The 3rd "Moon Crater" Fiction Decisions Poll

# “And you think Rockford Files is cool, but there are some things you would change if it were up to you…” - Ben Folds Five

Introducing the 3rd & FINAL Moon Crater Fiction Decisions Poll!

For each year of the two years so far that I’ve kept this blog journal, I’ve launched a reader poll in an attempt to generate interest in my novel as I continue to write it. With the turn of the new year I’ve once again looked back over my drafted chapters with the second draft in mind and begun to devise the last “interactive” poll to be run in conjunction with Moon Crater

With the 1st Poll in 2006 and then the 2nd Poll in 2007 we shared glimpses of some of the people who inhabit the book and also began to shape some of the places that exist across the novel’s pages...

And as this is officially a leap year now, for 2008's poll, I've decided to twist the contents around a bit to help make it more interesting... Knowledge is an important thing in all parts of life (not just writing) but I'm always amazed at how much there's to learn from other people, and so my aim here is to collaborate and mix my own imagination with that of readers'. A perhaps unlikely "arty type", called Albert Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge", but maybe both can work hand-in-hand, and hopefully other would-be amateur writers may be inspired to take pen to paper after reading this post too!

But “What's left of this book to decide on" you may ask,... especially with a story that's already much-touted to be fully-drafted. Well, with this 3rd and final poll in 2008, I'm going to allow YOU the reader to help determine some "sounds and assorted senses" of the world of Moon Crater...

As I now progress through the second draft of my novel's story one of the things that I'm honing in on is how much I glossed over key chances across the chapters to write some really descriptive writing... So that's a major consideration for me in this new draft of the story and that's where this final poll's results will eventually come in handy too, therefore tapping into readers' opinions on descriptive senses vital to the plot should help me paint a better picture of my story with the words decided on here...

So down to business, then… As has become the customary format with my previous polls, below is a set of questions and possible options to choose from... Read over them, discuss with your neighbour or imaginary friend and then give your feedback in the usual way – either by emailing your votes to me at: or add a comment to this blog post with your options (even if you're not a Blogger member you can still add a comment - just click on the "comments" link at the bottom of this post, a "word verification" message will appear and then you can put your options in the box provided.) Just give your poll options in the form of "1 - a), 2 - b), 3 - c)" etc. and that’d be great!

A special call-out to my friends who are teachers of the target age-range of Moon Crater here, (the 8 to 14 age group - you know who you are!) – why not use this poll as the basis for some class work on creative writing and help me out in the process by sending me back the class results as a whole? It worked a treat for a creative class of youngsters on the 1st Poll and it would be brilliant to have more genuine input from the book’s intended readership, so if you have time to fit it in somewhere to the syllabus before the year’s end, that’d be really helpful!

Please, remember to note this general internet safety warning – it’s always good practice if you're a younger reader to let your parents know you're taking part in an interactive web poll like this that requires feedback – and this could be a good opportunity to get them involved too, by sending their own options in – the more people who enter the merrier! (although Moon Crater is for an 8-14 readership, it’d be great if adults enjoyed reading it to, especially since it’s written by one, at any rate!)

Here, then, are the top ten options to choose from for “the Sounds & Assorted Senses of the world of Moon Crater”:

1. What word do you think most describes the sound of 'electric rain'?a) “crackling”
b) “sizzling”
c) “frizzing”

2. How would you describe the engine of a clapped-out old van?a) “spluttering and sneezing”
b) “choking and coughing”
c) “whirling and wheezing”

3. If there was an ominous but annoying noise around you that you couldn’t pinpoint, which of these descriptions would most unnerve you?
a) “a distant hum which rattles and shakes everything around it”
b) “a machine-made grumble which resembles a wild animal hiding and snarling”
c) “a constant other-worldly drone which makes you cautious to continue on your chosen path”

4. A computer voice barks a command at you – it most resembles the sound of:
a) “your old aunt when she’s very annoyed and at her most high-pitched”
b) “a monotone football results announcer who is bored with their job”
c) “someone not quite on this planet who has a lot to say and not enough time to say it in”

5. Walking into your local shop the whiff of freshly-made sweets is the first thing to hit you. Is the smell probably most like:
a) “oranges and lemons”?
b) “an explosion of rich aromas that ultimately make you feel a bit sick”?
c) “the best meals you’ve ever had all rolled into one”?

6. A friend has a tomcat and sometimes when you visit them, they apologise because their house smells of:a) “musty dampness”
b) “freshly-cut pine wood”
c) “week-old rotten eggs”

7. Conversely, when you’ve stayed at their house, their parents make the best brekkie ever, as you come down in the morning to the kitchen and breakfast is brewing, you can smell:
a) “smoky bacon and fried eggs”
b) “fresh coffee and hot-buttered toast”
c) “porridge and grapefruit”

8. On your way to school your walk takes you past views of a sprawling valley with hills and countryside as far as the eye can see – do this make you feel:a) “at peace with the world around you, you never want to leave this place”?
b) “trapped and suffocated”?
c) “longing to see skyscrapers and busy city streets”?

9. Old, weathered stone most feels:
a) “cold and rough”?
b) “crumbling and powdery”?
c) “solid and immovable”?

10. Opening an old canister you are immediately struck by:a) “a dizzy chemical aroma”?
b) “a toxic concoction of searing smells” ?
c) “a sweet mix of something ‘newly-made’ but also past its sell-by-date”?

This really is the last ever chance I’ll offer readers the chance to influence how Moon Crater turns out, so I hope you’ll take the opportunity to make your mark on this still evolving story. This poll will remain open until the last day of 2008 so you’ve got plenty of time to mull over your choices (and no excuse not to take part if you’re even the slightest bit intrigued by what my novel is about!) I’m also going allow the poll to permanently appear in its own space in the sidebar of this page once I work out how to use this new feature of Blogger…

I really hope the options from this poll will continue to add intrigue to what exactly my book is all about but as well as this hopefully reading this post may have got the creative cogs in your own mind turning? Since it's a leap year, why not try something new and become more creative? Maybe use the poll options here to create your own original story, just for fun and practice? No answers on a postcard required for this one… just let your pen or pencil have a life of its own on the page and who knows what you’ll end up with… Exciting prospect, isn’t it? (But, of course, please do remember to take the poll first and send me your choices – it’s really going to be your very LAST CHANCE to make an impact on my novel – keep on writing and having a great adventure with it!!!)

Enjoy, and thanks for taking part if you find the time…

Chris G Allan, February, 2008.

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