Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blogfest Debriefing

My biggest fear about participating in Brenda Drake's blogfest was that I'd be a FLAKY participant.

I knew there was no way I could get around to all 100+ participants' blogs, but I planned on at least commenting on the people's first lines who commented on mine. I did my best, but I didn't get around to everyone who commented and I'm so sorry about that! (My big excuse is that my mother- and sister-in-laws threw me and baby Naomi a shower last night, so I was out late partying.)

To add to my flakiness I also got my entry in LATE (ahh, but aren't I perpetually late these days?). Thankfully Brenda extended the deadline (thank you, Brenda!). I guess I wasn't the only late one.

Thank you to everyone who took time to comment on my first line. I honestly struggled with what to do with the feedback. A lot of people seemed to like it the way it was -- short and sweet. But others thought I should expand on it. I wished I had followed the example of other wise bloggers (like Sharon Mayhew) who posted the first line and then the first paragraph to get the ultimate first-line critique.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

The funny thing about these first-line contests is that in real life you pick up a book, you open it, you read the first line and usually the second and third line, too. Most of the time (at least for me) the author has an entire first paragraph, and probably a first page, to hook me. (Not to mention the cover and the back copy.) I worried that by trying to cram too much information into my first line, I'd muck it up.

So, I ended up not changing anything. I went with the majority vote. But I assure you that I carefully considered everyone's feedback, and I sincerely appreciate you all taking the time to give it.

Plus, it was fun to spend fragments of the day (between diaper-changing and milk-wagon duties) blog-hopping. I found some wonderful blogs and I wish everyone who participated the very best of luck in the contest!


  1. I really liked it the way it was, but I haven't read your manuscript. And you have the very best excuse for flakiness, Amy. I hope you had a fun party!

  2. Sounds like I missed a great time! I'm impressed you can do anything with diaper duty! I really do miss those days.

  3. I have taken part in blogfests, although I wasn't involved in Branda's. I've found that they take over my life for days. Having said that they're good fun and an excellent way of getting your blog 'out there'.

    I wish I'd had time to take part in this one as it sounds fascinating but I do agree that the first line of a novel cannot always be expected to stand alone... and thank you so much for taking the time to comment on my blog when you were already rushing around the blogosphere like a mad thing!

  4. I've found lately that sometimes I won't even give a book the first page to prove itself. There are so many books I want to read and so little time in the day to do it, that sometimes I think, "If this gets me interested by the first line, I'll go with it, otherwise I'll try a different one." I know, it's scary from a writer's point of view to have so little to work with. Hopefully most readers aren't as difficult as I am!

  5. Amy...I think you were one of the I think it worked out well. It's late and I just got back from vacation, but I'm sure you were one of the winners....