Recent entries

    July - December 2020 ()
    #1 Copy

    Will Wight

    You shouldn't be looking for the “right” names for your progression tiers. The ones that fit your world perfectly and really click for you.

    The truth is, literally anything works.

    You don’t need to look for the terms that fit your world now, just pick names you like and then change your world to make them fit.

    Cradle has Copper through Gold for the first advancement levels, but precious materials have absolutely nothing to do with the sacred arts. That was just an easy way for me to visually show progression, so I picked valuable materials and then changed the setting to support that choice.

    You can pick any labeled sequence. Materials that increase in value or hardness. Luminosity; maybe someone starting out is Dull and a master is Radiant (or a Windrunner ayooo). Someone mentioned colors, which would absolutely work because a rainbow is a labeled sequence.

    You could still DO colors that don’t progress in order of the rainbow, but it’s less intuitive.

    There’s increasing physical scope: he’s a room-scale mage because his spells can only affect anything in the same room he’s in, but this archmage over here is a national-scale mage who’s shaping the weather and sending his eye familiars all over the sky to watch you.

    Increasing size: Tiny, Medium, Large, Massive. Sounds stupid? Sure it does, so tweak it: “His brontosaurus shook the earth with its steps, so its body contained enough mana to bury their entire camp. She hid inside the doorway, closing her eyes, clutching her shivering baby velociraptor to her chest.”

    In that case, you don’t need official categories. Big, Bigger, Biggest. You just need to know that the bigger your dinosaur is physically, the more magic power it can hold.

    In that way, a progression system doesn’t need discrete tiers. If your magic capacity is measured in balloons, and you have fifteen balloons of magic but the enemy has figured out how to get one massive hot air balloon, who has the advantage? How does that affect what spells you can both cast?

    That’s something where the comparison isn’t as clear-cut as it is in Cradle (a Jade beats an Iron every time), but there are still crystal-clear methods of progress (increase the size of your balloons or the number).

    I say all this not to give you more ideas, but to encourage you to stop spending time trying to think of the one that fits your setting BEST. Any of them work.

    The one that fits your setting best is the one that you make fit your setting. So spend an hour brainstorming, pick the idea you think sounds the coolest, then work it into your setting.

    If you finish your first book and your readers tell you that your tiers of progression are dumb (which I can’t imagine unless they’re intentionally ridiculous, like you measure power output in Spirit Clowns), THEN you go back and change it. It’s no big deal to change it later.

    Any tips on how to overcome this hump?

    Yes, pick literally any progressive sequence, attach it to your setting, and move on.

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    #3 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had the chance to write a short story or novel in another author's universe, which world would you choose?

    Will Wight

    I would choose not to do that.  Because that's very intimidating to me.  I don't feel like I could do a good job.  So it hard for me to... If they are writing in that universe, by all means, they keep doing it.  There was, I think it was Jim Butcher, who said when he found out Brandon Sanderson, it may have been someone else, don't quote me on this, that when he found out Brandon Sanderson was doing Wheel of Time, was like, "Wow, good luck to him.  I would never do that."  That sounds super intimidating.  And yup.  If I had a chance to write in someone else's, like for instance Jim Butcher, since that is who we are talking about, if I had a chance to write a Dresden novel, would I?  No.  No.  Absolutely not.  I love Dresden, love the character, love the novels, I could never do that justice, it's so very much Jim Butcher's voice.  No way I can do it.  I'm just not good enough.  I feel that about pretty much anything I would be passionate enough to write in.  I just couldn't do it justice.  

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    #4 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you ever consider another media for your stories? Graphic novel, animation, live action? Who would you cast as Urzaia?

    Will Wight

    So, this is going to be heretical to some people, but there is nothing sacred about books to me.  I love books.  I read books.  I got in trouble a lot as a kid for reading too many books.  But, it's stories.  It's all about stories.  So it doesn't matter to me what medium those stories are in.  It's all about the story.  So to me, if it's a video game, if it's a graphic novel, it's a whatever, I am cool with it.  I made that joke recently about Wintersteel being available in aerosol format, but if that was an actual way of consuming stories, I would be inhaling stories all the time.  So, the medium of the story is not important to me.  

    Who would I cast as Urzaia?  Travis Baldree.  Just a striking physical resemblance.

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    #5 Copy

    Questioner

    What kind of writing schedule do you keep?  Do you keep to a 9-5 or do you brainstorm when inspired?

    Will Wight

    Neither.  I touched on this a little bit earlier, but I don't do everyday 9-5, I just don't do that well.  I don't do that with anything.  I don't really keep a schedule very well.  I just kind of don't.  I guess that's the temporal version of getting lost.  So what I do instead, is I do blocks of time.  I do days, or even weeks at a time, where I just do nothing but write.  And that helps me more.  I can concentrate more easily.

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    #6 Copy

    Will Wight

    I'm going to talk about Hunter Hunter for a second.  So, some people believe that a hard magic system is inherently better, and a magic system that doesn't have, that is soft, so it doesn't have clear cut rules is inherently worse, and that's just not true.  There are a lot of series with great soft magic systems.  But Hunter Hunter in my opinion has such an elaborate set of rules, that it works best as a hard magic system.  So, when it's following it's own rules, because you have such a cool set of rules, and there are so many awesome things that are possible within it, that while you are working within those constraints, it's the most interesting.  Then when you're not, I'm like, but you had this awesome set of rules.  Use those.  But I also really like

    (Interruption for hat change.  What did Will really like?  We may never know.)

     

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    #7 Copy

    Questioner

    If Cradle is the "top source" of Abidan recruits, does it give the most recruits, the best recruits, or both?

    Will Wight

    So, Cradle is not the top source of Abidan recruits.  Cradle is the fir.. well, I guess it is technically.  So, it's the one where it's the easiest to ascend.  Right?  So it's the one where the magic system most easily translates to ascending, because if you continue to follow the magic system, you eventually ascend.  Not every magic system has ascension built into it.  This one does.  So that is why Cradle is such a great source of Abidan recruits.

    What I meant to say a minute ago is that it is not the source of the best recruits.  So, people have asked "Are Cradle workers the strongest?"  No they are not.  There are iterations with a higher power level than Cradle.

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    #9 Copy

    Questioner

    What's next? You have mentioned Traveler's Blade a few times, but are you more excited at the concept of moving on to some new creative adventure?

    Will Wight

    Alright, so me, just a little about me, how I always am, how I always, always, always, am, is I always, always, always,

    (Will debates killing a cow vs. killing pigs. He kills the pigs.  Bacon for everybody!)

    I always, always, always want to move on to the next thing.  Always do.  I really am constantly everyday thinking about what the next thing is I can do.  What's a new idea?  I always have new ideas.  I always have new ideas I'm passionate about.  It changes constantly.  I just really like doing new things.  It's just fun.  I like making up new concepts.  That is the really fun part to me.  So, when people talk about Traveler's Blade, that is fun.  That's fun to me.  I have nothing against doing it.  It's just, it's not as fun as doing something new.  And that's kind of what's hard about sticking with a series as long as I've stuck with Cradle.  While I like Cradle, and I really enjoy writing Cradle, and I don't want to stop Cradle, it is still not a new thing.  So I don't want to say I get bored of it; I don't really.  I come up with new stuff, so I wouldn't keep writing it if I was actually bored.  But I want to write something new, right? I want to do something else.  Stretch myself, challenge myself.  Use new ideas.  It's just fun.

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    #10 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired the liquid madra test in Sacred Valley?

    Will Wight

    What inspired it?  Like for me writing it?  Or for the people in universe who came up with it?  For me writing it, I don't know, I want to say it was the water glass test from Hunter Hunter.  Which is, as I mentioned earlier, just a really cool magic system.

    (Bedrock!  But no appearance from the Flintstones.  Sad times.)

    So, I want to say it was the water glass test, but it actually wasn't.  So that's how you test your nan in Hunter Hunter.  So people always assume that is the inspiration, and I wish I could say that it was, because that's a really cool device, but it actually wasn't it.  I was just like, OK, what's a thing that they could do to test this belief that they have?  And s therefore, it had to be formless. then it had to take a certain form.  So I was just like, yeah it would be cool, but I also wanted it to be simple, strait forward, digestible.  The kind of thing you would make up when you didn't really know what you were talking about.  And I was like, yeah.  Water in a bowl.

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    #11 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you feel going back now and reading Traveler's Gate?

    Will Wight

    Terrible.  Thank you for asking.  I always feel bad reading my old stuff.  Just don't like it.  So when I read Traveler's Gate I am constantly just cringing and embarrassed.  But that's true when I read almost any of my old stuff.  So that's pretty normal.  

    Questioner

    Do you feel like you would have worked the series differently if you had all the experience you have now?

    Will Wight

    Yes.  Absolutely.  Even as I finished the Traveler's Gate trilogy I wanted to redo House of Blades.  I wanted to immediately go back and just rewrite the whole book.  But I didn't.  Because that's a, I don't think that's right.  Because if I did that, I could do that with any book.  Like, I could write it, then afterwards I'm a better writer.  Then I could write it again.  And even though it's kind of special because it's my first book, I didn't want to be rewriting House of Blades every five years.  I didn't want to be rewriting House of Blades every five years, so I just sort of didn't.

    So, I think there is some really good ideas in Traveler's Gate, I'm emotionally attached to Traveler's Gate, but when I read it, and when I read it out loud for the audio books I was so embarrassed.  I'm just a better writer now.

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    #12 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever thought about doing a Sci FI series, what would it look like?

    Will Wight

    No, I have not.  Here's why.  I believe every story is better with magic.  So if I did a sci-fi series, it would be a magic series set in space.  I've considered doing that.  Like I said early, I have considered doing magic terraforming.  That's basically a fantasy sci-fi.  So, if I did do a sci-fi series, it would look a lot like Red Rising.  And Pierce Brown already did that better than me.

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    #13 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever been recognized out in the wild?

    Will Wight

    Yes.  So, one thing that happened, which was kind of funny, this is the first thing that pops into my mind; I have actually been recognized a few places, which is weird because I don't appear in person that often, so it's odd to be recognized.  Like, why did you know what I look like?  I guess because I do streams like this basically.  So, one particular story I had, this is not much of a story really, I was in a DnD group with a friend of mine, who invited a friend of his.  The friend of his asked what I did and said I was a writer.  And he asked what I write.  And I told him and he was like holy crap, I love that series.  So it was just Cradle, and it was neat.  So, that's the end of that story.  It wasn't super dramatic; it was just cool.  Because he had already read it.

    There was another one; my dad was looking to hire somebody, and interviewed the guy, and the guys said he read a lot.  My dad said "What do you read?"  And he said "I read scifi/fantasy, and I am actually in the middle of a series now by a guy who has your last name."  Our last name is pretty unusual.  W-I-G-H-T.  And he said, "Oh really?  What series is that?"  And it was the Cradle series.  So that was pretty neat.  And of course he ended up hiring the guy, because obviously the dude has impeccable taste.

    Chat

    It's kind of weird how people recognize you since you're dead.

    Will Wight

    I'm not dead anymore.  I came back to life.  That's how I'm doing this stream.

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    #15 Copy

    Questioner

    If Kelsa had gotten the same opportunities as Lindon, would she have risen even more quickly?

    Will Wight

    No.  No she would not have.  So she, while being more talented, and a genuinely cool person, is not as resolved or determined as Lindon would be, and would not have set out to save Sacred Valley.  If she had that knowledge and the exact same opportunities that Lindon did she would have stayed in Sacred Valley and tried to persuade everyone else to leave.  So, that is how she would have solved that problem; she would not have gone out and advanced.  If she did do exactly what Lindon did, she would have stuck with the things he has stuck with and would have advanced differently.  And perhaps more efficiently, but it wouldn't have gotten her as far as Lindon has gotten.

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    #16 Copy

    Questioner

    When Ziel showed Lindon the Tablet on pure madra in Ghostwater after lecturing him, was that always his intention, or was that only after Lindon explained he was advancing to protect his home from a great disaster?

    Will Wight

    I don't understand that question exactly.  When Ziel showed Lindon the table on pure madra in Ghostwater, was that always his intention?  I don't understand it.  I think the question means did Ziel intend to help Lindon, or was he persuaded to help Lindon when he heard that Lindon had a good cause.  And the answer is, he was persuaded by Lindon, finding out that he, starting to know Lindon as a person a little bit, and then when he did, he was like all right, I'll help you.  He did not intend to help at the beginning.  So I hope that answers your question.

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    #17 Copy

    Questioner

    This was your longest book.  What results would inspire you to write even longer?

    Will Wight

    Even if this book completely slams all the results of my previous books, just destroys them and it sells more books than I have ever sold in my entire life, that probably would not change my length policy.  It probably wouldn't change it.  For instance, the book after Wintersteel, is almost certainly not going to be that long, because it's a more focused story.  It doesn't need to be.  So, Wintersteel doing really well would not change my mind on that.  That wouldn't be something that, that's not really the criteria I use to determine the length of the book.  But, the process of writing the book is going to be influenced by Wintersteel.  So if the response to Wintersteel is good, I'll use a similar process to write my future books.

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    #19 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you familiar with Attack on Titan? 

    Will Wight

    Yes.

    Questioner

    If so: the Blackflame Empire is suddenly invaded by the Titans, including the Colossal and Armored Titans. Assuming they can't call in backup, how well do they do?

    Will Wight

    Extremely well.  They just annihilate the Titans, the Titans have no chance to resist.  The Titan's run in fear.  The Titan's build walled cities against the Sacred Artists to keep them out.  The Titan's live everyday in fear that their loved ones will be destroyed by the people who can throw fire and eliminate matter.  Yeah, I feel the Titan's wouldn't be any threat to the Blackflame City at all, I feel like they would keep them as pets, that there would be no threat.  At all.

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    #20 Copy

    Questioner

    As someone progresses as a Traveller of Valinhall, does the "quality" of their steel ever increase, and with it the strength, or does it remain the same as the day they earned it?

    Will Wight

    You're able I guess, to channel more of it as you go on, so you draw more of the steel, as Simon demonstrates in the books.  So you can channel more of it, and you can also control the amount you draw a little more, but no, what the steel actually does remains constant.  So you don't upgrade to better steel or whatever.