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pepperdoc
Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 9:57 AM

QUESTIONS FOR QUIZ MAKERS

I'd be interested in getting some feedback from those of you who create quizzes.
(You don't have to answer all the questions below. Just the ones for which you've got an opinion.)

1. What was your favorite quiz to create and why? (maybe you enjoyed doing the research, you got a zillion points, it's a favorite topic, etc.)

2. Have you gotten some good feedback from a fellow quiz maker or a quiz taker that changed the way you write quizzes?

3. Is there a quiz you wish you hadn't done and why? (maybe it bombed, in retrospect you didn't do a good job of writing it or it had some problems you had to fix after launch, etc.)

4. How do you come up with your quiz ideas? (it comes from the ether, you like doing a series on the same topic, you read an idea in a magazine and voile, etc.)

5. Is there any quiz category you avoid and why?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Pepper

4getful1
4getful1  (Level: 183.6 - Posts: 3058)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 10:28 AM

Pepper,

I assume you want the answers here in Chat rather than IM... correct?

I've only written one quiz so far. Had intentions of doing many, but life got interesting and presented some challenges that got in the way. Maybe I'll get back on track in 2008.

Questions for Quiz Makers

Just the ones for which you've got an opinion.)

1. What was your favorite quiz to create and why? (maybe you enjoyed doing the research, you got a zillion points, it's a favorite topic, etc.) --- My one an only was Vocabulary A-Z (I would like to complete the series, since Vocabulary is my favorite topic)

2. Have you gotten some good feedback from a fellow quiz maker or a quiz taker that changed the way you write quizzes?
I received very positive feedback from quiz takers --- learned that I should proofread my work more thoroughly.

3. Is there a quiz you wish you hadn't done and why? (maybe it bombed, in retrospect you didn't do a good job of writing it or it had some problems you had to fix after launch, etc.) N/A

4. How do you come up with your quiz ideas? (it comes from the ether, you like doing a series on the same topic, you read an idea in a magazine and voile, etc.) I have tons of partially finished quizzes in composition books -- some came to me while out walking; some came from watching a TV show or reading a magazine; most ideas just pop into my head out of the blue. I would love to procrastinate less and write more.

5. Is there any quiz category you avoid and why?

I avoid mostly avoid Science oriented subjects -- especially Physical Science.

pepperdoc
Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 10:41 AM

Yes, Brenda, thanks for posting on the chat board.
I got a laugh about the procrastination thing - it's never to late to procrastinate (that's my motto).

suzannec
Suzannec  (Level: 259.0 - Posts: 616)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 11:28 AM

I love to write and take gardening and nature type quizzes because that is one of the few topics of information that I can remember these days. I realize that those quizzes don't get a whole lot of takers, but I've made some wonderful Sploofus gardening buddies because of them. Also, the lyrics quizzes are great fun to write because reading the lyrics leads to singing them and that is very uplifting. I'm finally learning the correct words to the songs I have been singing wrong for years!

mrmikeb
Mrmikeb  (Level: 87.6 - Posts: 15)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 12:20 PM

1. My favorite quizes to create are those that are unique to the Sploofus community. I've been a trivia buff since high school thanks to the fact Mr. David Strauss (author of trivia books and a radio personality) was one of my history teachers (and is currently my neighbor). My goal is to put a few quizzes out there that are educational as well as entertaining rather than just to get points from people taking them. I get irritated with all of the "name the artist", "name the song", "what's the 3rd letter of the alphabet" type quizzes.

2. I often get messages from people who take my quizzes. I have never had anyone give me negative criticism or comments.

3. If there was a quiz I wished I hadn't done, I would have deleted it. As long as people are taking my quizzes, I'm glad to have provided the entertainment.

4. Sometimes I'll see a topic on TV or hear about some trivial news item and that sparks my curiosity. As I research the topic, I wonder if anyone else would be interested. If it feels good, I write a quiz.

5. I don't avoid any particular catagory, but I do avoid those annoying quizzes that I mentioned in #1.

I'm always trying to learn new things and I get a lot of enjoyment sharing knowledge with other people. Quiz writing is a great way to do that.

heidi
Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 1:13 PM

Sometimes when I am about to fall aslep and an idea comes to me and I get up, and research it ( never learned how to cut and paste so print everything)-my computer in my bedroom. I pretty much discovered some time ago that personally I could choose to write for popularity-thus movies and TV (dunce at anyrthing to do with music so that is out) or in an effort to receive an EA.-had a couple long ago under the name of Linda- have chosen to go the popular route not that a few in those areas do not receive EAs, but never any of mine. Also discovered that folks like a bit of a challenge but abhor really scoring in the pits-despite what is said in "Chat" really low scores usually bring loww ratings-also cetain folks seem to enjoy doing that. I do not regret writing any of the quizzes i have written as believe because of my lack of speed that is my accomplishment here . Know I haven't answered your questions in the order stated but have answered truthfully-Linda

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 1:35 PM

Ah, the world of quiz writing.

Suzanne's quizzes are great, especially if you like nature...and I know I'm one of her good gardening buddies! Someone actually wrote asking for help in picking out quiz topics a few years back. I think if you stood still in a room and looked around, you would come up with 100 quizzes without moving!

I dislike quizzes that are vague, especially where an event or date is in dispute by scholars. I dislike date quizzes..."guess the date this happened" and no other information is given. I strongly believe that our function as quiz writers is to put as much trivia, information if you will, into a short space so people can learn. On the other hand, long tomes irritate me because I am fast and want to get to the Q & A. If someone writes something quite detailed and interesting, I read the last line of the question, do the answer, then go back and read the whole thing after I have rated the quiz. You don't want to miss a good recipe Tuzilla has, or Suzanne describing a certain bird's idiocyncrasies! Besides, the author has put a lot of brain power into those questions and they deserve a good read through.

It goes without saying that quizzes must have an integrity of their own. Some folks are happy cranking out lists of songs, movies, etc., that go on ad infinitum without any thought other than garnering points for the author. They are just lists you can find on any website. Some quiz takers like to take them and that's fine.

My quizzes tend toward subjects that some people don't particularly like; history, geography, classical music, books, although I do like some sports, movies, etc. Your success as a quiz writer really is based upon whatever passion you have that you wish to share with others. If you write about something passionately, your quizzes will be topnotch and you'll soon be collecting those little blue ribbons.

heidi
Heidi  (Level: 36.2 - Posts: 694)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 1:57 PM

I do not feel that i "Crank Out" quizzes even though most are in popular categories. I have but do not usually do list quizzes-put thought into each question. This is not a popular view but believe from my heart that several EA quizzes (By no means all) would be tanked if it were not for the nature of, in my view, unfair scoring system-very few options to say you disliked the writing or obscureness (Who cares?) topic.

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:22 PM

I forgot to mention what I call the "gotcha" factor..."I'm gonna' make this quiz so hard to show how bright I am that you're not gonna' get it." The good thing about these writers is they don't last very long. They get 5 or 6 takers who score them low and we never hear from them again. If I look over my quiz results and 100% seem to be lacking, I feel as if I didn't do my best job in writing the quiz. Let's face it....we all like to be winners!

pepperdoc
Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:26 PM

You all make some very good points. Geophile, that's a good idea about answering questions as quickly as you can and then reading the detail when you're done.

I'm enjoying reading the feedback on what goes through your collective minds as you create and take the quizzes.

1. My favorite quiz so far was one I did on hotels that didn't have a lot of takers, but I really enjoyed researching it. (Of course having a quiz hit the Top 25 list is quite a kick.)

2. Good feedback? - One thing I've rethought is putting the answer to the previous question at the top of the next question. Someone said that a quiz taker could potentially page back and change their answer. Don't know if that's true or not. Have also tried to tighten up the writing of the questions.

3. There's not a quiz I wish I hadn't done, but I wish I had done a better job proofing my quiz before submitting the "queen" quiz. Had to fix a couple of mistakes after launch which wasn't pretty.

4. Quiz ideas? I think they come from the ether.

5. Category I avoid? Technology. I work with it all day and don't want to spend spare time on it, too.

Pepper


geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:28 PM

Do you use your spell check on your quiz?

pepperdoc
Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:30 PM

Yes, I write the quiz in MSWord then do the spell check there. Then I copy and paste into the Sploofus quiz form. The mistakes I made in that one particular quiz weren't spelling (I wish they had been). I inadvertently swapped an answer and I think I had something else written that you could take two different ways. I fixed both of them.

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:33 PM

It's hard to concentrate at times with doorbells and phones ringing, and get sidetracked. My pet peeve is when the phone rings and I'm on a word round roll!

pepperdoc
Pepperdoc  (Level: 152.5 - Posts: 4285)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 2:35 PM

Same thing happened to me this morning. In the middle of a WR, the phone rang and it was someone soliciting money. grrr

Typos slip past me when I've gone over the material a lot and is says what I want it to say. I can read right over a misspelled word and it looks fine to me.

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:04 PM


Well, I've only written seven. But I'd say the advice is the same as for any writer -- write what you know, write what you are passionate about.

Except if you know or are passionate about the TV show Friends. Then please spare us.

I was into Forteana, unsolved mysteries, and the quiozzes I wrote on that were fun and high ranked, although rather disappointing perhaps in number of takers. And probably a bit too difficult.

kaufman
Kaufman  (Level: 268.0 - Posts: 3941)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:23 PM

1. What was your favorite quiz to create and why?

I have no one favorite, but the really creative labors of love were an utter blast to write. Things like "Fruit and Vegetable Physics", "The Road to Chicago" and "Sudokwiz".

2. Have you gotten some good feedback from a fellow quiz maker or a quiz taker that changed the way you write quizzes?

Not really. I just do what I do. I'm my most important critic.

3. Is there a quiz you wish you hadn't done and why? (maybe it bombed, in retrospect you didn't do a good job of writing it or it had some problems you had to fix after launch, etc.)

The April Fools quiz I wrote tanked horribly flatly. I'll be doing something else next year.

4. How do you come up with your quiz ideas? (it comes from the ether, you like doing a series on the same topic, you read an idea in a magazine and voile, etc.)

They just come to me. Or I say something in chat, and next thing you know, I've triple-dog-dared myself to make it into a quiz.

5. Is there any quiz category you avoid and why?

None, but there are some where my relative ignorance of the topic serves as a deterrent to my putting out a good quiz there.


geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:23 PM

I enjoy taking your quizzes, Linda!

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:29 PM

I felt one of my best quizzes was about Susan Butcher, the champion musher. I have followed all her adventures throughout the years and had hoped to go to the Iditarod some day. I was devastated the day she passed away and wrote a quiz in tribute to her.
That was sheer emotion and I thought it was one of my best, but I had few takers...and that's okay!

smaug
Smaug  (Level: 144.7 - Posts: 2765)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:36 PM


Kaufman, didn't you do one of Sploof quiz statistics/odds?

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 5:42 PM

Yeah...the ones that make my eyes glaze over?!!

siouxsie
Siouxsie  (Level: 104.6 - Posts: 145)
Sat, 15th Dec '07 7:28 PM

1. My favorite quizzes to write were my SWM and SWF quizzes about authors written in the form of personal ads. It was challenging yet fun to write.
2. I get a fair amount of feedback on my quizzes, usually positive. I wrote a quiz or two where I answered each question in the following question, and someone told me the same thing, that one can use the back arrow and score 100%. I stopped making that type of quiz, but it made me sad. Doing quizzes like that enables you to not only give the correct answer but also explain it or comment on it. I really like taking and writing quizzes like that. My quizzes tend to be hard. I need to master the art of giving hints so that quiztakers who don't know the answers can make educated guesses. I don't purposely make my quizzes hard, but don't see any point in writing "gimme" questions. People are usually complimentary, even when they blow my quizzes.
3. I wrote one quiz, Where I Was When. . . The idea was to guess where I was or what I was doing on a certain date. Quiztakers were to use their knowledge of history and past events to answer the questions. For example, I couldn't have been playing my Wii or writing a blog during the Watergate hearings, for obvious reasons. Some people just missed the concept.
4. I have a fairly extensive library, so get lots of quiz ideas from books. Here's something else I do--if I have trouble getting to sleep, I write quizzes in my head! That keeps me from worrying about other things and enables me to fall asleep. And I usually remember most of the questions the next morning.
5. There is no topic or area I wouldn't write a quiz about if I happened upon some good information or a good concept.

geophile
Geophile  (Level: 167.4 - Posts: 1545)
Sun, 16th Dec '07 1:08 AM

Oh geez, not another nut who writes quizzes in her head...I thought for sure I was the only one who did that!

papajensai
Papajensai  (Level: 201.6 - Posts: 1024)
Sun, 16th Dec '07 1:47 AM

1. My favorite was entitled "Naughty Bits". It incorporated some medical information with a bit of a sexual innuendo. Same with a trio about where babies come from, how they get there, and how they get out. I've noticed that quizzes that promise a little wink-wink nudge-nudge seem to get lots of quiz takers.

2. I don't think I've had any negative feedback, other than correction of some factual inaccuracy that I may have let slip through. Generally, people are very kind to take the time to say something pleasant.

3. I'm proud of all of them, even the one that had very few takers.

4. Ideas come from everywhere...often from other quizzes, or something I see online.

5. I avoid things that would bore me if I took the quiz myself!


allena
Allena  (Level: 266.4 - Posts: 1409)
Sun, 16th Dec '07 9:50 AM

1. Favorite: Twists … there is something very relaxing about finding a gimmick to make a mundane quiz exciting. Sometimes it is criticized by a shallow edit … but usually the gimmick garners the most mail.
2. Mentor: Linenlady – whenever a person joins they should look for a mentor. She is wonderful. Although this site has lots of ways to gain help, nothing replaces a person … ask an astronaut. Can anyone imagine improving on Chick? Don’t answer that!
3. Bombed quizzes are usually an embarrassment. Why would I give one some more publicity?
4. Quiz ideas are all around, every day … just look, listen and giggle. It is best to write them down when they occur, even in the middle of the night.
5. Bad quiz ideas? NO, it just requires the correct taste (Although, I have yet to write about Smaug … I am thinking about it.)
6. Unasked: Why do you write quizzes? Can anyone really give a good answer? How about, … because it is there!


kaelin
Kaelin  (Level: 49.2 - Posts: 1685)
Mon, 17th Dec '07 9:31 AM

1. What was your favorite quiz to create and why? (maybe you enjoyed doing the research, you got a zillion points, it's a favorite topic, etc.)
>> I like music & movies, just because I enjoy them - I try to stick to a topic / style since there are tons out there. They seem to get more points - weird thing was in my movie "Letter" theme puzzles - "F" seemed to spike, while the others didn't - must have been the letter itself??

2. Have you gotten some good feedback from a fellow quiz maker or a quiz taker that changed the way you write quizzes?
>> I've had multiple "Do mores" - I've only had one negative - and that negative was really off - didn't even make sense - so I didn't respond, and ignored it, even though it "huwt my wittle feewings".
I've had multiple comments on a quiz that I felt I should have gotten an EA on, but didn't - saying I should - that DIDN'T "huwt my wittle feewings"

3. Is there a quiz you wish you hadn't done and why? (maybe it bombed, in retrospect you didn't do a good job of writing it or it had some problems you had to fix after launch, etc.)
>> Not really - My first quiz I really really enjoyed doing - and one from my favorite TV show which has not had that many takers...but it is a GOOD quiz and I stand by it - I figure if people haven't seen the show - their loss - hopefully some who had NOT seen it took the quiz and now watch - good for me so it stays on the air!


4. How do you come up with your quiz ideas? (it comes from the ether, you like doing a series on the same topic, you read an idea in a magazine and voile, etc.)
>> Radio, BBS posts, driving down the road - at all times.

5. Is there any quiz category you avoid and why?
>> Sports - because I'm not good at it the trivia for sports!



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