You should write the story about the puppy who gets sad.
You should write the story about the puppy who gets sad.
Do you ever read the online wikis for your books?
I have before, I don't as a rule. I don't generally.
Who is your favorite dreadgod?
Uh, let's see. Believe it or not it's probably the weeping dragon. Sounds weird. It's gotten the least page space. I just think he looks cool. I think it's a neat visual. I think it's a cool visual image of like a sapphire blue dragon, miles long just sorta undulating over clouds like waves. Seems neat. I also like the idea of raining lightning, living lightning, that kinda slithers around. I think that's cool.
Relationship between Eithan and Naru Saeya?
I mean, at the moment (Reaper, Cradle book 10), he thinks of her as a much much much much well removed protegee? Kind of? There's nothing on his end. On her end? Who knows? Maybe something.
What does the manifestation of the death icon look like?
You know...I think probably it would be some kind of reaper scythe or a skull, the sort of thing you would associate with death. But at the same time, I've always seen it kind of as the... you know the giant black bird remnant from skysworn that doesn't take a contract against Eithan? That's sort of how I picture it. But icon manifestations change based on how they are manifested and who summons them. So that would be something that would depend on what context the icon was in
Does anyone else have the void icon now?
Uh.. Yes, there are other people who have the void icon, who have manifested the void icon. I think Reigan Shen has it, I'm pretty confident on that, I would have to check my Icon sheet. Ya Reigan Shen has it, he might be the only one of the current monarchs that have it. But there have been others, it's rare in the sense that most icons are rare, no one icon is generally common.
When they ascend beyond Cradle do the ruler-focused paths when they don't have access to aura still work?
They do still work! They start interacting with...whatever they previously interacted with but not using aura. Now it transcends that mechanism so if you used fire aura to control flame on cradle then you would be controlling flame directly after you ascend cradle not using any medium you would just be doing it. You would have authority over flames. So that was the original idea it was one of the original ideas behind ruler techniques, in general, was that they were the control option and that they led into this connection with whatever you were working with but I ended up not exploring that very thoroughly just because that would have been a lot of theoretical exploration for what is ultimately an action-adventure series
Are there types of madra that cannot be combined into a single path?
Yes, there are. There are definitely incompatible types of madra, it depends a lot on how the madra is expressed and what its source is. So in a lot of ways water and fire would be incompatible elements obviously as you would expect. But of course we have a character in the series who does follow a path that unifies water and fire so there are no absolutes I guess. But like for instance you couldn't blend life/death madra because it would be death madra. That would be it, that's all it would be. However, you could and this is a path - I was going to show off in the uncrowned king tournament but didn't end up having the time - where you could have a life madra AND death madra so what I was going to do is run into this guy who could use life madra and death madra because he had split his cores. Everybody's mentioned that as a possibility that everyone's aware of but rarely people use so I was going to have another person who had split their cores and they were doing this life/death yin-yang thing and I thought that would be fun but alas we didn't get to... Lindon's going to be the only yin-yang duality cultivator I guess.
Is there a sylvan seed for every aspect of madra? If not, what aspects can become seeds?
Here's how I see sylvan whatever seeds. I see them as natural spirits that form from centers of especially pure aura. So anything where it's not capable, where that wouldn't happen naturally, I suspect there would be no sylvan blade seed for instance like why would there be that many swords occurring naturally, that sort of thing. In general, I think most aspects do indeed have their own little blue equivalents, little green, little purple. Little green is the healer.
Has the amount of the support from the KickStarter opened any new doors for you as an author?
Unfortunately, I do not have a great dramatic answer for you. It's hard to tell. It's one of those things where it's not like the KickStarter itself has blown open wide. It's not like we immediately got a movie offer but, at the same time, there was a huge showing of support and we keep moving forward and we're hoping with the KickStarter itself the results will get us into bookstores. So those would be some doors that would be opened.
Can you add a secret stretch goal reward of a second round of hot wings and rating the flavors?
No, because I won't do that again. The hot wings that we did... so we did the hot ones challenge at home. My brother, Sam, got what ever the cases they sell a bunch of different hot sauces for wings. And we went and got Publix wings at Publix grocery store, because we're in Florida, so we are privileged enough to have Publix. And we brought the wings home and we rolled them in the hot sauces and what we did, unfortunately, was they have one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, not on the scale but which spiciness level. So you're supposed to eat them in order and what we thought was the second one was actually the second to last.
That was shameless shilling for Publix, you're right. I shill for Publix all day long. It's like my name is John Q. Publix.
So we accidentally put the one that is second-to-last one second and we ate it. So we misunderstood the order. So we went from, yeah this hot sauce has a nice smoky flavor, it's like a rich Tabasco, to my tongue tried to kill itself and leave my mouth. That was pretty abrupt.
So because of that, then we went on and did the rest of them in order and we ended with the Last Dab and that one was an experience. Sam dunked his face in the pool. I don't remember what I did. I remember a light. That I remember. Then I remember photos from my childhood. It flashed in front of my eyes. I remember spirits whispering my name. So that was an intense experience that I don't want to repeat. I'm going to leave it as a singular memory. But if you guys want to do it, by all means, you can send me your videos. Please don't do that.
Which Judge has the most seniority?
OK. That's Makiel. Makiel is the one that has been around the longest. He's the 3rd generation Makiel and therefore, he is an early (relatively early) generation. So, none of them are 1st generation on the court now. The 1st generation Abidan have been gone for a long time. And 3rd generation is the one who's been around the longest. So that's, that's Makiel.
Does ascending grant more power in addition to being able to modify the physical form, as stated by the Abidan?
When you ascend through a normal process that most people do, you are transforming yourself into a higher level of yourself. You would become physically more like your ideal form... usually. That's not always how it works, but that is usually how it works. So, Makiel not only has access to all the magic and technology he could ever need to genetically alter himself, but also, he has obviously ascended so he could have changed himself, but his ideal form was kind of... himself. So, that's kind of what that says about him.
Does it also grant you more power? Yes and no. It grants you access to more things. It doesn't immediately make you more powerful. You don't just level up like you do in Cradle. That's a Cradle thing.
Does Reigan Shen have a plasma bolt in his vault, or is such a treasure too rare even for him?
You know, maybe at this point I should start regretting having given you guys the phrase "Plasma bolts" and nothing else for my new story I'm working on, but I don't actually regret it. I'm glad I did.
Does he have a plasma bolt in his vault? No. He couldn't sell his entire vault for one single bolt from plasma.
Maybe none of them want to, but do any of the Dreadgods have the capacity to ascend from Cradle under their own power?
No, they do not have the ability to ascend. The Dreadgods cannot ascend. It's not a matter of power level; they are too much part of the rules/substance/fabric of the world. That actually will come up a little in Dreadgod. It doesn't get super explained, but that subject is in there. So it's a good question, it's just a little technical.
Did the builders of the labyrinth ascend and return to Cradle with power from other Iterations?
No, they did not. Good question. That is not something that the builders did.
Is there an advancement beyond Judges?
Why did you name the sequel to Dreadgod, Plasma Bolts?
You'll find out in Dreadgod. You'll get to the end, and you'll be like, "That's why it's called Plasma Bolts. It's so clear now."
In Bloodline, Yerin said that her master never trained against constructs, but in Wintersteel Tim thought about fixing her training constructs.
Ummm. I don't remember the first part of that. Her master never trained against constructs... I don't remember the context of that. So, he was considering repairing her training constructs for sure. That I remember.
Was there any dragon Monarchs before Sesh?
Oh yeah. Absolutely. He is known as *THE* dragon monarch, because he is *the* dragon Monarch now. There have been many dragon monarchs in the past.
If dreadgods are at least as powerful as Monarchs, why do they never use spatial transfer? In the Wandering Titan's case it is because he doesn't like to expend energy, but that makes less sense when we think about the others.
What a question you have asked Charles. *siiiippp*
What a question that is!
What a question Charles has asked. Charles has asked the question, "If dreadgods are at least as powerful as Monarchs, why do they never use spatial transfer?" What a question Charles has asked. I'm going to move on.
The topic that I really wanted to talk about tonight, in the sense that I wanted to talk about any particular topic in mind, is that Dreadgod is my twentieth book. Which is crazy. That's just a lot of books. So it's eleven books in this series, 3 books in Traveler's Gate Trilogy ('cause it's a trilogy,) and then six books in Elder Empire. So this book number twenty. We are having out twentieth book come out. I was talking before hand about things that I could talk about on stream, and they were going, "Do you have stories from the books?" What I thought, was I could do a really quick, rapid fire version, where I gave you whatever, just the first memory I have, just really quickly, just the first memory I have of writing each book. In all twenty books. In all of my series. So I'm going to go through them all; I'm going to tell you twenty stories, real quick. About whatever the first memory, I've not rehearsed this, this is something a just thought to do a few minutes ago, so I'm going to give you whatever story pops off my head for each book. It's going to be about the writing of the book, or where I was, or what I was doing, or any of that. Ok.
So, obviously House of Blades is the first one. And when I think of writing House of Blades, the number one thing that comes to my mind is we were in Roan Mountain. Roan Mountain, which is a park here in the US, and we're camping, and we're at a stone table, that is covered in moss. And I have set my laptop up, and I'm wearing a camp chair, and I've set my laptop up on the table, and I'm writing notes. Which rooms have which swords, and which advisors go with the swords. So that's the strongest memory for me from House of Blades. That's what I was doing.
Then, Crimson Vault, which was only two months later, we went back camping, because obviously that worked for the first one, but this time we were getting cabins. So I remember sitting in a cabin, because we could afford it, with House of Blades money, so I remember sitting in a cabin, and thinking over them, and trying to figure out the scene where we went on this montage over the Overlords of Damasca, and how they were reacting to the hanging tree; reacting in Crimson Vault to Valin breaking free. So that's the strongest memory for me from that one.
For City of Light, the strongest memory I
How did it feel to have Sanderson react to your Kickstarter?
Great! I was actually hanging out with some friends while I was doing that. We were playing Magic. Actually, I think that was in my video. My friend and I built a cube that he has kept so we had... a cube is a limited set of cards that you play for a card game and you choose the cards that are in there and they stay so you don't have to buy new cards every time you want to play. And we don't keep up with the meta or anything so we were just playing this cube. And so, we and our friends were putting together decks and all these people texted and messaged me that Sanderson put up a video that had called us out on the Kickstarter. So I left. I was making a mono-green deck. I left it on the table and I walked away. I was really excited. I made all the calls. I made a quick reaction video. And it was neat. It was really fun because when his social media reacted to it I knew someone on his team had seen it, right? But now I knew that he saw it and that was cool.
Is there a character from another world that you think would be more powerful than a Judge?
Yes! I've actually been looking into power-scaling a lot lately. Turns out there's this whole subculture around it. I have been involved in a lot of series where people compare the powers of people from different series. I didn't realized there was this whole subreddit and there is this culture dedicated to just doing nothing but categorizing and comparing power levels of various fictional characters. And I've been reading it because I find it fascinating and the ultimate thing I come away from is there is no way to do that. So, technically, Kirby is a massive interstellar, intergalactic, interdimensional threat but in reality what he's doing is not anything on that scale. But he's capable of it. But only if you take Kirby's lore seriously and you shouldn't do that because he's a pink floaty guy. So are there characters more powerful than Judges? Yeah, absolutely. There are characters in fiction like Zeno from DragonBall that creates and destroys universes on a whim. There is always a more powerful characters somewhere in fiction.
After gaining abilities from the Bleeding Phoenix, would Mu Enkai be able to separate enough plasma out of blood to make a plasma ball?
Yes, absolutely. You would be able to separate plasma from blood and superheat it so that he could make a plasma ball. That's 100%. As a matter of fact, you've actually seized on my next series, which is a Cradle spinoff in which Mu Enkai is firing plasma balls.
Which Monarch or important figure do you wish there was more time to explore in the books? I personally would love to see more about Emriss Silentborn.
I, too, would like to see more about Emriss Silentborn.
Would the top damage weapons from our world stack against Cradle?
They don't. At the level at which you are still affected by purely physical attacks, so Lords and below. Even Archlords would be affected by the artillery or military weapons to a degree. But they can react so quickly, and then they can throw missiles from their hands, a feasibly unlimited number of times, so they can break our stuff we can't break them. It would still be very difficult to beat an army led by lords, but you could. You could fight them. That's something where superior technology could even the odds to a degree. But once you get beyond Lord, to Sages, Heralds, and Monarchs, any one of them just wins. No interaction, Sages teleport you into space, what are you gonna do?
Have you read read Legend of the Northern Blade?
That's a great question. I want to point out that the Webtoon version of that is really good. I don't know if I have read the novel, now that I think about it, I may have just read the comic, but the comic's really good. It doesn't matter, I still recommend you read the comic.
Have you ever thought about writing a story or one-off where some of your characters meet?
Yes I have. There's this idea that I'm building towards an Avengers style team up, and that's 100% accurate-no I'm just kidding. I'm not building to some mega series at the end-I might end up doing that, but that's not the intention. The intention now is to do something where I could overlap if I wanted to, but I don't have to. I don't want to give the readers the burden of having to go "Oh, I want to get on with Will Wight books, do I start with the latest series?" "No, you've gotta start 10 years ago." I don't want to give anybody an impossible task, but on the other hand I definitely think it'd be cool if characters overlapped and I certainly think it'd be cool in the context of a short story or spinoff or novella or something like that.
When will we see Fisher Gesha?
When will we see Fisher Gesha?
Soon. There is some Fisher Gesha coming up soon. Do not expect a full Fisher Gesha storyline in Dreadgod, so don't get your hopes too high. But, you know, you can get your hopes a little high.
Soon. There is some Fisher Gesha coming up soon. Do not expect a full Fisher Gesha storyline in Dreadgod, so don't get your hopes too high. But, you know, you can get your hopes a little high.
What colors are your Magic decks?
In this particular case, I was making a mono green deck, so all green. Usually I guess I would prefer green. I like mid-ranged decks, with creatures on the board interacting with each other, for those of you who understand what that sentence means. So therefore green is my go-to. Although I will say, the one Magic deck I had the most fond memories of is there was a particular meta years and years ago at my Friday night Magic game store where there were a couple of decks. There was a blue-white control deck and then there was a creature deck and then there was just everything else, so it was kind of a rock paper scissors thing. I was getting sick of the meta and it was the last week and the new set was gonna come out, so I made my own deck that was 100 percent nothing but burn spells so it was just spells that did damage. It was red-black and that was all that was in the deck. It would beat the creature deck 100 percent of the time. Every single card in the deck was removal for creatures. It could not possibly beat the control deck ever. When I played against one deck I just surrendered, and when I played against the other one I made them hate themselves. That was the deck I made myself and I was very proud of it and it was really funny. Someone called it the Blackflame deck, that's very accurate.
What do you like most about Dreadgod?
Yikes. What do I like most about Dreadgod without spoiling it? I'm really trying to answer this question. I think the characters get to be cool a lot in this book. Certain characters in particular. Including Lindon, I think lindon gets some very cool moments. I think there are some characters that you wouldn't expect to get their hype moments in this book. That's all I'm gonna say about it.
Will Dross be back for real in Dreadgod?
Could be. maybe this current Dross is the Dross you're going to get forever. I actually have some more versions of Dross that I'm happy to try out. One of them is country farmer Dross, he's got a straw hat and little tiny overalls on his little round body, he's chewing on a piece of wheat. I'm excited for you to meet him.
I actually wrote Sexy Dross into Reaper and my readers agreed it was way to spicy to ever see the light of day so we've hidden that from you. It is content you would certainly love, but we had to keep it hidden away in the vaults to be released in case of emergency.
How do you go about imagining and developing personalities? Did you draw inspiration from people in your life?
People ask me this often, if a particular character was inspired by someone, and the answer is no. I've never developed characters like that. I mean I take aspects of people and I usually use their expressions in a certain way. A lot of people have noted that Fury is like Goku-yeah, he definitely is. But its really more like how do I express this guy who loves fighting all the time and is kind of tied into the Akura family so I always think "okay, what character expresses themselves that way? You know what, he's got a real Goku vibe going on." so I just lean into that. That was something that kind of naturally came from who the character needed to be. So I develop personalities by giving characters traits that I think would fit them and suit who they are and then kind of baking them into their personalities and going "Okay, why do they have these traits? What kind of person would make these decisions?" and then I figure out a way to get them to express those traits. The only way in which people's real personalities influence that is that I observe people's real personalities and how they exhibit those traits.
I can actually give you a little bit of an example, it's not super specific because you don't know the people I'm talking about. I was working with a friend of mine recently who was working on his first book and I said that I would take examples of people's personalities and their dialogue traits and I would write dialogue like that in order to go "Pay attention to how real people talk and what that says about who they are and where they came from." He said "Well can you give me some examples?" So I went over our friends in our friend group and I said "This person has this turn of phrase, this person has this turn of phrase, I have this turn of phrase, I speak like this, and you speak like that." I really wish I could be specific about this but you don't know the people I'm talking about so it wouldn't make any sense to you. He heard that and went "Oh wow, you're absolutely right, what you're saying makes so much sense, I just had never thought about it like that, as being a unique dialogue trait to them." And I said "Yeah, because I think of people basically as fantasy novel characters." No, I'm just kidding. I said "no, when you write characters you should be thinking of them as real people and real people when they have certain traits exhibit them in their behavior, so you should be paying attention to how people do that."
Everyone is a character waiting to be killed off in my novel.
What's up with the number 8?
That's a good question, I'm glad somebody dared to ask it, but I can't answer it on stream for fear of getting in trouble. Big eight industry is gonna get me.
How many people have the points icon?
That one is rare, it's only one. Lindon is the only one to have manifested the points icon. I said earlier there weren't any rare icons but that is one of them.
It seems like Dreadgods and Dreadbeasts have their spirits fused with their flesh comparative to heralds.
That's a question that gets asked a lot, Dreadgods and Dreadbeasts have their spirits fused with their flesh, Heralds do too, what's the difference? Difference is, Heralds do it correctly, they do it when their bodies and spirits can handle it, and Dreadbeasts do it when their bodies and spirits can't handle it. The Dreadgods are what happens when that is taken to absurd ridiculous extremes, then they mutated into something else entirely and became an exception to the rule.
Are the characters voices always Travis Baldree in your head?
You have asked a wise question. I go back and forth, of course I had character voices in my head before Travis read them. When I did my reread of Cradle, I listened to the audiobooks primarily so that I could kind of adjust my mental voices to not exactly match Travis's but be informed by them. Now what it sounds like in my head is like the old characters have taken on some of the mannerisms of the Travis Baldree versions so that now they're a little more compatible. The characters have grown and adapted in my brain.
Eithan can only whisper in your ear because your hair lacks volume and definition.
You are absolutely correct. That is why I do not hear the voice of Eithan more clearly, it is because my hair game is weak, and that's why I wear these hats, so it's all connected. This is all a hair conspiracy.
How often in real life do you see something that you can hear how one of your characters would react to it?
This is why Dross and Eithan are the easiest characters to write. I could come up with Dross or Eithan reactions to almost literally anything, and then Lindon too I just know the character well enough to be able to do that. Yerin I could do, I would have to work on the phrasing, I couldn't just pin that off. When I know the characters well I can think of that. I don't hear it unless something triggers it specifically. If we're talking about something that the character, you know, it's a meme. So like there's a bunch of rocks sitting around and I'd be like "Mmm, Orthos would love munching on those." kind of thing. Unless there's a trigger for it, I don't sit there and have Eithan whispering in my ear. That's a bad example cause he does whisper in my ear, all the time.
Will we ever see Fury again?
Will we ever see Fury again?
Yes we will. We absolutely will. I will now back out because I see there are people asking me questions to elaborate on that.
Yes we will. We absolutely will. I will now back out because I see there are people asking me questions to elaborate on that.
What sort of an Army from Cradle would it take to conquer our world?
One Herald. One Herald because anything we could do to him he would be immune to. He would be able to affect large swaths of terrain at the same time. You couldn't nuke him, you couldn't do anything. There's no amount of physical force that would work. He can affect us, we can't affect him, that's it.
If Cradle was a movie, what song would you want to play during the opening credits?
When is Willcon year 2?
Willcon year 2 is this year at Dragoncon just like it was last year. We're going to do another event that is informally called Willcon-I did not call it that and we're not officially calling it that for sure. We're going to do a fan get together at Dragoncon this year. If you're in Atlanta around Dragoncon check us out. The Saturday of Dragoncon, Sam says, I didn't know that.
If you had to choose a path, which path would you choose?
The answer I've given to this before, there's a couple of them. Path of the Cloud Hammer from the Blackflame empire, I would love to have that. I think Cloud/Force madra seems really cool. It lets you, like, double jump and fly around on clouds like Dragon Ball era Goku. Telekinesis type abilities, I think that's neat. Oh right, Path of the Broken Star, which I've talked about before. It was one of the paths that Lindon could have chosen in Blackflame. It's neat, it's basically like purple energy beams.
Who's your favorite character to write the persepctive of?
Bliss, from Elder Empire. She's really fun. Pure fun, just enjoyable.
From Cradle, it is Eithan, hands down. It is easy and he gets to do whatever he wants.
I'm very curious about your writing process. How different was the first draft of Unsouled from it's final form?
Funny story about that, Steve. You picked an interesting example because I was intending Unsouled to be released on my blog for free as a series of chapters because I was going "Hey? You know what, I'll just try and do a web serial as my side thing in order to keep people reading the blog and keep people remembering that I am a person that exists while I write the next set of Elder Empire books." But then I rolled out all the short stories over the mailing list, which we used to do, and that got people engaged and I was like "Oh, okay, well I don't need to do that with this but now I have a book, so let's finish it out and put it up and then we'll know what we know how to do and release it on the Kindle store and then maybe that will keep people engaged." And then that got way more engagement than Elder Empire ever did, so I was like "Uh-oh." And then I wrote Soulsmith.
So Unsouled's first draft and it's final form were not very different. Most of my first drafts are really pretty clean in general. Not universally, but in general I write pretty clean first drafts. The final drafts I don't change a whole lot, but what I do change has a lot of impact. It's not like I go through and make a million major changes so the story's completely different. What I do is, it turns out there's a lot of things you can change with just a word or a sentence here and there. Generally if you read my alpha draft and you read my published draft you would be able to see easily where I went from one to the other but they will read very differently.
Who would you say was or is the most powerful Herald on Cradle?
I don't know. I actually don't know how to answer that.
Which Dreadgod would make the best pet?
I would not recommend any of them. You're barking up the wrong tree.
Who would be the best cook out of all the Dreadgods?
The Silent King would absolutely be the best cook. First of all he's the most intelligent of them, the most sentient. He absorbs the thoughts of others so he's probably absorbed the skills of thousands if not millions of people who were really good at cooking, so he's probably an extremely experienced chef secondhand. Plus he's got razor sharp talons he can use to mince ingredients really quickly. And he's got an army of servants who are mind controlled to prep things for him. I suspect that the Silent King could really prepare a great meal. That was my passionate and enthusiastic response to who would be the best cook among the Dreadgods.
Somebody mentioned One Punch Man, and I've gotta say, if you're not reading One Punch Man you should be reading One Punch Man. The manga coming out right now, it's spicy it's good stuff. There was a lot of stuff in that where I was like "That's good writing." Cause they set it up, they did it, they built the characters, they had payoff, they were aiming for an emotional catharsis and they're doing some good stuff right now.
Would you recommend eating alligator?
Yes I would. Fried gator tail is delicious. What I would not recommend is going out and eating an alligator. Like if you were to go out there and find an alligator and just try to eat it, I would not recommend that. You would not have a good time, don't do that. But alligator as a meat? Absolutely.
Will Lindon and Orthos ever fuse to become the Path of Twin Turtles?
Yes. 100 percent that's gonna happen. Spoiler alert.
What would happen if Northstrider strode South?
You know the questions about dividing by zero? This is that. If Northstrider strode South... wow, that's a tongue twister. Northstrider would stride South if Northstrider could stride South but Northstrider can't stride South so Northstrider only strides North.
How would Lindon fare in Naruto?
I don't even know how Naruto would fare in Naruto these days. This is another Will rant. I know you know this, I know you're asking Naruto questions because it sets me off, but like, what the heck is the power scale now? I don't even know. Like, you have Naruto making a hole in the moon and now he gets outfought by a cyborg who can just do hand to hand martial arts. Like, what the heck? He just got kicked in the face. How in the world can he be kicked? This is like Goku losing a lifting competition to a human being. I don't get it. I can't go any further. Legit, that's the shortest I've ever talked about that topic.
Any book recommendations?
Have you read Cradle? I hear Cradle's good. I haven't read it myself but other people say good things. I actually don't have anything off the top of my head. I feel like there was something I just read that I really liked. I have not shut up about One Punch Man, One Punch Man is the latest addition to my Will rant.
Can you bond a Dreadbeast?
Not in the same way. There are certainly ways to create a bond between yourself and a Dreadbeast, but a sacred beast is a healthy bond between two souls that resonate together. With a Dreadbeast it would not be that. Technically though you could come up with a way to bond two sacred artists like that so that would work too. It would be a different thing.
Will Cradle end with Zeno defeating everybody?
I'm loving the anime references in here. Anybody whose not an anime fan and has been here has been lost for five minutes. Zeno is the ultimate power in the Dragon Ball universe, introduced in Dragon Ball Super. He is the ultimate power, can erase universes at a whim. Yes, that is exactly how Cradle's gonna end. Lindon and Orthos are gonna fuse into the Path of Twin Turtles and then Zeno's gonna erase everybody. Yeah, 100 percent.
One of the things I actually love about this introduction to the canon of Dragon Bal is the idea that the ruler of the Dragon Ball universe is a childlike entity who only cares about seeing cool fights because that explains so much about the entire universe. I was like, this is something you added in later but it completely fits because very thing that happens in the Dragon Ball universe is at the whim of a childlike character who just wants to see cool fights and that explains so much. I'm just like, yeah, that's about right, that makes sense. It all checks out.
Are you excited for the Thousand Year Blood War?
I hope he is referencing the Bleach arc of the same name. If he's asking me-there's a blood war coming and it's gonna last a thousand years, am I excited for it? No. In a literal sense I would not be excited for that. But if he's referencing the Bleach arc that's gonna be animated in October? Yes I am. Based on the trailer it is gonna be animated extremely well. I'm very excited and I love Bleach. Even though this actual arc in the manga was complete nonsense. But, hoping the anime can kind of patch that up and I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Is purple your favorite color?
No it is not. Purple is not my favorite color. That was a good guess though. If you actually keep submitting questions like that we'll go through all the colors and we'll eventually narrow it down. Process of elimination.
Is an Iteration's magic system usable outside of the planet but still within the Iteration?
Yes. If you're outside the main planet you're still inside the-anywhere in the reality the magic system is usable. Unless it's resource based, so if there was something like Brandon Sanderson's allomancy, that would be potentially restricted to that planet because it could be that resource is only found on that planet, right? Other than that, yeah, the metaphysics are the same anywhere within the Iteration. And that is, by the way, why it is a dimension and not just a planet. Otherwise I would have just done planets.
What is Will Wight's middle name?
You met my parents earlier. My dad's name is William Laurence Wight Junior. My grandfather's name is William Laurence Wight. So my name is also William Laurence Wight, it is William Laurence Wight the third. I think that name is awesome. I think it's super cool, I've always really liked my name. The one thing that I would change if I could go back in time and change my grandfather's name, I would change my middle name to Wallace. Because then not only would I be William Wallace, I would also have the initials WWW, and since I was growing up when the internet was becoming a thing, that just would've been really cool in elementary and middle school. It's a dream of mine, so don't give me a time machine. If you have one, I can't be trusted with it.
How do your parents feel about their kids creating a writing empire?
My response to that is: I employ them now, so they are obligated to be delighted.
Rand vs. a Monarch?
I don't know, man. At the end of Wheel of Time, Rand is like Buddha. I don't know how to power scale that. I don't know what Rand can or can't do by the end of Wheel of Time. Can he reverse time? Maybe. He's battling conceptual entities so I don't know. Rand is the protagonist of Wheel of Time so I guess that was a spoiler alert. By the end, he's battling conceptual entities!
Can Suu be used to release the Great Devourer from Ninjago?
I had to address that question because it was also one that burns in my heart, and the answer is absolutely yes. Suu can be used to release the Great Devourer from Ninjago.
I meant favorite character in Cradle as a whole.
You're probably following up on another question, but I'm going to answer that half of the question. Yikes. I'm a fan of a lot of them. I'm a fan of Fury, I'm a fan of Eithan. I really like Emriss Silentborn. I really like Malice, Malice is cool. I like all of the powerful people, they're fun to write. Northstrider's fun. I enjoy most of them, that's why I write them that way.
It's Mu Enkai, nevermind, that was the correct answer. It's Mu Enkai, the guy from the prologue of Cradle 5, he's obviously my favorite character and I don't know why you even needed to ask.
Is it possible that you can just write about Lindon forever?
You know, I'd love to, I really like writing about Lindon, but the thing is, I just really love writing new stories. I just really like it. Any time I'm writing a story and I'm thinking about "Hmm. But what else could I be writing?" So I might come back to Lindon in the future, I certainly could see myself continuing to write stories from Lindon's perspective, but I think it's important that Cradle has an ending to the story and I really want to be able to tell other stories.
We know 14 of the top 16 competitors in the Uncrowned King tournament, who were the last 2?
I don't know. I didn't know you only knew 14, I thought we knew all 16. I don't remember that. I obviously have them in the document, I just thought you would've known all of them. I don't know whose missing.
Who has stronger willpower between a Herald and a Sage, since they both require heavy willpower? Or does it just depend on the sacred artist?
In general it depends on the sacred artist. In terms of what they can do with just eye contact, Heralds get the muscle and Sages get the technique, so that's just the whole general split. Sages can do cool stuff that Heralds cant do, but Heralds can beef it up.
Will we see more Cradle after this is gonna be the end of Cradle?
I don't know. Obviously the way we've constructed the universe, the characters are-unless everybody dies in the final book-the characters aren't going away, they're just moving worlds. Therefore, for the surviving characters, are we gonna see anything from them in the future? That's a good question and I'm not sure, the door obviously is open, it's possible, but I don't know. I'm sure I'll write something about them in the future, there's just too much not to. There's one-I definitely can't get into that, dang it, it's huge spoilers. I was about to go on it, dang it. Well that really killed my momentum.
Have you considered getting a tiny bell to go with your Eithan scissors so that you can ring it whenever you use the Endless Sword?
Obviously I have used that expression a lot, "ring like a bell." People are pointing it out because the Traveler's Gate got rerecorded and they're hearing Travis say it, and it's ringing bells from Cradle. Yes, I do use that phrase a lot, probably too much. I mostly use it in Traveler's Gate to describe the sound of steel on steel because it's unbreakable Tartarus Steel hitting unbreakable Tartarus Steel so I was going "What's a relatable way to describe that? Bells." And then I was going "Okay, when we have Yerin's Endless Sword, it's got to make a certain sound," then I was like "Ah, yeah, rang like a bell." Was the result that I have two series where everything rings like a bell. And then we have Little Blue, who speaks entirely in bell and chime sounds.
How do you write a series with so much fighting without desensitizing the reader? I am constantly amazed the stakes remain high despite how common violence is in the world.
Uh, okay so it's mostly this. I'm mainly laughing because of chat's reaction to my previous statement about Charles's question, which- I want everyone to keep Charles's question in mind over the next few days, but Daniel's question, how do you write a series with so much fighting without desensitizing the reader. Well, in general it's because this is action movie style violence, this is Marvel movie/MCU violence. This is not- if I was trying to go gritty detail realistic violence it wouldn't be fun. So therefore leaning into the anime nature of it right so that's one thing, it doesn't feel like real violence, it feels like fantasy violence because that's what it is.
And then the stakes remain high despite how common violence is in the world... I think I understand what you mean. I feel like there's something at stake in the fight even though really they're fighting all the time and the answer to that is a fight should always be a debate between two characters and I admit I don't do this perfectly a lot of the time, but a fight should always be about a conflict between two characters. So two characters are in conflict and they are competing over something that they care badly enough about to hurt the other person. So because of that it's not just a fight. It's not just them sitting there with lightsabers for 10 minutes, right, like they're competing over something.
And when you don't have that, then it's just as boring as a chase scene the last 10 minutes because nothing's going to change. So I try, emphasis on try, to have it not just be spectacled but also be have the characters be doing this for a reason. And so when the characters are doing it for a reason it feels like something's at stake.
How did you come up with and design your magic system? It feels very unique even for progression fantasy and Chinese cultivation systems.
I could go on about magic systems forever so okay I'm gonna do a little bit of a tangent here. So this is a tangent, what it's like to interact with me on a personal level, like if you and I just sort of hung out, right, like this is what, if you ask me a question like this you would be like buckling your seat belt. Buckle up because I am about to go on a rant for 15 minutes and I've had two of my friends independently mention this about me this week and they both- again these two people have never met each other and they both called them Will rants and I was like yeah that happens. Every once in a while, you get a thing in a story or something that just sets me off and i just have to talk about it forever. And magic system rules are one of them. I'm very passionate about it, I have a lot of thoughts.
So how did you design the magic system.. I can't, we don't have enough time for that I don't have like a whole- I could go on about it forever. This is this is my tea like Rebecca has Jane Austen and for me it's like magic systems and what else... uh Terraria. And Subnautica.
So, uh, how did you design your magic- okay here's the mistake I see a lot of people make when they design magic systems. They've heard that restrictions are what make your magic systems unique and that is very true. So that statement is completely correct, but because they've heard that they then design the restrictions of their magic system first before designing anything about what the people can do. So they've got this big long list of what magic systems can't do and what their resources they require and what things are forbidden and what doesn't work and what rules and we don't have anything that they can do. So as a result they end up with a magic system that doesn't seem fun to use. So it seems like you've got to keep a bunch of rules in mind or it's like okay well you know you've told me all the things you can't do now what can it do? It doesn't seem like- who are they? What do they do? So i find that that's a common mistake people have when designing magic systems.
So what I like to do is start with the archetype that I want. In this case, it was, I'm going for cultivation novels right so magical martial arts. Anime style big feats, big things you do. Swords that shoot lasers and lasers that shoot swords, right. That's the kind of idea and then I went, okay so then now we obviously we're doing an inner energy cultivation type system. So I went moved with that and I started with the things that I knew I could pin down with the system. And then I started refining it to go now what can the system not do, what are the things that that it can't do, what are the things that people think it can't do, how do they understand this, how do they define the different levels? And then after I did the restriction so I do what kind of magic do you want to use? What abilities do you want them to have? Then restrictions and and requirements and then I do how it practically, like in the real world, how does this work? How does this feel like, what does this look like? To the senses, in a real person experiencing this, what is it like? And then I kind of do that loop a few times until i figure it out.
So that's it, that's the basic, that's the general gist without going into it for 20 years.
Have you ever thought about writing something more parody or heavily trope deconstruction inspired?
So like a satire or a parody or a- yes I have. I really have.
I feel like I would be more suited for that than writing LitRPG, all the time. I really want to write something that is just leaning heavy on the tropes. Okay so the original concept I was going to go with for the story that I was, I've begun writing outside of Cradle, what I wanted to do and I didn't do this, so I'm just going to tell it to you now. I wanted to do people who had saved the world, so basically heroes of previous stories that then finished their story and were then summoned into a team up into a new universe and so none of them were native to the universe, they all got summoned here and they all had completed their story but all- but each universe they came from was a totally different genre.
So you had somebody who was like from a dark souls, completely gritty hopeless universe and then you had somebody who was from a Saturday morning cartoon, like power ranger kind of universe and I just think that would be really fun. So they're interacting together in a universe that's kind of, that kind of has aspects of all of them and they, they're- it's kind of like Into the Spider-Verse, like the the setup where you've got a spider-verse from the, you got a Spider-Man from Noir you got a Spider-Man from Looney Tunes, you have Spider-Man, and I just think it'd be so cool, that could be fun. So anyway that was more of a, it was too tropey, it was too artificial, couldn't make it work.
Do you plan on writing a LitRPG style book at any point?
That is something that I've always kind of wanted to do, honestly. I love video games, I love fantasy novels, and I feel like a fantasy novel about video games is my dream, it's the bread and butter. But I don't like LitRPG. I've read a lot of it, I've read all the staples of the genre, I don't like it. It always feels to me like I could go play a videogame right now, why am I reading about someone else playing a video game. So if I were to write a LitRPG style novel I would be writing someone in a real world with a game-like system. But then I go, okay, so I'm gonna take this game-like system and then I'm gonna go within this real world, what would they call these things? What would their terminology be and how would that shape their culture. Then when I pad that out and plan it out I end up with something that doesn't look like a video game at all, it just looks like a fantasy series, so I've removed the LitRPG components. I don't know how to write a LitRPG that is a LitRPG and is something I would enjoy. I just don't know how to do it. I'm just avoiding it for now. Just kinda dodging it.
I'm not saying the genres bad, it's just not for me. It doesn't resonate with me, I know sometimes people crap on the genre or whatever, I think there's definitely some good LitRPG. Obviously there's a lot of people interested in it. I think even there are some stories I have read that I think are good stories, they're just not my thing. I don't get it. I haven't cracked the code. I don't have it.
Did you use the method of writing that you did for Wintersteel with this one?
I've actually gotten questions like that several times, because I described my writing process for Wintersteel and then of course Wintersteel is a really good book if I do say so myself. I don't, but other people do so I'm glad. I think Wintersteel came out really well and so people want to know, did you use the same writing process? The answer is, I never use the same writing process twice. I try to iterate every time. I really do try to, every time I write a book I try to build on and improve on what I did last time.
The focus is on not wasting time, and what I mean by that is not truly really wasting it. Truly doing something that does not lead to progress in the manuscript. Anything that I do that is lateral progress or is inefficient or is something where I was spinning my wheels trying to decide if this character's design should be red or blue, that's not helping. Anything that I do that adds to the story and is really developing the story I try to keep. The idea behind that is, prior to Wintersteel I had been writing a lot of wasted words. So I'd write 30 to 50 thousand words that wouldn't end up in the manuscript because I would be going off on a tangent and then realize "Well, that doesn't make any sense." So then I'd cut it and then I'd have to come back and start over or I'd have to write another part or whatever. [I'm] trying to stop that. I've gotten better at that every time so I think probably Dreadgod was my most efficient one so far in Cradle. So it's an evolved version of that. It's all steps on the same journey, I guess you might say.
Tell the burgeoning writers why alpha, beta, and editor passes are necessary.
I feel like this gets covered elsewhere, but it is a good thing for me to mention because I'm talking about my process a lot. I've mentioned alpha drafts, I've mentioned beta drafts, so on and so forth. The idea behind telling a story is that you are trying to take what's in your head and you are trying to give it to somebody else to evoke an emotional response. That's the entire idea behind storytelling and writing a novel in general. In order to do that, you need feedback from other people. You need people to read your story, you need people to give their honest reactions, you need people to tell you how they responded, and you need to take that and evaluate it in order to understand-okay, because you can never be 100 percent on your own. You have your own strengths and weaknesses, you have your own point of view.
If you write something, people talk a lot about how their artistic vision can't be compromised, and it's just "gotta be the way I envisioned it originally." The way I envisioned it originally is not sacrosanct, it's not holy. It's the kind of thing that you need to change and you need to alter in order to have an effect on your reader because ultimately it's about the reader. It's not about you, it's not about your experience, it's about the reader's experience. In order to accurately understand the reader's experience you have to be talking to readers that you can trust and who can give you their feedback. And of course you're gonna make mistakes. You're gonna make mistakes, you're gonna need people to catch them, you're gonna need people to see things you can't, you're gonna need people to have perspectives you don't have. It's just important for every reason but I think that's probably the concept and the principle behind it all.
When reading, what makes you say "This is good writing?"
When I am reading someone else's book, or watching a movie, or watching a TV show, or playing a game, I go "That was good." when the character does something that is organic to them that is contrary to what you would expect from the cliché. Or something that plays on the viewer/reader expectation in a good way, in a positive way. Not something that necessarily surprises or twists you but something where you go "That makes sense for them, I like that." It's when the characters respond organically, so let me see if I can come up with an example from Stranger Things. I still haven't watched the last two episodes so these won't be spoilers. I thought when we got the backstory from the bad guy of the latest season of Stranger Things I thought that was really clever and well done, because I had seen one thread and I had seen the other thread coming, and I had not seen how they overlapped. When I did that I was like "That was really good writing, that was good story construction, they constructed that in a way for a particular effect in such a way that even if you saw both threads coming, you still wouldn't have ruined the effect of the two crossing. Someone said, "Oh no, you've started a Will rant." That's not wrong. But yeah, I see these things and I go "That's good, I like that moment, that landed really well." Whenever they land a moment, whenever they've got this line, there's sometimes where I think the delivery is even better than the line and I'm going "Man, this line was really elevated by this delivery or this actor or whatever." That's I guess the idea, when I go "That makes total sense for the character, it's organic, and I didn't see it coming."
There are authors who are prolific to a fault and make low quality, high quantity stuff while other more famous authors leave us in waiting for years to decades. How do you balance so you don't fall into either category?
That's a really good question, but my first response is there's a lot of grey area between those two things. Between the people who write a book a month and the people who don't ever write a book. There's a lot of flex in there, I think most people probably fall into the middle.
How do I answer this without stepping on any toes? So it's not too hard to fall in between those two extremes, however, what I really like to do is I generally go "What is my experience as a reader and what kind of experience do I want to have? What kind of books have I always wanted to see?" So to me, I want a book series where I know the next installment is gonna come out in a reasonable amount of time. To me, that feels better. I enjoy reading the books more. If I don't know when the next books coming out then I don't know how to evaluate the story because you have a lot of books that are great first books in a trilogy but bad standalones. So if you leave them waiting for two and three and four years then they've just been reading a standalone and it's not a good standalone, it's only one third of a story. So I prefer books that come out regularly. The more I write and the more I read, the more I realize "That's very important to me." So books coming out regularly is important. On the other hand, I also want stuff that I enjoy. So if I were to really dash it off and write quickly, and I know that there are some people like PirateAba, Wandering Inn, who can write very quickly at a high level, and I've struck the balance that I've struck. If I go too much faster my quality will drop off significantly. So I'm never gonna be writing the ten million words that they've written.
If you could collab with another author, living or dead, who would it be?
I'll answer that question in a second, but first, I would say the idea of collaboration seems really fun to me. I feel like I would enjoy it. However, on the other side, there's the reality that it's just easier to just keep writing books by myself and it's probably easier for whoever I would collaborate with too. So it's hard to justify "Let's take longer to write one book instead of us each writing two books, like we each write one faster." It's just hard to justify.
But if I could magically collaborate with anybody, who would I collaborate with? My obvious instinct I would say is Robert Jordan because he was just a huge influence on me growing up and I would love to learn from him. However, I don't think our styles would be particularly compatible so this would mostly be him going "Will, do this." and I'd be like "Yes sir." and then we'd just be kinda writing a Robert Jordan book and I'd be sort of happily writing on a toy typewriter in the background while he's doing the real work. A more fun collaboration, let's see... Jane Austen. 100 percent. We get the same thing where I get to learn from a master and I get to improve my skills and also now we get to have a Jane Austen novel with her trademark character relationships and well defined people in a Victorian-I guess Elizabethan, whatever-English setting. And at the same time we also get magic and sword fights. That's it. It's kinda like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
Sam just suggested D.B. Weiss and David Benioff and then my dad stage whispered "Who's that?" That's about right. I'm gonna move on. There's nothing I can say.
Outsource the slice of life to Jane Austen.
I'll be honest with you Liam, I would actually just outsource it all to Jane Austen. Again, it's another scenario that ends with me typing with a toy typewriter in the background while they do the real work.
Pride and Prejudice and Dreadgods. That's it, I'll read that, I'll be honest.
What's your signature dish?
So I'm gonna let you in on another Will secret here, in addition to Will rants. My preferred foods are basically anything on noodles. I just love noodles. I just love them. I will make all sorts of pasta out of leftovers. I just enjoy it.
Will is lazy confirmed.
That is accurate, however I will say that I put a lot of effort into these sometimes because I just love noodles so much. I think probably my ideal meal would be mushrooms, onions, sausage, and some kind of seafood, probably scallops, and a brown sauce on noodles. There's probably sausage or scallops, probably not both. I don't know that I've tried those together cause that doesn't sound great. It sounds alright. I'd probably eat it. But those are my favorite things. I just like those things and I like them on noodles. I also love popcorn. Popcorn is just-I'm a popcorn fiend. I eat way more popcorn than I do Oreos, believe it or not. I like Oreos but I don't cram cookies into my face constantly. I'm not Cookie Monster anymore. That was a dark phase in my life.
Do you create side characters to cause or contribute to pre-planned events in the story or are the events inspired by side characters you want to add?
Kind of both. I mean I create side characters as needed. There's this idea that you hear sometimes where people talk about "Ah! This side character only existed to further the main character's journey or only existed because of their relationship with the main character." I don't wanna draw back the curtain on writing too much, but every single side character exists only to serve the main character's journey and that's it. They have no other purpose. That is why they're there. What you want to do is create the impression that they have their own lives and that they exist for their own purposes but they don't because it's a series. Because it's your own story, whoever the main characters are they're the ones who matter and everybody else is just there to support the stories of the main characters. I just create them as needed. I will say my one philosophy about side characters is, a lot of people believe that side characters that are emphasized or designed cool should then end up being important later and I don't necessarily agree with that. I think if you've gotta have a bartender or stable boy and they've gotta have a couple of lines you might as well make them cool looking. Sometimes I write people that people are like "Oh they're definitely come back cause you would never invest that much time in describing and setting them up just to not bring them back and have them bring an important role later." no I totally would. 100 percent. Just wanted to be cool.