- Knowledge is not the main thing
When writing questions, it is always necessary to remember that players should solve the riddle with logic and the ability to think outside the box, not with erudition or, even worse, with Google. The answer should be based on general knowledge. All the information needed to answer the question should be available for all teams. If you are not sure about this, it is better to provide the information in the question.
To avoid riddles to which you can give two or more correct answers, you can add a tag - a small fact that will clearly indicate the only correct answer.
To the question "What is the only way to be happy?" maybe a thousand correct answers, but to the question "What is the only way in the opinion of Hans Christian Andersen to be happy?" the only correct answer is "To be of use to the world."
- Inside out
The well-known expert and author of questions, Vladimir Belkin, gives the following recommendation: "If the question does not look good, turn it inside out." Meaning, tell me the answer and try to guess the fact used earlier in the question. It often helps.
To the question "What is the name of Karlsson-on-the-Roof's best friend" - the answer is obvious - this is "Little Brother", but you need to guess the name, and only a few people will remember the correct answer. It is much better to ask: "Actually, his name was Svante Svantesson, and you all know him. What was the name of his best friend?" Let the players remember famous Scandinavians - first real, and then literary, and in the end, they come to Karlsson-on-the-Roof.
- Short answer
Try to make the answer that consists of one word or a stable phrase. Two or three words are also good.
For example, to the question: "Every year on the last Monday in May, as part of the Spring Festival on Cooper's Hill in England, a traumatic competition is held, the obligatory attribute of which is an object in the form of a circle weighing about 3.5 kg. What are the participants competing in?", The correct answer would be "chasing a head of cheese". But it is better to rephrase the question: "What is the reward for the winner?" and then the answer is "cheese".
- The difficulty of the task
Decide who is your quest's target audience and, based on this, determine the level of difficulty of the tasks. Ideally, test the quest on representatives of the target audience.
- Interesting basis
The question should be based on some interesting fact, legend or funny story. For the question's sake, the question will not be interesting and will distract the players from the quest's story. It is quite easy to distinguish an interesting fact from an uninteresting one - if you want to tell your friends about this fact, feel free to make the riddle out of it.
- Be sure to check if there is a logical chain along which, without knowing the fact, you can get to the correct answer. If it is not there, how can the teams not remember, but guess? This intellectual game, invented in Odessa, is not only called "And if you think about it?" - it is emphasized that it should not be called "And if you remembering it?".
- Before writing down a question, imagine that you are the most authoritative, aggressive and erudite expert, who at all costs wants to prove that this question is incorrect or have a double meaning. If at least something works out - the question needs to be revised.
- When writing down a question, be sure to write down the source as well - otherwise, they will not be able to check it, and those who take questions to some decent place will definitely check them.
- For some authors of questions, the following fact is very unpleasant, but it should not be forgotten. Remember that the players' task is to give the correct answer to your question, not to guess what you have in mind. These are sometimes completely different things!
In short, there are three things to keep in mind when creating questions:
- There is an answer to the question.
- The question may have only one answer (not to confuse duality with synonymity).
- The answer to the question can be found in less than a minute (for the smart ones).