Will's Life

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Name
Name Will's Life
Date
Date Aug. 1, 2017
Entries
Entries 59
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#1 Copy

Windrunner

What book or author would you recommend to someone who has read all of your books, preferring Cradle->House of Blades -> OKAK

Will Wight

I always have a difficult time giving recommendations. The only authors I recommend with no caveats tend to be very well-known. If you're not familiar with the wuxia / xianxia genre, that's what Cradle is, and there are some great examples over on WuxiaWorld.com. They're all fan translated and written daily, so there tend to be some difficulties with prose, but once you get used to it the stories can be off-the-charts hype.

#2 Copy

Lil' Blue

What's your writing soundtrack?

Will Wight

I tend to string together songs you could choreograph a fight to. It used to be rock, but then it transitioned to epic trailer-type music, and now I almost exclusively listen to nerd rap. It's been a weird cycle.

#8 Copy

Hjorth

Since you don't like coffee, what would you drink if you wanted to relax?

Will Wight

Those Monster Energy drinks in the white can. Idk what they’re called. Apparently they’re zero sugar and zero carbs, but idc about that, it’s my favorite energy drink flavor. I assumed it was like normal Monster but worse, and I could not have been more wrong. It’s like drinking the blood of an angel.

#11 Copy

Lil' Blue

Are your Facebook posts carefully planned out or more stream of consciousness?

Will Wight

Not planned at all. People said I needed to post more, so I started posting memes and stuff.     I kind of hate doing it, but I try to make them a little fun for me.
#12 Copy

Aru

I haven't played League of Legends in a few years, is everyone still as salty as I remember? Also, is my boy Darius still meta?

Will Wight

Darius is actually really strong right now. There have been some great changes in the last few years, especially in terms of the client and UI.     The community is still cancer.
#13 Copy

sadly_streets_behind

Will, have you read Overlord or watched the anime adaptation?

Will Wight

Yes, both! I think that's one of the web novels with the most squandered potential.     In particular, I think it's let down by the MC being undead. So he doesn't have any emotional reaction or physical response to anything.     Therefore, the stakes never feel personal and there's no connection to him. However, Nazarick and the floor guardians are the best ideas anyone in that genre has ever had.     I'm super jealous.
#15 Copy

Aru

For real though, one of my favorite activities is logging into Reddit writing prompts or one of my online stories that still has a following and writing "There will be an update soon." And then never releasing an update. It keeps them all in suspense.

Will Wight

That's my release date policy.     ...
#16 Copy

Aru

Will from now on will you invest all of your income into garlicoin?

Will Wight

What do you mean from now on? That implies I was once paid in other, inferior currency.  
#17 Copy

Polycore

And guys really, a blog post on the 1st of April? Will's posts are already insanity on a regular basis, imagine the kind of shit he would have to pull off on the 1st of April

Will Wight

I have done April Fools Day posts in the past, and I enjoy them, but I don't do them every year. Doing it well takes some thought and time, plus someone always takes it seriously. I did an April Fools short story called "House of Cool Swords" that was a parody of House of Blades, and some people still emailed me breaking down why they didn't like my new style.

#18 Copy

Tievel

Hi Will. I wasn't able to comment on your blogpost, but tell all those folks at Hidden Gnome that they're my heroes

Will Wight

Will do, Tievel! Thanks!     They're the ones who flog me into productivity.

Tievel

That's what makes them my heroes. And apparently it helps your productivity to boot, so even better
#22 Copy

TransEmo

Given the choice of drinking a hot Gatorade on a hot day, or a chilled Gatorade on a freezing day, what is the air speed velocity of a unladen swallow?  

Will Wight

African or European?

#24 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

Do our constant questions annoy you?

Will Wight

Not these, no. But I get some questions multiple times a day for which I've already provided an answer, and those irritate me. Like all the people who ask if there will be another book in the Cradle series or if I'm done writing them.

#25 Copy

Secret Agent Book Theif

Terry Goodkind says that reading other people's books is bad because it influences your writing. Would you say you have been negatively influenced by the writings of your students while you were teaching intro to creative writing? Or any other work for that matter?

Will Wight

I would...strongly disagree.   I would strongly disagree with many of the other things Terry Goodkind has said as well.
#26 Copy

Lil' Blue

Have you read all 80 threads about when the book is coming out?

Will Wight

I think so. I try to read everything, except for Discord channels other than this one.

Footnote: This is referring to Ghostwater.
#29 Copy

Decadakon

Did you review Infinity war? if not how did you like it?

Will Wight

I haven't reviewed it yet, but I did like it.

I intended to review it, but the book launch made that timing awkward.

#31 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

Why did you choose the name Uru

Will Wight

Uru has been one of the names I’ve used since high school; I thought it was cool that it was short, spelled the same forwards and backwards, and made up of two letters that are also words.   Originally, I used the name for a character in a short story I half-finished. He was a wizard that acted as an intermediary for a pantheon of warring gods that couldn’t move against each other directly. He would hire him out to the god that would reward him with the most powerful artifact.
#32 Copy

Tievel

Hey Will, have the additional region releases helped the book numbers significantly?

Will Wight

No, the regions have not helped the book numbers significantly. 90% or more of my sales come from Amazon.com.   I was never concerned that the absence of the UK and the other regions would jeopardize my bottom line, but I still want fans in those regions to have a better experience at launch.
Footnote: This is referring to Ghostwater.
#33 Copy

Lil' Blue

Will, what's the most recent show/movie that's made you cry?

Will Wight

I can't think of any that ever has.   Devilman Crybaby punched me in the gut, as you'd expect.
#35 Copy

Hjorth

Who is your favorite LoL character, and why is it Udyr?

Will Wight

Are you ghosting me right now? I've literally been playing nothing but Udyr since the book was out, because he's busted this patch.   I'm playing Udyr right now.

Lil' Blue

We can see who you're playing on Discord. Discord is creepy.

Will Wight

Oh, for real? I've only ever seen "playing League of Legends."     Thanks, creepy Discord!
#36 Copy

Lil' Blue

Srs question, how was your game?

Will Wight

That last game was impossible to win. I did pretty well, but our bot lane fed like crazy. They had given up thirteen kills by fourteen minutes.   Otherwise, doing pretty well.
#39 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

What about warlock punch?  

Tievel

Not sure what that is

Will Wight

The superior Falcon clone  

Your Benevolent Dictator

The only character I use in smash is ma boi ganon

Will Wight

Yeah, I’m a decent Ganondorf. He’s my go-to heavy

#40 Copy

Questioner

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?

Will Wight

Disney owns too many characters now. I can't be certain my own characters aren't owned by Disney somehow. But my real answer: Carl Fredricksen from Up. I aspire to be him when I am older, but with an even more tragic backstory.

#41 Copy

Questioner

If you could only have one app on your phone, what would it be?

Will Wight

I don't know, Safari? I'm not very good at these social media-type questions. If www.WuxiaWorld.com had an iOS app, it would be my most-used app and the one I would keep above all others. I spend most of my time on Safari reading web novels.

#42 Copy

Questioner

What five things could you not live without?

Will Wight

1.) The four elemental crystals that keep nature in balance, without which all of humanity would be scoured from the face of the planet by constant natural disasters.

 

2.) The ring I inherited from my great-grandfather that tells me what every child wants for Christmas.

 

3.) My artificial heart.

 

4.) The collar that keeps me from transforming into a werewolf every night.5.) Terraria on PC.

#44 Copy

Questioner

When will Underlord be released?

Will Wight

This was by far the most common fan-submitted question.

...

 

The time approaches when ravens cry with the voices of men. I see a day when lakes and rivers reverse their flow, when dogs and cats merge into the perfect pets, and when the moon cackles and stares at the people below while blood leaks from the corner of its mouth. Ia! Ia! These are the signs that the time of Underlord is nigh!

#46 Copy

garbagiel the racoon

So the guy who writes the messages in my fortune cookies also writes the books I read?

 

Will Wight

Curb your expectations, and you will curb your disappointment.Your lucky numbers are: 1-20-118

#47 Copy

Saucy1990

When is the Rithmatist 2 coming out!?!?

Generally entitled and agitated fantasy reader

Yea Will, I really feel like you're not putting enough work in Doors of Stone. Don't you understand how hard this is for ME?

Will Wight

If I was writing Doors of Stone, it would have been out years ago, but it also would have been much shorter and less polished. I suggest waiting.The Rithmatist, though, that I'm almost finished with.

#48 Copy

Zach

This. This right here. See this is just... exactly what I come here for. Well, I mean, and books. But mostly this.I will read all the new books you see fit to publish and I don't even care what order. Thanks, Will, for being you.

Will Wight

I like having fun with blog posts. Sometimes I don't get to or don't have the energy, but these are way more fun for me.

#49 Copy

Bear among men

Will you don’t fail to disappoint, even in a cryptic sort of update blog post! Can’t wait for the next book to be out, no matter the series! I’m sure everyone else feels the same way as me and appreciate all of your hard work!

Will Wight

When I set out to disappoint, I always succeed!

#50 Copy

Encouragement…hopefully.

For some strange reason, I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the commenters who write encouraging messages. Discouragement does not help people to write…or to do anything, really.Thanks for your books, Will! They’re great!

Will Wight

Thanks! And fortunately, I get a lot more encouragement than discouragement from fans.

#51 Copy

Lil' Blue

Are you happy for the slow hurricane season?

Will Wight

I'm always happy when I don't have to clean debris out of my yard, but I do wish it wasn't eighty degrees here today. In mid-November.

#52 Copy

Decadakon

Thoughts on smash?

Will Wight

My thoughts are: "Why am I not playing Smash right now?"

 

For real though, I feel like they should have done this concept last time around. Putting everyone on the roster just makes sense; Smash doesn't have to be balanced, as long as there are a few competitively viable people. Why NOT have a massive roster?

 

I'm excited. Smash Bros is one of my secret joys.

(Jk, it's not secret.)

#54 Copy

Decadakon

What movie are you looking forward to in the next year?

Will Wight

Like everyone else, I’m looking forward to Infinity War 2, but I can’t imagine it will hold up to part one. If it does, I’m buying cardboard cutouts of both Russo Brothers. I haven’t seen Overlord yet, but I really want to, because I want to see the next tier of advancement after Underlord with my own eyes. Fantastic Beasts: I’ll probably love the actual fantastic beasts and tolerate everything else, like last time.

#56 Copy

John

How far do you outline?

Will Wight

I always have a plan, but often I leave details vague just in case I have a better idea or change my mind later. Gives me some elbow room.

I do a TON of world-building before I start, but a lot of it is fluid. When I'm writing the book, if what I planned doesn't serve the story as well as I imagined it would, I'll change the planned backstory as needed. Nothing is set in stone until it shows up in a book.

As for parts that are more narrow than world-building elements--like characters, scenes, twists, etc.--most of those I design as needed when I'm working on the book. I don't determine their fate several books ahead of time.

However, that's for MOST characters and scenes. There are a few incredibly specific elements that I've already determined way ahead of time, including several that are still four or five books away.

TL;DR - Me setting up a specific character twist two books ahead is uncommon, but not terribly rare.

#57 Copy

Sean K

Congratz! I just want to say one more time that the Cradle books have been amazing! I even had to buy my friend Unsouled for his birthday! I also bought the Crimson Throne, but I haven't gotten to read it yet as I was finishing up the Nice Dragons Finish Last.

On a side note, how has your total sales growth been growing? I remember you mentioning that you had a huge sales growth on all of your books when you released Unsouled and Soulsmith. Do you normally sell 1k books a month? Which months are the slow month (So I know when you buy friends books!).

Granted, feel free to tell me "STFU, that's my income, I aint tellin you!" I'm just curious more so about the growth of your sales as you keep on adding so many great books as opposed to the sales figure!

Will Wight

I'm always more than happy to talk about my sales numbers. It's hard to find information like that out there from other independent Kindle authors.

Every time I add a new book, everything else gets a small bump in sales (especially previous books in the series). Putting a book on sale tends to do something similar.

I normally sell way more than 1k books a month. 1k would be a slow month. 10k would be a high month (probably a release month), but on average would be somewhere around 5k sales.

Which months are slow months? I'm honestly not sure. I'd have to look through my records, and it's still hard to tell. It depends on when I release, really. Release months are big months, and the sales trend steadily downward over about 4-5 months until the next release.

That fact, combined with the fact that there's a two-month delay between me selling the books and receiving the money, is what makes my income so...swingy. I have to save most of it and predict how much I'll be making for the next few months, otherwise I could find myself in an uncomfortable scenario.

I.e., "I'm not making any income, and even if I released a book tomorrow, I won't be making anything for the next two months."

The amount the books have generated is pretty huge (at least by my standards): almost $600k in three and a half years.

"How could you ever have financial problems?" you may be thinking. "That's way more money than you need!"

It's true, that's way more money than I need. And honestly, I haven't had any financial problems, but only because I've saved and planned ahead.

The problem is, that's gross income. Not profit for Will. So all taxes come out of that--and being a self-employed single guy means I'm paying a ridiculous amount of taxes--and so do all business expenses (all trips to conventions, everything I do to isolate myself and write, any computer equipment required for me to write, all book shipping, covers, editing, ordering hard copies so we have some to give away, and so on and so forth). On top of that, I pay all my insurance, which a salaried position would usually cover, out of pocket.

So bottom line, my PERSONAL takeaway is basically like a 50-60k salary.

Which is still very comfortable for me personally. It's WAY, WAY more than I ever expected to make writing, and I could certainly do with a lot less.

But imagine you're living on a 50k salary, but sometimes your boss says "Eh, you might not get paid for the next two months."

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I try to keep up frequent releases.

#58 Copy

David Titus

I join your other fans in congratulating you on a huge milestone-300k sold is fantastic. Thank you for your honesty and openness on how KU works. My sense is you regard yourself as well treated by KU, something I had hoped is true but had no info about.

Being somewhat new to you and your blog, I may have missed an estimate of how many volumes you expect Cradle to be. Hearing from you on this, even if it is a rough guess, would be a great way to share with you where all of us are in the Journey, and a nice way to celebrate 300k sold.

Or, maybe you could share with us a tidbit on the creative process. Is there any recurring challenge, and how do you come out on top, or try to? When or how do you know you have a good idea for a series? Really any insight into how you work would really interest us and would be a way your fans could join you in celebrating a major milestone in your literary career.

Oh, and many thanks for this blog, which I am enjoying, while waiting for Blackflame.

Will Wight

I can't speak for anyone else's experience, but I've been VERY well-treated by KU. It's the bulk of my monthly income nowadays.

As for the Cradle volumes...SPOILER WARNING, I guess, although this is so fluid and subject to change that anything I say can't really be much of a spoiler because I haven't made my own mind up yet.

I'm planning 12 volumes actually on Cradle. It could end there...or not. It depends.

The answer to most of those creative process questions you've asked is "I fly by the seat of my pants."

Recurring challenge: getting up every day and going to work. I get paid regardless, there are no deadlines, and no single day is going to matter in the completion of a book. I combat that by putting myself in scenarios where I have no choice but to write--I'm locked in a hotel room without the WiFi password and no books or games. Writing it is.

Recurring challenge #2: demotivation. In every book so far, roughly into the 2/3 - 3/4 mark, I'm convinced that it's a pile of crap, the worst thing I've ever written, and completely broken from stem to stern. I just know that I'm going to have to throw it all out and start over.

It hasn't been true yet, but each time I'm sure that THIS is going to be the time.

And that's where I'm currently at with Blackflame. I am convinced it's garbage. But by this point I'm learning to predict my own issues, and I was ready for this. A week or two from now I'll be saying "Hm, this is better than I remember it being."

Or maybe for the first time it really is crap, and the book will be delayed.

How I know when I have a good idea for a series: when it sells well, because that means people are reading it.

For instance, I thought Elder Empire was a great idea. Much better than the ideas behind Traveler's Gate or Cradle. I crammed too much into the setting, that's true, but the "dueling perspectives" thing and the "epic fantasy with a Lovecraft backdrop" thing are both rich ideas. Plus it's more character-driven by definition, which is a neat change of pace for me.

Then not many people read it, so evidently it was not a great idea. Live and learn. Unsouled has outsold all of the Elder Empire books combined, I think, and if it hasn't yet it will soon.

So apparently that was the better series concept.

Less jaded and cynical answer to the same question:

I choose which new series to write based on what book I think I can enjoy writing AND what I can complete in a reasonable amount of time.

With Cradle, for instance, I'd been reading a lot of translated wuxia and xianxia novels, so I wanted to try writing one. I was passionate about the genre, I had a few twists on the established formula I was excited to include, and it seemed like it would be very possible to write without any hidden obstacles along the way.

That's pretty much it.

Xianxia stories are fairly formulaic to start with, so I knew I could at least write the first 80-90k words of one without much trouble. And initially I'd planned to release Unsouled as a free twice-weekly release here on the blog, but that's another story.

That was a much longer answer than I intended, I'm sorry. The creative process is a big topic--maybe I should talk about HOW I work more.

Problem is, I often feel like the answer is "I just kind of make stuff up until it all fits together." It's like doing a jigsaw puzzle, but instead of looking for the right piece, you just 3D print one to fit.

#59 Copy

Nocturniquet

With this interaction with the readers who constantly point out things they notice, or suggest ideas or desires for the plot...do you find yourself affected by it in such a way that you change your plans for the plot at all?

Like suppose something in this post sounds great but you change your mind about doing it. Is it because of your own plans or is it something a reader said, or a combination of both?

Will Wight

I do change my mind based on reader response, but it's usually not a direct correlation.

When I hear from readers, it gives me an idea of what they expect from the series. Which helps me better understand how to play on those expectations.

For instance, let's say I was planning to kill Lindon in Book 3 and have a new main character take over (I was at no point planning on this). Reading all of these comments might at first make me go "Ha! No one expects this! I'm doing the unexpected!"

...but I would very shortly realize that the reason they weren't expecting it is because they're reading for Lindon's progress. If he stops making progress, they'll stop reading.

Then I would change my mind.

As for suggestions, I can't remember ever hearing someone suggest something that I hadn't already considered. However, sometimes hearing it out loud makes me reevaluate; maybe someone will suggest an idea I've already rejected, but they make it sound workable, so I'll consider it again. Or they'll suggest an idea I'm actually planning on doing, but hearing it from someone else makes it sound lame, so I reconsider.

It's a very fluid process.

Event details
Name
Name Will's Life
Date
Date Aug. 1, 2017
Entries
Entries 59
Upload sources