It is wise to ask for feedback about a project once it is done and that is what the Tossing it Out blog has done, so I thought I would be helpful and provide some feedback. I will copy this blog in its format of breaking down the aspects of the contest.
On my education.
Going through my gamebook collection and researching villains has been a great way for me to find out how to make a good villain for a story. The different villains have different styles, but good villains make themselves known to the hero through henchmen, traps and diabolical schemes. In a gamebook, you have to make the reader want to get this villain. You want the villain to be the reader's nemesis and not some tough fight at the end of the gamebook. The villain needs individuality. They need something for the reader to remember them by. The villain also needs to not pull any punches. James Bond Villains have lost their X factor for me because you know that even when they capture Bond they will just have dinner with him for a bit before tryin to kill him and then they don't do it effectively like shooting him. I think Dr Evil from the Austin Powers movies sums it up perfectly:
"No Scott, I have a better idea. I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death."
Back to what the challenge did for me - it made me go out there and do a lot of research into an integral part of gamebooks. Thanks for that.
I did all of the posts in advance, so this was OK. This was also the first time I scheduled my posts, so I learnt to do that because of my challenge.
In case you're wondering how to schedule posts, go to post options, then enter a time and a date, then click publish (I clicked save now at first which still saves it as a draft). Your post will appear at the designated time and date.
I visited a few blogs. I visited the people who visited me and then clicked a few at random on the Tossing it Out list. My efforts dropped off as the month went on though.
I am now following more blogs that I like to keep up with. Some are about gaming, some arene't but I find them all interesting. Most of the blogs that I am following from the A to Z challenge belong to people who took the time and effort to comment on my blog. I think following a blog is a lot about building relationships.
I'd like to thank all the people who commented on my blog, especially the ones who confessed to knowing very little about my posts. I guess that gamebooks are quite a niche subject but I would like to open it up which is why I did a call for questions on my gamebooks for dummies post. I would love to have a bigger audience (what blogger wouldn't) and I would love all of them to understand what I was writing about so that they can get as much from gamebooks as I have.
Overall, the challenge has been extremely beneficial for me. April has provided me with a record number of viewings, thirteen extra followers, some more blogs for me to absorb knowledge from and a deeper understanding of gamebooks. My only regret is not visiting many other blogs. I started out with good intentions but it got tiring for me. Of course I am planning a wedding and working a full time job at the moment so that may be the reason. There is just too much good stuff out there and I'd like to thank Tossing it Out for providing a window into that.
Finally, this post has three other challenges that you could take part in. Due to the aforementioned wedding planning, I am not taking part in them. However, a challenge is always good to test your limits so I recommend doing something of the kind.
Here are all of the blogs that are doing a reflective post on the April A to Z: