July - December 2020

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Name July - December 2020
Date July 1, 2020
Entries 15
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#1 Copy

Kommunist Keth the Kandra

Ok so hear me out on this one. I've been noticing a trend in will's books. first we had traveller's gate. orphan main character. Then Elder Empire. Calder only has his mother. Then Cradle. Lindon has both parents. next series traveller's blade or something will likely feature both parents as well as another parental figure in simon, unless im drunk again

Will Wight

No joke, I try to switch up how many parents the main characters have to avoid the “every hero is an orphan” thing.By which I mean yes, the next main character I write will be born from the fusion of six individuals who all combined their DNA in a cloning spell gone wrong.

#2 Copy

True Ruler of None

What are the chances that in the process of writing 7 books of Cradle the conclusion and outline in Will head of OKAK changed ?

Will Wight

Tbh, the scenes with Ozriel are now a lot less elaborate than they were in the original outline.   As I originally envisioned, all the pre-chapter text in Kings was going to be excerpts from a conversation Ozriel was having with Sector 11 Control. Where they had brought him in because the Elders were loose so he was supposed to erase the Iteration, but he kept jerking them around as Sector Control became more and more panicked over the course of the book.   Until they finally appeal to another Judge who basically goes “Idk guys, we can’t control him either.”   And then only at the end does the situation become dire enough for him to actually be willing to do his job, and then the good guys resolve it right before.   I actually wrote out most of that conversation screenplay style.It’s saved on my phone from my original OKAK notes from 2015.My only reluctance for [releasing] that kind of thing is that it wouldn’t be edited at all. It’s literally off-the-cuff dialogue thoughts from 2015. And I know you might say “Oh that’s okay, we don’t care, any content is interesting!” but there will always be that guy who goes through and points out the issues in the comments.   There’s always some guy.
#3 Copy


I would love to see more of Lindon updating the Path of Twin Stars manual, like he did in the first few books. Not having that seems so weird, given that a big part of his background is the fact that up until the last few years he was not considered worthy of being taught a Path, and now he is forging one of his own. It feels like him taking a moment to write down what he's learned is something that was cut in the editting process, but in the process, the Lindon of the last few books has gone through changes that don't make sense, as there's never a reason given for NOT having those scenes anymore. Even a throwaway couple of paragraphs of "wow the last year or so has gone by in a blur and I haven't had the opportunity to update this even though I was previously determined to add to the Path manual immediately to get my thoughts down right away, it seemed like with the later techniques I really should perfect them first" would go a long way towards explaining what otherwise makes no sense.

Will Wight

That's actually a good example of something that I don't think is necessary to explain at all.In Uncrowned, he takes notes on things several times. In Underlord, he's repeatedly referring to and studying notes. And in all the previous books, we've seen him again and again take notes on everything he learns.Why would that be shown every time?To me, this is like having a character with a beloved car, and in the first few books there are specific scenes showing him in the car. In later books, those scenes don't show up as much, because he's established as someone who loves his car.I don't see those reminders as particularly necessary.

#4 Copy


The Uncrowned timeline is all over the place, specifically about Yerin and Lindon's calls.

Will Wight

This timeline thing was interesting!I pulled up my Uncrowned timeline, and I compared it against what's in the book, and I figured out what the issue is. Well, what the issues are.1.) "five times in the last week"That was just me using "the last week" as an approximation. Of course I know every other day for a week =/= 5, but in my mind Lindon wasn't being precise.I still should have phrased that better to prevent confusion, though.2.) It hasn't been just one week, it's been months.That week he was referring to wasn't the first week, it was the latest one.I had intended to convey that BY showing that the fight against the other Underlords is the next day, so it's clearly been months, because we established already that this wasn't going to happen for months. And then I have Dross refer to the effect the calls are having on his mentality like they've been going on for a while.But!The transition between Charity handing him the construct and then cutting to him talking on the roof suggests that very little time has passed, and then the only specific amount of time I refer to IN THAT SCENE is a week.I was relying on the fight with the Akura Underlords being the next day to be that concrete anchor in time rather than saying "X months later," and then him being in a different place with different clothes while they all talk as though a lot of time has passed to be subtle details that supported that.But the quick transition followed by using the word "week" implies that it has only been a week in a way that I didn't realize.Interesting! I've learned something to look out for! Thanks!

#5 Copy


Interesting Contradictions in Lindon's FateWhen Suriel first examines Lindon's fate:

The boy fights against a relative of his, a young man with long black hair and an iron badge. The boy cheats, releases emerald hornets, ekes out a technical victory.

With a bulky brown pack on his back, he bends his head over a scroll, studying a Path by candlelight in someone else’s home.

And when she shows him his fate later:

The frozen world was wiped out, replaced with another. He was still standing on the stone of the arena stage, but the clouds Li Markuth summoned had never appeared, and the sun beat down out of a clear sky. Wei Jin Amon faced him, and though he resisted longer than anyone expected, he still lost.

That night, he nursed his wounds alone when the First Elder barged in without knocking. The old man slapped a book down on his table: Path of the White Fox.

Will Wight

This is intentional. She’s showing him something that is equally likely to occur as what she saw earlier.

The details change, but the broad strokes don’t.

#6 Copy


Is Lindon's name a reference to Lyndon Hardy?

Will Wight

My choice of name for Lindon had nothing to do with him, sorry to disappoint!

I’ve read his books, but they don’t have any sort of special place in my heart or anything.

#7 Copy


It's repeatedly mentioned in the text of Traveler's Gate that Lirial, as a territory, is ill suited to open combat, but I don't see how to reconcile that with the Lirial powers we've seen. The ability to call Lirial crystals alone seems like it would be an overwhelmingly powerful combat ability and it's one that I don't think we've seen any good answers to from other territories. The fact that Leah easily dispatched grandmaster Endross seems telling. Is this a contradiction or am I missing something?

Will Wight

Leah is extraordinary by Lirial standards, though I didn’t convey that very well because of the lack of other Lirial Travelers to compare.

They mostly have entirely utility powers. Her being able to call crystal so much and on such a scale is extremely unusual.

It’s like you have a Bard class who specializes entirely in support magic, only there’s one specific bard who strides into battle with a flaming electric guitar chainsaw and goes around slicing dudes in half to the tune of his own sick riffs.

If you saw that guy, you’d be like “Wait a second, who said bards aren’t a combat class?”

Leah is that bard.

#8 Copy


 I saw this sentence in the same chapter we first see "web of madra" used and it caught my eye

"Well this is a lucky daym" he said, hopping down from the wall. His blond hair flowed behind him like a banner, and a simple Endorcer technique made him drift slowly to the muddy ground.

I know of no Enforcer technique that would be able to slow someone falling. In fact, the only way Eithan, specifically, could slow himself would be with soulfire controlling aura. Either Will made a typo there or just hadn't fully mapped out the sacred arts system in his head yet, this is Chapter 5 of Soulsmith, our first meeting with Eithan, so I can't say for sure which it might be, I'd be interested to hear /u/Will_Wight 's answer to it.

Will Wight

It’s a construct that makes him lighter.

Middle of chapter eight (Soulsmith):

Eithan skipped along behind, touching down with one foot and using an Enforcer binding to launch himself far enough that he almost appeared to be drifting through the air.

In my original character sheet for him, he used the construct all the time, and we were going to explore it in Blackflame. But he didn’t really need it, so I just didn’t go into it.

#9 Copy


This is just a guess, but I'm thinking Will will probably write Wintersteel, another Cradle book, and then start a brand new series or start writing the Travelers Blade.

Will Wight

That was my initial plan. Wintersteel, Cradle 9, new thing (Traveler’s Blade is still on the table), Cradle 10.

That’s a very, very soft plan, though. We change plans all the time. And even if we write them in that order, they might come out in a different order.

Like I could write Cradle 8 & 9 and then the new thing, but write and release Cradle 10 first while holding the new thing back.

Point is, I don’t know. Always in motion is the future. But that was our original goal!

#10 Copy


I often wonder if you sit at home with a drink and laugh your arse off reading these theory’s (or maybe sit the drink down very carefully when someone guesses something you have planned for the future)

Will Wight

Every once in a while I’m boggled at what people guess with such little information, but in general I just enjoy seeing people discussing the books at all!


Do you ever get nervous that someone is close to a plot point, then keep reading and find out they are way off?

Will Wight

Yeah for sure, but despite what you might think I don’t really care if a plot point is guessed in advance.

Any multi-book “twist” will be guessed if there are enough people guessing, and in a popular series, there WILL be enough people guessing.

So the value of a reveal can’t entirely rely on surprise. The moment should land whether the reader guessed it or not.

Also, I feel like people think I value surprise more than I do. Surprise doesn’t really have any inherent value.

It would be incredibly surprising if Lindon transformed into a chipmunk and spent the rest of the series trying to steal a magical Roomba, but that doesn’t make it a good story decision.

#11 Copy


Zorrus does "gather up golden fire in her mouth" in Uncrowned, so I went from there - but I agree, you're probably right that she's not on the Path of Flowing Flame. Fingers crossed we learn more in Wintersteel, haha. Thanks for reading, I'm glad you liked it!

Will Wight

Well I can’t speak to whether or not she appears in Wintersteel, but I can say that Xorrus is on a variation of the Path of the Wasteland. Her sacred arts are not exactly the same as Sesh’s, though they are similar.

In my notes, I have Xorrus on the Path of the Burning Wasteland (although that name is not final unless it makes it into the books).

#12 Copy


So in the Uncrowned King tournament there are 8 Monarch factions, 8 sets of teams, 8 factions giving gifts etc, etc. However, everyone believes Northstrider died 6 years ago. Everyone also knows Northstrider has no faction of his own, so it's not like the Arelius faction which still has people who are able to choose competitors and give out gifts to the other teams. If the 9CC truly believed NS to be dead, as the 9C Soul stated, then why would they have a NS team in the tourney? Who would have been selecting the competitors or giving gifts? The Beast King? It doesn't seem to me like they are together in any official way, just friends and allies. Has this ever been brought up before? Was everyone not surprised to see 4 full teams of Underlords for NS before he showed up at the beginning?

Will Wight

It was more of a surprise that House Arelius showed up.

There are lots of unaffiliated Heralds and Sages who compete under Northstrider’s banner, so it was always expected that they would show up in his name until one among them ascended to Monarch.

#13 Copy


Will, in the 'Reports' that are not marked with someone's name (such as Suriel) are we supposed to be reading that as a mystery and figuring out who it is that is accessing those reports or is that just your way of giving us info and backstory?

Will Wight

It’s not a mystery. 90% of the time it’s just Suriel.

#14 Copy


What happened to story resolutions/denouements?

A major component in a story seems to be atrophying as I continue to read. You've got your narrative hooks, your expositions, rising action, climax, etc, but it seems like many authors don't bother to write more than a token resolution/outro to their stories anymore.

Remember Harry Potter? After the big battle, there was always the hospital scene (resolution), where we learn of the fallout and changes that the results of the climax are going to have on the world or story as a whole, then the end of the year feast, serving as a decompression, and finally the train-ride home.

Ok I saw Return of the King also, and I agree, endings can go on too long. However, endings in the vein of A New Hope to me are even worse. "Here's your medal, now go away!" is to me jarring and fundamentally unsatisfying.

The last few books I've read, to continue with the Harry Potter example, have only given me the hospital wing scene. The beat-to-hell hero is told how things fell out after they lost consciousness. End of story. No Feast, no train-ride, no decompression.

I bring up "A New Hope" specifically because I remember reading something from author Jim Butcher that this was what he modeled his conclusions on. I love me some Jim Butcher but I disagree with this specific conclusion of his completely, and I wanted to know what people who are a bit more educated than me on the subject might think, and this seems like a good place for that.

Will Wight

That’s a really good question, and I can speak for myself/hazard a guess, though of course I can’t speak for every writer out there.

The style right now is to get out as soon after the climax as you can, in order to make the third act feel like a memorable gut-punch rather than a punch to the gut followed by a lengthy period of recovery that gives the reader’s emotions time to cool down.

There’s also the series component, as in “If the next installment is coming out in six months or less, why would I tie up lingering story threads after the plot of this installment has been resolved? I can just do it in the next one.”

People tend to lose interest quickly when there’s nothing to work toward anymore, and once the climax has ended, then the goal is either achieved or not achieved. And it takes a lot of confidence to say “Now that you’ve read my story about fighting Godzilla, I’m sure you’ll also want to see my characters going back home and starting an ordinary life again after Godzilla’s dead and buried.”

Having said that, I think the one exception is at the end of a series. You DO want to see the characters going back to their boring ordinary lives after going on an awesome adventure for years, because that’s the payoff. That’s what you were really reading for all this time. And if you made it to the end of a massive series without investing in the characters and their lives to some degree, then...how did you do that?

And having said THAT, nothing says there can’t be actual falling action and resolution in each book of a story. Harry Potter is a good example, but part of what makes it work for Harry is that it’s a narrow scope, and that each book is structured after a school year.

Narrow scope: it’s just Harry. We get to see the fallout of the book’s events on Hogwarts at the end-of-term feast, then Harry and Ron and Hermione separate with implications of what they’re going to do that summer, but we don’t follow Ron or Hermione home. We follow Harry home, because there’s one main character and we can stay focused on him.

Structure: you’re not really reading Harry Potter to see if he finds the Philosopher’s Stone and saves the school or if he gets murdered, you’re reading to see him go through an imaginative school year of magic and adventure.

Sure, the plot part keeps you reading, but with a structure like that you don’t immediately lose narrative momentum as soon as the primary plot question is resolved. You can get away with three more chapters of no danger because there’s still magic and imagination on display and the school year isn’t over yet.

Books that don’t have such a structure aren’t working with quite as much leeway, because the assumption is that the readers are reading to see the conclusion of the plot. And once that’s over they want the book to be too.

That’s the theory, anyway.


Your theory may illustrate the difference between plot-based and character-based readers. As said elsewhere, at the end of the Wheel of Time we have much invested in a large number of individual characters, and we want to see what happens with them regardless of the outcome of the Last Battle. If one doesn't put much effort in their characters, I can see why they wouldn't want to stretch their plot out.

Will Wight

I see what you mean, but I don't think I agree.

In Wheel of Time's case, the series DID need a more thorough resolution, and (I suspect) would have had one if Robert Jordan had been around to write it. But of course it needed one: like I said above, the end of a series generally needs proper wrap-up regardless, and how would any reader get to the end of such a huge series if they didn't sympathize with the characters?

It's not really about the amount of effort you put into your characters. While there are readers who prefer a tight plot and readers who would be fine reading a story about a handful of fascinating characters doing nothing in particular, I also don't think it has to do with one type of reader or another.

Even if you don't have a drawn-out denouement and resolution, you still want strong characters in the entire rest of the story, so not having those things doesn't really reflect an emphasis on plot over characters.

A properly executed resolution is part of a well-structured plot, so that also doesn't mean choosing characters over plot.

When you're designing a story, you have to assume what your readers are primarily reading for, and plot accordingly. If you're writing a mystery where the driving motivating factor is supposed to be the reader's curiosity as to who killed the Space Pope, then it makes sense not to stick around too long after the killer has been revealed.

If instead you're writing a story about (just off the top of my head) a boy going to wizard school, then the thing driving the reader to keep reading is presumably "I want to see what happens to this guy at wizard school." So you can afford to spend a little extra time on that.

Which doesn't have much to do with the amount of effort invested or not invested into your characters, because Harry Potter is a bland character with very few unique personality traits. He's...brave, and...other things, probably.

But that doesn't impact the series almost at all, because you still sympathize with Harry, his decisions and actions usually drive the plot, the side characters are great, the world is great, and generally speaking the plot is interesting and very engaging.

TL;DR - I don't think any kind of "plot vs. character" dichotomy affects this decision at all.

#15 Copy

Nugget Monkey

Would Lindon have won in Uncrowned if he had fought Yerin from the beginning and not been weakened a decent amount before beginning to fight?

Will Wight

Possibly! That would have made it more likely for sure.

Event details
Name July - December 2020
Date July 1, 2020
Entries 15
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