The 1st Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll!

# "I feel like a quote out of context, Withholding the rest, so I can be for you what you want to see" # - Ben Folds

Announcing the 1st Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll!

I'd like you to help me shape the appearance and characteristics of the two main characters in my story. This isn't me just being a lazy writer - I'd like to involve readers as much in the writing process as possible, (my website is just one way I've already sought some feedback on my writing) but added to this is the fact that despite working on the story of Moon Crater for a good few years, plotting key moments and creating dialogue for a variety of characters, the central duo who drive the story forward are still faceless silhouettes to me.

I only realised this whilst travelling across Canada on a sleeper train last month (it's weird what comes into your head at 3am after being kept awake by every bump and rattle on an old railway track!) But these two "shadow puppets" aren't absolute strangers to me by any means.

They are actually like best friends to me now. I know how they'd react in certain situations, whether they'd laugh at a particular joke, even which films they'd buy a cinema ticket for, but I just haven't ever devoted much time to deciding what they physically look like...

So, guys and gals, this is where you come in! Below is a set of questions and possible options to choose from. I'd like you to read over them, talk amongst yourselves for a while, and then give your feedback to the group - namely me - by emailing your votes to: (just in the form of "1 - a), 2 - b), 3 - c)" etc. will be fine.) Please remember to note the general internet safety warning above - if you're a younger reader, let your parents know you're taking part in the poll.

The results will appear on this page soon, once they've been collated and independently verified by our adjudicator, Twig.

OK, here goes...

Meet... "Billy":
He's 13 and 3/4 years old. He doesn't like sports at school, isn't terribly studious, but is fascinated by everyday things, including television and in particular science fiction. He likes cats and garden gnomes but doesn't really find old, stuffy things very interesting at all.

Should Billy...
1. ...have hair that's:
a) spiky and blond?
b) short and brown?
c) long and black?
2. ...have eyes that are:
a) blue?
b) green?
3. ...have spots?
a) Yes.
b) No.
4. ...carry a backpack to school that's:
a) red?
b) blue?
c) green?
5. ...have a school uniform with a:
a) blazer?
b) only a jumper and school badge on it?

Now meet "Jo"...
She's 13 and 1/3 years old. She loves school and anything new that she can read about. She isn't a "swot" but puts everything into her homework. She, too like her best friend, Billy, loves science fiction, but possibly likes playing with gadgets, like her mobile phone, more. She doesn't like arguments.

Should Jo...
6. ...have hair that's:
a) red, tied in a ponytail?
b) long and brown?
c) bobbed and black?
7. ...have eyes that are:
a) hazel?
b) light blue?
8. taller than Billy?
a) Yes.
b) No.
9. ...outside of school wear:
a) jeans and gimicky T-shirts?
b) colourful jumpers?
10. ...have a mobile ringtone that:
a) is a loud polyphonic tune?
b) is her favourite pop song?
c) is just an old fashioned ringing noise?

I realise, by the way, that I've told you very little about what the story of Moon Crater is about, but just treat this as an exercise in imagination - allow your creative spirits to run wild and don't worry about the context that these characters will be in for now... (that could be a subject for a future poll, anyway!)

At any rate, if you're new to my blog and want some tiny insight into the world of Moon Crater, check out this earlier post from me on the subject and then come back to this front page:

I'm going to leave this blog post up for about two weeks to allow as many people to see it as possible. In the meantime, spread the word, pass the link to this page along to all of your friends and neighbours, and ask them to do the same, especially if you know any kids around the age of these characters, too - it'd be great to get them involved - remember, the target audience for Moon Crater is the 8-14 children's age range, so feedback from them would be brilliant - but once again, of course, please, make sure they know about the safety notice above about making their parents/guardians aware that they're taking part.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy helping me out, and I look forward to seeing the results as they're added.

CGAllan, 22nd September, 2006.

ps (Answers on a postcard or... ) As I've said you can email me your votes but you can also simply add a comment to this post - I've enabled comments to be added to this blog post even if you're not a Blogger member, so it's even easier to vote in this poll than it would have been before! Just click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post, just a few lines down from here, and the rest, as they say, will be history :> Oh, and there'll be a "word verification" message comes up - that "type what you see" game - but it's just to stop spammers infiltrating my blog, so just think of it as an added extra challenge in the process of contributing to Moon Crater! ;p


  1. Billy has brown, spiky hair, hazel eyes, some spots, but not bad acne, blue backpack and a uniform that's just a jumper.

    Jo has a red ponytail, hazel eyes, not taller than Billy (in fact, she's quite tiny), lives in jeans & t-shirts at weekends, and has a ring tone that is a customised polyphonic tone.

    That's how they are in my head anyway! :-)

  2. Billy should have spikey blond hair and wear a blazer, and add a love of history, and Indiana Jones to his interests, as he is adventureous. He will probably kick snow into his old pal Twig when he jumps into the snow one cold winter, not expecting to be ambushed, at some point ;p

    Jo wrote her own ringtone based on a theory that static found in space is actually some code being sent from aliens in some far off part of the universe (where the main mode of transport is the model 10,000 rocket powered campervan, with accompanying furry dice). The ringtone has a knack for scaring off cats.

    Her hair is either black, or blonde. Or possibly red, though she has sometimes thought of wearing a tinfoil hat to avoid government mind-control techniques. She wears woolly jumpers.


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