Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Improved Scoop Questionnaire

Recently, I retooled the Market Scoops questionnaire to mine richer answers from editors. Since y’all are the ones affected by my choices, I’d love to get your feedback. So here’s what I did...

After calculating some quick statistics, I realized that certain questions almost always receive the same answer. For example, old question number eight—“What are the top three things submitters to this market should avoid?”—limits editors to a commonsense response: we all know we ought to spell things correctly and properly format our manuscripts—duh! So I’ve completely removed that question, along with old question number nine, “What trait are you seeking most in submissions to this market?”

In their place, I have added two new questions, one about theme and the other about tone and voice. I also have tacked on new dimensions to a few existing questions and have reordered them logically, I hope.

Now here is where you come in. I have pasted the new questionnaire below, with the new questions and elements highlighted in red. If you like it, if you hate it, if you think you could do it better, comment and let me know—I’d love to hear from you!!!

1) What authors do you enjoy, and why does their writing captivate you?

2) What are your favorite genres? Which genres would you like to see incorporated into submissions to this market?

3) What settings most intrigue you? Ordinary or exotic locales? Real or fantasy? Past, present, or future?

4) Explain the type of pacing you enjoy, e.g. slow building to fast, fast throughout, etc.

5) What types of characters appeal to you the most? Any examples?

6) Is there a specific tone you'd like to set in your publication? What kind of voices grab you and keep you enthralled? Any examples?

7) What is your policy for vulgarity, violence, and sexual content? Any taboos?

8) What kind of themes are you seeking most in submissions to this market? In general, what themes interest you?

9) Overall, do you prefer downbeat or upbeat endings?

10) Any last advice for submitters to this market? Any critical dos or don’ts?


Anonymous said...

Although nobody else has commented, I think the new questionnaire is much better, Mr S.



D.L. Snell said...

Thanks--appreciate it!

I got rid of a question that I might eventually add back in: "Describe a story you recently accepted. What made it stand out from the slush pile?"