Not to rain on your parade Sam, as it is certainly noble of you to offer your help, but I'd like to quote Max's guide to writing a housewrite here:Scaled Flowerpiercer wrote:I could probably give you some critiques on a lot of the science if given access to the questions as I am somewhat knowledgeable in those areas and I remember a lot of the issues I encountered when playing with the set and could probably deliver most of the critique by memory. Of course if this is still going to be made into a middle school set it will neither be as public (or as brutal) as the one to which you refer.conquerer7 wrote: Once this furor dies down, I would appreciate if somebody could go through what I edited and give criticism (especially math and non-modern physics, and hopefully not in the same form as the brutal SUB-OPTIMAL critique of IMSANITY
To be frank, I'm not sure that you, a rising college freshman who has nary any experience actually editing questions, will be able to provide anyone with the necessary feedback to make them an appropriately better writer. While it is nice that you want to help out Kevin and others, it is this sort of thinking that leads to poorly written sets such as this one. Namely, "I am fairly knowledgeable in this area and have played a few tournaments so I must be able to write good questions." Even supposing that, and this part is entirely possible, you were able to adequately point out what is wrong with Kevin's questions (finding negatives in something is usually fairly easy), what you almost certainly will not be able to provide and what I'd argue is far more important, is how to correct the problems in Kevin's questions. It is this sort of feedback that truly helps writers improve as it allows them to empower themselves and fix their own problems rather than constantly rely on outside help. Without offering a fix you leave Kevin and others in an odd position. It is a position where they think they've received the feedback that they need to improve, but have yet to receive any feedback that they can act on immediately to make them better writers.More importantly, find someone experienced and get them to look over the set for you. When I say experienced, I don’t mean a college freshman or two who haven’t head-edited anything but worked for Fall Novice once, I mean EXPERIENCED: someone who has edited multiple high school tournaments and can instantly tell a good question from a bad one. A great place to do this is the quizbowl irc channel -- usually it’s just a bunch of semi-busy college people sitting around who are almost always more than happy to be read a packet and provide feedback if you ask them nicely and politely.
In other words. I'd strongly suggest that any writer or editor of this tournament who is looking for feedback ACTIVELY seek out help from the people that Max has deemed as "experienced" rather than settle for those who can only offer half or less of the feedback that you need to improve. By actively I mean going on the IRC channel and asking nicely if someone will please look over your questions (it helps if you introduce who you are as well, both to the channel and to any individual that might help you) or doing a little research and finding the email addresses of successful tournaments (this can be done by searching the older sections of the forums). Keep in mind that personal or semi-personal (a personal email) will almost always garner more positive attention than a forum post, although forum posts can work.
I would also like to strongly suggest that, if you are someone like Sam who does want to help people improve as question writers, you hold back on giving advice now and quietly seek to become good writers by working for the various quizbowl set productions that occur each year and actively seek out help from the editors of those sets (NAQT is a great place to start if you are interested in this). Then, once you have yourself become a good writer, a skill that while aided by being a great player is a fairly distinct one, you should go forth into the greater Quizbowl community and share your wisdom as you see fit.