Punchy from The Gold Job from season 4. He joins the list not too long after that, because he's sick of Hardison vaguely referencing things on the list in passing.

His intro allowed me to put in Hardison's cover story for the list.

(Parker is not on the list. Parker bores easy.)

ILovePaws72 is Craig Mattingly, from The Girls' Night Out Job. He hopes that Parker is on the list lurking, and that she'll be in touch if he uses that pseudonym (which is the one he used in that episode.)

He will have to live with disappointment.

Verity is Sterling's daughter, and I am very smug about her pseud.

There was a French countess, the Countess de Bourbon, known for her chess playing who played with Ben Franklin. (Ben Franklin was a really serious chess player!)

I think (though I might be wrong, I did not have time for really exhaustive research) that this is she. When the French revolution happened, her husband and son fled, she took up at least partly with the revolutionary cause, and wrote as "Vérité". The fact that the book Code Name: Verity had just come out made it perfect for Olivia, with the nod at complex narration.

Yes, Sterling knows his daughter is on the list. (I think it took them a while to figure out who Hardison was, though. I get the impression Sterling underestimates Hardison's non-tech skills.)


NH is one of the early list members. His pseud is from the (actual pseudonym) of the guy who does The Conspirators podcast, Nate Hale, and his character is loosely based on that framing (someone interested in historical conspiracies but doing quiet thoughtful analysis of it, not going off hare-brained.)

Marian is one of the founders of the list, and not very inventive about her pseudonym. She's a librarian (I'm pretty sure she works at Yale, and has access to a range of interesting sources and experts.)

Her pseud comes from the musical The Music Man where the librarian is named Marian. (Pretty much every librarian I know has heard someone quote that sometime.)

Adam is in competitive intelligence, so keeps up on business gossip, news, etc. He doesn't have much of a personality, but I needed another commentator around then, and also some insight into the IYS side, however briefly.

Leopard and Azadi are both made up, though clearly Leopard actually appears on screen at Katherine's funeral. They both live in the Boston metro area.

Azadi is an arson investigator in Massachusetts, and knows Bonanno (arson investigators, as she points out, come from the state police.)

Though I think she knows his wife better? Characters, they have their own opinions. She and Leopard were not originally intended to be ice cream and beer and media footage buddies, but insisted on that once I started writing them.

Azadi's pseudonym comes from a movie theatre in Afghanistan that had three major fires (in 1976, 1990, and 1997.)

Leopard's pseud is from the saying "A leopard cannot change its spots".

Of the ones that get mentioned briefly, basically I was riffing on fictional characters to give a sense of colour.
- "Harriet is interested in the documentary evidence of the various cons we can find (which is hard, since they usually get wiped off the web)." - clearly someone who favours Harriet Vane's view on life (Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey books.)

- "Sinclair is convinced Sophie is British aristocracy." and is loosely based on the Sinclair in the Katherine Kurtz Adept books.

- "Bob has an algorithm he swears will track Alec across the net, based on typing patterns." is a reference to Bob in the Stross Laundry Files books, which I am in the midst of reading.

- "We haven’t heard from Algernon for a while, but he was working on a thing about future potential targets." is a ref to Flowers for Algernon because why not (someone who does very wide-ranging advance analysis)
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