2020

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Name 2020
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Date Jan. 1, 2020
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Entries 85
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#1 Copy

rawlsrorty

Why is Akura Malice So Passive in Uncrowned?

 

First, I’d like to say that I love this series. I even loved Uncrowned (Akura Justice’s interactions with Lindon were worth the price of admission).

 

That said, I don’t understand why Malice acted the way she did. We hear, again and again, from Charity, that the stakes of the Uncrowned tournament are very high for the Akura. They have to do well because they have enemies encroaching from every corner.

 

Then, the dragon faction proceed to kill an entire vassal team of hers, forcing the Akura to embarrassingly put in a backup team from their own family. Another vassal team has their transportation sabotaged -again by her greatest enemies- and she does nothing. Then, the one monarch who should be a logical ally of hers makes a last minute decision that certainly looks like it’s screwing over her faction. And again, she does nothing.

 

I find Malice’s behavior in Uncrowned even more inexplicable than Northstrider’s. Either she’s playing 17-dimensional chess, or she’s much weaker than the other monarchs and so is afraid to stand up to them even when they blatantly provoke her.

Will Wight

It’s political. In the sense that she and the other Monarchs are constantly jockeying against each other to try and get one up on each other without provoking anyone into a fight.

 

I originally intended for there to be 2-3 scenes of the Monarchs interacting over the course of Uncrowned in order to explain what was going on from their perspective, but I cut it because I’m already introducing a ton of new characters and names in the book and didn’t want to throw in a bunch more character introductions.

 

As for why she didn’t just teleport them there, at this point in the series we haven’t seen anyone teleport anyone else between continents. The Arelius portals do it once every ten years, which requires a permanent portal network, and until the last time they actually had an active Monarch.

 

Charity borrows Malice’s power to teleport a bunch of people across a long distance on the same continent, and she spends time and resources setting that up.

 

(I intend to include the Monarch scenes in the next book because I’m going lighter on the new characters this time.)

#2 Copy

SayLessThanYouKnow

I reread the Cradle books a lot, which is good cause I'm constantly missing details.

This time I just noticed in Soulsmith something related to Uncrowned. When Yerin and Lindon are entering the camp for the first time and confronted by the Sandvipers, Yerin beats one down. Something I didn't notice is

"You're strong, you get respect. You're weak, and you better know someone strong." Yerin slowly laid the flat of her blade down, resting it on the top of Resh's head. The Sandviper woman flinched, and frost began to form in her hair.

The frost come's from Yerin's sword (made from the Sage of Frozen Blade).

In Uncrowned Lindon is surprised when Yerin uses the sword's binding and says he never saw anything to suggest that it had such a binding, but here's the contradictory proof! Also he had previously noticed the blade giving off an intense cold.

Will Wight

It’s not the binding causing this effect, it’s the material the sword is made of.

#3 Copy

JM-SL

What kind of Iron Body had Harmony?

Will Wight

I don't remember. Off the top of my head, the standard Iron body for Akura elites is one that makes it easier to control their bloodline armor, which becomes a more common technique for them at Underlord and above.

#4 Copy

ficklebutter

Is harvesting a sages/someone with acces to the way remnant an almost sure fire way to be able to gain access to the way? We’ve seen two examples of this in the series Yerin and Regan Shen. I just finished my 5th reread seconds ago so I’m brimming with questions if you do not like this question or feel it has an unsatisfying answer please feel free to say so and I’ll ask a different one.

Also I have a sneaky suspicion that eithan grandpa line has something to do with the connection between eithan and the Aurelius monarch I’ve got my Tin foil hat on Will and I’m watching you.

I love these books will please never give up writing. I wanna be an author and you’re one of my heroes.

Will Wight

Awww, you've warmed the cockles of my heart. I have warm cockles now thanks to you.

An almost surefire way? No. But it does help clear the way to higher levels if you manage to adopt a Remnant with greater advancement and/or insight, like a Sage's.

#7 Copy

positronicman

Have the recent viral incidents aboard cruise ships impacted your future writing plans or how you view cruises in general?

Will Wight

Honestly, I almost booked another cruise this week because it would be cheaper.

I didn't only because I already had other plans.

#8 Copy

Car_On_Roof

Will we see Lindon make a return to sacred valley in the next book

Will Wight

Yes. Sort of.

Footnote: From Will: Keep in mind that all things are subject to change in books I haven't written yet, so this could be completely wrong.
Sources: Reddit
#9 Copy

positronicman

Regarding Hidden Gnome Publishing, what are your current thoughts on growing the stable of authors?

Semi-relatedly, are you familiar with Subutai Corporation and their collaboratively written Mongoliad/Foreworld Saga? I'd imagine that Neal Stephenson and gang might have some valuable lessons learned if you are going to grow the Hidden Gnome Army.

Will Wight

I've never heard of that organization, though of course I have read Neal Stephenson, but I am willing to expand Hidden Gnome to more than just myself! It's all about finding the right writer, though.

#10 Copy

kcudlow

If it's easier to become a Herald than a sage, and a Herald is more powerful, why would anyone choose to become a sage besides the cool name?

Will Wight

The Abidan like Sages better.

Also, Sages have certain advantages that Heralds don't have. And generally, Sages are people who are focused on exploring the depth of their Path rather than advancing for the sake of power.

#11 Copy

Majedic

Is Lindon’s rise from foundation to Underlord in 3ish years unprecedented?

Will Wight

Not literally unprecedented. There have been people to advance so quickly before.

But practically speaking, unprecedented.

#12 Copy

Skeletickles

This might be a little too spoiler-y, but I believe you've mentioned before that we haven't seen the most powerful beings in Amalgam. Is the Old Man who appears in the Ragnarus short story one of those beings? Also, is he Ragnarus' Founder?

Will Wight

Take this with a big pile of salt, as I haven't gone back to my Traveler's Gate notes in many moons, but I do believe I was referring to the true Founders of the other Territories. Of which the Old Man is one.

#13 Copy

True Ruler of None

Is Authority over Energy Systems a thing?

Will Wight

Let me get back to you on that. I know the answer, but I don't know how to phrase it well yet. I'll be developing my terminology between now and Wintersteel.

#14 Copy

True Ruler of None

What is the difference between active reading and using a Magister staff?

Will Wight

A Magister staff uses the powers in the staff. A Windwatcher can float in the air, if you have Windwatcher feathers in your staff, maybe you could float things in the air.

Active Reading physically changes things like you would by Awakening them, but doesn't finish the process, leaving them warped, broken, or changed.

#15 Copy

JM-SL

Who is stronger... a Sage or a Herald?

Will Wight

The reason it's an endless discussion is because there's not much of a clear answer to that question.

In pure power, Herald. But Sages can do some things Heralds can't.

#17 Copy

gregsfortytwo

Do you think you know what your next series will be? 

Will Wight

First off, thank you for asking that question, because I am always dying to make something new. It's my favorite part of writing.

As for whether I know what it is...that changes from day to day.

Last year, I was convinced I was going to write a dungeon series, because I feel like there's a lot of potential there and I'd like to try my hand at it.

About six months ago, I wanted to do some kind of a GameLit thing. Not a LitRPG exactly, but something a little more game-ified than what I normally do. Sort of like a D&D world in which the inhabitants had figured out the magic rules through trial and error over the years.

A month or two ago, I was really into a setting with a modern culture and technology level but also magic. Kind of like many Final Fantasy settings. I also fleshed out a few surprisingly detailed plots in which characters could collect abilities in different categories and thereby make "builds" for themselves (so to speak).

Recently, I've been researching writing Visual Novels and other such branching narratives. So who knows?

LucasRuby

Oh man I love that stuff. Don't give me hope.

Will Wight

I really do too.

And I've already taken on the more traditional fantasy in Traveler's Gate, something slightly more experimental with Elder Empire, and then a cultivation story with Cradle.

Which leaves the game-y corner of webnovels left untouched..

#19 Copy

captaingrowler

We’re you as excited as I was when the story got back to Sacred Valley?

Will Wight

Probably, yeah. I've wanted to come back to SV for a long time.

Having said that, I was probably a lot more nervous than you were.

#20 Copy

LionChasing

Since discovering Cradle, there's never been a time where I didn't have one of your books in rotation, and Elder Empire is equally amazing. You walk on water here!

Do you have active plans or dreams for extending the universe in other formats in the future? I.e. graphic novels, games, e.t.c.

Will Wight

Aw, shucks!

I would love a visual novel or a graphic novel or a simple tie-in game or what have you, but all of those things require cooperation from other creatives.

I don't write books in isolation, but I do write all the books myself, which is a lot easier than having to cooperate with an artist or co-writer.

#21 Copy

Escsh

How was Zakareth able to Incarnate if Queen Cynara was Ragnarus Incarnation already?

Will Wight

She stepped into the Territory and became bound to it specifically to allow him to Incarnate.

#22 Copy

onthevergeofposting

Any chance you'll continue writing in the Elder Empire series after finishing OKAK?

Will Wight

The chances are low.

If I think of the right story in that universe, then possibly. I really do like the world.

But I always prefer going somewhere new.

#23 Copy

Daldric

So if black flame is based on fire and destruction madra then is an iron body made out of certain aspects as well? Are you combining two things to make an iron body or is it all random?

Will Wight

An Iron body is essentially how the spirit changes the body hosting it. So its changes are made by certain aspects of madra and aura, not made of them.

Then again, there are exceptions. Some Iron bodies make people exceptionally able to manipulate one type of aura or madra and crap at anything else.

#24 Copy

True Ruler of None

What is Ziel Iron Body?

What is Ziel Jade Cycling Technique?

Does the Path of the Dawn Oath Goldsign have any benefital properties except goring people?

Will Wight

The first two are definitely notes questions for me. I could give you a general answer, but then I would risk being wrong.

And if I've learned anything, it's that whenever I say something like "Don't quote me on this, but I think it's X," people will quote me saying "It is absolutely X."

The Goldsign does not have any unusual properties except making hair care difficult. Unless, of course, I change my mind later.

True Ruler of None

Atleast it sounds like it is something specific. Which is always nice to know.

I didnt even think about the hair. No Wonder why he is depressed.

Will Wight

I always write down Iron bodies and Jade cycling techniques for every character, even though I don't mention them unless they ever come up in the story for some reason.

#25 Copy

LucasRuby

How's stuff going with the books?

How many iterations has the coronavirus spread to so far?

By the way, could a Sage travel to another world, like say from Cradle to Amalgam? If not, someone above?

Will Wight

The books have been slowed by almost a month because of my neck injury, which is really annoying because I was way ahead of schedule before that. Alas.

Could a Sage travel to another world? Potentially they could, but they would be intercepted by Sector 11 Abidan first and subjected to a bunch of rules before they were allowed to do so.

The coronavirus is the corruption Suriel speaks of.

#26 Copy

Emeraldreader

If a reader found their way to cradle, could they create a weapon that actually kills a dreadgod?

Will Wight

Potentially, sure.

I've mentioned this before, but I always write into my setting notes little hidden vaults into my worlds filled with the things I would need to live comfortably there. Just in the case of a sudden isekai.

You never know when you'll get sucked into another reality without warning.

#27 Copy

AccomplishedCoffee

If someone managed to do whatever it is that makes a Sage a Sage before Archlord, would they still be considered a Sage or not til they reach Archlord as well? Or is it literally impossible before Archlord for some reason?

Will Wight

I'm not sure what the terminology would be for that, but with 90% confidence I'd say they would just be a Sage.

It doesn't happen before Archlord because every evolution in soulfire makes you better able to sense the magic system that Sages can control.

#28 Copy

generic_edgleord

You don't have to go into any specifics if you want to but have you seen any far off theories on here that you were like that would have been cool if I wrote it that way or I wish I had thought of that first so I could have written that into the story for any of your three series

Will Wight

There were a few where I remember thinking "Oh man, that's super cool," or "That would be great in a different story."

Some of the more intricate Ozriel theories have made me go "Man, these are so detailed, I need to go into my notes and make sure that what I've got is just as thorough."

But typically by the time it gets down to fans to make theories, I've spent hundreds if not thousands of hours thinking of possibilities. Effectively, I get to create my own theories and then make my favorite one correct.

positronicman

Building off of /u/generic_edgelord 's question and your response, have you seen any theories (re: post-Uncrowned events) that were particularly prescient? (not looking for you to identify them)

Will Wight

Yes.

The one that really comes to mind is the Jai Chen one, since at the time that it was guessed there was almost no support for it. But it happened to be correct.

So I sped up my revelation of that. I had intended not to officially reveal it until Lindon came back to Sacred Valley, but you people are sneaky.

Incidentally, I've since reconsidered my policy on secrets. There's really no point in banking on something staying un-guessed when you get to a fanbase of sufficient size. With ten thousand people guessing, someone's going to get it right.

So from then on, I'm attempting to do "revelatory" moments so that they're satisfying whether you guessed them or not.

positronicman

Thanks for the detailed answer!

This strategy that content creators (leaving it generic as this applies across media) adopt regarding the fandom guessing/discovering secrets has been fascinating to me since the tail end of Lost.

It seems like actively trying to stay ahead of theories, or change things to remain 'secret', is inevitably a losing game - especially with a large and dedicated fan base sleuthing on a long-running series.

Glad to see you're taking a measured approach, without letting us wreck your plans!

Will Wight

Agreed completely.

I'm in agreement with George RR Martin when he said (and I'm paraphrasing here, not quoting): "If you do all your setup and foreshadowing so that the butler did it, and then you change it to be the maid because the Internet guessed that the butler did it and you wanted it to be a surprise, then you've wasted all that setup."

#29 Copy

manga-terra

Could someone follow a path based on infusing madra directly into the body, with a possible blood/life path as the actual path to deal with the physical issues of the path?

Will Wight

I don't fully understand the theory there, but that sounds plausible.

#30 Copy

Emeraldreader

Is it possible for someone to steal a pocket world like Ghostwater and add it onto Valinhall or as another Territory to Amalgam?

Will Wight

Yes, that is possible.

#32 Copy

Mev1012

I don’t know if this question is fair game but I know you’re friends with Andrew Rowe of arcane ascension how strong do you think Keras is in terms of cradle levels. Also on a more relevant note would you ever consider letting other authors that you trust write in the the Will-verse?

Will Wight

I'm honestly not sure, especially after reading the second Weapons and Wielders book. I'd say probably Sage-ish.

Would I let other authors I trust write in the Willverse? Sure, hypothetically! The hardest part would be coming up with a story bible that was coherent enough for anyone other than me to read.

#33 Copy

organic-buddy

Which was your favorite scene in Cradle to write, so far?

Which was your least favorite?

Will Wight

That's a little harder to answer than it sounds.

The Dross Presence report was probably my favorite, because it took a lot of coordination to make that scene land in the right way and I was pleased at how it turned out.

But at the same time, it was very difficult to write, so I wouldn't say it was a fun process. It was just a fun result.

As for my least favorite, all scenes in which two characters discuss their genuine feelings are very difficult. I have to stop and think and agonize over every line, making sure I'm expressing what they're feeling clearly enough, but not too clearly because real people usually don't just come out and say what they're feeling, but at the same time you also want it to express character and be eloquent enough to make good dialogue and not slow down the plot enough...

Those are hard.

Fight scenes are easy. I could write fight scenes all day. The easiest book in the world to write would be a sequence of fight scenes.

#36 Copy

DonRated

Apologies if you've answered this before but what do you do on release day/week?

I can only imagine the nerves with having something you've put your heart and soul into being out in the world and being critically reviewed.

Do you check the sub like an f5 maniac? Seclude yourself in a room for a week and ignore everything online? Asking for figures from the publisher?

You've already made my day today so whether you answer or not thanks again for that!

Will Wight

Constantly respond to fans and check reviews. Also I celebrate, of course.

#37 Copy

Broshinsky997

If lindon did the Sacred Valley bowl test with the madra thing right now, what would happen?

 

Will Wight

Whatever he wanted to happen. He could control the madra freely.

#38 Copy

Skeletickles

Have you played Dishonored? If so, how do you think the Great Elders or the Abidan would react if the Outsider was transported to Asylum?

Also, Daud and his Whalers vs the Consultants. Who do you think wins?

Will Wight

The Abidan would react swiftly and intensely.

As for Daud and the Whalers, it's been way too long since I've played Dishonored, so I'm going to side with the Consultants because I'm the one asked. Home team advantage.

#39 Copy

IJustNeededToVent3

  • Is madra similar to magic in chinese novels, where there's some profound truth and power is determined by how close you are to learning it, or is it more of a "people think it, so that's how it works" kind of system?

  • Is dross doing what drudges do?

Will Wight

1.) More the first one than the second one.

2.) Somewhat, yes!

#40 Copy

Jazzy-Kandra

How much Doom would Shuffles announce for you given your current condition?

(Also, what flavors of icecream do Eithan, Yerin, Mercy, and Lindon prefer?)

Will Wight

Minimal. He would probably sniff around me until he determined that I don't have fish, repeat anything unfortunate that I said, and then go to sleep.

Yerin: chocolate

Mercy: double fudge brownie chunk

Lindon: tutti frutti

Eithan: your ice cream cone when you're not looking

Jazzy-Kandra

Just the ice cream cone, or would he eat the ice cream in it too?

Will Wight

All of it. It's his now.

#42 Copy

lysanderslair

Lindon mentioned the healing with the ironheart uses more madra. Is this more total madra to heal the same wound or more like Ironbody uses 5 mana points per second for 240 seconds. Ironheart uses 20 mara points per second for 4 seconds to heal same wound.

Will Wight

I'm not going to lie to you: it's been a long day, and my eyes kind of glaze over when I see numbers.

The Bloodforged Iron body was really intended to fight intruders to the body, particularly poison, and it heals as kind of a secondary effect. In simple terms, the Iron Heart makes that secondary effect stronger.

#43 Copy

True Ruler of None

Reigan Shen. Why does the abidan report make it seem like a Isekai level of luck occurrence?

Will Wight

That's why. Reigan got protagonist-level lucky.

#45 Copy

Vulcanized-Homeboy

What core technique does yerin have? It's never been mentioned?

Will Wight

That's true, and it's not a spoiler, it just never came up.

I don't remember the name off the top of my head, but her Jade cycling technique focuses on increasing power output and madra control. Like her Iron body, it's made with her future advancement in mind: so that she can use more powerful techniques more easily and they'll hit even harder.

#46 Copy

bob_51

What is an amazing idea for a book series that you are never going to write

Will Wight

Man, who knows?

I'd love to write a Minecraft/Terraria-style LitRPG. There are webnovels and light novels like it, but nothing I could find in the English LitRPG scene (though granted, I looked last year).

To those of you reading this comment later: please don't respond with suggestions for LitRPG books with Minecraft elements in them. This was an idea I liked at the time but am not pursuing. I don't need suggestions.

#47 Copy

yaboiLu

Can you carry a person in your soul space or void key and if so what prank does Eithan pull using it?

Will Wight

You can't, but if you could, Eithan's best prank would be showing up unexpectedly in yours.

#48 Copy

TristanLN

Can people at the peak of their progression on Amalgam manifest their Territory on the physical world? Similar to how Incarnations are able to

Will Wight

There are ways to learn abilities like that, yes! But it's not like every advanced Helgard Traveler can turn dust to snow, for instance.

#49 Copy

KinOfTheMountain

Could an Elderspawn become soulbound to a awakened item with only human intent?

Will Wight

It could not! Elders don't interact with Intent in quite the same way.

#50 Copy

chill-cheif

Can all territories grow in power like valinhall. And how powerful is Simon overall compared to the rest of amalgam?

Will Wight

All Territories can grow in power, yes!

Compared to the rest of Amalgam, Simon is extremely powerful for a short period of time. One of the most powerful active participants in the world.

#51 Copy

Sari-Not-Sorry

Is the Unknown Wanderer mentioned in Of Dawn and Darkness Valin? If not, will it be revealed who that is later?

Will Wight

It is!

Sari-Not-Sorry

Is it more of an Easter Egg or does it have potential ramifications of him visiting (and escaping from!) that iteration?

Will Wight

It's an Easter Egg, but it did still canonically happen.

#53 Copy

Broshinsky997

So Li Markuth was on a different path? since he had something like Shadow and Storms i think?

Will Wight

Correct!

Though he also came from a Li clan so long ago as to be unrecognizable to the modern family.

#54 Copy

Aussby

Ozriel isn't dead because he appears in OKAK and Will said it happens after Cradle.

Will Wight

Without officially confirming or denying anything, I want to say that I don’t feel bound to anything I said outside the books.

I generally say whatever I’m thinking at the time, but I have to be free to change my mind until it’s in a book.

So I would have felt no qualms about changing the timeline around until I have established it in a published work.

#55 Copy

Windrunner

Where was Tharlos at the end of OKAK?

Will Wight

Tbh there’s a pretty mundane explanation if you don’t mind knowing it:

Tharlos is incapable of coordination with the others because he’s incapable of consistency, which is why he doesn’t help.

The reason he isn’t mentioned again is because of the scenes I removed dealing with Tharlos specifically.

One I actually wrote and then removed, so I have that saved, but the other one was supposed to be a Bliss epilogue that I never wrote.

I felt like the epilogue scene would put too much emphasis on a Great Elder who in the grand scheme of things didn’t do much, and would detract pacing-wise from the emotional impact of the ending, so I cut it.

Of course, what I then should have done was tossed in a throwaway line at the end where Calder senses what Tharlos is doing in order to tie up that loose end. But I didn’t think about it.

TL;DR - The reason it doesn’t exist is because I cut the Tharlos scene, and then I didn’t include a line patching it up because I forgot to.

#56 Copy

Lamanai

(In response to Will's post about re-listening to the Cradle audiobooks)

Must feel weird reading your own book. I know some actors hate watching their own show/movie.

Will Wight

It really is very uncomfortable.

But whenever I write a new book in a series, I re-read the older ones as well as my notes.

This is just the first time I’ve done it on audio, because reading with my eyes is so much faster.

Ray745

May I ask why then? Why are you listening instead of reading if you can do it so much more quickly by reading? Is it just for a change of pace, or to allow yourself to multitask, or some other reason that I can't even fathom with my puny little non-author brain?

Thanks so much!

Will Wight

I want to have a more intuitive grasp of Travis’ voices for the characters—I’ve heard them all, but I’m so much more familiar with the characters as I wrote them that I sometimes forget what the audio voices sound like.

Also, I don’t want to skim or skip any sections even if I’m familiar with them. I think the slower speed might give me a new perspective.

But that part is just a theory. It’s always hard to get immersed in a story I wrote myself, and it’s even harder when the slower pace of listening to audio gives me so much time to think.

I’m sitting there thinking about what I should have done, what I should do later, ideas for the future, speculation about what I was thinking when I wrote the scene...

#57 Copy

cusecuse315

Why isn't Cradle traditionally published?

Will Wight

From our best estimates, I earn many times more than I would be paid by a traditional publisher.

COULD they offer me a million dollars (or some lesser but still ridiculous sum) per book? Theoretically yes, but they would have to be confident they could sell enough copies to make that worth it.

In practice, they can’t be confident that they’ll sell significantly more than I’m selling now, so I won’t get that kind of an offer.

Will Wight

I like controlling my schedule and that no sane traditional publisher is going to be confident that they can sell 5x what I’m selling now.

In theory they could, of course, but that would require giving me the All-Star promotional treatment, and 99% of authors don’t get that.

Will Wight

I’m right there with you! [Not wanting to work for a boss]. There are so many reasons, and this is a big one.

For one thing, it would most likely be a pay cut to sign with a publisher. Probably a huge pay cut.

But even more than that, I don’t WANT to work for somebody else when I don’t have to. I’d take a pay cut from what I’m making now if that’s what it took to keep my rights.

So why would I accept less money for less control over my work?

Will Wight

There are a LOT of answers to this question.

The two easiest answers are that 1.) I make more now than any traditional publisher would offer me, and 2.) I like having control over my work.

I’ve gone into detail about both of those answers in other comments on this thread, but there’s another, related answer.

Here’s the thing: I have no reason to expect that a traditional publisher would grant me MORE freedom and MORE time to work on my books. Only less.

The freedom traditional publishing grants is the financial freedom to spend time working on a book instead of having to work another job. This comes in the form of an advance.

Well, I already write full time and we save most of the money that the books generate, and we’ve been doing that for seven years now. So I don’t need an advance to keep writing.

As for keeping up momentum in self-publishing, that’s very true and very real, but traditional publishing only makes that harder. Not easier.

The rule of thumb for editorial turnaround is usually about six months, meaning the fastest a traditionally published book will be released is six months from completion.

(If your name is Stephen King you might be able to break these rules, but it’s a good generality.)

So the ABSOLUTE FASTEST you could POSSIBLY release books is twice a year, which is my current rate.

And given that I would have to run it by a network of people, it’s likely to be slower.

But that doesn’t matter because I don’t need the momentum anymore, right? The publisher will take on the burden of marketing so Amazon doesn’t have to.

Well yes, but actually no.

Publishers only put their big promotional guns behind the titles they know are going to be worth it...so basically just their top earners.

Since my last name isn’t Grisham and my first name isn’t “New York Times best-selling author,” I have no reason to expect that treatment.

So what’s likely to happen is slower releases with less attention that sell fewer copies and I make a smaller amount per copy, leading to a slow death spiral that ends in obscurity.

I don’t see a world in which I can happily take more time per book. And that doesn’t even take into account the Golden Reason above all others: most readers don’t want me to spend more time per book.

So I just can’t think of a single benefit to being traditionally published.

...having said all that, I could be persuaded otherwise.

If a publisher is willing to sink a lot of money into a project, that means they’re willing to put their money where their mouth is, and I have every reason to expect good treatment of the property.

But Cradle is no Minecraft. I have no reason to expect Bruce Wayne to shower me in blank checks, and therefore no reason to think I’ll be traditionally published.

#58 Copy

acog

Why didn't the Akura equip Lindon better in the Uncrowned tournament? 

Will Wight

I would have had to look up the answer to this except that I listened to Uncrowned just yesterday.

Round one, the competitors can’t bring anything.

Round two, they can all bring only what they can fit in their soulspace, and Lindon chooses to bring a bunch of utility constructs instead of a weapon.

In the individual fights, Lindon CHOOSES to make himself a shield to the specifications he wants. He doesn’t cobble one together because he has to; in fact, he uses their foundry and materials to make it.

Are they willing to give him all the materials of a shield but not a shield? Of course not.

It’s also mentioned a couple of times in the book that there are restrictions across the whole tournament as to the kinds of equipment you can bring in (no armor + another reference to there being full rules for equipment), and they can’t bring void keys, so those rules together mean he can’t use the tactic he used against Kiro or Jai Long of just packing himself to the gills with weapons and then unloading.

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tlor180

The character to character interactions in Elder Empire are leagues ahead of his other books,(although tbf cradle has a very different focus). I hope the relative obscureness compared to cradle doesn't dissaude will from writing more character focused stories.

Will Wight

Not to bring down the mood, but it kind of has dissuaded me.

IMHO, Elder Empire has two strengths:

1.) The world feels cohesive. It has history and culture and a postal system, different characters have different opinions on people and events that everyone is aware of, there’s shared mythology, etc.

2.) The major characters are a lot more fleshed out.

I believe I can bring some of that over to Cradle, especially having refreshed myself on it by skipping over to OKAK, but back when I started writing EE I thought this was the direction I was going to take my writing.

If you’ll pardon the comparison, let’s say Traveler’s Gate was halfway between a Japanese light novel and a traditional Western fantasy novel. Then Elder Empire would be a step more towards traditional novels and Cradle is a step towards light novels.

Well, one of those did 10-20x better than the other.

So I’m a lot more inclined to keep leaning toward the light novel side, which means not diving deeper into world and character development.

Having said all that, there’s still room to improve my character writing even without changing the formula of Cradle at all, it just comes down to skill. I’m working on it!

acog

It's a tough question to answer since you're trying to guess why someone didn't buy it, and people don't leave feedback for books they decided to skip. Still, I think I'm not alone. I had a small company for years and one lesson I learned in sales was that "analysis paralysis" is real. If the customer is the least bit confused, the easiest thing to do is not make the sale. Look at how many posts there are in this subreddit asking about the proper reading order for the trilogies. Might be a sign.

Will Wight

I actually completely agree with what you’re saying.

My experience is that readers need to think they know what they’re getting from a story in order to pick it up.

Then you have to give them what they came for, as well as a little something extra they didn’t expect.

So, given all that about the structure, here’s the situation I’m actually in: I’m going to start a new series, for which I’m DEFINITELY not doing a crazy new experimental format, and I have to decide whether to make it more like a traditional fantasy story or more like a light novel. (So to speak.)

And I have three data points. The hybrid version (TGT) did very well, the traditional series did relatively poorly, and the one that was most like a light novel performed by far the best.

Now, I too believe that it was mostly because of the structure that people didn’t try EE.

But is it worth the risk to gamble with a traditional fantasy series?

I feel like I’m at a crossroads where one road is covered in fog and vultures while the other is well-paved and raining gold.

#60 Copy

Bradley

Lindon's trip into the Archlord Treasure vault should have had an entire chapter full of amazing weapons and trinkets for Lindon and the readers to get dragon fever over. 

Will Wight

That treasure vault scene, I absolutely did feel like it was missing.The treasure vault is mentioned in Underlord, then twice more in Uncrowned. When the scene skips to Lindon's fight with Naian, the transition is written competently, so it wasn't jarring, but it definitely felt like something was missing.Also, it would have been a perfect place to explain WHY Lindon chose the weapons he did for the individual matches, which would have smoothed out another rough spot.So yeah, while I'm too deep in Book 8 to be able to objectively rank Book 7, I do agree that the vault scene should have been there.

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TheDazeOfOurLives

According to another famous narrative, God once ordered to collect dust from earth from which Adam is supposed to be created from. Only Azrael (Angel of Death) succeeded, whereupon he was destined to become the angel concerning life and death of humanity.

I thought this was humorous as Ozriel is the Monarch of the Arelius family and they are so focused on cleaning things and finding dust.

fudgemetal

Sweet catch my dude, wonder if WW is aware

Will Wight

I am absolutely aware.

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Adamhayce

Will refers to his Traveler's Gate series as halfway between a Japanese light novel and a traditional Western fantasy novel. I can see the western fantasy novel elements in the medieval setting, how the clothing and swords on the covers look and are described. I can't however, tell what he means by it being half lightnovel. Because the books are short maybe?

Will Wight

It’s a stylistic thing.

Light novels are typically fast-paced and visual, with an emphasis on action and a focus on one clear protagonist. They are also written quickly and released frequently, in short volumes.

Traditional fantasy novels are typically denser, slower, longer, with more characters and several sub-plots. They tend to have more complex plots as well as more page space devoted to character- and world-building.

But these are just generalized terms I was leaning on to communicate a point quickly. There are, of course, dense light novels and light traditional fantasy novels.

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Questioner

Wow, Will must be joking when he updates his progress bar! (Paraphrased)

I am not.

EDIT: At other points of the process, it’s hard to put a percentage on my progress.

What percent am I through editing, for instance? I never know, it depends on how much we end up changing in total. We could be almost done or we might need an entirely new round of edits.

But for the first draft, I can accurately measure my percentage by comparing my current word count to my total expected word count. So I ended yesterday about 30% done.

Footnote: Referring to a jump in the Wintersteel Progress bar from 8% to 30%
Sources: Reddit
#64 Copy

DisWastingMyTime

Should we expect [Wintersteel is] the same range of word count of the previous books?

Will Wight

Similar, yes. This isn’t going to be an 800 page monstrosity.

But I can’t imagine this being shorter than Underlord. There’s a real chance this ends up being the longest entry in the series so far.

Not sure until I finish, though!

Footnote: As always, this is subject to change.
Sources: Reddit
#65 Copy

Will Wight

I’ll explain this tweet a little bit:

“I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

—Mark Twain

I hate slow stories. I have zero patience with fiction. If nothing happens in a scene, I want it gone.

I can’t stand musicals because, in most musicals, the second a song begins the story comes to a DEAD STOP. You could go to the bathroom and miss nothing but the sick beats.

So in my own writing, I am ruthless about culling anything that I would consider wasted time.

Some might say TOO ruthless.

My normal process is to make a plan, then dive in and start writing it, and whenever I hit a scene where I feel like the pacing is starting to drag, I change the plan.

I either combine scenes so that I’m only writing one where the plan called for three, or I cut scenes from the plan, or I’m halfway through writing a scene and I stop and go back and summarize what would have happened in 2-3 lines instead of a whole scene.

Usually the first scenes to go are the scenes that exist primarily for world- or character-building, or scenes that I thought would just be cool.

For instance, I had a bunch of scenes planned in Skysworn just with the Skysworn going around doing missions.

I had this whole idea in Blackflame for Lindon to interact with Lezaar, the Arelius family refiner, and demonstrate how refining works. And also a sub-plot with Yerin where she found out that a Truegold was going around claiming to be the Sword Sage.

There were Soulsmithing scenes planned in virtually every book, which I either skipped or cut.

Anyway, the point is that this process—constantly planning and re-planning and cutting and skipping and figuring out how to combine scenes—takes a long time.

It usually takes me 4-6 months to produce a Cradle book, and I often have 50k words of waste. On paper it should take me less time and there should be less waste.

So, this time, I’ve written my outline the same way I always do, but I’m hammering out the draft quickly without giving myself time to alter the plan as I go.

The THEORY is that the changes I’ve made haven’t really been improvements, they’ve just been lateral moves that have cost me time.

So now, we think we’ll see one of two results:

1.) A more fleshed-out Cradle book with more words that actually took less time to write.

2.) A bloated, boring mess that loses the snappy pacing I love so much and is in dire need of a critical edit.

I’m really hoping for #1, but even if we end up with #2, we’ll have learned that the “constantly fiddle and re-plan” phase is necessary to my process.

Sorry for the wall of text, but I didn’t have enough time to write a short post.

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#66 Copy

kenwolfe11

I want a 500 page cradle book. I don’t even care if it’s bloated.

Will Wight

This brings up another great point!

Because I believe you, and I know that a lot of my readers would love me to death if I crammed each book full of content, even if half the scenes are just Lindon and Yerin doing laundry or trying to prevent Little Blue from accidentally falling out a window.

BUT I’m terrified to change the formula now.

I’ve kept the pacing really tight thus far, and even though many fans want be to loosen the belt and let the series breathe, how many readers will feel betrayed if I do that?

I’ve kept the pedal to the metal so far, and if I start letting up, will that ruin what made Cradle work in the first place? Or will we find out that I’ve been speeding way too fast this whole time, and only by slowing down can the story reach its full potential?

Idk, but I’m nervous.

Sohtro

Honestly, I don't know how can you keep this "sharp" the story in every book. It's really exciting, but I'm a little afraid that you will crash like an airplane, which flies vertically up, and then loses momentum and falls back down. Not because it runs out of fuel, but because the air simply gets too thin. Although it sounds good, a whole book can't be one big climax, in my opinion.

I'm halfway through with my 6th reread, and I really miss those small brush strokes, depicting small moments in the life of the characters.

Will Wight

I miss those things too, and I think there’s some leeway where I can include some of those scenes without slowing down too much.

I THINK that.

But am I right? I don’t know. They could be mutually exclusive

FourFreyPies

The characters seem to be the strongest part of the books, and I expect most would agree with me. Now you have a great advantage where scenes that would have been "bloat" for new characters or at the start of the series are the kind of scenes fans would love to read. I don't think you can go wrong at this stage no matter what option you choose

Will Wight

That brings up something else I didn’t mention: it could be that I can afford to slow down at this point because I’m on Book 8. Nobody gets eight books deep into a series unless they’re invested in the characters.

So it could be that any readers I would lose because of “too many character scenes” are already gone.

#67 Copy

extreme-jannie

I just started writing my first book, please let me know which one works.

Will Wight

If you’re writing your first book, then your ONLY goal is to get to the end of the first draft. “Finish the draft” is your new tattoo.

It doesn’t matter how bad you think it is, don’t stop or start over. Finish the draft.

The strategy that works for you is the one that gets you to finish the draft.

First make a book, THEN make a good book.

I’m working to improve my process because I’m on book 17. This would have been a bad thing for me to try on my first book.

Godspeed, soldier! Keep punching those keys!

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#68 Copy

Mystical98

Is there gonna be a little romance scenes

Will Wight

Absolutely.

Skeletickles

This makes me so happy. I'm a filthy shipper, so I've been wanting to see some romance for a long time.

Will Wight

Well, this book is already heavier on it than any of the others.

It’s still not the primary focus, of course, but it’s definitely a thing.

Footnote: About Wintersteel.
Sources: Reddit
#69 Copy

hachkc

[Uncrowned's Ending] definitely felt abrupt but WW likes to keep books a certain length. WW has stated why he feels he needs to keep books a certain length; a business decision. I guess the good news is he's working on it now and should in theory be out by EOY. Given his self imposed constraints, it was either a shorter tournament or more books.

That said, It didn't sour my opinion of the overall series though. Just gave me an excuse to go read his other books. I started with Cradle, moved to EE and I'm just starting TG so I can keep my fix sated for a bit. Should he turn into a GRR Martin type author and related release schedule, you'll get a different answer. I don't need instant gratification but going more than year between books is a chore.

Will Wight

You’re not wrong, but I feel like I have to clarify: this is about NOT becoming an author who releases only one book every two years.

I like telling stories. I don’t particularly like sitting on one story until it’s perfect, and my favorite thing is coming up with new stories.

So the more books I write, the more stories I get to tell.

Also, readers tend to prefer series that come out regularly and authors that release regularly.

Because of that, rapid releases sell more books, which keeps Amazon’s wheels a-turnin’ and sells even more books.

The sweet spot for release schedule in terms of keeping them regular and not working myself to a sweaty death is about two books per year at roughly 100k words. So that’s what I aim for.

Two books at 100k words = happier me, happier readers, more money to save so that I can write books forever.

It would take more time to write longer books, which would mean fewer stories, fewer readers, and fewer total sales. Not just slower sales; a lower total number of sales.

...I need a shorter way of saying all this, but the bottom line is that my general word count limit is for keeping my release rate up.

If I could write 2-3 200k books a year, I’d love to do that, but if I did that now they wouldn’t be up to my usual standard.

#70 Copy

Skeletickles

Do you think Lindon is naturally talented at the Sacred Arts, or "just" an average/below-average person?

Will Wight

I think of him as talented in the sense that he has a base level of capability and a passion for improvement, but not talented in the sense that he has an inborn aptitude for madra control.

Even if he had been born somewhere other than Sacred Valley, nobody would have looked at him and gone “Wow, this kid is amazing at the sacred arts! He’s some kind of genius!”

They might have said “Man, he sure works hard,” or “He really loves the sacred arts.”

Equally, nobody outside Sacred Valley would have called him a dud either. Some people really have zero talent for the sacred arts, and he’s not in that group either.

#71 Copy

ArchonFu

It sounds like you're making it possible to produce a "theatrical" cut and an "extended" cut. That worked out really well for Peter Jackson.

You've already got a history of "two book episodes" and this would be even easier since it both books would be the same perspectives.

Of course the rabid fans will crawl over broken glass for the extended cut.

Edit: Does Kindle allow for dynamic book content? Choose your own adventure?

Will Wight

Yes, but actually no.

There are options for it, like you can embed links throughout the book that take you elsewhere in the manuscript, but practically speaking it’s a pretty terrible format for interactive or dynamic content like that.

Which is kind of a bummer, because I’d love to try some less-traditional storytelling techniques.

For instance, a LitRPG where you can check the character’s stat page whenever you want to, and it will be current for your place in the story. So now the stats don’t get in your way, but you can always check them.

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#72 Copy

orionstein

I have to say, I approve. The page limit was a neat idea to start, but at some point with plotline growth, new characters, and worldbuilding additions, it would be impossible to do anything substantive here without needing to split every book into 3 parts. In the end, you would just have a 900 page book split into 3.

I appreciate the shift as you build these pieces out to allow them to expand the book in a more natural manner. As you expand the content you'll need more and more to put them into. This also happens naturally in a lot of fantasy series - GoT got larger and larger and still had to be split up. It doesn't mean you are too wordy or you are bloated, it just means that your world is expanding and that the medium must need to expand with it :)

Will Wight

I...agree with the theory behind this, but it comes with a massive red flag in my mind.

Because I agree: this is exactly why fantasy series gets bigger and bigger each installment as they progress!

But can you name a series that got bigger AND BETTER with each installment, instead of just more bloated?

I can’t.

ASOIAF certainly didn’t. 1 and 2 are both tightly written masterpieces, but 3, 4, and 5 all go downhill one after another in regards to story bloat and wasted words.

IMO, the strongest books in Wheel of Time are 4 and 5, which did get longer from books 1-3 in order to accommodate a bigger cast and more content.

But then the books got longer from there, and the extra (in my opinion) is mostly styrofoam and stuffing. They reached a point of full saturation and kept growing.

Since I started writing fast-paced books in large part as a reaction against this tendency, I am now very, very wary of it.

orionstein

The Malazan Book of the Fallen comes to mind. I feel like I enjoyed the later ones just as much as the earlier ones, it all just came together.

You are correct though, the long series that pull this off appropriately are few. I'm hoping that the Stormlight Archive will be one but since there are only so many books out there only time will tell.

Maybe you can pull it off too!

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#73 Copy

aquaticarna

I think there's also a middle ground here, if you've been dialing things all the way to snappy then dialing it back a little bit is a large relative change in the amount of world building or character development without being a large change in total pacing. Personally I've really enjoyed the pace of the cradle books and I think it's part of what makes them so addictive, but I also think there's room for some lulls in the pace, a roller coaster that just goes down hill the whole time would be boring, you need some slow spots to highlight the intense parts. I'm curious to see the results of this experiment, do you think you'll do a blog post on this process change?

Will Wight

That’s the dilemma I’m in, because I just listened through the whole series, and one of my favorite aspects was the quick pace.

However, I also felt most books could have used a handful more scenes. Just a little more content.

My instinct says there’s a happy medium, but I’m not sure exactly where that perfect ratio is or how to hit it.

"you need some slow parts to highlight the intense parts"

Yes and no.

You need parts with less tension to contrast the parts with higher tension, because tension can’t be maintained for too long or it breaks.

But I have those. Not every scene in Cradle is MAXIMUM TENSION GO GO GO ALL THE TIME AAAAHHHHH!

However, you don’t NEED scenes that don’t advance the story. They are, by definition, not necessary. But they can add a layer of texture, tone, or atmosphere.

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#74 Copy

bamfious

At this point, your beta reader apparatus (including Travis), in theory, should be able to help cut the bloat.

This plan makes a lot of conventional sense. i.e. you don't have to context switch as much.

My question is, how often do you come up with a brilliant scene because you were forced to think through how to "Frankenstein" several other scenes into one?Is this often?Is this rare?How can your feedback systems help support this level of creativity post first draft?

Will Wight

Whenever I decide to change the plan, what I’m really doing is saying “The idea I planned doesn’t work. I am going to go this other direction instead.”

But I’m making that judgment unilaterally and alone, with zero input from anyone else.

So what I’m doing this time is turning my inner critic off, writing the book as planned, and handing it to the team ASAP so that they can give me a more objective perspective BEFORE I spend months adjusting course midstream.

One of the core ideas behind this strategy is to stop leaning solely on my impression of my own writing, which I know is flawed, and getting the story in front of other readers first.

FunkyCredo

Consider that with you loosening up your outlining / drafting process you need to tighten up your editing process otherwise quality may decline.

I believe you’ve previously stated that your beta-reader team is a small/private group that you know personally. Now that the beta-reader team faces a bigger responsibility for the final outcome should it be expanded? Is there a need for some harsher voices to properly trim the excess fat?

Will Wight

Short answer: No.

Very long, more helpful answer:

"Consider that...you need to tighten up your editing process"

I am aware of that. The purpose of this strategy is to get to the editing stage sooner to avoid duplicated work and allow more time for editing.

"your beta-reader team is a small/private group that you know personally."

I have said that in the past because it provides a simple and easy answer to the question “Can I be a beta reader?”

The full answer, which I don’t often give, is that I only offer beta reading spots to people when I have a reason to believe that they will offer me valuable insight.

A person online telling me that they want to be a beta reader does not qualify them for consideration, because I don’t know them from Adam. Why SHOULD I give you a spot?

I now know most of my beta readers IRL, but only about half of them did I know before they joined the team. Rather than “You can only be a beta reader if I know you,” a more accurate answer is “You can only be a beta reader if I know you will be an asset to the team.”

Either because they represent the perspective of a group of readers or because they have a unique skill set or perspective themselves.

And then there’s attitude. I get to choose who I work with, so I don’t continue with people who are miserable to work with, and I don’t invite you if I think you will be.

"Now that the beta-reader team faces a bigger responsibility for the final outcome should it be expanded?"

The limiting factor on the beta team is not now, and never has been, size. It’s always time.

It comes down to how much time I give each reader and how much time I allot for edits.

"Is there a need for some harsher voices to properly trim the excess fat?"

I know there’s this tendency to imagine a beta team full of “my mom” and “my best friends who don’t read fantasy” who all tell the author that things are great and are afraid to tell the truth because of their affection for the author.

First of all, I don’t think this is a real thing that happens to anyone.

In my experience beta reading and editing, even the writer’s mom and best friend gently tell the writer what they think, and then the writer just doesn’t listen.

I’ve also tried people on the team who said “It’s great!” and couldn’t articulate WHAT they thought was great or why.

Which is not helpful. I eventually figured out that they weren’t afraid of reprisal or discouragement or whatever, they just genuinely didn’t know how to break down their own experience.

So they’re no longer on the team.

Second...look, I know you guys don’t know me. I’m a pretty open-book sort of person, and I try to be as genuine as I can online, but there’s always going to be a difference between how I come across on social media and who I really am.

But I promise you, my team is willing to tell me the harsh truth.

I know you might be thinking, “Yes, but you can never really know, can you? If you’re deaf to honest feedback, then everyone around you knows it but you.”

I get that. I really do.

There’s nothing I can say to prove it to you, you just have to trust me. I have many, many weaknesses, but an aversion to honest feedback from trustworthy people is not one of them.

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#75 Copy

jagscorpion

I've loved your books, in part, because of their quick pacing and the avoidance of excessive description but I agree that they can explore a tad. Getting the balance right is the trick, of course.

Will Wight

Yeah, even now I don’t think I’m describing too much, but I might be including too many scenes that don’t carry enough weight of the narrative.

We’ll see!

#76 Copy

yaboiLu

Reading this and some of your other comments makes me curious Will, what is the specific goal of this strategy change? It seems like you’re aiming for a faster process at the risk of a book you may like less or have less control over. Is this new process more enjoyable for you or more stressful?

Im assuming this is overall a good thing for you and short Reddit comments don’t paint the whole picture but just wanted to say I would rather wait extra months for the next book than have you stressed and unsatisfied with your process and lose the pacing that you love in favor of something that the readers like more. I think most of us are invested in your career more so than the next book and don’t want you to get burned out.

Will Wight

I appreciate that!

But the goal of this is to NOT get burned out.

If I can get usable raw material faster, that leaves more time for editing and shaping that material. I’m trying to eliminate the wrong turns and duplicated work that tend to cause me stress.

#77 Copy

ebrithil110

I'm really excited to see more of that kind of stuff, it's something I've really felt crandle was missing, like if you just read the books as they are and don't assume you're glossing over stuff constantly, then lindon is a monster who feeds little blue like once a month and pretty much only ever speaks to and interacts with her when he wants something from her. I really want to see more of the day to day character interations.

Will Wight

While I agree with the spirit of what you’re saying, that sounds like a REALLY literal interpretation.

If you take it completely at face value, then none of the characters ever use the bathroom or sneeze, and the only meals they have are when the mealtime conversation furthers the story. Otherwise they starve.

ebrithil110

Well obviously you can't write everything that's happening all the time otherwise the book would be immensely long and boring besides, no one one wants to read about inconsequential stuff like them going to the bathroom but little day to day character interactions are important and have been lacking in my opinion, especially in regards to little blue, they seem to treat her more like a pet than a person if you just rake it at face value, obviously there is a lot of interaction and development with the characters we don't get to see and I want more of that stuff.

Will Wight

I totally agree!

I just now left a comment explaining what I’m about to say more fully, but I’ve always been afraid that including these sorts of scenes will slow down the book too much.

Can you have a fast, snappy pace AND these day-to-day-life character development scenes? I don’t know. They might be mutually exclusive.

But I’m trying it out this time!

Footnote: In reference to this tweet.
Sources: Reddit
#78 Copy

gruntbuggly

I for one, would love a scene with Yerin and Lindon doing laundry. Can you imagine her blush when her basket falls over and Lindon picks up a pair of her underwear?

_LightBreaker_

She doesn't wear underwear. She just uses SA robes.

Will Wight

A lot of traditional martial arts outfits (maybe all of them, but I’m no expert) did have some kind of undergarment.

Do sacred arts robes? That depends on your imaaaaaaagination!

#79 Copy

Belgriest

There's nothing I enjoy more than a series sometimes taking a break to do something fun, or quirky, or clearly "this is for the fans."

It's gotta be measured though. You can't have this sort of thing last a third of the book. I think you're in the extreme, Will. For you, such a moment would be one scene and you'd think about cutting it, while I think for most of us a chapter or two or that would be fine.

I could use a literary example but did you ever watch Naruto? There's a filler episode early on when the gang try to discover what's under Kakashi's mask. Though it certainly didn't drive the plot forward, that was a great episode.

Obviously for you it'd have to have some kind of plot relevance and I think that's fine, but a little "willservice" wouldn't go amiss 8 books in.

Will Wight

I think that’s a great analogy!

Similarly, in One Piece (the manga, not the anime) after each arc they usually visit one random island and go on a standard adventure that only lasts 1-2 chapters and has nothing to do with the plot.

I like those. We get to see the sorts of antics they get up to in their downtime without slowing down a real story arc.

#80 Copy

Kingbarbarossa

That's always an issue with forum (or reddit in this case) feedback. This sub is 6k members. Even if ALL of us agree, which we don't, we're still representing <1% of the overall cradle readership. Are we a voice for the majority or minority, or some mixture of the two? I dunno, I've no idea how to find out, and the answer to that question would HEAVILY inform how I interpret any feedback I see here, were I the creator.

That said, I'm certainly of the camp that would like to see more content, but that doesn't necessarily have to take place within book 8 specifically. I'd buy a novella of the skysworn missions you mentioned above, for example. I'm also loving the cut scenes bits at the end of the recent books, I'd buy a collection of that too.

Edit: Also! I really enjoy these windows into your creative process. The post you wrote on listening to the cradle series on audio book was really interesting as well. I've both read and listened to the books, but I really enjoy the audio books because they allow me to do other things at the same time. Roadtrips obviously, but I often listen to your books while playing games too. They've been a fantastic accompaniment to my For Honor sessions over the past few years.

Will Wight

Right!

That’s one of the issues I run into a lot. I have to take the fan feedback I get as representative, because I don’t have any alternative, but at the same time I know it is representative only of my top few hundred most active fans.

Amazon reviews are more representative, because many people will take the time to review but not to interact online, but that’s still only about 1% of my readers.

So it’s tough.

Kingbarbarossa

Yeah, and is there even a good way to get that information? Do you hire a statistician to do a survey? Do they email everyone that bought the most recent book based on the kindle/audible account info? What % of those purchases were gifts? How do you know they finished the book? I dunno. And the big one, do people actually even want the thing they say/think they want?

Will Wight

do people actually even want the thing they say/think they want?

That IS the big one.

Footnote: In response to one of the comments Will wrote on the reddit post discussing his new draft process
Sources: Reddit
#81 Copy

chrisisbest197

When Calder first meets Ozriel in OKAK I kind of expected him to be a little more...angry. I mean Ozriel and the Abidan literally imprisoned Calder and all the other humans with these hellish monstrosities for all of eternity, with zero consideration for their suffering. And then on top of that Ozriel threatens to wipe them all out if the Elders escape, which by the way would not permanently kill the elders so the humans still get the short end of the stick.

I just expected Calder to at least be more mad about it. Kinda like how he stood up to the emperor regarding the prison.

Will Wight

You know, I actually wrote a draft of this conversation in which Calder lost his temper and challenged Ozriel more directly.

I changed it because it didn’t feel organic to me, when I read it in context. It felt like he was powerlessly raging against something he had no ability to influence.

I also thought it read more like what the younger version of Calder might have done than the current Calder who’s focused on saving the world from an imminent crisis.

But I did consider it! And I do think getting angry at the injustice could have been consistent with Calder’s character.

I just ultimately decided the reaction in the final version was MORE consistent. But you be the judge! (Or the Judge...)

chrisisbest197

It's not that I think it wasn't consistent, it was actually a very cool headed response to someone who is basically a god, which shows some growth. It's just that I think it would have been interesting.

It could have even been Calder just calmly pointing out how badly the Abidan fucked the people of Asylum lol. Also now that I think about it, it also seems like a similar situation to the incarnations in Travelers gate.

Will Wight

Hahaha yeah, it is similar to the Incarnations. I like that mechanic of people going crazy with power.

I agree that it would have been cool to have Calder point it out to Ozriel’s face, especially since Ozriel basically agrees.

#82 Copy

SirDrezland

Is there any answer as to why Lindon could endure the memories of an archlord and not go into a coma or die?

Kilorrulo

Most likely in cases like the tablet Lindon observed if the original memories weren’t too complex or filled with high level skills/madra uses, the requirement to view them is lower. Since the archlord was just sitting down and writing about a foundation level technique, it wasn’t too much for Lindon to bear.

Will Wight

This is correct. There’s nothing inherently about an Archlord’s memories that make them difficult to read for someone of a lower advancement level. Unless they use techniques that are too advanced.

Ziel steered Lindon to a memory that was basically an Archlord sitting down and writing.

#83 Copy

Natsuguri

So a High Gold decides to fight a Copper despite there being a higher ranking sacred artist right next to him. The High Gold kicks the Copper in the head while he is unaware of the High Gold's presence, and on his knees. That doesn't kill the Copper as the High Gold expects and he realises that the Copper is now Iron. The High Gold acts all reasonable to put the Iron off his guard then makes a flashy and painful strike to distract the Iron so he can sneak around to attack the Iron from behind. The High Gold arrogantly assumes he's delivered a mortal blow. The High Gold the tries smarmying up the the more powerful sacred artist and breaks the cardinal rule of 'don't turn your back on an enemy you're fighting!'. The seriously wounded Iron disimpales himself and attacks his would be assassin from behind because, well High Gold presented his back to the person he'd just tried to kill, why wouldn't you in such a mismatched fight? And yet it is the Iron who is labelled with cowardice and dishonour.

Is it just me?

Will Wight

I know this aspect of the series frustrates people sometimes, but it sounds like you’re reading it exactly as intended.

Did Lindon do anything wrong? No. The hurt and embarrassed people in power are reframing things so that it looks like they were in the right.

Does it make any sense that the powerless person they were picking on could possibly be the offender and THEM the victims? No, but they can get away with claiming they are and no one is going to call them on it for Lindon’s sake. The witnesses know the truth, the truth just doesn’t really matter.

It goes back to what the First Elder tells Lindon in book one. Essentially, even if he does nothing wrong, if the people in charge say he did, then he did. The truth is whatever they say because they’re stronger than he is.

So the definition of honor in Cradle is inconsistent. Yeah, it is. Everybody’s got their own definition and they constantly shift the goalposts to make themselves look better.

There’s at least one negative review of Unsouled where they say that the honor in Cradle isn’t anything like real, historical notions of honor in China. Absolutely right. This is “honor” in a fictional society where more advanced people are better in every way than less advanced people.

You don’t want a reputation for picking on people weaker than you because then someone higher on the totem pole might have a reason to beat the crap out of you, but at the same time, you can throw your weight around as long as you have an excuse.

#84 Copy

bamfious

Mercy's 4th Technique is called "Dream of Darkness"

Will Wight

Funny story about that: I immediately regretted naming that technique in Uncrowned.

I don't like technique names that also contain the name of the aura, because then you end up with weird phrases like "She wove dream madra into the Dream of Darkness, which projected dreams into the darkness using dream aura and darkness aura and dark dreams of Dreamdark, the dreamiest darkest dream that ever dreamed a dark dream."

So when I was actually writing this technique in Wintersteel, I came up with a way cooler name for it: World of Night. And then I remembered I already revealed its name in Uncrowned (taken straight from the character sheet I made for Mercy's Path like three years ago), and I tore out my hair and burned all my clothes in regret.

EDIT: Also yes, the Book manages the extra aspects. She harvests only shadow aura, and her Book has a limited supply of other aspects that she can use initially, but she’ll eventually use that up and have to cycle more from the environment. Everything other than pure shadow is stored in the Book, not her core.

bamfious

Damn. It’s just one single line from one simple Sage....

Can’t Mercy alter it herself and make it different ?

World of Night is cooler.

Will Wight

Oh man, you’re right, I might do that.

It’s Charity’s technique, too, so that could add extra weight to Mercy going “Yeah, but...no.”

Kandra

So, mechanically, could you say that each page of the book acts as a second core, almost (but not quite)?

Will Wight

I have a technical answer and a meme answer.

Technically, it stores madra in the same way that any construct stores madra. Each page’s store of energy is used to power the binding on that page and that’s it.

Meme-ly, yes Mercy has eight cores.

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True Ruler of None

Will you make a Patreon?

Will Wight

I would make a Patreon if I figured out a good way to provide some extra content to people without slowing the books down.

The books are profitable already, so I’m not doing a Patreon just to produce the books, because I don’t need it. But I know people enjoy and engage with Patreon, so if I had some other content I could give to patrons that they would like, I’d do that...as long as it didn’t slow down book production.

All the ideas I have for fun, regular content updates would take me book-writing time to produce, and I don’t want to delay books for everybody in order to produce short stories or whatever for patrons.

Which is why I don’t have a Patreon.

Lashann

I feel Patreon treats fans unfairly and separates us into groups of have $$ and have not$$. For many teens in college it is hard to buy ramen noodles - forget Patreon. I think selling a book with goodies for slightly higher price is a good way for folks with $$ to support Will. I always read on KU and a week later buy the book. Hope it helps some.

Will Wight

It absolutely does help; thanks a lot!

I don’t think Patreon is inherently unfair. In theory, it’s about supporting artists who otherwise couldn’t afford to create art (or not do it full-time). It makes sense for the people who pay to receive some kind of reward for their support.

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Date Jan. 1, 2020
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