Elf Mastery Blog
I got a new review on Goodreads that made me very happy so I want to share it:
A Rockstar Book!
I adore this book so much!
Adventurous, entertaining and beautifully written!
Kayla, an elf who is going to be away from her family for the first time and leave for college. She's a talkative protagonist and keeps the reader amazed. To survive in this world, she has to overcome her complex fears and confront the unknown.
I would give full marks to this book because even though it was a YA Fantasy, it had its originality with itself. Twists and turns at almost each chapters keeps you engaged with it. It teaches you a lot. Friendship, Morals everything in a single package. What else could have anyone asked for?
Fluid writing style will keep you bounded to it for quite a long while. Mythological viewpoint of Elf Mastery was one more reason for my likeness for it.
I loved this book at many levels. Its writing style, pace, plot and the characters - all of them was nothing less than awesome. But more than anything else, this book was written in an intelligent manner. One could see the thinking level of the creator of this fantastic project.
Highly developed characters and fast paced story got me hooked with it and there's more. All these characters are seriously related to everyone else I've once or twice interacted. They were so likable.
If there is going to be one book I would read for one more time, this would be it. There is so much waiting for the next book!! This is so not fair!
A Fantasy novel that I'd like to read again and again!
Even though my reviews are still few in number I have been quite pleased that so many have been positive. I especially enjoy ones like this where the contributor goes into detail on how they feel about it. This is true even if they don't like it - I don't learn much if someone who dislikes the book doesn't explain why.
Anyway Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow!
I decided to enter Elf Mastery into this context last year. Figured if I didn't win, I'd at least get some feedback. Let's take a look at the results:
Entry Title: Elf Mastery
Author: Bryant Reil
Pen Name (if provided):
Entry Category: Middle-Grade/Young Adult books
Structure, Organization, and Pacing: 3
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar: 3
Production Quality and Cover Design: 3
Plot and Story Appeal: 3
Character Appeal and Development: 3
Voice and Writing Style: 3
Judge’s Commentary*: ELF MASTERY by Bryant Reil is a charming fantasy novel for young middle grade readers. I really enjoyed the character of Kyla Nim. She was immediately likable and fun. Her characteristics spoke loudly on the page and I felt the author did a wonderful job of creating a character for young readers to immediately connect to. Reading more deeply into the story, I liked the world the author created. I liked how the fairies and the elves were the ones behind the scenes making sure everything in the word was running. However, I'd wish for even more depth into this world. Even more description and details to really create bigger scenes. In fantasy novels, it is so important to perfect the surroundings, I always want the world to feel like we are right there at that very moment. So I felt this could have been more developed throughout the novel. As we follow Kyla, I like her journey but it did feel a little slow at times. Her friends brought in a new level of interest, however, the conflict between the evil character comes in too late and I felt this was something that could have been more developed from the very beginning of the story line.
-Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards.
Well, solid 3's. Not terrible. Not great. I'd feel better if there were more variation among the category scores, but whatcha gonna do?
More importantly is the commentary. The judge liked Kyla as a character, so I was happy about that. Again, people seem to love her or hate her, which I kind of did expect during character creation. Also liked the other characters. The complaint here, that the pacing in the beginning is a bit slow, is one I find valid and have heard more than once. I struggled when writing this book because I would have been happy writing a book just about Kyla in a standard year of school with no real adventure. I was having fun with the world-building and characters. But, when you publish a book, you have to consider what the audience wants to read, not just what you want to write. I had thought of trimming the beginning down a few chapters but couldn't decide what to cut. Oh well. What's done is done.
The comments on describing the world in better detail is one I know I need to work on. I feel like I'm good at coming up with settings, characters, and story lines but I struggle with breathing life into it. I would most welcome a co-author who is good at taking my material and making it more vibrant and captivating. But who would want to put that much effort into someone else's story? As it is, I am trying my best to work on these skills for books 2 and 3. (As an update, book 2 is nearing completion but I am writing the end in conjunction with the beginning of Book 3, to keep elements from conflicting with each other. Also Book 3 is more fun to write, which tells me I need to spice up the ending for Book 2.
I've been doing some online tutorials about framing and lighting so will be reworking a lot of the pictures over time. Here is a contrast between an original and a redo.
First the original:
And the redo with new lighting:
More depth and shadows. It comes off as slightly more realistic, though I did like the cartoony color wash in the original. Instead of replacing the current slideshow, I think I'll make a new slideshow with the newer images so people can see the changes. Good reference for anyone interested in this sort of thing.
First off Happy New Year!
Secondly, I finished the rough draft of my pictue set for Elf Mastery. Some changes will be made, as there are a few I'm not happy with, but now I can rest for a bit. There are thirty-nine pictures total: one for each chapter, except I made two for Chapter Thirty-Two and none for Chapter Twenty-Eight. I felt most of the pictures for Thirty-Eight would be a bit spoiler-y.
Have started Book Three, Elf Righteous. Book Two (Elf Doubt) is not yet finished but I need to make sure certain points tie together properly so I'm writing in tandem. Book Two will also need considerable editing. However, due to the tandem work on books two and three, three shouldn't take too long after I complete two.
That's all for now. Hope you have a great 2017!
I just finished the picture for Chapter Fifteen, with everyone on the highway to Whitehall in their Halloween costumes. So although I am adding it to the slideshow I want to add it here as well, as it was a rather challenging one.
From left to right: Aspen, Aura, Saul, Lili, Eunoe, Kyla.
I think this is the last of the pictures I'll post here. On the fifth I'll create a page to collect all the pictures I make. So far I've been doing one per chapter. This one is Heff bullying Lug in the break room at the Center of the Earth.
Still going! I'm having a lot of fun making this pictures. Already done the third. Again, the requirements to render the scene are very high so this render is not optimized. This is Kyla in Aspen's singing class. Kyla has accidentally insulted the trees, and Aspen is trying to get her to stop singing.
Here's a picture of Kyla waiting patiently for the Dean of Admissions to notice she is sitting in his office. This one is not using the Nvidia Iray renderer, so the render quality isn't quite as good as the last one, as the number of items and lights were taking too long, so I may render it again when I've done enough to start putting together a set on their own page.
I've decided to make some pictures of various scenes in Elf Mastery, but as I can't draw I'm making them in DAZ Studio. I will eventually make a page for them, but for now I have just finished my first picture so will post it here. It is from the first scene in Chapter One, with Kyla being driven to Equinox by Grizzlesnout, the goblin coachman.
I saw 15 straight days of use in the Kindle Select library. Not always a lot, but I'm always excited to know someone, somewhere is reading Elf Mastery. I have also decided to create a series of pictures to go along with the book. As I can't draw, I am using DAZ studio.
Also, I am currently working on Chapter 24 in the second book, Elf Doubt. It is pretty rough at the moment, and many changes will need to be made in edits, but just want to get everything down.
Also, I am going to be running a DnD 5e campaign using my world setting! Pretty stoked for that, as I can world-build while having fun! Have to make some adjustments in the game to line up my world with that of DnD. As I didn't want to run a modern setting, I am setting it about a thousand years in the past, at the time of Kinsel King, in the city of Haven (the modern location of High Haven in Elf Mastery, and the namesake of Kyla's dorm, Haven Hall.)
And as an added note, I put one of my free days as this coming Halloween. That means Oct 31, 2016, you can download the ebook for free on Amazon. I mean, it's only a $3 book to begin with, but everyone loves free stuff.
I recently finished several years of employment with the Canadian government to pursue a Master's degree. My secret goal is to become a self-sustaining author. This blog is dedicated to the first book I have ever put on the market.