Reaper Spoiler Stream

Event details
Name
Name Reaper Spoiler Stream
Date
Date Nov. 9, 2021
Location
Location www.twitch.tv/willwight
Entries
Entries 87
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#1 Copy

Questioner

How are Cassias and the other Arelius family leaders going to respond now that they have seen or heard of Ethan at the end of Reaper?

Will Wight

You will get to see that in the next book. I suppose technically that’s a Dreadgod spoiler. I have already outlined that scene and I do know the answer but it’s in Dreadgod.

#2 Copy

kwwaites

How could Eithan claim to be under 35 for the uncrowned tourney?

Will Wight

There’s two ways that could’ve happened with information that is already presented in Reaper. The Origin Shroud if its powerful enough to deceive the Mad King and Ozriel then it’s powerful enough to deceive people on Cradle, right? And then Eithan had to incarnate into a real mortal body. This wasn’t like a fake thing where he was disguising himself he had to really be mortal. He could easily have actually been under 35. Those 2 solutions are both possible.

#7 Copy

Questioner

Would you say that the original seven were on par with Ozmanthus?

Will Wight

No. Some of them were, but they were kind of almost different. The scenario in which they ascended was different, so they would have had a harder time gaining power after ascending from Cradle than Ozmanthus did. He had the advantage of the infrastructure that they had put in place. That was an advantage Ozriel had over the first-generation Court of Seven.

#8 Copy

Questioner

Did corruption exist before the original seven ascended?

Will Wight

Oh yeah. Corruption absolutely existed before the original seven ascended. Corruption is kind of how the multiverse works. So, by default, it's just sort of decay in reality. Therefore only a few Iterations remain active at any one time. Or inhabitable, I guess should say. Until the Abidan manage and garden them and then they can make a lot more stable and a lot more exist. And a lot more stick to their original Fate and destiny.

#10 Copy

Questioner

General consensus is that Reaper is one of the best books.  Do you think feel like the sabbatical contributed to that?

Will Wight

I'm certain that it did.  One of the things that I wanted to talk about tonight was my writing process for Reaper.  That's one of the reasons that I wanted to do this stream; I wanted to talk about a couple of things people have been asking me, which is about my writing process for Reaper, my writing process for other books how it's developed changed over the years and, why some books you perhaps liked more than others. Did the sabbatical contribute to that?  I'm sure it did. I know friends and family have told me that I act a lot differently after the sabbatical. I tend to recover more easily after a writing sprint, or after isolating and writing a big chunk rather than wearing myself down. But what I expected from the sabbatical was that I was gonna come back and I was gonna be full of inspiration and really feel like the next book was super easy to write and i did not feel that way. That was a mistake of expectation on my part. Because it turns out writing books is just hard, just straight up hard. I was thinking yeah it'll feel easy.  I was wrong it didn't feel that way. But I'm sure it did contribute to Reaper. So I'm sure that the sabbatical helped.

One of the things people have asked is what was the difference between my Bloodline process and my Reaper process, and one of the funniest things people say sometimes is that Bloodline was rushed and then I took my time with Reaper. So I wanna address that real quick. The funniest thing is Bloodline despite being shorter than Reaper took me 50% longer to write. It's all about the process of writing and Reaper so far has been the one that I think I worked the best process. It was more efficient. I stayed on track, and I didn't get distracted by rewriting, getting stuck, writing things that I had to remove. One of the things I did in Bloodline was I got off on a tangent where I was trying to figure out a story beat. So I kept writing and rewriting it or writing and rewriting notes on it, and I ended up basically wasting a week.  Then I had to get back on track and building momentum takes a lot and then I spend another week doing that and it just takes time; it kills time.  Typically I think the reason why I do that is because I feel like I want to make the 1st draft really good, I wanted it to feel better. But I'm working with some friends of mine who are working on their 1st books and they have really been learning something that I need to constantly remember which is the way to make it good is not to make it good in the 1st draft, it's to make it good in the 2nd draft and beyond.  So the 1st draft should be just getting something on paper and then you should be making a good later.  So that is definitely the process that I have found to work. It's the process I usually recommend but it's hard to remember. So its hard for me to remember.  So Reaper is the 1st one I've done where I actually stayed on track the whole time.  I just wrote it from beginning to end; I thought it was terrible.  Thought it was really bad but I kept writing and I kept going and I finished it and then I made a good later and therefore it was faster and more efficient and resulted in a better project.

#12 Copy

skybreaker82

Was Bloodline's title referencing Lindon's family or something else?

Will Wight

There were a couple of layers in Bloodline's title I did indeed intend for a Lindon to manifest his own bloodline power in Bloodline but having written it I decided I realized, crap that gives him too many powers so that would have been completely overloaded. So, instead of doing that I added references to the bloodline of the dreadgods, the bloodline of Lindon's relationship with his family and, the future vision that Suriel gives him of leaving a legacy behind in the terms of the end terms of bloodline so it's not a strong of the title as some of the others in terms of how it links to the content of the book I definitely I don't know what I would change it but I could certainly have had a stronger connection. It's like Skysworn, I initially intended Skysworn to be largely taken up by them doing a bunch of Skysworn missions and it ends up if I could have made a last minute change for that book I would've called a Redmoon and then I would have had the cover just be a red moon. So I probably wouldn't have that's probably the the 2 changes I would make to Skysworn, I would change the title and I would change the ending.

#13 Copy

Questioner

How much, if any, philosophical inspiration have you had for the Cradle series?

Will Wight

That's hard to answer. There's a lot of.. a lot? It goes into a lot of things I write, have to do with philosophy or ideology, but it's not my goal to express a particular ideology so much as it is to just entertain you. So while a lot of that does go into the ideas I have, its more of that, it's more of the background details and the inspiration I draw on than it is trying to express a particular philosophy or so on and so forth.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Will Eithan still honor his favor to Malice?

Will Wight

Probably not. He was bound by that until he took off the shroud, and now he is not. So he is not necessarily bound by that unless he chooses to keep his word. Because while the more powerful a sacred artist you are, the tighter you are held, that does not continue to hold true as you advance in magic systems outside of Cradle. And he is, of course, the MOST advanced in magic systems outside of Cradle. So, he has a number of ways around that. So for one thing, as the Reaper he could just annul that oath. It just, didn't happen. He could, however, choose to abide by it. One of the things that a lot of Abidan do is they choose to abide by their oaths as kind of a manifestation or reflection of order.

#16 Copy

Questioner

Once Pure Storm Baptism is complete, will Ziel be an Archlord?

Will Wight

Yes. He'll have the capacity to be an Archlord. He will be healed back up. He'll still have to probably work a little bit to get back to his former power, but he'll have the capacity to catch up, and it won't take long. Just have to jam him full of resources.

#18 Copy

shadowsaber415

How long ago did you come up with the Monarch twist?

Will Wight

I assume by that you mean the link between the Monarchs and hunger madra. And the whole time I had intended for Monarchs to be a final obstacle for Lindon. Not necessarily THE final obstacle, of course you still have the Dreadgods, but involved in Lindon's final trials. What I always wanted was Eithan guides Lindon up to the final two books, and then in the final two books, Lindon and company have to deal with the challenges themselves. And what I wanted the final boss of Cradle to be, was effectively Cradle itself. I wanted it to be them working against the world. The whole world. Against them. So that was my original intention, and I intended therefore for the Dreadgods and Monarchs to be on the same side at some point, but the mechanics of doing that shifted and changed. I had certain ideas, I kind of knew how they were kind of linked, and it was one of those things where I set myself up for several ways I could have done it, and ended up picking the way that made the most sense.

#19 Copy

Questioner

Is Eithan worried about his trial?

Will Wight

That's an interesting question. I like that you asked that. Sort of. He's less worried about what's going to happen to him, he doesn't really care. It's more about what's going to happen to his goal. And what's going to happen to Cradle, and what's going to happen to the other worlds, and whether he will have succeeded or failed. So that is what he's worried about, and the trial will reveal that.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Did Eithan take Lindon only because of Suriel's marble?

Will Wight

No. Eithan noticed Lindon because of Suriel's marble, but he would not have inherently taken him in just because of that. There were a lot of other reasons, and I think those are expressed throughout the books pretty clearly, why Eithan took Lindon in as an apprentice. And like he expresses in Soulsmith, Yerin's a big part of that. So Yerin being involved, and Yerin having a lot of potential was always a key component.

#22 Copy

Questioner

Does the 8 Man Empire have power loss, or is Reigan Shen equal to 4 entry level Monarchs?

Will Wight

No. So I'm sure we're going to get into the details of how the 8 Man Empire armor works, at least to some degree. I don't know how much detail we're going to get into, but to some degree we're going to go into that. And the idea is that they can all draw on the powers of the others. So that does not mean that they are equivalent to four Monarchs, it means that collectively they can express the power a Monarch. So in some ways that has an advantage because, of course, they have a greater breadth of powers and things that they can do. And they can be in multiple places at once. But at the same time it also has some disadvantages. One of those being that if one of them is drawing on their full power, or two of them are splitting it among themselves, then the others are not as powerful. So they couldn't fight four Monarchs at once. They could certainly fight one, and potentially two depending the circumstances, but usually they are spread out. They are not usually in the same location because they don't need to be.

#24 Copy

Questioner

What are the limits of Reigan Shen's Path of Deus Ex Machina?

Will Wight

That's not what Deus Ex Machina means. But the limits of it are that he doesn't do a lot directly, he has to prepare in advance. And like happens in Reaper, he can run out of his resources because they are finite. He has to store them separately in separate void spaces, and use them later. So that is the primary limitation. Another limitation is that other Monarchs can manipulate space. So they can interfere with his techniques on a different level than other techniques get interfered with.

#25 Copy

Questioner

How do Monarchs compare, power-wise, to the Abidan?

Will Wight

There are lesser Abidan that the Monarchs can beat. I may have answered this before, where someone asked if Northstrider could potentially beat the low level Hound that we saw in Kiuran in the Uncrowned tournament. And yes, potentially he could. Now they would have to have a fight, and it depends on what other powers Kiuran has, but potentially yes, Northstrider could do that. That's something where he's considering just killing Kiuran. The reason why he doesn't is twofold. One thing, you never know what tricks and Abidan has up their sleeve, and then of course he doesn't want to antagonize the rest of their massive interdimensional organization.

#27 Copy

Questioner

I dont understand what Lindon did when he told Reigans portals to open. What tactical value did that add to the fight?

Will Wight

I thought that was pretty clear in the book. Evidently, I guess not. So the labyrinth has authority that suppresses spatial transport, and what Lindon did was he stretched the portal beyond the breaking point that it could handle in its conflict with the labyrinth. Reigan Shen has to work against the authority of [the labyrinth]. So by stretching it beyond that, he broke it and didn't allow Reigan Shen to access that anymore. So that is why he is able to cancel that before Tiberian's remnant kills them all.

#28 Copy

Questioner

Is Eithan's soulsmithing lost forever, or will he get everything back naturally?

Will Wight

It is not lost forever. He gets his Presence back, he gets his memories back. And he already has that back, once he removes the origin shroud. The whole reason of him sealing this power away.. that's another fun fact, in that actual scene I originally had him unsealing several layers of veils, but I thought it would be clearer if I just had it all tied up in the origin shroud. So instead of it being multiple things, it was one thing just to be clearer. But he has the full extent of his power back, to some degree. Now as the Mad King noted, he's not as strong as he was because he's been under the veil, and he had to give up some stuff to restrict himself so he'll have to regain his power there.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Where is Eithan's original Scythe?

Will Wight

You'll have to read and find out. It might not be a thing, I'm not saying it is. There might not be a scene. He might just summon it back. But I can't answer that yet.

#30 Copy

Questioner

How powerful is the Broom Icon?

Will Wight

Ok, so Icons don't vary in power. They are just a reflection of what sort of power you have. They are more of a descriptor than a power limitation. Having said that, the exception is the Broom Icon which is of course the strongest.

#31 Copy

Questioner

Did you always intend for Eithan to be Ozriel?

Will Wight

Yes! That's one of the things I've addressed a lot in comments this week. I think if you go back over the other books now knowing the revelation you'll see that it was in place the whole time. And this brings me to the story that I'm going to tell. So buckle up because I'm going to spend a few minutes answer a question from me. A lot of people were asking what the journey was with Eithan, when did I decide he's Ozriel? When did I decide to make this part of the books? The funny part is, I've answered this a little bit on Reddit and Discord, but I'll go into it a in a little bit more detail here.

 

Back in college, in 2011 I want to say, I had a couple of ideas for a story that I thought would be really good. A couple different stories. One of them was a story about magic kind of coming into a world and therefore just the existence of magic in the world, a world like ours but not ours because I am against writing in the actual real world, it merges with other dimensions that have magic. So other iterations. And therefore it develops a magic system, but it's not a magic system that anybody's familiar with. It's a new magic system, so it causes an apocalypse. That was one. And I was like, "Oh, I really like that idea but I don't think I'm good enough to write that." The other one was a system where there are a set of guardians that guard over the multiverse, and they use the way. And the way between worlds is the source of all order, and there is the void, the source of all chaos and destruction. And the guardians are called the Abidan, and they wear white armor, and they gather a bunch of different multiverses together to protect them.

So that was the other general plotline, and the idea there would have been that we would have followed a character who was going to the Abidan to be apprenticed to them.  And he had risen from a mortal world, and once he joins the Abidan he is taken under the wing of Suriel. Who in this case, was The Ghost. So she was originally intended to be The Ghost, and her personal name was Mercy. So she was The Ghost, and she would take this guy under her wing, and start training him. Well as he went on these assignments, he also got mentored by a guy who popped out of nowhere, and had long blonde hair, and was dressed as a janitor. And he had a pristine janitor's uniform on. I wrote this scene years ago. And his name was Eithan, and he could apparently see everything that was going on around him at any time. So this guy remains mysterious, and he keeps popping up at different points in the story dressed in whatever uniform is necessary. So one time he'll be dressed as a mechanic, another time he'll be dressed as a librarian or whatever. And then the main character starts to wonder who this guy is, and he starts to investigate his background. And he finds that in every persona, his background checks out. So, he has been working for the janitor all the time, he has been working as a mechanic the whole time. And what the main character eventually kind of figures out by the fact that he can detect everything everywhere, is that this guy's gotta be The Spider. He's gotta be the Judge of the Spider division. And he confronts Eithan about this, and Eithan is like, "Oh yeah! That's totally me!" and of course it isn't. And it ends up that he is actually Ozriel, the Judge and solo member of the Reaper division. And he's out looking for people to join his division.

So that was the original idea. Also this main character, his whole powerset was that he could bind people to contracts. So he would help people or he would go on adventures and do things for people, and then he would cash in their favors. So he would collect all these things he would do for people, and then he would make them pay him back. And so he would cash these favors in and gain power. And his primary power set was the fact that he could tap into both order and chaos. So he wasn't as good at order as any of the Abidan were, but he could do both thanks to contracts with a small blue water spirit and a black dragon chaos spirit. And their names were Melusine and Oerthon, so those were the names I had for them. And the main character had both these powers, and was apprenticed under both these Judges.

So you can see how close that ended up actually aligning to what ended up coming out. It's kind of funny. When it came time to write Cradle, my primary inspiration were the Chinese cultivation novels. And a lot of other cultures as well, Korean and Japanese, but primarily these Chinese cultivation novels. And I knew that usually, there is a higher world or higher realm that you are ascending toward. So I repurposed the elements from this other story to Cradle. To be a layer over. So I had come up with Eithan's character years before. Now, this Mercy/Suriel character became several different characters, obviously it became Suriel and Mercy. And then, funnily enough, while she was The Ghost, one of her things was that she would pop up everywhere because you couldn't notice her. She was unnoticeable all the time unless she chose not to be. And the only person who could always her, of course, was Eithan. So she was always sneaking around everywhere and popping up out of nowhere, unless Eithan was around. Then he was aware of her the entire time. And then he was popping up everywhere because he could evade just like Eithan actually does. So you had two characters that could pop up in different ways. So that was the original inspiration behind Cradle. So not only did I know this from the beginning, I knew this years before I even started writing Cradle.

#33 Copy

justin_a_007

Do you have a backup writer or way to finish the series if- in very worst case of something happening to you?

Will Wight

No, so you better make sure nothing happens to me Justin. I hold you personally responsible for my well-being. Let's see if Brandon Sanderson.. yeah Brandon Sanderson would never finish the series. That would be way beyond my pay-grade.

#35 Copy

Questioner

Can you lose an Icon?

Will Wight

Potentially. Yeah, you could lose an icon. It would require something extraordinary to happen. That is not something that usually happens. It would be, effectively, a change to your origin of existence. It would be a change to who you are on a fundamental level and who you are recognized to be in the Way. But, that can happen, it is difficult, but you can redefine who you are. 100%.

#36 Copy

Questioner

Did Eithan immediately recognize that Lindon's marble was from a judge?

Will Wight

Yes, he did. And he recognized the judge. So he knew exactly who left it. I may get into this in the future, but I haven't looked over my notes for this, that's why its not in the books. But my original intention back when I wrote Soulsmith was that the whole reason why Eithan is there in the Desolate Wilds and out ahead of his family, the Arelius family, the reason why he's out ahead alone is because he sensed that something had happened in the Way. This thing that Suriel had done, rewinding the whole iteration, but he didn't know what it was because he didn't have the scope of his power back, so he started heading toward what he thought was the source of the disturbance. And that is why he is there and that is why he's ahead of his family and that is why he runs into Lindon with the marble.

#37 Copy

Questioner

Could Lindon have beaten Eithan's time against Sha Miara as Dross suggested?

Will Wight

Potentially. If Lindon had enough information for that and practiced enough, yeah he could have. That is something that he potentially could have done. So, that's one of the things that is funny. People have gone over the Sha Miara fight versus Eithan, which makes total sense, but when Eithan says he's using superior skill instead of superior power, he isn't lying. He doesn't have a deeper reservoir of power than Sha Miara does at that point. He is just, of course, more skilled and he should be more skilled, right? That's the part that is kind of the rub is he's like, "ah, superior skill that I have by virtue being, you know, 4000 years old or whatever."

#38 Copy

Questioner

Is the reference to the iteration where people ascend after completing a tower a reference to Tower of God?

Will Wight

Indirectly, yes. I love Tower of God. I think it's a great comic. I think the anime was really good. Some people had some complaints about the anime. I did not, I thought it was really good. So, indirectly, yes, it's not exactly a reference to Tower of God, that's not quite like the Tower, but it is a reference to that and other tower style worlds or cultivation.

#40 Copy

Questioner

How did Ozriel develop two different madra types, one destruction, one pure?

Will Wight

He reset. So, when he reset his new body and came back to Cradle his madra type once again started as pure, like everyone does. Therefore, he this time he decided to keep it there because he didn't want to do destruction again. He was like 'alright, this is another aspect that is compatible with my path, but its not destruction because I don't like that guy.'

#41 Copy

Questioner

Are Icons unique to Cradle, or could anyone manifest an Icon in any iteration currently connected to the Way?

Will Wight

Different iterations have different, the mechanism is similar, different iterations have different ways of reflecting that. So, the particular Icon system and Sages and all of that is unique to Cradle, but other iterations would have other ways of representing that and manifesting that or seeing the reflections in the Way. So, there would be different ways, some ways would be more similar to Cradle than others, so there would be other mechanisms.

#42 Copy

Questioner

Could you provide more description for some of the Judges that were introduced in this book?

Will Wight

I can. There is certainly more detail about them, but its hard for me to do that live because I'd just be like listing physical features but its something that I do intend to go into in future books is describing them in more detail. Of course, the reason I didn't this time is because you're introducing basically seven characters at once. And I know some of them we know before, but you got to remind them of their physical characteristics. We've got to be reminded of what Makiel looks like and what Gadrael looks like and what Suriel looks like and then we've got to introduce the other Judges that we haven't seen yet. So, it's just there was alot of detail, so I was trying to skimp on that as much as possible because I didn't want to just sit there and describe a bunch of characters you had never met before.

#43 Copy

Questioner

Students in the Sect of Twin Stars who will split their cores, what two Paths will they follow?

Will Wight

I plan on getting into that if I have time. This is another one of those things that is detailed that could be more fleshed out. Obviously, the Sect of Twin Stars will come into play later in the series even with what little time we have left or at least something that Lindon could sponsor later. My intention is that they follow different dual Paths and they don't just go like pure and blackflame all of the time like Lindon does. But, there are a few different combinations and dual paths.

#45 Copy

Questioner

What current Monarch is connected to the most Icons?

Will Wight

Ah, man. I have the answer for this. I want to say its Northstrider. That's what I want to say, I'm not certain about that. I think the oldest remaining Monarch is

Will's brother

Lil' Blue.

Will Wight

Is Lil' Blue, but the second oldest is Emriss Silentborn and she only has a couple of Icons. Her connection to them is just very thorough.

#46 Copy

Questioner

Does the Void in the 'Void Sage' have any connection to the Vroshir 'Void'?

Will Wight

Ah, sort of, yeah. In the sense that the Void is just what they call the empty expanse outside of existence. And the Void Icon is the concept of non-existence or emptiness as reflected in the Way. So, its power does come from the Way, like any Icon does, so in that regard its not coming from The Void, it is coming from the Way. But you would be able to potentially, that is one potential use of the Void Icon is tapping into The Void.

#47 Copy

Questioner

What does Abidan armor look like? Common interpretation seems to be that it's skintight but I always imagined it more as actual armor.

Will Wight

It's armor. It's smooth armor that's not exactly jointed or plated. It moves with them because it's not exactly rigid, but it is plated armor. It's not a bodysuit.

#48 Copy

Questioner

Would you want to change the ending to Skysworn?

Will Wight

Someone was asking me about changing the ending to Skysworn and all I mean is I think Skysworn had a chance to have a really impactful ending like most of the others do but I think [trails into tangent about Subnautica Below Zero spoilers then begins reading another question].

#49 Copy

Questioner

Have you or your team thought of updating merch?

Will Wight

So, merch is a bit of an interesting topic because the only reason we have it is because people asked for merchandise. And then once we put merchandise up people were like "Why don't you have more merch or merch that I like better?"

And the answer is: merch is not the main thing we do. We don't make any money on it. It is something that only exists as a service. Like if you happen to want a shirt or to give us something to give away. And give me fourteen mugs. As long it pays for itself, that's all we can ask from it.

We have no reason to suspect that even if we did spend the time, energy, and money developing and adding new items to the merch store that they would sell at all. So there's no incentive to do that because it would take a lot. That's why we don't really spend a lot of time on merch. Because we're not a merch company, we're a book company.

#50 Copy

Questioner

Is Fury in the Abidan now and if so what division is he in?

Will Wight

That is a spoiler for later books. However, a lesser spoiler that I am going to give you for later books (so cover your ears if you are completely spoiler-averse) we are going to get to see Fury again. He's not gone forever. I did not abandon him. We're going to see him again. So we're gonna find out.

#51 Copy

Questioner

Fisher Gesha? Will she come back?

Will Wight

Yes, she will. Fisher Gesha will come back. We'll get to see Fisher Gesha again. We'll get to see Cassias again. We'll get to see the Blackflame Empire people again, and we'll get to see Fury again. Now, maybe they'll die. Who knows? I don't know. But we are going to get to see them again.

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Questioner

When is Traveler's Blade gonna be made?

Will Wight

I don't know because I like to do new stories as I've mentioned before. I just really enjoy coming up with new ideas. That's the most fun part and that is the part that I would like to focus on in the future. Cradle by the end is going to be a six or seven year journey and that is a lot of time and I have a lot of other ideas that I would like to explore and I love making up new ones. So, I don't know, I do want to do more Traveler's Gate. I have a lot of new ideas for Traveler's Gate. I would love to come back to Traveler's Blade. I expected to have done that by now but I also didn't expect Cradle to blow up the way it has. So, I don't know. I don't know. I suspect within the next couple of years would be my guess, but again I don't know.

#53 Copy

Questioner

At the beginning of the book [Reaper], is that memory from when Eithan was with Tiberian?

Will Wight

Yes it was, at the beginning of Reaper that's kind of the Easter egg, is that number is higher and therefore a more recent memory than the others. So what Eithan is doing through the course of the series, is unlike the marble that Suriel left Lindon, his isn't impenetrable to him, because he's the one who created it, so he's using it to actively store and access memories. So the memory he shows Lindon and Yerin in Skysworn is the original one or one of the original ones he left his descendants before. Other Arelius people have ascended, but they never did it the way he wanted them to, they never had the values he wanted them to have, so what they really had done over the centuries is enshrined that in a big shrine at the main Arelius mainland to the first patriarch, and he came back and was very disappointed in them for that. He got access to it by virtue of passing the first patriarch's tests. He'd left these for a descendant, and he passes them as an Underlord and that's how he gets everybody's attention and goes "oh he's such a wise Underlord" and he's like "yeah....I'm great".

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Questioner

If Cradle unified and managed to raise a group of 100,000 heralds, each of whom managed to advance to monarch at the same time, could they kill the Dreadgods?

Will Wight

Yes. The current monarchs could kill the dreadgods. They could find a way to do it. It's not an impossible problem. It is something they are reluctant to do because it would cause a lot of other problems.

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Questioner

Why is Reigan Shen seemingly breaking soul oaths left and right?

Will Wight

I do assure you there is a mechanism for that. He has a way to do it. It's something that I'm sure I'll get into if not in the next book, then the book after that. I'm certain that I'll get into that. It's not a huge thing. It's not a big universe defying...it's not another twist, right? He's not double Ozriel. It's just a mechanism he has that I'm sure will come into play.

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Questioner

Will there be more Lindon books after the Cradle series?

Will Wight

I really want to tell you about this, but I can't. I have ideas for stories after Cradle and one of them feels like fun. I was gonna say its one I'm particularly proud of, but that's not even necessarily true because I haven't written it yet. So, it doesn't exist, but its an idea I like. But, that would give away book 12 which I can't do.

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Questioner

Is Ozriel's madra still pure?

Will Wight

No. No, its not pure madra anymore. Although, right now he could pretty much mimic any Cradle power system he wanted. He could kind of do the effects of whatever he wanted, but its not still pure, no.

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Questioner

How did Eithan show up? Wasn't Tiberian ever curious where Eithan came from?

Will Wight

Yeah, Eithan came with a back story. He's got an artifact that can deceive inter-dimensional gods. He's good at disguising himself.

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Questioner

What would have happened if Penance was used to kill a Dreadgod?

Will Wight

One of the Dreadgods would have died. So, what would have happened is that that would have severed one of the Dreadgods existences and there now have been only three Dreadgods. So, that is why some of the Monarchs were encouraging them to do it. Because, it would have permanently killed a Dreadgod. We are working on incredible levels here. However, that would also have made the other three permanently more powerful. So, that's why the other Monarchs did not want it to happen because that is what would have happened.

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Questioner

What is your favorite power set you have created for your characters in the books?

Will Wight

Favorite power set? Hm. I don't know what do you guys think? Have a thought?

Will's brother (offscreen)

Power set? For any of the characters?

Will Wight

Yeah.

Will's brother (offscreen)

I don't know. I really enjoy watching Northstrider fight but I'm all about that shit.

Will Wight

That's fair. That's fair. I think it's probably got to be Lindon. I think he's got a very flexible power set.

Will's brother (offscreen)

First time Simon puts on the mask! BOY~!

Will Wight

That's true. That is a good point. I do like the Valenhall power set that one's fun. And I think it's got a lot of inherent limitations that I like that work with the system.

Questioner

I love Ziel's power set.

Will Wight

I loved Ziel's power set. Like I had a couple of ideas that I really wanted because they were just power sets that I liked. It wasn't something that, ugh, now his power sets fun, it's kind of neat. You get to work some scripting a little bit, you get to work some forge manipulation a little bit. I still like it but it's not the thing that popped into my head first when you asked me for my favorite.

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Questioner

How many books do you plan to write in the Cradle series?

Will Wight

Two more. So I plan there to be two more. I was thinking, writing Reaper as I was planning Reaper, I was considering there to be two more, sorry, three more after this just because right now the twelfth book's looking pretty thick so I don't know how much... I've talked about this a little bit but my philosophy on final books in a series is that the final book is not just wrapping up the book but wrapping up the series. I prefer there to be a lot of falling action and resolution in that so I prefer there to be a lot of tied up loose ends.

So, one of the series that of course everybody knows is the Wheel of Time and the Wheel of Time is complete now and, of course, Brandon Sanderson wrote the last few volumes because Robert Jordan died so there's a lot of unique constraints that it's working under. But one of the things I wished it had more of was more epilogue for the characters. I wanted to know what happened to everybody. There's like forty point of view characters in that series which is just so many and I wanted to happened to a lot of them. So I was really hoping that they would wrap up the main conflict halfway through that book and for the rest of the half of the book to be wrapping stuff up.

So that's I want to kind of want to do in the final series because that's what I want out of a final book out of a twelve book series. I want that to be everything as wrapped up as it could be. So because of that, wrapping that up in twelve is possible, I have a plan for it, that's the intention, but that means that twelve is going to be a lot of where are they now? And so I was thinking about maybe I can move it to thirteen and maybe that structure would work better but I'm planning for it to be twelve right now.

Will's brother (offscreen)

Why would you say that? Why would you say that? That's official canon now.

Will Wight

What's canon now? What did I say?

Will's brother (offscreen)

I'm thinking about making thirteen.

Will Wight

I said I was thinking about making it! It's, oh no, I don't, I thought that was a fine thing to say dang it.

Questioner

We all heard thirteen books.

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Questioner

What is the saddest death you've written?

Will Wight

So that's a spoiler for other books. It is not in Cradle. It's in Traveler's Gate. That's the one I think is the saddest. So I don't want to give that away because it's not a [Reaper] spoiler. But I will say that there is somebody I killed in one of the first books of Elder Empire that I think may be pretty bad. That's a rough death. A lot of people give me crap for that to this day about that one. But I did that one in Elder Empire for a reason. There's  another thing that I think... I don't think killing characters inherently makes a series better. So I don't think killing characters makes a book or series better.

Like, for instance, I don't think Harry Potter needed to kill very many characters. You can kill Cedric Diggory in book four, you can kill Sirius in book five, and then obviously Dumbledore in book six. [Gets yelled at for spoiling book six.] If you haven't read Harry Potter, what are you doing here? Then in book seven she kills a lot of characters that I don't think are necessary. So, I just think that series didn't need that. It makes a more serious tone. Don't think it needed that. So, I'm not always about killing characters but in Sea and Shadow, I killed some characters in the first installment to, first of all because I thought it was tonally appropriate to the series and second of all because they are going to stick around for the next two books in flashbacks. So because I had a major flashback story line and could still use the killed characters I decided to be liberal with the people I killed.

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Questioner

Where does the planet of Cradle rank in the broader multiverse when it comes to powerful combatants?

Will Wight

Oh that's a good question. So, as you know the Cradle is known for producing more Abidan candidates. That doesn't necessarily mean the most ascendants, so the most people who ascend from their world. That is, it might mean that, but it doesn't necessarily. It means the means the people who ascend that are compatible with the Way and able to join the Abidan and fill their criteria. There are quite a few people and quite a few methods throughout the multiverse of ascending without meeting their criteria. So, either they're not super compatible with the powers of the Way or they're just not good enough. Like if you, for instance, created a machine that allowed you to ascend beyond or dimension or if you slipped out of the cracks of a poorly established fragment that was attached to your world, for instance. Then you would not qualify to be one of the Abidan but you would still have technically ascended past your world so that is what Cradle is really good at.

In terms of powerful combatants, they are still high. That is, especially, there are, as we will go into potentially later, there are different ranks of worlds and they can handle different amounts of, for lack of a better term, I'm not sold on the terminology yet, so forgive me if this is kind of rough around the edges, but there are worlds that have a higher capacity for energy than other worlds do. And Cradle is not the highest of that which is why it's called Cradle. So they are not at the highest level of that even among the mortal worlds, it is not at the highest level. However, it is entirely focused around combat so the people who ascend from Cradle, especially those who were Monarchs, they are known for being very strong especially at the lowest level. As soon as they ascend, like the lesser, the lower ranks of Abidan kind of have to walk carefully around them. And they tend to join the Wolf division so they tend to be the fighters. That's kind of the answer. So where does it rank around power levels? Relatively high but not the highest.

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Questioner

How many current Monarchs could Eithan have taken before he ascended as a Monarch the first time?

Will Wight

I don't fully understand that question so let me backpedal. Let me see if I understand this. So when Eithan was a Monarch on Cradle how many of the current, if he was matched up against the current Monarchs, how many could he have taken? Any one for sure. Could he have taken them all? Probably not without ascending. There was a power cap on the amount you could... so no matter how good you are there is a power cap on the amount you can have. So if they all joined forces they could have beat him out of sheer weight of numbers. But could he stack up against any of the Monarchs in sheer skill and ability? One hundred percent, yeah. Couldn't beat him.

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Questioner

Can Ozriel kill all seven Abidan?

Will Wight

No. So one of the things that I did not demonstrate but have mentioned but I didn't show is that actually Raziel and Makiel are combatants on a similar level to Ozriel. Now Ozriel has a greater scope of powers that he can do things that they can't do because they're not full seven star ranks in every single thing except the Phoenix. So he can do pretty much anything except heal. And they can't. Makiel's powers are very diverse as well but he's not quite as good. But they are still very powerful combatants. The reason why they couldn't match up against the Mad King is because he had the Scythe, he had the replica Scythe. So that was what allowed him to outfight Makiel and Suriel together. Without that he would not have been able to do that and they would have beaten him. Which is why he's never done this before. So Makiel is a combatant on the level of Ozriel or Raziel or the Mad King. And the reason why Eithan was able to turn the tables on the Mad King there was because he was able to take over the Scythe.

Which, by the way, he was able to do, I had a longer scene there but it wasn't punchy so I had to cut it because it made the scene a lot more explanatory and a lot less cool. But it goes into the mechanisms of him gaining control and Authority over the Scythe so the idea was that I would have had to jump into the Mad King's perspective and that was just really clunky. So the Mad King immediately upon seeing Ozriel is there is like crap and wants to banish the Scythe but he can't so now he's stuck. So when he sees Ozriel, so then he tries to negotiate to stop Ozriel taking the Scythe and killing him. And then, Ozriel goes no. So, he just like oh crap, maybe I can catch him off guard before he's at full power and then that doesn't work. And then, yep, we all saw how that played out. So, it was one of those where there's a lot at the end of that book where I'm in a balance between explaining every little thing that goes on and making it snappy. And I think you all noticed where I tend to fall on that scale. I would greatly prefer having it have excruciating detail. *Laughs* I am not an excruciating detail guy. When I'm reading I much more often complain about people giving me too many answers than too few. So I hate having everything just explicitly laid out because it's boring and I don't like it. So not because I don't want to know but because it's boring.

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Questioner

Is Eithan always tugging his braid?

Will Wight

Yes. Actually this is a fun fact. Eithan is a descendant of Nynaeve in the last Turning of the Wheel. So he ends up being Nynaeve and Lan's descendent and therefore he is tugging his braid all the time.

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Questioner

If Lindon had consumed part of Eithan would the Dreadgod arm have broken?

Will Wight

That was honestly one of the scenes I really liked because that was a moment I didn't think of until I was writing it. Like I wanted Lindon to have one goodbye gesture and I realized oh man he can shake his hand and tried to drain power from him. But it doesn't work because it's blocked by Ozriel's armor. So that does not work. That is not a way that Eithan sneakily left Lindon power. I've seen people speculating that maybe he did get something and that Eithan allowed it. No, the armor blocked it and he couldn't allow Lindon that power now without violating the Eledari Pact which he is now bound by once again. The only reason he was out of it is the same reason why, well this is an interesting thing, let me go into this for a second while I'm sitting here at the bottom of the ocean.

My initial mechanism, my initial plan, for having Eithan hide was that I was going to have Suriel do research into how Abidan retire and what retired Abidan do, how that mechanism works because that's clearly a mechanism by which he could have been hiding, right? When Judges retire, or when powerful Abidan are allowed to retire they can get out of Eledari Pact by reintroducing themselves into the Iteration in which they were born or certain other Iterations that will allow them like Sanctum, you can just live there if you want. So they give up their extra powers that are beyond the world but are still very powerful and knowledgeable and have a lot of Authority and so on and so forth. So they don't give up their full power, they are still extremely powerful. Usually what they do is they go into hiding and just kind of live like normal people.

But they know Ozriel couldn't have done that on Cradle because he would be immediately found out because their Presence would have found him, they would have scanned him, and found out who he was. However, the Presences have a sort of a shared memory and a way that they check facts against the Way. Like against pure order and truth. And that is fundamentally incorruptible except for the fact that Ozriel found a way to do it. So the idea was that he broke into the records, the metaphysical record storage system, and changed his origin so nobody recognizes it and just retires normally to Cradle.

So one of the reasons she's sure he can't be on Cradle in book one is that he can't be because we would see him and notice him and, as soon as I saw, would recognize him. Except that he just basically persuaded reality that he was a different person than he was. So I really wanted to do that because it would have first of all allowed for her to explore some interesting mechanisms of the system and the way it works. But that was a casualty of me not knowing how many books were going to be in the series. So I didn't know how to pace out the Abidan story line correctly because I didn't know how many parcels I was going to be allowed. And when I finally got there I was like okay so do I need, do I want Suriel doing research into background information on the world and the metaphysics of this system that we're not even really involved in yet or do I want her doing cool things like fighting? And, I eventually decided that it was more fun to have her intervene in worlds and fight Vroshir and all that kind of stuff than do researching behind the scenes.

I liked that better because it wasn't a single artifact that a bunch of transcendent craftsmen created together. It was a scheme that Ozriel cooked up and one that only he could have executed because the reason why other people can't do that is because you would have to be skilled in almost every other discipline and he is. So he can do things other people can't do. So, anyway, that would have been fun.

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Questioner

Do you have a backup writer or a way to finish the series if something happened to you?

Will Wight

No. So you better make sure nothing happens to me, Justin. I hold you personally responsible for my well-being.

Questioner

Brandon Sanderson?

Will Wight

Brandon Sanderson would never finish this series. That is way beyond my pay grade.

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Questioner

Will we see more of the Elder Empire?

Will Wight

Probably not. One of the things I want to do after Cradle is I want to tell different stories. I like telling different stories, I like going to different places, and so we're probably not going back to Elder Empire. If we go back to anything of course it would be Traveler's Gate.

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Questioner

Do Ziel and Shira find the other cute?

Will Wight

You know, I mentioned this before but I come up with a name scheme for every faction or every culture, every source of names. And I named Akura Shira using those rules, not remembering that in the couple books prior I had named Akura Shiria. So otherwise, I wouldn't have created such a similar name but I forgot that Shiria existed and I was using the same rules. So that's the level of thought I put into Akura Shira because she exists basically just to be a foil for Ziel in the story but she does learn to see him as more human over the course of the story. So that definitely happens, she does have a little bit of an emotional arc there where initially she's seeing him for his rank and then, of course, he doesn't act like he's high ranked at all. And so she kind of gets a little softer on him and inspires him to do better. So they have a very healthy mutual respect and relationship and they've agreed to go on a couple of dates but other than that I didn't think a lot about their relationship.

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Questioner

What is your writing process like?

Will Wight

I am just convinced that what I write is terrible all the time. And that sounds like it is not true but it is and one of the funniest parts is that it's actually contradictory to what intend to do because I plan for stories to have a certain effect. So, I'm writing Reaper and I am planning to, I wanted the end to have a lot impact and I wanted it to feel like it made sense and I wanted even if you'd guessed for you to be okay with Eithan and the big reveal at the end.

So in order to do that I, of course, worked with the themes and the character journeys throughout the book and I had seeded some stuff in previous books but it's also, in Reaper in particular, I wanted to make sure the journey felt real and it felt emotionally rich and organic to the characters and that I was setting up the big moment appropriately. I also wanted to, in case you didn't like it or didn't want it or were emotionally invested in it not being him, so I wanted it to still be a full Lindon book before the whole Mad King/Abidan stuff at the end.

So that's why Lindon effectively has a little over a hundred thousand word book and then we've got the Abidan thing at the end. So, I wanted that to happen and I had designed all that very carefully to work. I had really tried to do setup for Mercy's revelation for Lindon's revelation. I do wish I had made it explicit that Lindon was at peak Overlord before he did his advancement. I could have easily done that but I just didn't notice. So I wish I'd done that.

But, otherwise, I had designed it all very intentionally with all this setup and then I realized later, by that I mean a few days ago, that it never occurred to me that I might have succeeded in that. So that while I did it intentionally, and this was an intentional design that I had set up, I just assumed that it wasn't going to work. I just assumed people were going to read the book and that the setup I did wasn't going to work, that people weren't going to buy it, they weren't going to enjoy the book, the moments weren't going to land, that it wasn't going to work. So, that is how I read things. I know that I've got a lot of friends, I've got a lot of people that don't believe me that it feels like okay but you have sold a lot of books. People are constantly telling you they enjoy them. How does that not break through?

It's not based on rationality, it's a character flaw, it's a problem I have, it's an emotional issue I'm dealing with. I don't know what it is. But it sucks. And, the problem is that if it were based on logic and rationality I wouldn't feel like this in the first place. I'd go okay well I'll emotionally respond based on how it works. But because it's an internal problem, internal problems don't really have external solutions, unfortunately. So I've got to keep working on that and growing as a person in that area.

So one experience I had in this book in particular was when I had finished the first draft, the alpha draft, I wasn't giving it to my alpha readers because I was certain that it wasn't good enough to be read by anybody. So, I didn't give it to the alpha reader because I was like listen this is a really complex book, there's a lot of moving parts, there's a lot going on, so this isn't even readable yet. And they let me go about a week longer than we had agreed and then, finally, they were like look just let me read it. Just let me read it in the state it's in. And I was like alright I'll send it to you, whatever, I'm working on it but I guarantee you'll see what I'm talking about. And I had a good reason for it. I had a real sound theoretical basis for it. And they read it, two people read it, and came back to me and went you're an idiot.

So we had a meeting in an Olive Garden where they effectively berated me for like okay what the heck why didn't you give this to us, this is great.  It's really good, this is definitely a beta draft if not an advanced beta draft. Why in the world did you think this was broken? What is wrong with this? There's nothing wrong with it. I felt terrible. I felt like it is broken but they don't think it's broken but also I have screwed up by letting it go too long. So, I have messed up in every way. I have let them read a bad draft and I also didn't give it to them soon enough so they're disappointed in me. So I've screwed up everything. So I started crying in an Olive Garden. This did happen. This was like two months ago and when they saw how hard I was taking it they were like whoa whoa calm down what is happening? So that was a huge overreaction to what was happening. But it was, I was just thought it was the worst of all worlds. Not only have I screwed this up also I screwed up giving it to them.

So I gave it to them and they gave me their feedback and I gave it to the beta readers. And, as usual, this is my normal experience, the stuff I think is an insurmountable problem that's going to make me have to rewrite a third of the book was stuff that took a few lines to fix. It was very easy fixes, it was stuff I could go back and change very easily. But I just felt like I had failed at everything I had set out to do. And so because I felt like that, I was reading the book like that, and I created a case in my head on why that was true. So that was my experience writing Reaper. I ended up working the process better than I ever had before, I ended up with a really good product early on and thought it was terrible. So, when people ask me to evaluate how I feel like I've done it takes me a lot of distance to read the books as a though I was a reader instead of as the writer. And only when I do that can I then evaluate it. Every time I've done that I've been like I really like it.

My least favorite books when rereading the Cradle series were one and two because I think they don't have as much of the same tone as the later books and I hadn't quite fleshed out some of the ideas as well. As a reader, I think that. I read the books and I go eh. Also, I've read those the most so I'm sure that contributes to it. But, I reread those and I go they're still pretty good and once Blackflame begins I was like it just hits the pedal and goes. And sometimes people are like yeah but you wrote the books so of course you feel like it works. Frankly, it's the opposite. I was going in expecting for this to be garbage and for me to hella hate every second of it and I was like wow these are actually close to the books I wanted to write. And I couldn't believe that. So that's a peek inside the writing process for me. It's sort of the opposite of whatever the movie thing, where the writers are like I'm writing the greatest thing ever and the people read it and are like eurgh. It's kind of the opposite of that, so that is my usual writing experience.

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Questioner

Me and my friend have been arguing about this point. It sounds to me that Dreadgods are more powerful or aware when they first awaken then slowly get corrupted by the hunger madra but he thinks that they become more aware the more they are awake.

Will Wight

It fluctuates depending on how strong they are. How strong they are at a certain time is how aware they are in general. But also the Dreadgods, some Dreadgods are more intelligent than the others. The Silent King is always aware, he's always self aware, and he's the smartest one. And the Weeping Dragon actually is the second most self aware. I kind of wanted to do the, I thought it would make sense for the Bleeding Phoenix to be that person because the Bleeding Phoenix absorbs a lot of awareness like its Emissaries and its Blood Shadows are all aware to some degree. But I figured the hive mind thing actually causes more problems than it solves, so the Bleeding Phoenix is now third. And the Wandering Titan is just kind of an idiot.

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Questioner

Lindon went from Overlord to Archlord with very little training this time. Does that belittle other Archlords?

Will Wight

So there's a time skim in Reaper. Kind of a montage. So while yes it is definitely short compared to other Overlords and Archlords, he did still have access to his hunger arm for part of that time. So he was able to advance faster and he has a great foundation, obviously. And he's got other, he's still got Eithan around at that point, he's got other resources he can call on, he's got other people to help. He had a lot of advantages there that made the transition from Overlord to Archlord quite a bit easier. One of the things I would like to do, and I probably shouldn't even mention this because it's going to sound like I'm promising this but I'm genuinely not, what I would like to do is go into some short stories about, so that I can cover some side details that didn't get covered in the main series. So some stuff they did during the down time in Reaper or even other books. Or where they just go in detail about what are the differences between Sages and Heralds and they're just exploring that. Scenes where that happens. I don't mind reading those in other books but they tend to make it out of mine just because they don't advance the plot. So if they're not necessary to your understanding of what's going on I don't keep them in.

Questioner

That's a promise?

Will Wight

No, that's not a promise. I don't promise that.

Questioner

Cradle: thirteen books and many stories confirmed.

Will Wight

No, stop it. BAD.

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Questioner

What was your journey as a writer?

Will Wight

Last weeks' stream that I didn't answer well because I wasn't prepared for it, somebody asked me what my journey as a writer was. They asked me to expand on my journey as a writer and I didn't know how to answer that question. That was something that I was like hmm. The problem is that there's too many answers to that question. It's not that it's a bad question or there's not an answer, it's that I could talk about that. It's a years long journey that is constantly evolving so it's hard for me to give a straightforward answer in a stream.

But I thought about it over the course of the last week because that was an answer that I should have done better answering and here is what I came up with. One of the things I remember as a kid, is I remember in high school or middle school and I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and I was going wow this book is amazing. This guy's writing style is so great I love it. I was talking about how well written it was and I was just going this is insane. And I saw all these other people talking about how Dan Brown's writing style was cheap or it wasn't good or it wasn't fleshed out and I was like what are you talking about?

First of all, it's a best selling novel. Second of all, it's engaging from beginning to end. It's a story that's very hard to put down. I found out later as I grew in my education and knowledge of writing that it's a style called pot boiler, which you keep the pot boiling so you keep stuff happening so the end of every short chapter there's kind of a hook that keeps you moving on to the next chapter. And I remember thinking people are looking down on him for this? Why? Clearly this is an intentional choice, he's not doing this accidentally or because it's an easy crutch.

And it really reminded me of in video games when you're losing to somebody and they're playing a character and you go your character is overpowered. Well if your character is overpowered enough to get you easy wins why aren't you playing that character? So, that was kind of my thought on that. But I thought look it's a more engaging, more entertaining writing style. Later on, in college, I had a professor who said to us in the class hey I hate to break it to you guys but J.K. Rowling is not a good writer. And I thought, hmm. Now I was significantly older at this time and I've learned a lot more. Again, I'm in college for creative writing so I have a lot more of my own opinions and I'm going wait a second, if your definition of good writing doesn't include the most popular fiction series ever written, probably your definition is the one that is wrong.

So I was not into their definition of what a good story was. So I continued to develop that and really my definition of what good writing was or what a good story was is good writing is something that engages the reader. It's a story that engages the reader and that they are eager to keep reading and something that immerses them and causes them to have an emotion, whatever emotion you're trying to express. So it entertains them and gives them emotional reactions.

There's a... I was talking about this to my sister who is a big Jane Austen fan and she mentioned that in Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen goes on this monologue that I didn't remember. I actually took a course in college it was on the history of the development of the novel as a form, as what we now know as the novel, where it came from. One of the authors we studied was Jane Austen. The long and the short of it is around Jane Austen it was mostly women who wrote these novels to one another and so it was not considered serious. It was considered this is something that oh well women do that in their spare time it's not worth reading. Which is very odd to us now. And so Jane Austen in Northanger Abbey goes off and starts talking about that. How novels are not considered a serious pursuit and she mocks people basically for having that opinion. Which that oh yeah novels aren't serious and you should be reading historicals or you should be reading science or you should be reading... and I, of course, we agree with that now right? Yeah, well obviously Jane Austen is worth reading and people that, in their day, that considered that a lesser form of reading were clearly incorrect, they were just wrong and we can easily see that.

Except people do the same thing now. There's this weird hierarchy between things that are made for entertainment and things that are made for some other purpose. And my thought was, that is not true. If you set out to entertain your reader and you entertain your reader you have succeeded and you have done an excellent job. So that's kind of my journey as a writer and my journey of what I thought good writing was and what I think good writing means and how I developed that.

It was a years long thing of me reading books and going what did I like about this? What did I enjoy? And one of the funniest things to me is people talk about all these literary stories and these classics and how they matter more because they're dealing with fundamental human experiences. They are dealing with topics that are more serious and topics that people can really relate to and mean something deep. And I thought back to all the books that meant something deep to me and that had the lessons that had stuck with me and the stories that really mattered to me and they tended to be the stories that I enjoyed the most. So, no matter how great your message is, it doesn't get out if people aren't listening. So I felt like the ones that score at all were the ones that were entertaining and the ones that were not entertaining you're not going to listen to them regardless of how good the point is. So that was kind of my philosophy and how it developed that and how I developed as a writer. So that is the answer to that question.

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Questioner

Have you decided your next project yet?

Will Wight

I don't think so. There's, I have a lot of possibilities, there's a few, I want to flesh out some ideas. I have not spent a lot of time doing that because, typically, the ideas I flesh out and then I go a little while writing some more Cradle and by the time I go back to to them I'm like hm, but maybe I want to do something else.

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Questioner

Will you ever get into the LitRPG/Gamelit genre?

Will Wight

It's so funny, because I love stories with game mechanics. I love stories that take place in real worlds that, so I don't like VRMMO stuff so this virtual reality things where the characters are actually playing a game. I've never enjoyed those, and the reason is because, I could be playing a game right now. So why am I reading about someone else playing a game when I could just go play a game. It's like, I wouldn't be reading a fantasy novel if I had the option to go on a real fantasy D&D adventure. That's not true; I would decline that option and then I would just read fantasy novels, because I don't want to die. But it's more that I could easily have this experience and I don't know why I'm reading about something--it's indirect. It's low-stakes. It's--I don't enjoy it. But I do like stories that take place in real worlds that have game mechanics. And I've read a lot of those, and typically they still--they're still just not my favorite stories, necessarily, so I think there's probably a version of that that I would really enjoy writing. But the problem is, LitRPG is really crowded right now, just a lot of people are writing LitRPG, and I don't want to feel like I'm moving into their territory and stealing their thunder or something like that, or get in some weird competitive thing. So I don't have any issue with that, I don't feel it in that way, I'm like, great, you guys like...

I also think that, LitRPG fans who enjoy most LitRPGs being written now are after something that I'm not necessarily after. One of the things they like about LitRPG is that they're going and--you get the full experience, right? You're going out and you're hunting 10 wolves and, you're kiling 10 wolves and bringing their pelts back and you're turning the quest in and then you get the reward for the quest, and then you go back and hunt 10 more wolves. I'm like, that is the part of the book that I would cut out. It's the part that I don't enjoy. It's the standard part of any LitRPG, you're going out and doing the mob grinding. And that's the part that I don't enjoy. The part I enjoy is when you're, you know, running Icecrown Citadel and you're showing down with the Lich King. I mean that's the fun part. So, anyway, but that makes it more similar to a standard fantasy novel. So probably I won't, or at least not anytime soon. It seems like the kind of thing that I would enjoy more than I actually do, so it's probably just not something I understand the genre enough to write. That's probably the real answer to that.

Questioner

What inspired you to do cultivation for the Cradle series?

Will Wight

I just really enjoyed cultivation novels. That's basically--yep.

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Questioner

Please tell us more about Sesh's reign. Can you tell us anything about him at all?

Will Wight

Ah, yeah. I think he... the way I think of him is or the Akura family sees him as this tyrant who wants to kill humanity kind of thing but I see him as more of a character who believes that Cradle is run by the rule of the jungle anyway, the law of the jungle. And that we should all kind of embrace that and that everybody would really be better off if we were just honest about it. So I see him as sort of someone who from the outside looks cruel but doesn't think of himself as that way. And he goes listen I'm going to get mine because I'm the strongest so let's all be clear about that. And that the problem with a lot of things, including the relationship between the Monarchs and the Dreadgods comes from the fact that we're trying to impose order on chaos. So kind of in that way, he's similar to his... his worldview is more similar to the Vroshir than to the Abidan because he's going look let's deal with the world as it is and not try to make it something that it isn't. That's how I think of him.

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Questioner

Did Lindon soulsmith any treasures for his sister?

Will Wight

Yes.  (Starts to answer another question.)  Let me explain, for a moment, my response to the, did Lindon Soulsmith anything for his sister. Yes he did, but you'll have to read and find out what.

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Questioner

J.K. Rowling said she wrote the key parts to the end of Harry Potter in advance.

Will Wight

I don't like that. I don't like that approach. That reminds me of one of the things, again let me be very clear I think the end of Wheel of Time was extremely well written and that Brandon Sanderson did the best anybody could possibly have done with the original author being dead, however Robert Jordan wrote the, apparently from what I hear, Robert Jordan wrote the final chapter before he died and wanted that to be the final chapter. Well I don't think the final chapter fits well at the end, as it is now. I think if he had been alive he would have rearranged it or set it up differently. But, of course, no way to change that after his death and, again I don't blame anyone for the finale and it's not bad. It's just I don't think it works super well at the end and it's because he wrote it ahead of time and then got to it. I think it's a lot better to write down what you want to have happen or do maybe a prototype scene to get kind of get a feel for what you want it to do. Like I did for the Eithan reveal. I did prototype scenes for that. But, I don't like having it locked in like that so I know what I want to happen and I know where I want to go. I know where I want the gang to end up but I haven't written most of the scenes.

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Questioner

Will we ever see what happened when Eithan fought or confronted Ozriel's shadow in the lab?

Will Wight

Ooh, that's a fun question. So I actually did write a draft of that scene. I just talked about writing drafts of scenes. It was more of a prototype or rough version of that scene. I was thinking I might include it in the book. It is not polished and it is not edited and it doesn't quite fit where they are now in the book because, of course, it's a rough scene that I ended up not including. So it didn't get edited. But it was effectively Eithan and Ozmanthus sitting down and talking because, in order to express Ozmanthus' full power, Subject One put a lot of energy into the projection which made Ozmanthus more self aware than a normal projection would have been. So he was able to sneakily maintain control of himself and Eithan recognizes that and they just sit down and talk. And Eithan tells Ozmanthus where he's at an Ozmanthus goes oh that sounds nice. And that's sort of, they come to an understanding and Eithan walks away.

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Questioner

If you got to rewrite a famous piece of media in your own style what would it be and why is it Sword Art Online?

Will Wight

Alright, fun fact, I read Sword Art Online very soon after it came out. It was one of the, at the time it was only partially translated so that was one of the few that I stumbled through with my rudimentary Japanese and read. It's relatively simple as these things go so I was able to puzzle through it because I was really engaged in it. I really liked it a lot. So, right after it was translated in Japan, partially translated partially not, and I read it and I really loved it and I was oh man you guys are going to love Sword Art Online and then it kind of became this... first volume, then second volume wasn't as good and then, the first volume won all these prizes and started off this whole subgenre and then the second volume wasn't as good. And then it just kept going and then it got the anime which I thought first season of the anime was fantastic. And then everybody became this sort of meme for good reason because it way outstayed its welcome. But anyway...

Questioner

Will speaks Japanese confirmed.

Will Wight

Stop doing that. You've got to stop. I've seen you do this before. I am being completely honest about my level of Japanese which is I once was somewhat proficient enough in order to consume very basic amounts of media and that was ten plus years ago. Ten years ago, however long. Too long ago. So I am not competent. Let's be very clear.

Questioner

You have to power through SAO to get to the last season.

Will Wight

Ugh, I don't know that I do.

Questioner

During the last stream you mentioned the potential of ripping off Harry Potter.

Will Wight

Oh yeah. So the answer, well so what media would I actually consider covering. What I do wish a lot of time is that writers would cover other people's stories. I just think that would be cool. I mean I'd love to see writers cover different stories in their styles. So which one would I cover? I don't know. Most of the ones I can immediately think of are too ambitious.

Will's brother (offscreen)

The Eternals.

Will Wight

The Eternals. That's the answer. That's the story I would cover. I would immediately cover The Eternals. Anyway, I did not enjoy The Eternals, folks.

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Questioner

Do you think the Will who wrote Unsouled could have written Reaper?

Will Wight

No, no, of course not. I don't the Will who wrote Unsouled could have written Unsouled. There's a... I went back and looked at Ghostwater and every time I do that I'm like man whoever designed this book did a great job. I hope I learn lessons from this and I go wait a second I designed this book but that doesn't feel right.

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Questioner

There are fewer books on How to Train Your Dragon than in the Cradle series. Why do people think Cradle is too short?

Will Wight

You know, one of the things I think people think Cradle is too short is the novels are quick to get through and they could have a lot more detail than they do. So there are a lot of scenes and a lot of characters that we could see a lot more from and in a lot of the inspirational source material like the ones I've written or just recommended a minute ago, they are very long. So they tend to go into a lot of detail and so, therefore, you would think that you could flesh it all out. But I tend to prefer it when I... I don't have a lot of patience when reading so when I read something that I feel like is dragging, I tend to read something else. So I like stuff that tends to stay engaged.

An interesting thing about Reaper is that some people felt the beginning was too slow and other people felt like the beginning was skimming way too fast and needed more detail. And that's because I felt like the characters needed downtime and I wanted to throw a bone to some people who wanted some more details. So I included some details but I also didn't want to slow the book down too much and I had some people who already felt like the beginning of Reaper was slow. So I, therefore, wanted to keep it at a decent pace. So I kind of split it down the middle. I normally don't compromise like that. I usually pick one and just roll with it. But in this particular case I felt like it had been too long since I had thrown the detail people a bone. So I decided to spend a little bit of extra time there. But, as a result, it's kind of... it's hard for me to add detail.

One of the things I don't like about fantasy novels is that they tend to get longer and longer with every installment. And I have yet to think of an example of a series that got longer and longer and also better and better. They tend to get longer and then they kind of plateau at how good they are and then they get longer still. And that inhibits my enjoyment of the series. I find I would rather have a tightly plotted 350 page books than a dense 700 page book that doesn't advance the plot as much. That is my preference, it's what I enjoy. Which is really funny because one of my favorite series of all time is the Wheel of Time, that is notorious for that. And I actually read quickly so, therefore, I get through the books fast and they don't feel like they drag as much to me but when I do feel like they drag, I don't like it.

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Questioner

Favorite part or line?

Will Wight

One of the things I like the most, one of the threads I like most reading on Reddit, or one of the conversations I most like reading are people's favorite lines or moments that don't get talked about a lot. Because the big moments everybody talks about, I designed to be big moments, right? I was like okay I knew the Dross becoming a Presence thing was going to be a big deal and I intended it that way. And I set up the entire book and worked and planned it to great detail to try and make that work. So when people say that liked that I go phew, I'm glad because I would be disappointed if you didn't. But when people talk about things that they didn't, that was, that they don't normally hear talked about that's pretty cool because usually those are moments or lines I wrote off the cuff or wrote and didn't put as much thought into or wrote and was like yay I like this little detail nobody is ever going to see. And people see those and that makes me happy. So I like feeling appreciated for the little stuff I did.

Questioner

Favorite part of Dreadgod?

Will Wight

You know, that's hard. There's a couple of big moments in Dreadgod that I really like. I think it's probably Little Blue's death. I think it's just heartwrenching, I think.

Event details
Name
Name Reaper Spoiler Stream
Date
Date Nov. 9, 2021
Location
Location www.twitch.tv/willwight
Entries
Entries 87
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