These past several months, our content team has written over 20,000 trivia questions on 100s of movies, TV shows, video games and celebrities. We thought you might like a few pointers.

10. You cannot please everyone

It’s hard to balance questions between easy (for the casual fan) and difficult (for the die-hards). The casual fan wants to stay with what’s in the movie, and on the DVD case. The die-hard wants to be asked about the history of the film and its production, and probably has all the dialogs memorized. Be clear which type of fan you want answering a specific question correctly and get it out there. The fact that some people find the questions too easy does not mean others do not enjoy them.

9. Make each question stand on its own

Make it easy for someone to read your question and get everything they need to answer the question. It’s frustrating to have to browse up, down and around to get the context of an incomplete question. Don’t just ask the question: “Who punches first, the chicken or Peter?”. Someone playing will go, “Who’s punching chickens? What movie was THIS in?” You’ll probably get better reception if you ask: “On Family Guy, who punches first, the chicken or Peter?”.

8. Make every word count

How long do you scan the subject line of an email in your inbox before you decide to open it or trash it? 5 seconds tops? Same goes for a trivia question. Ask yourself if a user can scan your question in 5 seconds and get what it’s about. Make the question crisp, to the point. Pick a writing style. Be consistent with your choice of words so the user knows what you’re getting at easily.

7. Double-check your facts

Your mind can play tricks on you. You might remember something that didn’t actually happen. Try internet resources like Wikipedia and IMDB where you can read what others have said about a movie. Have you assumed something that isn’t there (or confused one character with another)? Checking facts is harder for newer movies, but definitely worth the effort. Remember, people really want that perfect score, and you don’t want a true trivia buff get upset at you for saying their correct answer was wrong.

6. Know your audience

Who is your question directed to? The horror movie buff? Or the Frat Pack fan? A 15 year old casual film goer? Or a 35 year old die-hard movie buff who’s watched every movie by a cult director in the theaters or on DVD the moment it comes out? As you think of your trivia questions, be clear on who you want answering your question correctly. That way, you can be sure that it challenges some who play, and educates others as well. It helps if you throw in a fun factoid about your correct answer, that pops up after someone has answered your question.

5. Mix it up so it never gets predictable

Here we are talking of the structure and grammar of your question. Let’s say you love the video game “Gears of War”. What if a string of 20 questions came at you, and every one of them started with: “In Gears of War, what…”. Wouldn’t that get boring? On the other hand, you will probably enjoy answering the same 20 questions, if each one was phrased a bit differently. Move the game title around in the questions to different spots. You will have more fun reading and playing, right?

4. Stay away from obscure numbers and fringe facts

People play trivia for fun, not to be quizzed on what they barely saw in a movie or game. So no trivia on that phone number that flashed in the middle of a thriller movie. Or the room number where the evil guy stayed in a horror film. A good way to not be obscure is to write trivia after seeing the film, than during the film. The film will confirm details, but don’t study every frame to dredge up facts nobody remembers. If you can’t explain why it’s important to the movie, then you probably shouldn’t do trivia on it.

3. A photo or image can be more than eye candy

There’s many a great trivia question hiding behind a photo that relates to the movie, or TV show or video game that you want to write about. If you do have a photo you could use, try crafting a question around the photo (instead of throwing in the photo later into the mix as an after thought).

2. Know how you want to be known

Do you want to be known as the ultimate expert on a specific movie, TV show, video game, actor or celebrity? Or are you a lover of a whole movie genre or pop culture area? If it’s the latter, then show your range with the depth and variety of questions that you submit. Remember, with every question you submit, you are developing your reputation within a community of fellow trivia and entertainment fans.

1. Don’t write when you don’t feel like it

The best trivia questions take life when your brain cells are popping with creative ideas. It’s no different than being in the mood for any form of creative writing, be it a short story, a blog post, a novella. Anything good that’s worth sharing with others just cannot be rushed. If it isn’t working for you, take a break, go for a walk. Then get back to it a bit later.

Finally, you’ve read all this, but still don’t feel like writing trivia questions? Then just don’t. You can always just play trivia games instead.

At Kwanzoo we have free trivia games for entertainment fans. You can play trivia games about your favorite films, tv shows or even video games. We invite you to come create your own trivia game, submit a single trivia question, or just play along with your friends.

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