Recent entries

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #1 Copy


    Out of curiosity, has anything in the plot or world building changed from your original ideas because of a fan idea?

    Will Wight

    Not yet! I have often changed my presentation of an idea based on fan feedback, like bringing in a concept earlier or differently than I planned, but I haven’t changed the plan based on fan ideas.

    As George RR Martin likes to say, if you set up the book so that the butler did it, and then you read online than everyone guessed the butler did it, you can’t now change it to the maid doing it. The foreshadowing and thematic setup won’t make any sense.

    So I can’t imagine changing direction dramatically based on fans guessing correctly or coming up with a new idea, but I could imagine someday adopting a smaller idea. Like “It would be cool to see Lindon do X,” and I read that and think “Hmmm, it WOULD be cool to see Lindon do X.”

    But most of the time, either fan ideas make no sense with what’s been established in the books or I’ve already considered them.

    Cradle ()
    #2 Copy

    Will Wight

    At last, here's Worm! I was waiting for this! I thought people would bring up Worm characters immediately, and I was kind of prepared for it, but this took longer than I expected.

    1.) Suriel vs. Projected Siberian

    The real answer to this is that Suriel analyzes the structure of the energy making up the Siberian projection and--depending on the mechanics of how the power works--either severs it from the source or deconstructs it, destroying the projection.

    However, I suspect you wanted a punch-em-up, so let's take that case.

    The Siberian's hit isn't enough to break Suriel's armor, but it knocks her backwards. At which point Suriel realizes this, does some calculations with her Presence, and retaliates with a blow that should knock the Siberian into orbit.

    It fails, because the Siberian disperses any kinetic energy directed into her. All that energy has to go somewhere, so it's either absorbed by the construct itself or vented into her surroundings.

    If it's absorbed by the construct, then Suriel has no choice but to sever, disassemble, or overload the construct, again depending on the mechanics of the power. If it's vented into her surroundings, then Suriel hits her hard enough to send a square-mile chunk of the city into orbit.

    2.) Suriel vs. Zion

    This is more even than anyone else vs. Zion, because Suriel can counter his most overpowered ability: Contessa's power. Her Presence is connected to Fate and has similar capabilities, so they can both see what steps are needed to defeat the other.

    This would be a fight that would threaten Suriel, and I could see her contacting other Abidan for help. In the end, if she had to fight alone, it would be a close battle. This is an enemy she would normally call Gadrael, Razael, or Ozriel for.

    I believe she COULD take it, but it would be difficult.

    3.) Simon vs. Skitter

    This would be the most irritating power Simon has ever gone up against.

    As long as we are talking Skitter and not Khepri, I think Simon would get it. She still doesn't have superhuman speed, so while she's commanding her deadly cloud of insects, he just runs up in bullet time and puts a sword through her head.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #4 Copy


    I liked the bit after the fight with Naian Blackflame where Lindon reflects that he hasn't really done much to make him a good person and that it was nice to do something charitable for a stranger for a change.

    Will Wight

    I felt like Lindon needed to at least acknowledge the fact that he’s usually driven by selfish motivations.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #11 Copy


    Why aren't the books longer?

    Will Wight

    If I could still release 2 books a year and have them be 20k-30k words longer than they are now, but make no extra profit, I’d do it in a heartbeat. (I wouldn’t literally double the size of the books in the middle of a series, that would be jarring, but I could imagine a substantial increase of ~25%.)

    But it’s like you said: if I take that whole year to write one double-sized book and release it, I’ll have fewer people reading it. So I’ve done two books’ worth of work for less than one regular book’s worth of visibility and engagement.

    I can’t maintain momentum at that pace, so I’ll slowly lose visibility until I vanish in the sea of Kindle Unlimited.

    Also, I have people emailing me angrily every time about having to wait six months. I can’t even imagine the response if I said I was adjusting my pace to one book per year.

    There are a lot of reasons, but they mostly relate back to momentum.

    I’m reliant on Amazon for all of my marketing, which includes letting anyone who isn’t subscribed to my social media accounts know that the book is released. Most of my readers are not following me for releases, they simply notice that a new Cradle book is out and go buy it.

    Amazon is geared toward a structure of pushing the leaders, i.e. the more you sell, the more visibility you get on the site, and the more you sell. As long as you keep pushing that wheel of releases, you stay highly ranked on the site.

    And I am dependent on that rank to reach most of my readers. The MOST efficient release schedule would be a book every 1-3 months, but they would take a...significant quality if I tried to write them in that amount of time.

    I’ve stuck to a schedule of 2 books per year, which I’ve been able to do because I’m already established and have a large fan base, but I do see a huge dip in reader engagement and awareness between those two releases. I’ve been told by many other authors that this schedule is not frequent enough or maintainable...except that I’ve been able to do it.

    High-profile published authors can do otherwise because their publishers handle the job of getting the word out to readers, but since I’m dependent on Amazon, the name of the game is momentum.

    So...given that I have a finite time frame within which to write and produce a book, I have a finite word count, and trial and error has taught me that the sweet spot for that word count is about 90-100k words.

    There are many other reasons, such as consistency within a series, but this is the main one. If I only release one book a year, people forget about me, sales and visibility drop, more people forget about me, and then instead of topping the Amazon charts I’m no longer able to write full-time. And then the books take even longer.

    That’s the partial answer. TL;DR - It’s about how Amazon works.

    However, this answer is complex and always evolving. Any part of it could change as my situation and Amazon’s policies change, which they both often do.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #12 Copy


    Has anyone one else noticed that Yerin knew the symbol for Unsouled in book one?

    Will Wight

    She is! This is addressed in Blackflame, I believe. She recognizes some of the old symbols, like the one used to indicate Unsouled, which are separate from the script used in everyday writing. The reason being that those symbols are often used in training manuals.

    Also, since Unsouled is a concept unique to Sacred Valley, she learned about that symbol and its meaning since arriving there with her master.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #14 Copy

    Will Wight

    Aw, thanks! There are certainly ups and downs, but thus far my positive experiences have far outweighed the negative.

    If I’m upset about anything right now, it’s that I haven’t finished EE yet. Which is on me, and is the reason why I so desperately need to finish.

    Also, I love your username.


    As for the username, I made a reddit account just so I could comment on your subreddit. The name choice was obvious, since Fury was by far the best and funniest secondary character in the book! Although secondary might be a bit too generous in his case (more Fury please <3).

    Will Wight

    I loved writing him more than I expected I would, and he was always involved in the main Monarch conflict, so 90% chance he’s around for the long haul.

    When I originally drafted his character back before Blackflame, he was this stern military instructor type that was entirely controlled and militaristic. Then when I started to write him in this book, I realized that he overlapped too much with too many other characters...and also wasn’t much fun to write.

    Thus, the true Akura Fury was born.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #15 Copy


    Noooo!!!!! I demand a Yerin book. Co-starring Little Blue and Shera. If you do not acknowledge my demands, I will form a coalition to threaten you properly. You have been warned. Act accordingly.

    Will Wight

    I wondered one time if I could do a non-canon short story or novella in which I split my various main characters up into random teams like this one. Like Lindon, Simon, and Shuffles having to do one quest and Calder, Leah, and Little Blue doing another while Yerin, Shera, and Caela are doing a third thing.

    It’s gimmicky, but I think it could be fun.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #16 Copy


    So explain this to me. Eithan and Mercy, if not Yerin, know a lot about the world. Lindon lists two Monarch powers, and Luminous Queen Sha Miara. If they have never heard of Sha Miara, why didn't they say anything? Are there lots of Luminous Queens in the Ninecloud Court? If they did not say anything, why did it not stick in their minds? Certainly Eithan would remember every word that Lindon told him from a heavenly messenger.

    Will Wight

    No joke, there was actually a point when I was writing that scene in Skysworn where I had Mercy frown and say “Sha Miara?” like she heard wrong, and then the conversation moves on. It’s in one of the rough drafts.

    Ultimately I waffled on it and then, as I revised the scene, that line ended up not making it back in because it didn’t have any connection to the events of Skysworn or my plans for Ghostwater, so I thought it would feel out of place for at least one more book.

    Then when I was writing Uncrowned, I looked back at that scene and felt like it was a sufficiently minor connection to not warrant an explicit explanation. I didn’t feel like I as a reader would need an explanation for why Yerin, Eithan, and Mercy didn’t immediately connect the dots based on an offhand comment from Lindon so long ago.


    A message from a heavenly messenger, and talking about the most powerful people in the world? And they just dismiss it like talking about the weather?

    Will Wight

    I’m really not trying to persuade you of anything here, I was just telling you what my thought process was since you asked. If it didn’t work for you, it didn’t work for you. That’s okay!

    If I had expected this to trip people up, I would have included a line of explanation.

    Footnote: Reddit: Uncrowned megathread
    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #17 Copy


    Can someone explain why Lindon was all worked up at the end of the book and had to rush off to tell his friends that Sha Miara is actually a monarch?

    Like he literally mentions her name in skysworn, when he says about northstrider, the 8 man empire and luminous queen sha miara.

    And Eithan, Mercy and Yerin are all like yep they’re strong.

    Is this a continuity error? Bc it seems like lindon believes this is some big secret that he has to divulge, that he already has years previously. And I checked she’s not under a fake name in the tournament, northstrider announces her name in the revealing of the fight schedule so our other MCs are aware of the name

    Will Wight

    Yeah, I can actually answer that one! My take on that, which I probably could have retroactively explained in this book when it became relevant, was that anyone with knowledge of the world knows who the Luminous Queen is. But at this point, the Ninecloud Court are keeping it secret that the previous queen has died and her daughter has succeeded her.

    Also, she's participating in the tournament, so of course she's an Underlady.

    Lindon's urgency at the end comes from the fact that, at previous points in the book, he doesn't want to say anything lest he get in trouble with a Monarch. But after the Abidan have come down, there's enough at stake now for him to risk it.

    That's the idea, though obviously I could have communicated it more clearly.


    Yup, it is a continuity error. Unfortunately, the book is riddled with them.

    Lindon, Yerin, Eithan, and Mercy all know that Sha Miara is a Monarch. As the commenter I was responding to said, she was in the tournament under the name Sha Miara. There was no reason for Lindon to run to tell the others since they already knew, as the commenter said. He told the story to Yerin multiple times. He probably mentioned the Monarch names every time, but he definitely mentioned Sha Miara to them by name at least once. Didn't you read Skysworn?  

    Travis Baldree

    I read it out loud :) But I don't remember him mentioning her by name.

    But even if he did, I guess I'm not sure it would ruin the book for me. The world is huuuuge. The distances are vast. The people almost mythical.

    Will Wight

    Jumping in here: I was aware of this scene in Skysworn when I wrote Uncrowned, but I didn't see the need to clarify that Yerin and company didn't make the connection to Lindon's story from years earlier. They're thinking he saw a vision of the Luminous Queen, who this girl competing in the tournament obviously isn't.

    I thought that came across in the story, but obviously not clearly enough.

    I knew when I wrote Skysworn that it wasn't common knowledge that Sha Miara led the Ninecloud Court, but since it wasn't relevant to that book or the next book, I didn't want to bring it up at the time. In Uncrowned, I thought the situation was clear enough to go without further explanation, but apparently I was wrong.

    Footnote: Reddit: uncrowned megathread
    Uncrowned Release Stream ()
    #18 Copy


    Can we get that Spotify playlist to listen to?

    Will Wight

    I intentionally made my playlist private because I named them after the books and so I was afraid somebody would search on Spotify and see what I'm listening to. I'm not afraid, just more like-well yes, afraid.

    Uncrowned Release Stream ()
    #19 Copy


    How much does an audiobook cost to produce?

    Will Wight

    That question varies wildly and is difficult for me to answer. It doesn't cost me very much in terms of the amount it generates, but that's because I'm comparing it to audiobooks in successful series that I know are gonna generate a lot of money. So therefore to me, they make a lot more than they cost. But if you're just trying to get your own audiobook made, it may be relatively expensive. That's probably a question better suited for Travis Baldree.

    September 2019-December 2019 ()
    #20 Copy


    I still think that it was a narrative error to not have any character in the story mention the question earlier than that.

    Not revealing the reason, just somebody asking the obvious question "how did a bunch of jades manage to kill a sage ?" (plus the similar question about Yerin managing to handle a Sage Remnant while only at Jade level at the time), even if followed immediatly by something like "I suppose they used some kind of rare poison ?"

    Anyway the matter is now settled until we get more information.

    That said, I really enjoyed the book and it's only one small flaw in a very good serie, please continue the good work, we are legions awaiting for Wintersteel now. ;)

    Will Wight

    Yeah, one of my big regrets was not having Yerin say something about it in Soulsmith.


    I actually thought that was intentional, and I liked it.

    Yerin is a very focused and direct character. If Lindon had a larger knowledge base at that point then it would be in character for him to spend months wondering how the heck a bunch of Jades killed a Sage, but Yerin isn't one to waste her time questioning reality. A bunch of Jades poisoned and then killed the Sword Sage, so it must be possible, because it happened, so why waste time dwelling on it?

    Will Wight

    That was my thinking at the time; I thought it was consistent with her character not to question it, because they did it and it happened and now the question is what to do next.

    I wish I had made her question it just because it would have saved me headache since then.