September 2018 - December 2018

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Name September 2018 - December 2018
Date
Date Sept. 1, 2018
Entries
Entries 204
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#1 Copy

ha ha yes

If Lindon was a character in overwatch, what would his ultimate be? What would Simons be

Will Wight

Lindon's: Void Dragon's Dance. His passive in Blackflame form would leave little black flames around the battlefield as he uses his abilities, kind of like Reaper's old passive. His ult would detonate all of those flames in a massive nova.   Simon's: Mask of Valinhall. Gives him armor and shield and greatly increases move speed and attack damage for the duration. If he doesn't have some sort of mobility skill in his kit, like a double jump or a dash or something, he gets one during his ult.

#2 Copy

manty65

In cradle at what stage could a sacred or a dread beast become Godzilla sized.

Will Wight

The Dreadbeasts are Monarch-level or better, and some of them are Godzilla sized. Most sacred beasts are not that large, regardless of their advancement.     Most Monarchs aren't either, as Polycore pointed out.
#3 Copy

Mierin

speaking of questions for will were the dreadgods inspired at all by the endbringers in worm or are they just very similar in concepts

Will Wight

Not really. I hope they end up being similar in execution later on in the series, because his execution of the Endbringers was my second-favorite part of that series, but I needed some giant monsters to serve a specific plot function later on.

#4 Copy

Tievel

I know your pain, Anu. I was inspired to try my hand at my take on xianxia, but I can't get past that any of my takes on the magic system want to be based on Cradle, and aren't as good without being a straight copycat. Vital aura, specifically, may be my favorite magic innovation I've ever read.

Will Wight

There are a lot of changes I'd make to the Cradle magic system if I got a do-over. The general shape of it would stay the same, but basically I would use harder definitions so that people understand what's going on more.     It's hard because I was trying to start with people who kind of but not really knew how the magic worked so that I could build out from there, because most people are just giving their beliefs and theories on how the sacred arts works. But as a result it's gotten confusing, so I would have been clearer from the beginning.

#5 Copy

Tievel

Quick one: how old was Jai Daichou?

Will Wight

I'd have to look at my notes, but if I remember correctly, like 120-130?

Tievel

Wow, younger than I thought

Will Wight

Yeah, not as old as people think. I will say, though, that I could be wrong about that because I don't have my character notes in front of me.

dyring

There was a quote in the books stating he had been underlord for over a century thou, I thought he became underlord late?

Will Wight

You could very well be right. Maybe he was 160-170.

#6 Copy

Lil' Blue

Is the age slowing an order of magnitude as you advance or is there xnumber of years added for each stage?

Will Wight

For the Lord realm, your body is re-forged in stronger soulfire each time you advance, so your body is made more like it was in your prime. If you were younger than your prime, you would look older, and older people look younger. Then, from there on, you age more slowly. It gets stronger each time you advance, but it only happens when you advance, so basically Jai Daishou's only hope of living significantly longer would have been to hit Overlord. Which he accepted that he couldn't do.

#8 Copy

Icoret

I'm rereading the books right now, and I've got a question about Sacred Beasts. Sorry if this was in the books already and I missed it, that happens a lot for me. Eithan mentions that when he was young he had a breeding pair from a lineage of sacred beasts. Does this mean all sacred beasts have kids that are also sacred beasts?

Will Wight

I wouldn't say all, but in general yes. Snowfoxes from Sacred Valley started off as one fox that lived long enough to advance, but now it's a whole race of little snowfoxes that are sacred beasts from birth.

#10 Copy

Decadakon

Do you have a small example for a sword related beast   Like is it an animal     With a sword or with sharp claws

Will Wight

It would be more like with sharp claws, though I'm not against a species of sacred beast that uses sword madra/aura to make sharp weapons     Tool-using sacred beasts do exist
#13 Copy

Puppet Master

did dragons evolve as a species or are they a result of their status of Sacred Beast?

Will Wight

I don't know if this is a spoiler or not, so I'll answer it anyway: sacred beast, but dragons exist in many forms in different Iterations similar to humanity     So the relationship and origin of dragons is a subject of study among Abidan
#14 Copy

Puppet Master

if a Sacred Artist used a technique enough in life, is it possible for that technique to be transfered through the bonding of their remnant?

Will Wight

Yes, and this was one of the three reasons for bindings being a thing.

1.) So that sacred artists can inherit techniques from the spirits of their fallen masters/predecessors.

2.) So that Soulsmiths can use techniques as materials.

3.) So that rivals on similar/compatible Paths could potentially kill someone possessing a remarkable technique and steal that technique.

#15 Copy

dyring

Question for Will: Are you planning any stories on iterations outside of abidan control? You hinted at a few in one of Suriels chapters, the ones about creatures capable of killing Ozriel, but we have not truly seen any.     (Personally, at first I thought amalgam was outside, until told otherwise. It seemed chaotic with the territories and Valin making one)

Will Wight

Yes!

#19 Copy

Tievel

This would be a longer one, but any chance we could (someday) get a primer on how and why "internal" vital aura aspects operate differently than others? Such as blood and dream aura, which non-blood/dream madra shouldn't be able to affect, but the spirit somehow defends against Ruler techniques of them since Blood artists can't go around giving Lords heart attacks willy nilly.

Will Wight

Maybe someday?

#20 Copy

AntiSqueaker

If Lindon had a magic encyclopedia with every single Path/Territory/Awakened Weapon/miscellaneous magic powers throughout all the Iterations, which one would most interest him?

Will Wight

I don't have the mental energy to answer that right now, unfortunately, because it's an interesting question. I'm releasing a book, so my MP is 0.  

#21 Copy

Arch

In how much detail have you outlined the future of the cradle series, and possibly travellers gate series if that is to continue?

Will Wight

I've outlined a lot of the key events and players in Cradle, but idk when or how I'm going to get to them. Traveler's Blade I just have a bunch of ideas, very little of which I would call an outline.
#23 Copy

Lil' Blue

Will, did you use the "should have gone for the head line" and then portalling away from IW?

Will Wight

I probably will use that someday.

Lil' Blue

but you did xD she teleports away right after this too!

Will Wight

Oh dang, that was unintentional.   Curses! Missed opportunity.
#31 Copy

Bearilicious

Hmm this is probably RAFO (Read and find out) territory , but it's said that insight is required to take truegold to underlord, is the tempering of body in soulfire affected by insight? as in do underlord bodies have changes to better accomodate their path or is it like iron irrespective of their path?

Will Wight

You are correct, RAFO.

#33 Copy

The Last Reader

Who was the most powerful ant and what was his Path?

Will Wight

It’s a good question, but unfortunately this is another one of those I can’t answer right now. I don’t have that planned out, so I’d have to make up the answer, and I don’t have the energy at the moment. Rain check. This is why I occasionally do “ask me world-building question” events: so I can give each of these creative questions the time and energy they deserve for a fun answer. Sadly, I only have time for a boring answer right now. Sorry!

#34 Copy

RekTer

Wow. Why is it that Elder Empire gets amazing art like this, yet Cradle just gets some scribbles for the covers?

Also I should probably just bite the bullet and read Elder Empire. I haven't yet because the "simultaneous stories" hook really doesn't excite me, but with art like this how could I not enjoy it?

Will Wight

"Some scribbles" = I'll kill you. I like that art.

But the reason why Elder Empire gets full paintings while Cradle covers are done in photoshop is because there are way more Cradle books and they come out more frequently. There's no delaying a Cradle book to wait on the cover art, and there never will be!

#35 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

how many references are in cradle

Will Wight

I have no way to answer that

Your Benevolent Dictator

i know of 1   lil blue

Will Wight

Little Blue is absolutely a TFS reference   Can confirm

Your Benevolent Dictator

HUSH LITTLE GREEN

Your Benevolent Dictator

NAAAAAIIIILLLL

Your Benevolent Dictator

lol   I DRAAAAAAAANK IT

Will Wight

There are a bunch of references, but I tend to toss them in as I think of them, so idk how many.   They're mostly just jokes for me.

Your Benevolent Dictator

you should throw in something about a family of racoons

Will Wight

I'd like to, but I'm not sure raccoons are native to the area they're in

Your Benevolent Dictator

have a forigner say something

Will Wight

That's true, Eithan could say something

Your Benevolent Dictator

ohh true Eithan is the most badass janitor of all time

Will Wight

He would certainly say so

#36 Copy

Polycore

Hey Will, we were wondering how would Lindon's Iron body stack against Bai Rou's madra? and can you tell how a Highgold Lindon (how he will be in the future when he reaches that stage) would fare against him?

Will Wight

Lindon's Iron body would help against Bai Rou, but not entirely, because Bai Rou's madra has a dream component that would attack the mind. It would be difficult for Lindon to defend himself, so he would have to rely on overwhelming attack.   Which would be possible, thanks to Blackflame, which Bai Rou can't do very much about. Except that Bai Rou is a Truegold in Skysworn armor, so he would be able to defend himself, counter, and beat Lindon with his counterattack.   As for how Lindon will fare at higher advancement, you'll just have to wait for Ghostwater, won't you?
#37 Copy

Ruff

I like that Idea.... I personally want to see Lindon get into Underlord soon

Will Wight

SPOILER: THE FOLLOWING IS A SPOILER. AVERT YON EYES, YE WHO ARE SPOILER-ALLERGIC   ...not Underlord this book. I'd like to title a book "Underlord." And that might be book six.   THE SPOILERS HAVE ENDED   GO ABOUT YOUR DAY
Footnote: "this book" is referring to Ghostwater.
#38 Copy

Terrible

Wei Shi Kelsa let her spirit reach out, touching the image of her brother that had stepped out from behind the tree. Grief after Lindon’s death had often caused her White Fox madra to slip from her control and twist into his form. Her spirit, worryingly, felt nothing, none of her own madra, or any madra, emanated from her “brother”. She grunted, and started walking again. Living in the woods was evidently taking its toll on her mind. The hallucination opened its arms, like it expected a hug. She kept walking, planning to stride clean through it. A moment later, she let out a pained gasp as her face struck the illusion’s chest...and found it solid as rock. Kelsa stumbled back, tripping over a tree root. She stared up at the solid image, holding her throbbing nose. “No. My brother is dead.”  

Will Wight

That was a really good Kelsa passage

Well played

#40 Copy

Decadakon

hjorth   will said on reddit   that its not like the blackflames didn't have riverseeds and regen bodies   unless that info is wrong   and will forgot about that

Will Wight

He could practice Blackflame without a pure core. The pure core helps balance out the spiritual damage caused by Blackflame madra, but the treatment of the Sylvan Riverseed + medicine and/or rest could compensate for that. There are other ways around it.

Decadakon

So is there a reason the og blackflames didn't make use of a Sylvan riverseed

Will Wight

They did. They used all those methods.
#41 Copy

Lil' Blue

do we remember what Rank Li Markuth was?   Because Suriel called him a "Gold"   "With the same move he'd used on the children earlier, the boy drove his palm into the Gold practitioner's core."

Will Wight

Li Markuth was never intended to be just Gold. Suriel thinks of him that way mainly because to refer to him otherwise would have been confusing to the reader at that point. But now it's confusing to the reader retroactively.     The only logical step is to delete all the books and give up on Cradle forever.     You've persuaded me.
#42 Copy

AdmrlHellNinja

Is it possible to cultivate "Sex aura", if so what would this look like? What kind of remnant would you bond to get to gold? What kind of Iron body would be best suited for this path?

Will Wight

Sex aura: no, that's not possible. If anything, you'd generate some form of interaction between dream and blood aura, but it probably wouldn't be anything unique.

#43 Copy

Questioner

Is Charity the sister of Malice?

Will Wight

Charity isn't Malice's sister. She refers to Mercy as her niece because the actual relationships get weird, given that so much of the head family is ageless.

Footnote: Wasn't actually a direct question, people were talking about it and Will swooped in.
#44 Copy

OrgnlDave

There was an entry [on the old wiki] that talked aobut how judges had the ferarris and regular abidan had the corollas

Will Wight

I don’t remember that analogy, but it’s a good one. Abidan use Presences for a lot of things, not just personal regulation of power. Everybody in the Abidan WOULD have one, at least as the equivalent of like a cell phone.

OrgnlDave

Wait, does that mean that they are as common and useful as cell phones, or that the difference between a Judge and and Abidan presence is a cellphone and a ferrari?

Will Wight

Sorry, I switched analogies. I meant they’re as ubiquitous and convenient as cell phones.

#45 Copy

OrgnlDave

Hi Will, what sounds do techniques make? Is sound integral to a small set of types of madra, and things like the Dragon's Breath and Rippling Sword only make sounds due to superheating the air or moving fast or something? Do scripts also make noise when they activate?

Will Wight

Scripts do make a small noise when they activate! It’s something like the strike of a match followed by a hum like a power line, though for many scripts, that sound fades away. As for the sounds of techniques, that depends on the nature of the madra and the technique itself. As you say, something like dragon’s breath would make a sound because of its heat (and because of its destruction component tearing apart whatever it hits), but something like the Path of the White Fox would make no sound.

#47 Copy

Walter

How the emperor’s original companions are still alive if the emperor had to bind himself to the heart just to live longer, and why nobody considers them like great elders at this point if they did the emperor. 

Will Wight

The Emperor's original companions were asleep in coffins designed by the Emperor to prolong their lives. They are awakened only when the Empire is in great crisis, and then put back to sleep.

#49 Copy

Puppet Master

I think Calder is shallow and unrelatable.

Will Wight

I learned a lot about characterization in the EE series (and frankly I could stand to carry over more of those lessons to Cradle), and one of the things I learned is that people form very strong personal opinions about the different protagonists. One of the most common complaints against Shera is that she is shallow and unrelatable, because she’s effectively an emotionless superwoman, while Calder is more complex and relatable because he has more relationships. But then there are plenty of people who say the reverse.   It’s caused me to think about relatability and the role of the protagonist differently. Which is cool!
#50 Copy

OrgnlDave

With people being divided over the characters...       Which book you choose first is 50/50       In a book that combined the two stories, if you read for a while and it switched POVs to one you liked, you could get into it       But you're stuck with a bad taste in your mouth if you didn't like the one you randomly picked and probably won't try the other

Will Wight

Yeah, I’d have no problem believing that, but it doesn’t seem like a ton of people tried one and not the other. I’m not trying to figure out why people didn’t like Elder Empire—because by and large they did, at least in comparison to my other series—but why they didn’t try it in the first place.       I have some operating theories, but idk if I’ll ever know.

#53 Copy

Walter

How is Reading advanced? Is it like on Cradle?

Will Wight

Reading isn't trained like the sacred arts because the magic system is a lot harder to quantify than the sacred arts. A madra technique literally starts to crystallize in the practitioner's soul as a binding, so there are measurable and observable effects. Reading is much more difficult to boil down to a tangible process.

#54 Copy

Walter

Why don’t people and things leave remnants in EE and travelers gate? It all seems like a connection to the way, and I’m trying to figure out where the elders play into it all vs the Abidan, but I have been wondering why there’re no remnants

Will Wight

Remnants are a consequence of the Cradle energy system, not a function of the Way, so they're tied to Cradle and are not universal.

#56 Copy

Terrible

If a Sage or higher level Sacred Artist world-hopped over to Amalgam and got access to a Territory, could they Incarnate?

Will Wight

Yes.

Terrible

If so, would they be corrupted, or...

Will Wight

Depends on the Sage's powers and their control over them. It's possible that they could remain themselves, but simply draw more deeply on the Territory. They could potentially siphon the entire fragment of a world that formed that Territory, leaving it a powerless husk.

#61 Copy

Lil' Blue

Why could Yerin read London's Unsouled badge if she never heard of the concept and can't read?

Will Wight

The Unsouled badge has a single symbol from the old language on it, and it's established in Blackflame that Yerin can read and/or recognize some of those symbols, because they're used in cycling manuals.

Lil' Blue

As a followup Will, I'd buy that if Yerin said "Empty?" which is what the character means but she said "Unsouled?" She didn't know what that concept meant and there were definitely none in the Heaven's Glory school. So, did she see other Unsouled and that's how she knew?

Will Wight

She said she’d never heard of that concept before reaching the Valley, not before meeting Lindon.

#62 Copy

OrgnlDave

Ooh, would it be really mean to ask what your biggest regrets in the Cradle system are?       cough sword sage death cough

Will Wight

It’s not the Sword Sage’s death. My only regret regarding his death was not having Yerin in Book 2 clearly say “BOY THIS WAS SUPER WEIRD YOU GUYS,” just so people would know I didn’t make a mistake

OrgnlDave

I don't know, she doesn't really know what a Sage is capable of       even still       he doesn't seem like the type that would lecture a young girl on how his body works

Will Wight

Yeah, that’s why it wasn’t in there initially. But it confuses readers, which means I probably should have handled it differently.

#64 Copy

TransEmo

I have to ask Will, does the sword sage have a name? I’ve been assuming it’s Tim until proved otherwise.

Will Wight

He does. It is Tim.

(Not to take us too far back on topic, but just to be clear: the Sword Sage does have a name, it will be used in the series, and it isn’t really Tim. Let your meme-y hopes die.)

It’s Timothy. He didn’t like nicknames.

#65 Copy

OrgnlDave

I think that the plot synopses of your novels could use some work.

Will Wight

Re:synopses, I know, I just hate writing them. And the synopses for sequels don’t matter to almost anyone, so it’s hard to take them seriously. Only the first book really matters, and even then apparently not much.

#66 Copy

OrgnlDave

Actually Will, that's the perfect way to introduce it, Yerin x Lindon kissed between books, but when we get to Underlord, she's pulled back because her blood shadow tried to kill him or something and now she's struggling with it or SOMETHING LIKE THAT totally works it into the plot, see?

Will Wight

I would love to do that, but my challenge is doing more character/relational development in scene. Have to step up.

#67 Copy

Lil' Blue

Lindon and Yerin go to an "educational dream tablet viewing" a.k.a a date.

Tievel

If we ever get a scene or story about those two going on a date, I definitely want it to be Yerin who plans the outing. Because I imagine that would be hilarious.

OrgnlDave

How would Lindon be any less hilarious? he knows nothing about the world or women?

Will Wight

I know I’ve said this a lot, but it bears repeating: the main reason there hasn’t been overt romantic development in Cradle thus far is because it’s hard to find space. Not my unwillingness to write it. There just aren’t many purely character/relational scenes in the whole series. So I need to either make room for those, thus potentially altering the fundamental formula of the series thus far, or find a way to work the same level of relational development into plot scenes. I’m trying the second one, but it’s hard.

#68 Copy

OrgnlDave

Will the reason I asked about Raw Shark Texts is because I thought it might be good instruction for Lindon x Yerin

Will Wight

Their next villain will be the text on the page, forming itself into a shark to devour their conceptual existence

OrgnlDave

that's actually that could work in Cradle

Will Wight

Yeah, as I said it, that actually wasn’t too absurd for the Abidan.

#70 Copy

OrgnlDave

What's a fanfic you'd write?

Will Wight

No joke, I seriously considered writing a real DBZ-inspired fantasy series. Some of the elements could work wonders in a novel series. Yeah, 90% filler and 9% powering up. The magic system isn’t necessarily too simple, it just isn’t developed. If it were, and given actual rules, it could work. The same fights become tactical and more dramatic when you understand the interplay of the magic system. But the main thing that got me interested was the constant tension they keep the reader in. The false climactic fights, the ramp-up of tension, the continued escalation of stakes... DBZ doesn’t have real rules. Or rather, they do in individual chapters/episodes, but the rules change so frequently and arbitrarily that it might as well not. So people making fan charts and speculating on power levels from Super might as well not bother, because there is no real answer. I vividly remember my collection of DBZ tapes.

#72 Copy

TransEmo

Papa orthos must live! And love!

Will Wight

It was hard not to, I won’t lie. But I like him. I need to start killing some folks. 

Decadakon

Kill Ozriel, We won't see it coming.

Will Wight

That’s true, that would be the biggest twist. “Hey, told you Ozriel was dead.”

#73 Copy

Lil' Blue

Is madra a series of tubes?

Will Wight

Madra itself is not a series of tubes, but it can exist only in the context of a series of loops and channels that might be described as tubes. Bindings and scripts re-pattern madra in order to control it and produce different effects, so you might say that madra in its natural state is ALWAYS cycling through an interconnected network of tubes. So while madra is not a series of tubes, the system by which the sacred arts can be performed IS a series of tubes.

#77 Copy

Lil' Blue

Will, I like when you use easily searchable words for the archive.

Will Wight

Hahaha gotcha, I should say other easily searchable words.   Rutabaga I am committed to developing my characters romantically.   Aardvark if I can figure out how to write stories more efficiently, I hope to scale up my production to a consistent 3 books a year so that I can try more new things

#80 Copy

Tower

My 2 cents is to just leave rape out of books altogether. It's a problem worldwide. We don't need to read about it in a source of ENTERTAINMENT.

Will Wight

Eh. It depends on the tone and intent of the work of entertainment in question. Sometimes it’s perfectly appropriate to deal with a heavy subject in a drama designed for entertainment. That said, it’s too heavy for my stuff. I’m not going to give sexual abuse the gravity it deserves, so I’m leaving it out.

Lil' Blue

And that's a perfectly acceptable reason, Will. Better to not address it than address it poorly.

Will Wight

That’s basically my position. And not every work of fiction can or should deal with every subject, so...

#81 Copy

Lil' Blue

You should definitely address romance in your books. ;)

Will Wight

Shshshshshshshshsssssssshhhhh. Hush now.

Lil' Blue

I need an awkward Will protagonist date in my life.

Will Wight

Jk, I know you’re right, and it’s going in. I have to practice to learn how to use it effectively, and the only way I practice is through LIVE-FIRE EXERCISE.   Everything that happens to Lindon and/or Simon results in awkwardness.

Lil' Blue

"Lindon: So uh...you like swords, right Yerin?"   "Simon: I like my eyes and having both of them."

Will Wight

^ Thats now my favorite. I’m going to try and work that in.

#82 Copy

Questioner

Lindon should have a harem.  By now Mercy, Yerin,lil blue and Geisha would be in harem by now. Orthos would turn out to be female and Lindon's goal would be to show arrogant young lords why he is worthy of Emperor's jade like beauty sister.

Will Wight

Strange...this is exactly the plot of the sixth novel. Using the Emperor’s elixirs, Gesha is regenerated back into her young body, and she finally notices how heroic Lindon’s eyebrows are and falls for him. Little Blue gains a solid form and can now express her long-standing affection for Lindon, it’s revealed that Mercy is actually gone from the Akura family to look for a man strong enough to be her husband, and all this attention causes Yerin to realize her true feelings for Lindon. The Emperor’s sister begins to see him as a little brother until Lindon rescues her, and as she is carried away in his arms she realizes how much she’s missed a man’s strong embrace. Despite the fact that she’s physically stronger than he is, but forget about that.

The only thing you got wrong is Orthos. He’s not a female turtle, but his never-before-mentioned daughter is, and she’s so advanced that she is perfectly human in appearance and, of course, has beauty like a heavenly fairy. She has to continue the Blackflame bloodline, and Lindon’s the only one around...

I’m amazed you picked up on all that, considering how subtle the clues were in the previous books.

#83 Copy

TransEmo

... it was too odd, and due to this bloody discord involved northstrider having a harem lol.

 

(describing a cradle inspired dream questioner had and was sharing in humour)

Will Wight

Random response to a comment in General: you know who in Cradle canonically has a harem? Akura Malice.

Will Wight

Her real name is also Tim.

#84 Copy

Hammy

I don't think [Lindon and Yerin] should date at all. I don't have a reason, just imo I do not think they work and it kind of a troupe that the two lead characters of opposite gender started dating in a book.

Will Wight

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TropesAreTools?from=Main.TropesAreNotBad   

 

Just as a clarification, a "trope" is just a literary element used to build a story. The story's a house, and a trope is a brick. Stories are made of tropes.   As for this specific subject, I know that if I do end up pairing Lindon and Yerin, some people are going to be thrilled and others will be disappointed. I'm aware of that with every choice I make. There's nothing wrong with not wanting a specific pairing, or not wanting something to happen in a story.

#85 Copy

Arch

But if Lindon X yerin does happen i would hope it would be really unhealthy awkward because neither of them know what a relaionship really is.

Will Wight

Frankly, this is the part I'm struggling with. Because neither Lindon nor Yerin are well-equipped for a healthy relationship, pairing them with anyone is going to result in significant emotional conflict.  

Which, for most stories, is great! Organic character conflict is awesome. But it also takes time to do it justice, which means I'll be cutting space that would otherwise go toward The Sacred Arts Adventure Hour and spending it on Lindon And/Or Yerin's Love-Time Troubles, which is a...steep transition to make 6+ books deep in a series.   So...working on it!

#86 Copy

The Last Reader

What would a monarch level poison do?

Will Wight

It would be sentient, more like a plague than a poison, and it would not only devour the spirit and the mind, but would corrupt the madra and aura of the land around it as well. Inside a Monarch, being contained by their spirit, it might just act like a normal poison would in a normal person.

#87 Copy

Puppet Master

What would the Lirial energy crystal do when bonded to Valinhall?

Will Wight

I don't understand what you mean by the Lirial energy crystal. If you mean the one that stores a Lirial Traveler's energy, then nothing. That could not be tied to Valinhall because it isn't a weapon, just like the seed of the Hanging Tree couldn't be.

#88 Copy

Hjorth

Have you ever had Sour Cream and Onion popcorn? It sounds really disgusting but honestly it tastes amazing?

Will Wight

I have not, but I like sour cream and onion chips, and my hunger for popcorn is legendary and never-ending. To the nation of popcorn, I am a walking natural disaster. I would try that.

#92 Copy

FifthDreadgodLindiego

What would happen if someone put a Remnant binding into their soulspace for a long-term period of time?

Will Wight

I'm...not sure if I want to answer this yet. I will say that there is a way to take a binding and graft it into your spirit, so you can steal someone else's techniques. I'm not ready to talk about the specific mechanics involved in doing so, though.

#93 Copy

Will Wight

So, fun fact: my original version of the Abidan setting had a group of people who drew on power from the Void, a group who drew on the Way, and a group who had basically generic psychic powers that were in the middle. And the story followed a guy who was artificially contrived, by the machinations of Ozriel and Suriel (who at the time was the Ghost), to have the powers of all three. He ended up contracting with a shapeshifting dragon named Oerthon who gave him Void powers, a water fairy named Melusine who gave him Way powers, and he developed the regular psychic powers himself.

#94 Copy

Will Wight

You know, it occurred to me as I've been recording the audio for CoL: this is the only book of mine I've never read.

Lil' Blue

Do you feel any trepidation about reading it?

Will Wight

Do I feel trepidation about reading CoL...not really. Honestly, it's been cool to read over scenes I forgot about. It's the most distance I've ever had from my writing, and while there are definitely things I would go back and improve if I had the chance (and it would be completely different if I wrote it now), I'm enjoying it. There are some things that I thought "Man, this is a good idea, I should steal this" and then I was like..."Wait..."

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Lil' Blue

It's really funny though Will, you are now known for your underdog stories.      

Yet your first story sounds anything but xD

Will Wight

I know, right? So many of my outlines are about people who start off at the highest level of power.    

I think it reflects me refining what I wanted in the story more than the evolution of my tastes, because even then I knew something was missing when it came to the plot. I could imagine cool scenes of the stuff the protagonist would do easily enough, but I always had trouble thinking of how the plot would progress.

Only to realize years later that it was because the character started off with nowhere to go. He had all the powers, allies, and resources almost right away, so I just had to contrive further obstacles for him, so he's fighting magical space armies right off the bat.

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screamin statistics

I want to know bout them [Saeya's] feathers .

Will Wight

Well, this does have to do with Saeya's, like, one appearance tag. The feathers do have powers, they are an artifact with an actual purpose. Not sure if we'll get to see it in the series; depends on how Underlord goes, which determines how much screentime she'll have in books seven and eight.

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Tievel

I think [the Saeya x Eithan ship] may also be partly because she's basically the only person in the series we've seen so far that hasn't wanted or tried to outright strangle Eithan...

Will Wight

Who says she hasn't wanted to outright strangle him? Even his oldest friends wanted to strangle him half the time.

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Lil' Blue

A lot of people ship Saeya x Eithan.

Will Wight

Speaking solely about what's in the books and nothing non-canon from my head, the Eithan x Saeya ship has both more and less to it. On the one hand, the characters are peers that have a prior history with one another. On the other hand, they've barely spent any time together in scene.

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screamin statistics

What about that tent scene hmm?

Will Wight

You know the funny thing about the tent scene? From the very beginning, when I sent my primary editor the outline, we were both like "Okay, you know there will be people who pair Mercy and Yerin just because they spend this much time together."
#100 Copy

Will Wight

I did have one semi-humorous story "idea" one time that still appeals to me for some reason. I realized that there are so many arch-whatevers in fantasy universes, so I created a setting that I called The Arches, about a kid whose whole family is an arch-something except him. His mom is an arch-druid, his dad is an arch-priest, his sister is an archmage and his brother is an arch-demon, that sort of thing. And he's just like...not.

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Tievel

So I think that sacred beasts, or at least dragons, may begin producing soulfire before Truegold

Will Wight

Not before Truegold, but at the peak of Truegold. The three steps on the way to Underlord are opening a soulspace, gathering soulfire, and using it to refine the body.

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Will Wight

Another random story idea I've had before (although this would be more of a storytelling mechanism than anything): I'd like to do a series where I explicitly roll for the results of (at least some of) the main character's actions. So you know that when the character miraculously succeeds or disastrously fails, it was the dice and not me intervening.    

So like a serial where I Facebook Live the result of the roll every day, and then narrate the results the next day.    

Kind of like a choose-your-own-adventure, but with fate.

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Tievel

Has anyone gone to the moon?

Will Wight

In an early draft of Cradle, not proto-Cradle, there was a moon base. Essentially sects that had made it to the moon and set up a livable environment there. So at the time when I answered that question, I was trying to decide if that still exists in Cradle or not. Then I thought, “is martial arts NASA too crazy?” Then I thought, “No it isn’t.” But I still wasn’t sure if I wanted it as part of the setting or not.

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Lil' Blue

It's there to placate people like you!   People who care about cool moments over the overall narrative.

Will Wight

No, it was there for the purpose of the overall narrative. Not for the moment-to-moment payoff. It was there to have Lindon lose, to show the gap between him and a Truegold, to have him lose an arm, to advance Eithan's plan, to change the landscape with the Jai clan, and to demonstrate Eithan's existing relationship with the Skysworn.

I mean, I understand not liking the fight itself

But it was there for a reason

Lil' Blue

You win.     You have all defeated me.     My opinion is clearly wrong.

Your Benevolent Dictator

Dab on the haters will

Lil' Blue

Lol it's funny if you guys think I'm a hater xD

Will Wight

I mean, I wasn’t taking that position. The only thing I took issue with was my purpose for writing the scene.     Your opinion on it is totally valid.

Lil' Blue

I was being glib there.

What I meant was "people would feel robbed if they didn't get a cool fight for that."

And I feel that's unimportant.

Will Wight

Yeah, I don’t feel that it’s unimportant, but I do feel that it’s of secondary importance
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Arch

The fight was not that long, the books are just shorter than standard novels (no memes)

Lil' Blue

No they're not.   Other than Skysworn, most are about standard novel length.(edited)   Sorry Skysworn

Will Wight

Skysworn is too. Same length.

Lil' Blue

Nuh uh, I counted before I said that!

Will Wight

Skysworn is 86,607 Soulsmith is 86,476

Lil' Blue

Dang, I only checked the last 3 This is what I get for being lazy.

Will Wight

#rekt

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Captain Nemo

Hey Will! I've been reading your books since you published House of Blades, and I'm a big fan. Now, question: The Arelius family in Cradle and the Aurelian empire in EE. Is that a connection or a coincidence?

Will Wight

I am very glad you asked that question, because it IS a coincidence. I knew someone would notice, and I'm glad you pointed it out.

Here's the deal: originally it was the Orelius family, because I thought "Eithan Orelius" sounded cool. But the first round of readers conflated Ozriel (the missing Judge that Suriel is hunting) with Orelius, and they became confused.

Basically, when you're making up a bunch of names, you want to make them sound as different from one another as you can, or people get confused. That was one too many similar-sounding O-names, but I liked the sound of "Orelius." I couldn't go with "Erelius" because then Eithan Erelius sounds like the fake name of a wizard, and I ruled out Eithan Irelius for reasons that probably made sense at the time but I can't recall now, and settled on Arelius even though I knew people would assume there was a connection to the Aurelian Empire.

There isn't. Just a coincidentally similar-sounding name.

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Questioner

Although I have to say, now that we have a better grasp on how strong the sword sage was, his death seems kinda lame. I mean, they were jades and hes... something a lot stronger.But, I guess that it kind of shows that whatever level he was at, it wasn't something one should call a god or immortal yet. Still very much human and susceptible to death.

Will Wight

Everything you said is absolutely true, but I'm going to respond with a mild spoiler.[MILD SPOILER ALERT]Under normal conditions, a bunch of Jades would not have been able to kill him even if he were poisoned and asleep.I tell you this so you know that I'm aware of this apparent contradiction, there IS an explanation, and it WILL be shown to you in the future.

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Questioner

Just powered through Soulsmith after rereading Unsouled! Was a great read especially the later half of the story! I've been enjoying your writing a lot recently!Wondering what you imagine the length of the series to be and if we'll get to see all the awesome places you've shown glimpses of? So far its been one location per book which excites me if that's an indication of more to come! 

Will Wight

I'm definitely planning a bunch of cool locations for Cradle. As it stands now, I intend to establish a home (outside of Sacred Valley) for him soon, so that'll be a recurring location. But we're still exploring somewhere new every book.

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Questioner

Are there tens of billions of lowgolds on Cradle? Since 1000 x 1000 x 10,000 = 10 billion, either the odds that Eithan quoted are incorrect, or else there must be a heck of a lot of lowgolds around somewhere.

Will Wight

This may or may not surprise you, but I actually have an answer for this.First of all, Eithan is using those numbers rhetorically. He begins it by saying "I've heard it said..." indicating that this is idiomatic, and not literally correct. It's really just a saying about how difficult it is to advance; it's not based on accurate census data.That said, it's not high. It's low.Cradle has a population far greater than that of Earth and more spread out. The planet is larger, the gravity is higher, and the sacred arts developed as a way to survive in environments that would kill any real human. Even though the populace is spread out, there's basically no region that isn't inhabited by SOMEONE, including deserts at the center of many continents and large stretches of the ocean.But, of course, the only people who know this are the Abidan. And now you.

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Questioner

Hey Will just finished the book, enjoyed it as always. I love reading your books I think they are always fun action packed fantasy that really makes me like the main character they always act a bit different from the standard hero's journey protagonist and I always really like that. I think your writing is getting better as well. My only problem is now you have so many series I want to read more about and you only have so much time :'( . Also honestly charge more for the books, I think they are worth more even though you may think they are short they last longer than $3 and I would hate to see you stop writing because its not economically viable. Can't wait for the next one great Job!

Will Wight

I'm glad you're enjoying them, James!I'm probably giving off a misconception about my income here, so let me clarify: I am not on the verge of bankruptcy. Nowhere close. I am making a very comfortable living for a single guy living alone.That said, the income from writing is not steady. It has extreme peaks and valleys. In one month this year, let's say March, I made about a thousand dollars. In July, I made about thirty thousand.So you see, it fluctuates rapidly.However, there are quite a few expenses that go onto the business end that most readers never see, and I obviously don't get any benefits: I pay all business expenses, insurance, fees, taxes, etc. out of my own pocket.Also, the way Amazon works rewards rapid releases. Two books released three months apart get WAY more attention than those same books released nine months apart. Which means they make more money AND they make it more steadily.TL;DR - I am in no jeopardy whatsoever, it's just complicated. As long as things continue as they are, I'll continue being able to write full-time.

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Questioner

Why people from sacred valley are so weak?

John

I think the weakness is easily explained by their isolation. There is much less danger in the sacred valley, and it seems the best way to advance is to be put into danger and have to find a way to survive.As for why a band of lowgolds has not come and stolen all their good artifacts (the schools seem to have some really nice ones), I was wondering that myself. Apparently the entrances to the valley are hidden / difficult to find, but I would think that some of the golds would just climb it to get in, or perhaps use some flying construct that can do better than one of those skimmer clouds.

Will Wight

John is right about their isolation. As for why some random guy hasn't wandered into the valley and ruled like a king, there is an explanation for that, and it will be shown to you clearly in future books.

Avinash

Maybe the valley is protected somehowlike some ancient master probably the missing OZRIEL grew up there and he protected it or shielded it somhow

Will Wight

I can neither confirm nor deny your theory, Avinash.I do want to point out that Suriel didn't say anything about Ozriel growing up in Sacred Valley, just in Cradle somewhere.So maybe he did, maybe he didn't. You don't know. IT'S A MYSTERY!

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Lil' Blue

Does Malice acknowledge all of her children?

Will Wight

She has a system by which she acknowledges them as her kids or not. She has dozens of children (not hundreds only because she chooses not to), but only acknowledges like...six or seven as her true-born kids.

Basically, some of them don’t inherit awesome power.

Sucks to be them, but people still are reluctant to mess with them. You never know when their goddess mom might decide to unmake you.

Your Benevolent Dictator

wait... so she can choose if they get the bloodline ability?

Will Wight

No, she doesn’t choose. If they’re born with the bloodline ability, then they’re acknowledged as her kids.

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mido_sama

In soulsmith we saw Eithan giving Lindon madraso why not give the ability to Lindon ... like what if Eithan saw Dross and thought Lindon could handle the family ability and poor madra into him and to push his pure core to true god as well. Man that'd make Dross into BIG BROTHER

mido_sama

Will may have give that answer before skysworn ... because both Jai Chen and the underload gained the ability after absorbing Eithan's madra.

Will Wight

Just noticed this, so I'm popping in: Jai Chen and Jai Daishou got the ability temporarily by draining power from Eithan. They didn't gain it permanently. It's not their bloodline power now.

DruidDeadnettle

How temporary are we talking? Would it wear off in hours? Days? Years? I got the impression that it had become a permanent part of her but that she had to actively expend Madra to make it work.

Will Wight

Her madra has permanently changed, but her bloodline hasn’t. And at the point where Jai Chen leaves, she still hasn’t stabilized her madra yet, so it hasn’t settled into its final composition.

This isn’t even its final form, if you will.

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High-IQ-Jokes

I recently re-read the Cradle series up until this point. It's one of my favorite ongoing fantasy series right now.

One thing that bothered me slightly on my first read-through and immensely on my second read-through is how the Heaven's Glory school in Sacred Valley were able to poison and kill a Sage. Will said himself that the Sword Sage was two levels above Underlord, and I can't imagine even an Underlord getting poisoned by them.

I wonder if it was just an issue of planning and Will not thinking that he would make the power levels so extreme in the future, but that point just always stuck me as bizarre.

Will Wight

Hey OP! I know it looks like power creep getting out of hand, but this actually isn't a mistake! Weirdly enough. Usually if I do something that looks like a mistake, it is in fact a mistake.

In this case, I know exactly what happened to the Sword Sage and how he was killed, but (back when I was writing Unsouled) I didn't realize how obviously out-of-place this would become to the reader in a couple of books. If I had, I would have made it clear in Book 1 that it should have been impossible for mere Jades to do this.

The reason why I didn't comment on it initially is because none of the POV characters know how weird it was. They just know that a Sage is a big, powerful guy from other lands, they don't know exactly how strong he is or what that means. Even Yerin isn't really sure how much stronger he is than they are, because she doesn't know enough about the sacred arts yet.

I wanted the reader to notice that they shouldn't have been able to kill the Sword Sage, but in a "Hmm, I wonder how they did that?" sort of way, not in a "Wait a second, this is physically impossible" sort of way. Even though under normal circumstances, it is literally impossible. I just didn't realize how quickly and how clearly people would pick up on that in the next couple of books.

So anyway, TL;DR - the mystery has an answer, it is an answer I have planned out from the very beginning, and that answer will be revealed in the series. Also, I regret not making it clear in the first book that this was an intentional mystery and not a mistake.

P.S. I'm probably going to include the Sword Sage's death scene in a Presence Report, just not in Underlord.

veronkilla

"Even Yerin isn't really sure how much stronger he is than they are, because she doesn't know enough about the sacred arts yet."

Seems she's quickly come round though, since she referred to Eithan as a 'mere underlord' compared to her Master in the very next book.

Will Wight

She can know the names of the ranks and which ones are higher without knowing what that means in practical terms.

She isn’t sure HOW MUCH stronger he is than they are, “they” in this case including Eithan. But she knows he’s stronger.

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Mexpedip

purchased! like any narrator this one takes a little while to get used to but so far I think he's really good. this is based on 2 hours of listening but so far no complaints.

‚Äč

What is the tentative schedule for the remainder of the series?

Will Wight

I know it’s been a while since you asked this question, but I have a sort of answer for you!

Soulsmith has been fully recorded and is now in editing, which typically takes two weeks. After that, it goes to Audible, who takes however long they take (typically around two more weeks, but it seems pretty random).

So we’re expecting the Soulsmith book sometime in November! We’re hoping for early November, but it’s largely up to Audible whether its Week 1 or Week 4.

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IronToBInd

I believe the books explain all that. Jai Daishou was very old. However lots of the characters are very old and are essentially super young too because of their advancement, Daishou had stalled on his so age was catching up to him. As long as you keep pushing you stay young or get younger

Will Wight

^

Yep, this is the case. He was also an old man already when he advanced to Underlord, so while it extended his lifespan and kept him healthier, it can only go so far. If he had hit Underlord when he was 25, he wouldn’t have been so pressured for time.

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Crinisen

Okay, why in Heaven's name did Lindon not keep the fisher remnant he found in the Transient Ruins? Almost never ending water is one of the most important survival tools in existence.       It's even worse than him forgetting he has a fire starter in the Blackflame Trials.

Will Wight

Lindon didn’t forget about the water binding, but bindings are inherently not long-term items that you can use forever. They draw on their own substance for power every time they’re used.     If I was more focused on keeping the reader up-to-date on Lindon’s inventory, I would have specifically made a note about it dissolving away or Lindon throwing it away because it had become useless. I didn’t bother with it because it wasn’t relevant to his story problems.
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Micah

Which series was your favorite to write?

Have you read the Coiling Dragon series?

How's the cabin?

Will

All of the series are fun in different ways, but I enjoyed Elder Empire, because I got to try some unusual behind-the-scenes stuff.

Coiling Dragon is the best.

It was great until I had to evacuate out of the way of the hurricane.

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Devin

If I turned my Blackbelt into a Soulbound Vessel, what powers would I gain?

If Lindon and company each got to make a Soulbound Vessel, what would each of them go for?

Will

Black belt: in order to make it a Vessel, you'd have to give it some inherent power source, such as from an Elder or a Kameira. That being the case, it would depend on what material you wove into the belt.

Lindon: a pair of glasses that enhances focus, concentration, and power while Reading.

Yerin: a sword.

Eithan: a colorful suit that overwhelms all who see him with awe.

Mercy: a watering can that grows healthy plant

#132 Copy

Tower

So when Malice was fighting the pheonix she was giant but in WoW you mentioned she never was giant

TransEmo

She wasn’t giant, her armour was

Tower

So she was like a Fucking power ranger just driving a big ass set of armor?

Will Wight

(Yes, it’s a big Forged mech-thing.)It’s essentially a giant suit of Forged power armor, so...yeah.

Your Benevolent Dictator

that's suuuper badass

#133 Copy

Mexpedip

Will, Has sales volume from r the audio book been as expected, better than expected r lower than expected? Just curious.

Will Wight

From the first book, about as expected. It pays for itself very quickly. Audiobook sales in general are much better than I initially expected.

I fully predict that as the series comes out, the audiobooks will only perform better and better.

government-owned

any chance that future books will be available as audiobook on launch?

Will Wight

Maybe. Depends on a lot of factors, but that would require me to delay the book for at least a month after it was ready for release, so...

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Nighgaler

Ok so after rereading Elder Empire (since the finale is coming out) I decided to cave in and read my first xanxia (A will Eternal). So I read 10 chapters and holycrap I realized how much better Will's work is. Jesus, it doesn't even feel like I'm the main character nor does it feel like a story. Zero character development and zero world-building. I can't even picture the scenes that I'm reading properly! Someone please tell me it gets better. Its only saving grace is the fact that it is kinda funny. I guess maybe my expectations were just too high.

P.S. I definitely took Will's work for granted

Will Wight

This is a long con just to make people appreciate my work more by contrast.

 

...to be serious, though, I love A Will Eternal. I think it’s a great example of the genre, and it incorporates parody organically without becoming an out-and-out comedy.

 

Having said that, a few years ago I had a very hard time getting into Chinese web novels. A very hard time.

 

I really enjoyed Japanese light novels, because they’re basically just anime on paper, and I was familiar enough with the basic tropes and with the source language that I could mentally fill in some of the gaps that were lost in translation and catch some of the cultural references and jokes.

 

From there, I moved into Korean novels, which were similar but had a different cultural basis and some tropes that caught me off guard (why is the defining characteristic of so many Korean MCs their greed?), but by and large it wasn’t too much of a jump from Japanese light novels.

 

When I tried to go from there into Chinese cultivation novels, I hit a brick wall.

 

Why do these stories all have the EXACT same plot, with only the names changed? Why do they assume the reader already knows how the magic system works? Why do they use the same cliches over and over, and why do so many DIFFERENT authors use the same phrases? Why is the main character always the most handsome, smartest, AND most morally upright guy in every room, all the time, and his only mistakes are the ones that make the situation better? Why, when he butchers an entire enemy clan as revenge for the equivalent of taking his lunch money, do the survivors wail and blame their own hubris, rather than blaming the guy who just killed their family? Why do people swear eternal revenge on him for doing something perfectly understandable, like competing honorably in a competition? Why are women treated so poorly in so many of these series, even though the magic system has no distinction between female and male practitioners, so there should be no cultural hierarchy between genders in this world

 

And that’s barely touching on the sentence-level writing, which was often straight-up difficult to read.

 

I pushed through because I read some manga adaptations and liked them, and especially liked the concept of a whole world designed around a progression-based magic system.

And in doing so, you know what? I learned to read completely past all that stuff I listed above and to enjoy the stories for the other things they brought to the table.

 

It was a good lesson for me. I’m normally pretty picky, so it took some sheer discipline to push through at first. I thought I would just be tolerating these stories for the few elements I liked. But along the way, I realized I wasn’t just tolerating them, I was genuinely enjoying them. There’s a lot of value that wasn’t apparent to me at first, until I acclimated myself to the differences caused by language, culture, and medium (i.e. being published a chapter a day).

 

Now, I have a much easier time reading translated web novels than most English self-published novels.

 

Having gone through that whole journey, I wanted a story in the same genre that could skip over the hurdles, so that other people could enjoy stories similar to the ones I enjoy. A series written in English, for an audience with primarily Western sensibilities, and told with a more structured and organized plot rather than released as a daily serial.

 

Thus, Cradle was born.

 

Looking back, I’d have tweaked some things about Cradle’s basic formula in order to suit that purpose better, but long story short: the experience you describe is exactly why I wanted to write Cradle in the first place!

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Executive

We talking fu manchu dragons or those pesky ones with wings and legs? It's important... for science

 

Will Wight

Chinese dragons, not Western dragons.

All the excess energy that would go to their wings instead goes to their awesome beards.

 
Footnote: *pre Blackflame release.
#136 Copy

Nitin

 

The dragon advances.The dragon destroys.The dragon consumes.

 

Okay...

So empire is run by bunch of cooks? No wonder Eithan is so happy about being a janitor.

 

Will Wight

Dragons don't make great cooks. Everything is pretty much either seared or blackened.

 
Footnote: *Pre Blackflame Release
#137 Copy

Zeussaxis

I doubt I can go 2 for 2...and this one required a Googling beforehand. I thought I recognized a name...

 

"Naru" + dragons seems like there might be a reference here to Warcraft and the Naaru in Outland (and subsequent lore). Awfully wise and powerful beings, them...

Will Wight

No, no connection whatsoever.  

Although I do sometimes take names from Warcraft and just change a letter, this isn't one of them.

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Mike

If the world is so large.... does gravity not work the same way in this universe?

Daniel

The planet may be hollow or it may be made of less dense matter or the gravitational constant could be significantly lower in the universe or yeah it could be magic. Though if humans exist it must have some relation to the basic model or they wouldn't be human.

 

Will Wight

Daniel's right.Part of the answer is "magic," and part of it is how this world developed differently because of magic.

 

a few moments later....

Two users now argue at length about the subject of the physics of such a large world.... we skip to Will's next comment.

Will Wight

Since it looks like this has become a real discussion, I'll give a real answer!

I made Cradle very big. Why? A few reasons.

First, a lot of wuxia and xianxia stories do it so they can scale up to ridiculous numbers. Where first the character thinks a huge city has ten thousand people, later a huge city has ten BILLION people.

Also, they're so special they're not just one in a million, they're one in a TRILLION! And they go from crossing a thousand miles in a single step to a hundred thousand miles!

So in part, it's an homage to the genre.

In part, it's so that I can set other stories in the same world and they've never even heard of the people, places, or events in Lindon's story.

And inpart it's to illustrate that this isn't Earth. The Iterations are Narnia-style "worlds," not different planets, but since it's a whole new universe each time, they are ALSO different planets.

I wanted a way to show that without putting a second moon in the sky, so "greater surface area and population" it is.

***

As for the mechanics of it: I said "Magic" earlier, but that basically boils down to "This is how vital aura works."

Vital aura is the power of the world that sacred artists harvest and use to strengthen their madra. It's the spirit of the world, basically. It makes what would otherwise be an uninhabitable planet, habitable.

The planet IS less dense than earth, but because of its huge volume, it's more massive. Gravity is much greater. Humans are supported by madra from birth in part because otherwise they wouldn't be able to adapt to the gravity.

You have other problems too: does this less-dense core spin fast enough to create a magnetosphere? Wouldn't continents bigger than Earth's just be massive deserts everywhere except immediately along the coast? Wouldn't the surface of such a planet be wracked by storms?

Vital aura!

I'll get into it later in the books, but for me building this world, aura served a couple of functions. First, it allows people to adapt to what would otherwise be very harsh natural conditions (Sacred Valley and the immediate surrounding areas have, so far, been very mild. Conditions will accelerate as we get deeper into Cradle). Second, vital aura is generated by natural forces AND it changes natural forces.

I'll continue showing how it works in future books, but the bottom line is that aura allows me to have thriving ecosystems where everything is fire-aspect: trees with burning fruit pollinated by insects with wings of flame, and so on and so forth. Same in the depths of the ocean and on the tops of clouds.

It's magic. But it DOES work consistently according to a set of rules, and it DOES interact with physics.

However, I'm not as attached to real-world physics as Brandon Sanderson is. He enjoys figuring out the physical implications of every nuance in his magic systems. I do not enjoy that, so I will not be doing it.

If there's a gap between real physics and magic, I'll be filling in that gap with magic. Not physics. Just a personal preference.

Jeremiah

You may not enjoy figuring out how magic interacts with and is subject to physics, but I would feel sure you wouold enjoy the fact that Sanderson has done so.

Will Wight

Jeremiah, what I like and appreciate is all the thought and planning that Sanderson puts into developing his magic system, and how clear the rules usually are. AND what an impact they always have on the surrounding society.That's cool, and I know from experience that it's very hard to do.But as for him figuring out all the details of how his magic interacts with physics...no, I don't really care.Harry Potter magic doesn't interact with physics, and yet each individual book in the series has a very tight magic system (the series as a WHOLE doesn't, because some magic introduced in a later book could have solved problems in an earlier book, but each book on its own is very consistent).As long as the rules and abilities are clear to me, great! I don't care if they're consistent with known physics or not. Where does the extra mass go when Professor McGonnagall turns into a cat? Magic.

April

I may be weird, but yes, things like that bug me. Less in fantasy as the author can say "because magic" and it works (though some take that to an extreme, which usually is enough to turn me off from a book) but in sci-fi that is a definite deal-breaker)

   

Will Wight

Apparently that's a pretty common view, April, and that's fine!

I'm just saying that MY tolerance for physics-defying shenanigans is pretty high, as long as it's consistent within the work. If a character survives getting hit by a tactical missile and then is threatened by a knife, Will is not happy.

But if we're getting into the realm of "Dragons could never grow that large because their bones couldn't support their own body weight," or "A conjuration spell could never work because it adds mass to the universe," then I don't care.

It's fantasy. Magic > Physics.

Footnote: *pre Blackflame
#139 Copy

Daniel

So if there is sword mandra that gathers on edged weapons does that mean there is club mandra that gathers around blunt objects?

not a madra expert

From what I can tell of the world and the usage of Madra in particular, I think the most analogous form of "blunt" madra would likely be named "force madra" or somesuch. Sword madra seems to have less to do with swords specifically and more to do with cutting or sharp edged implements. I'm reasonably certain (fact checking would be appreciated) that Jai Long has "sword madra" in his sacred path, yet he uses a bladed spear rather than a sword. As a side point, the name sword madra just sounds so much better then sharp madra or cutting madra that it makes sense to use it.

Will Wight

You've nailed it.

Sword aura is really force aura gathered to a sharp edge, but what they call force aura is generally weaker and diffuse, so sword aura is brighter and easier to see.

And I absolutely do call it "sword aura" because "cutting aura" or "sharp aura" sounds ridiculous.

#140 Copy

Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor

I have a few questions for you, Will.1) Would someone from the Abidan Court leave a remnant, can someone who uses the power of the Way even leave a remnant?2) If Lindon, Yerin and Eithan advance to the world beyond Cradle would they be babies in the new world or adults?3) Does any world beyond Cradle use Madras?

Will Wight

I can't believe you typed out that entire name. Now I want to hear you sing it.

1.) Most of the seven Court members are not from Cradle, so no, they would not leave a Remnant. Any normal Abidan from Cradle would leave one, but it might not be capable of tapping into the Way. If it can't, then it's much less powerful than the Abidan was in life, and would be easily exterminated by anything capable of killing an Abidan.

2.) Depends on where they go and when/how they advance. Lots of factors in play.3.) Not exactly. This is difficult to answer without getting into spoiler-y specifics.

Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor

On the second answer.   Are the factors their age, power "level" during ascension, the world they are advancing to?   Or is it something completely else? Do they keep their memories, even if they become babies? This is so weird...    

Will Wight

As it turns out, I completely misunderstood your question.

Suriel used the "infants/adults" terms metaphorically, so I didn't realize you were asking the question literally.

They will be adults. They're going to physically transport themselves to another world, not reincarnate there.

   

Footnote: Pre-Blackflame
#141 Copy

John

I am curious. How far out do you outline? I am curious, because if the post about Lindon's wife being Jai's sister has any truth, that would imply you either outline a fair amount of the upcoming book, or that you were just able to conveniently make that work because you leave certain aspects vague enough to accommodate it.I am also curious how much world building you do before you start. You are able to answer questions that are fairly random with a high degree of specificity usually, so my assumption is a lot, but not sure if you just make it up on the fly and add that to your world aspect as you think through the answers.

 

Will Wight

That's a great question, John.

I do both of those things. 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.

 
Footnote: *Pre-Blackflame
#142 Copy

Andrew

Okay, I'm a bit confused on how Cradle has that many people living on it. I know Will said that the planet is bigger and that vital aura helps to keep people alive, but I'm still not sure how it has such a huge population if there are so many dangerous conditions(monsters, remnants, kill-happy people, poisonous plants, etc.) and how there doesn't seem to be much large-scale agriculture(at least from what we've read). Is there agriculture that we haven't seen? Are they completely immune to disease? Is the planet just ridiculously huge(many times bigger than earth) to the point where that stuff could happen and still support a population of billions?

Will Wight

 

It has many times more surface area than Earth.

Also, as B pointed out, we haven't seen any REALLY civilized places yet. We'll see a city in Blackflame, but even that will be a relatively small, isolated city.

Thanks to vital aura and the power of madra, there are lots of inhabited places in Cradle that would be uninhabitable on Earth. For instance, there are cities on the bottom of the ocean. And on the surface of the ocean. And on the clouds.

 

Daniel

The inside of a volcano? The top of a rainbow? The back of a turtle? In a glacier? On a glacier? Under a desert? Suspended on a moon beam? Floating on sunlight? Deep under ground?

   

Will Wight

No moonbeams. And I would describe the city floating on sunlight as walking on sunshine, woah-oh-oh.

Footnote: *Pre-Blackflame
#143 Copy

Daniel

How advanced is their scientific understanding on cradle? Cause I mean I know they have lots of knowledge of their magic and their alchemy equivalent but do they understand stuff like, there is a top of the atmosphere, cradle revolves around the sun, space is empty, other planets exist... stuff like that

   

Will Wight

It's not great in Sacred Valley, but there are places in Cradle where their scientific understanding is pretty advanced.

But their technology never advanced to the level you'd THINK it could, what with scripts and constructs.

Why? A few reasons, but here's the main one: thanks to the sacred arts, if you have the resources, you can learn to DO pretty much anything yourself. You don't have to develop the technology to fly in a world where you can learn to fly.

It's more complicated than that, but we'll explore it as we get into the more advanced areas of the world.

   
Footnote: *Pre-Blackflame
#144 Copy

rdmooch

I have not posted on here before, but with book three coming out Monday I though I would list some of the questions I have about the Cradle series. Learning about the world and magic systems of fantasy books is one of my favorite past-times. Not all of my questions are meet to be taken seriously they are just fun little things my mind comes up with.

1. Who does all of the farming in Cradle? In a society so focused on martial martial abilities. Who would waste time on farming? We know the population of Cradle is many times greater then Earth. So tens of billion of people need to eat. The only real solution I could think of is if there are Paths that happen to both greatly help agriculture and has combat potential. Or as we saw in book two slavery. 

2. How will Lindon act the first time he meets someone weaker then him? While Lindon has gotten to what I would call half-iron (his cores are half the size they should be so he levels them up faster then he normal would, and only one avenged to iron) and that makes him stronger then most people his age in the Sacred Valley. Knowing that and meeting them while stronger then them are different. I bring this up because out side of a few people everyone we have met seems to have no trouble "bullying" those weaker then themselves. I know this is a might makes right society but still part of the honor of that system is to ingore/protect those weaker then you. If you only follow those "laws" when other are watching you then that's not honor its saving face. When will we meet people who follow these codes of conduct not for themselves or for "face" but because they believe in them?

3. Would a fire path be one of the fastest way to level up? All you would have to do is stand next to a barn-fire and absorb the ambient fire manna it would give off, then refine it. On that note how different would the manna type be, between different types of fire. A hearth-fire warming a family home in the winter, with all the "happy" connotation that come with it, compared to like an arson attack destroying someone's home and possession and just everything that they have worked for. Both are fire but you get what I mean.

Will Wight

There are a lot of responses to these questions, and I'm not confident in my ability to parse every one of them, so I'm just going to answer your questions as best I can. And I apologize if someone else has already done so.

1.) There are Paths that are used for agriculture and irrigation, they're just usually low-key. There's a (very) brief reference in Blackflame to the Redflower family, who are in charge of feeding the Empire. By law, they are neutral in every conflict, and anybody who starts a fight with them or tries to pressure them will soon regret it.

2.) This is 100% a spoiler.

3.) A fire Path would not be the fastest way to advance, because the aura would be slightly rarer and harder to collect compared to, say, earth or air. But it's still very fast, as are all the Paths that draw from aura easily found in nature.

There WOULD be significant differences between those two Paths! Fire from different Paths could take on different qualities depending on how it's used an where it comes from; you could have a gentle flame that spreads slowly and provides lots of even warmth, versus a violent flames that consumes rapidly and burns out quickly.

 

Evan

Let us not forget that Eithan the OP Underlord is a janitor/sewer keeper. 

So clearly people either follow mundane Paths, or perform mundane services in addition to their path. E.g. little girl cutting stone blocks with her fingers when Lindon/Yerin get to the Five Factions camp.

   

Will Wight

Different places in the world handle the basic necessities of life differently. Some places have sects that focus entirely on farming or whatever, but other places prize independence and self-sufficiency. Those sacred artists value the ability to provide food, resources, and basic societal infrastructure for the people that depend on them.

Footnote: *Pre-Blackflame
#148 Copy

MountainKing

Do cores convert a Sacred Artist's physical mass into madra, to create more madra?

Will Wight

Pure madra is actually generated by the way the human body processes life aura and blood aura. It really is the interaction of body, mind, and spirit, in a sense.

MountainKing

So a sacred artist's body is naturally consuming blood, dream, and life aura? 

Will Wight

Basically, yeah.

MountainKing

What kind of benefits do Cradlites get for doing that?

Will Wight

The ability to use madra.

#149 Copy

Lil' Blue

Oh, here's a legit one. In Sword Unclean, you mentioned pure aura, is that a typo or is that a retcon?

Will Wight

It's not a retcon, so it was probably a typo. Without looking it up, I suspect I meant "pure __ aura," with the blank filled in by whatever type of aura he was talking about.

#151 Copy

Kandra

So, I've been basing the sacred artist robes on the Hanfu (and a mix of other traditional clothing in ancient East Asia), is this more or less the correct? Should I be basing them off something more modern?

Will Wight

Nope, that's the right direction. I intentionally don't give too much detail because I don't want people to get hung up on whether they're belted from the left or from the right or whatever, but I did research on all sorts of traditional Chinese, Korean, and Taoist martial arts clothing before writing.

#156 Copy

Arch

What would a monarch level piece of equipment/weapon be like, seeing as a monarch level binding would be virtually unheard of, would it be dozens of interlocking herald bindings, or maybe something touched by the way?

Will Wight

A Monarch level piece of equipment would indeed touch on powers beyond Cradle.

#160 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

Eithan as a D&D character would piss off a DM

Will Wight

Frankly, I’ve never found overpowered characters to be a problem unless the players are in high school.       Because if it’s about the story, weak characters are just as interesting.
#161 Copy

Kandra

It's like [Eithan]'s been in a relationship before...

Will Wight

Eithan screws around a lot, but his WIS is pretty high. In fact, he’s one of those “I rolled six 18s; what now, DM?” kind of guys.

He has been in at least one serious relationship before, I can say that much.

#163 Copy

Kandra

If Yerin and Lindon started dating, what kind of relationship advice would Eithan give? xD

Will Wight

He would tell them to develop their friendship first, and to make sure they have the same priorities and are fully committed to one another, because they have a long way to go together. His goal is far.

#165 Copy

Chris646

You’ve said that Sha Miara counters/controls other people’s skills. Would this work as well with pure madra or could someone sufficiently powerful just disperse everything she does?

Will Wight

Her powers would work against pure madra. However, not absolutely.
#166 Copy

Lil' Blue

What's Yerin's ideal date?

Will Wight

Okay: Yerin wouldn’t know. She wouldn’t even really be able to answer. She would need some time dating in order to figure it out and get over the “wait a second, why aren’t we training?” culture shock.

#167 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

If lindon had to choose between a sword, an ax , a mace, a flail, a staff, or a bow, which would he choose?

Will Wight

Procrastination brings me around Discord-way. As always. If Lindon has to choose between the above, he would probably choose the mace. It requires the least training to use effectively: hit person with thing.

#168 Copy

TransEmo

is balance generally an important mechanic in cradle magic systems?

Will Wight

I’m not sure how to respond to the balance question, because I don’t know what you mean by balance. Me balancing the Paths so they’re all roughly on the same level? The Paths keeping their madra in balance? Balancing different factions?

TransEmo

more like a general yin yang type deal. like destruction aura but no creation, is that a oddity and most things have an opposite to compliment?

Will Wight

I had a balance element to Cradle for a while, but I ditched it for (meta answer incoming) being more philosophical than fun.

#169 Copy

Hjorth

It seems that powers specific to iteration aren't related to biology, but perhaps instead granted by the iteration at birth.

Will Wight

Some Iteration powers are hereditary, and others are environmental. Cradle powers have elements of both, in that you can inherit some spiritual traits or powers from your parents, but madra really comes from aura, which is environmental.

#170 Copy

Lil' Blue

How many different species of tits are on Cradle?

Will Wight

Oh, the tits are very adaptable. I suspect you’d see tits or other related birds on many different continents, though I imagine them more like the Eurasian blue tit rather than the African version.

#171 Copy

MountainKing

Is creation madra a actual type of madra?

Will Wight

Good question; creation madra is NOT a type of madra, because there is no creation aura, which is kind of a philosophical debate in Cradle. Why does the act of destruction release aura, but acts of creation do not?

#172 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

Is there a path that kills by tricking people into thinking they are dying so convincingly that they actually do?

Will Wight

There’s not a Path that specifically REVOLVES around convincing people they’re dead, but there are Paths that could do it. Especially if you’re talking a huge mismatch in power.

#174 Copy

Kandra

Could you give tell us about a Path based on traditional calligraphers on Cradle?

Will Wight

Honestly, scriptors and Paths that rely heavily on scripting are like calligraphers. It’s an interesting facet of Cradle society that I hope I have a chance to get into.

#175 Copy

MountainKing

If a grown human, from another iteration, travelled to Cradle will they naturally develop madra channels and a core, and if so how long would it take?

Will Wight

A baby from another Iteration would develop a madra system normally, if perhaps weakly. An adult would gradually develop one, but it would take years and would probably be weak or even deformed without the equivalent of spiritual surgery.   ...and you have no idea how tempting it was to use that answer to imply that Lindon was from another world. “A baby from another Iteration would develop a madra system normally, if perhaps weakly. Maybe they would be considered weaker than their fellows, even...Unsouled.”   But he’s not, so no shenanigans.

#177 Copy

Kidpen

Obviously most Iterations don't have a hard "If you get to here, you're into the Abidan" line, but Cradle does. Does that contribute to the fact that Cradle has so many more Abidan candidates than other Iterations?

Will Wight

Other Iterations also have a clear final boundary, but they don’t have clearly defined steps and mechanics for steadily working your way up to that boundary. That’s the Cradle Difference (tm).

#178 Copy

Hjorth

Would it be possible for a sacred beast to have pure madra? And if so, can it happen naturally, or does someone have to purposefully nurture a sacred beast to have pure madra?

Will Wight

It is not possible for a sacred beast to have pure madra. Pure madra is uniquely produced by humans (and named by humans, otherwise it would be called “human madra”).

#179 Copy

Arch

What would lindon do if SV was destroyed right now?

Will Wight

If Lindon found out that SV had been destroyed, he would drop everything and return home. Upon confirming that it was indeed true, he would undergo a personal crisis, after which he would go back to adventuring. Because he’s not alone, and the others aren’t going to let him wallow forever. Who DOESN’T have a destroyed homeland or two in their backstory?

#181 Copy

Tievel

What would a non-illusory based path of pure light look like?

Will Wight

I can think of a few uses for pure light techniques. Bending sight, blinding opponents, cleansing areas of shadow aura, just plain lighting things up...it probably wouldn’t be the greatest punch-em-up Path, but it would be useful.

#183 Copy

MountainKing

Do sacred beasts need insight to reach underlies, and if they do is it the same insight as humans or a different insight

Will Wight

Yes, sacred beasts do need insight to reach Underlord, but it's somewhat different than what sacred artists need. "That doesn't sound too spoileriffic!" you might say, so how about this: this question will be definitively answered in Underlord.

#186 Copy

Hammy

What was your scariest moment in Subnautica and follow up did any of the creature in that game inspire any monsters in your books?

Will Wight

I don't know if I have a scariest moment in Subnautica. For me, it's mostly the sense of creeping dread that's also why I'm actually scared of open water; there could be anything beneath you at any time. And in Subnautica, there probably is! The Ghost Leviathans absolutely inspired the Diamondscales in Ghostwater

#188 Copy

kruppe12

What happens to objects in a soulspace when the owner dies? Do they fall out onto the ground, get assimilated into the remnant, or are they lost forever?

Will Wight

It depends on the item in the soulspace. Some things integrate with the soul, while others break and are lost, or even literally fall to the ground when the Remnant emerges.

#189 Copy

Your Benevolent Dictator

If pocket worlds like ghostwater can be used like territories in TG, what would a traveler of ghostwater be like? What would the incarnation be like?

Will Wight

I actually considered what a Traveler of Ghostwater would be like when I was writing the book. I imagine them as more about internal mental powers, while Avernus is about external psychic attacks and communication. They would also have the ability to summon giant sea monsters, so they'd be more dangerous in or near the water. They could also conjure seawater.

#190 Copy

Keytar

Dross is an annoying little twat. My inner narrator voice wonders if he's sounds like Rodney Dangerfield, or more James Hong (duck dad in Kung Fu Panda, Covetous Shen in Diablo 3) or Taika Waititi (as he does Korg in Thor: Ragnarok). Are any of these close to what you imagined?

Will Wight

I imagine more of a British accent. Of those three, closest to Taika Waititi. I don't hear him as a New Zealander, but I could imagine that.

#191 Copy

Decadakon

Does creating a territory require using a way? Does this mean valin can access the way and is an amalgam equivalent of a sage?

Will Wight

Creating a Territory does involve using the Way in a sense, but not as directly as Suriel, for instance, does it.

#193 Copy

Arch

How early on did you have the idea of remnants when you were designing the world of cradle, What happens to a remnant if a person dies with an empty core, is it weaker?

Will Wight

Strangely enough, I don't really remember where the idea for Remnants came from. I need to look through my notes and figure that out. It feels like it just kind of popped up at some point during development. If a person dies with an empty core, the Remnant is temporarily weaker, but not permanently.

#195 Copy

admiralzacbar

My favorite: “There’s an old saying about asking forgiveness rather than permission,” Eithan said, “but the essence of it is, ‘I’m going to do what I want.’” --Blackflame

Followed closely by: “Huan, how long have you known me?” “Long enough to know that you do what you want.” --Ghostwater

Will Wight

Hey, I’m glad you put this together!

I know I’m late to this thread, but that dialogue in Ghostwater was a callback to the line in Blackflame, and no one’s ever mentioned catching that before. It’s neat that you did!

+1 point for you (the points do nothing).

#196 Copy

Kandra

What are Mercy's hobbies?

Will Wight

Mercy gardens.   Not in the Shera way either, where that’s a metaphor for murdering people. She just relaxes by tending plants.   But she also has more rounded activities than Yerin. She does things for actual entertainment.
#198 Copy

Crinisen

You say you aren't good at romance but honestly Lindon + Yerin feels like one of the more natural progressions of romance I've read.

Will Wight

I’m glad! My hesitation always comes from the fact that I spend a lot more time on action than character-building, and romance is purely character.       It’s intentional that I’m building their relationship.       Because they are friends who have been together a long time and have a relationship of mutual trust and respect based on shared experience.
#201 Copy

Dissentinel

I know she's a main character, but maybe writing something specific to Yerin would be cool?

Will Wight

One potential title I have for book (I think it’s 9, but it might be 8, or even not used at all) is Wintersteel. And it’s a Yerin-focused book. Lindon’s still in it, of course, but Yerin has the A storyline.

I have a plot for it and so on. The main concern is that it might not fit the story by the time I get there.

Will Wight

As of 9/29/2019, Will has changed his mind.

As many of you know, my original vision for the title “Wintersteel” was to use it for a Yerin-led book with Lindon playing the backup role that Yerin usually plays.

Uncrowned ending with Lindon being eliminated from the tournament suggests this as well.

However, I abandoned that plotline as soon as I began writing Book 7. As I said in the original quote, my big fear was that the plot I had in mind for the Yerin book wouldn’t fit by the time we got there, and that was the case here.

I tried to figure out a new title, but by the time I started Uncrowned, I had already developed a lot of Book 8 in relation to the title Wintersteel, so I still felt it fit the best.

However, this is the first time where I might re-title a book after announcing it. I’m still considering it. For one reason: because of what I said before, now fans (reasonably) expect it to be all about Yerin.

It won’t be. It’s a Lindon book.

Yerin obviously has her own thing going on as well, and it will be important, but Lindon will pursue a goal of his own like usual. As you would expect if I hadn’t said anything.

This is a good illustration of why I’m always hesitant to talk about my future plans for the series and should probably do so less frequently. What I say outside of the book creates expectations that you carry into the book.

That’s not a bad thing! But it is double-edged, as in this case with people now thinking that Yerin will be the only one doing anything that matters in the next book.

TL:DR - Wintersteel is a Lindon book like usual, though of course Yerin does have a major storyline. And even though I enjoy talking about the stories, I need to learn to keep my trap shut.

...and now that I’ve said all of THAT, let me include my usual disclaimer that I haven’t written the book yet and anything can change in that process.

Footnote: This is not final and very much subject to change.
Sources: Reddit
#202 Copy

The_Bloody_Nine

I've had this deep suspicion since BF, that the reason we got gems such as "Fierce River of Fierce Flowing Breath" was that Will came up empty on more epic names like "Void Dragons Dance", and decided to throw some humor in.

Will Wight

It’s honestly because epic names like Void Dragon’s Dance can sometimes be a little TOO serious to be taken seriously, so making some jokes about technique names helps to lighten the mood and kind of hang a lampshade on the edgier names.

There can only be so many Sword of Annihilation or Hellfire Sun Descends before they start to feel a little too grandiose.

#203 Copy

acog

I enjoy rule based series like Cradle and I enjoy the audiobooks. 

Will Wight

Yeah, I’m happier and happier the more of Travis’ work I hear, and he was my first choice from the beginning. He’s amazing to work with, too.

I think I may have given you the wrong impression in my earlier comment: I’m not looking for restrictions or “rules” for my next series. But there’s an interesting scenario that comes up fairly regularly that I’m trying to get to the bottom of.

Because people often ask for English novels similar to the Cradle series, and the suggestions they get are not very much like Cradle. It’s Sufficiently Advanced Magic, Dakota Krout’s books, Mother of Learning, etc.

I’m not saying anything negative about any of those books, they’re just not very similar to Cradle. SAM and MoL are JRPGs with a heavy focus on technical magic and a protagonist getting stronger by improving skill, not by improving through a cultivation system. Dakota Krout’s first series is a dungeon core series and his second series is a VRMMO LitRPG.

The plot, setting, characters, and even subgenre are different.

The cultivation element is the way in which Cradle is most similar to those series, and even so it is executed WILDLY differently in each series.

It makes me wonder what elements people are identifying in Cradle that resonate with them, so I can understand my readers better. I’m trying to drill deeper into what it is that people are reallyenjoying.

And it also suggests to me that there’s a market out there for more series similar to Cradle. And I don’t think the big appeal comes from the East Asian mythological style elements; I suspect that the superficial stylings could be easily changed.

So anyway, when people catch up to Cradle, they’re hungry for something similar. But what is it they’re really hungry for? That’s what I’m trying to figure out.

#204 Copy

Retbull

How much of Cradle is influenced by Naruto? Is there a larger genre of Asian Martial Arts Magic?

Will Wight

Yeah, like the others have said, wuxia and (especially) xianxia stories are a huge genre, and Cradle is my attempt at making one specifically for a Western fantasy novel audience.

Naruto isn’t actually much of an influence, though I understand why you’d think that. I probably should draw more from Naruto; early Naruto has some really tight storytelling.

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