Recent entries

    Asylum ()
    #1181 Copy

    Questioner

    Which of your characters would be most likely to make it as a self-published novelist?

    Will Wight

    Kerian, the Consultant from Elder Empire.

    She's relentless, she reads a lot of novels, and she knows how to make a sale. She's also highly literate, unlike a lot of my characters.

    Asylum ()
    #1182 Copy

    Questioner

    Which of your characters could survive the best in almost every kind of story setting?

    Will Wight

    He's well-educated enough to adapt to a more modern world, skilled in enough basic skills to adapt to a more primitive world, and he has his Reader skills. Assuming they work in his setting, they'd be useful under pretty much any circumstances.

    Plus, he's resourceful enough to make a living in legitimate business or in a life of crime, as circumstances require.

    Footnote: *speaking about Calder from Elder Empire
    Asylum ()
    #1183 Copy

    Questioner

    How intelligent can Kameira become? Are there any that can Read intent?

    Will Wight

    Kameira aren't like sacred beasts--they can't actually develop human-level intelligence, though many stories and myths suggest that they do. They are powerful animals, and there are none that can Read Intent.

    Asylum ()
    #1184 Copy

    Questioner

    What would happen if someone Awakened a horror novel?

    Will Wight

    Intent accumulates in an object based on the purpose it is used for. So a horror novel's Intent would either scare people or fascinate them, depending on the Intent of the people who have read the novel over the years.

    I can imagine a novel that frightens people just by sitting on a table, where you keep casting sidelong glances at it without knowing why, taking any excuse to get out of the room away from a book. Conversely, I could imagine a book that practically hypnotizes those who read it, so it's all but impossible to voluntarily stop reading until you reach the end.

    Asylum ()
    #1185 Copy

    Questioner

    I'd like you to make up a 6 or 7 book series about the founding of the elder empire!

    Will Wight

    I like six or seven books as a series size. Idk about the founding of the Elder Empire--depends on how the main series does after the relaunch.

    Asylum ()
    #1186 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the most powerful awakened item in EE that doesn't have great elder intent in some way

    Will Wight

    Estyr Six's Soulbound Vessels have no Elder Intent. They're the skulls of ancient, powerful Kameira that she defeated in battle.

    The Magisters have sealed away a spear that combined the powers of multiple ice-controlling Kameira, but it was too difficult to use. Their tests blanketed an isolated Magister facility in snow for years.

    Asylum ()
    #1187 Copy

    Mierin

    If the Emperor had been born on a world like Cradle where he could actually train and develop instead of having to hold back the Elders, how high would he or someone with his will/strength/etc. have been able to advance?

    Will Wight

    He certainly COULD have reached Monarch, but most of those with the potential to reach Monarch fail to do so. It requires so much luck and unique opportunity that it's impossible to guarantee anyone with reach Monarch, no matter how driven and/or talented. In the Blackflame Empire, he would have almost certainly become a powerful Underlord. With the right resources and chances, he could have potentially left the Empire and ascended to Overlord or better outside.

    Asylum ()
    #1188 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there any independent nations or territories on Asylum? Are there multiple worlds in the Asylum iteration?

    Will Wight

    No, there are no independent nations or territories in Asylum. There are isolated communities that aren't aware they are part of the Empire, but the Empire considers them Imperial territory. They're not undiscovered, after all, just so remote as to be not worth collecting taxes from.

    Asylum ()
    #1189 Copy

    Questioner

    So if I loose my horse while training for the Blue Ribbon Race, and I accidentally run into a elderspawn instead of the usual skunks and such, what should I do?

    Will Wight

    Now, this depends entirely on what kind of Elderspawn you've encountered.

    If it has the spindly legs of a spider and eyes on stalks, you just don't want to do anything interesting. As long as it has no reason to investigate you, it won't tear you apart and rearrange your organs alphabetically. You should respond in the most boring possible fashion: by turning and running away, screaming as loud as you can.

    This is the response it expects, and it will be bored and turn away. Usually.

    If it looks like a frog the size of a human infant, dripping with luminous slime and humming with a high-pitched sound you can barely hear, you should kill it immediately. If you succeed, you have saved us all from an outbreak.

    If you leave it alone for too long, it will consume anything organic nearby: grass, leaves, roadkill, garbage, small animals and insects. When it has eaten many times its body weight, it will give birth.

    The hordes of Othaghor have devastated many isolated communities. No one has seen these Elderspawn in centuries, which contributes to many ordinary citizens considering them myths. They are not.

    Asylum ()
    #1190 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a limit to how many Vessels can be bound to a person?

    Will Wight

    This is a subject of debate and research in the Aurelian Empire. The Vessel gets its power from the Kameira or Elder parts that went into its creation, but it's connected to the Soulbound through Intent. Basically, it has to be connected to you personally in order for a bond to be born.

    The Magisters would see any claims of a Soulbound with three Vessels very skeptically. They would never believe a report of a Soulbound with four.

    But in theory, the limit is however many objects you see as part of your identity.

    Asylum ()
    #1191 Copy

    Questioner

    "Tell me about mountain climbers in Elder Empire."

    Will Wight

    The body of Kthanikahr, the Worm Lord, weaves through a mountain as though through a rotten apple. The Great Elder is miles long, and the stench of his decay is overpowering. Still, some brave the corpse--and the cordon of Imperial troops around the area--to scale the peak and try to harvest a strip of the Worm Lord's skin. It is said that a charm made from this leathery strap can repel Elderspawn, so dozens make the trip each year...and only a handful return.

    Asylum ()
    #1192 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there an awakened object that was awakened to be the aqivelent of an AI (artificial intelligence)

    Will Wight

    In a certain sense, yes. There are records of a dozen Soulbound whose Vessels were books. These Soulbound exhibited superior memories, enhanced insight, and a remarkable ability to organize their thoughts and impressions.

    Asylum ()
    #1193 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the deepest point in the Aion Sea (that's the Elder Empire sea, right? Forgive this one's idiodicy if he's wrong.), how deep is it, and what is the most horrible creature that lives there?

    Will Wight

    The Vebross Pit is a legendary location at the bottom of the Aion Sea, passed down through Navigator tradition.

    No one has ever explored it--there are many shallow locations in the Aion Sea that have never been explored, to say nothing of the true depths--but many Navigators employ Soulbound with water-scanning and scouting powers. All of them report impenetrable depths around a general location near the center of the Sea, and that area has been referred to as the Vebross Pit.

    The ocean seems almost dead around the Pit, with no sightings reported of anomalous events, Kameira, Elderspawn, or anything but natural fish. Therefore, the Navigators once preferred routes over the Pit.

    But that only lasted a short time.

    Navigator ships began to go missing. This is not in itself too unusual, but when it continued for three or four years and started to cost the Guild money, the Guild Head sent out an expeditionary force to investigate the Pit.

    The Witnesses accompanying the expedition returned reporting a phenomenon that happened at night. As the moon rose, a vast humanoid face seemed to rise from the depths. It grew closer and closer, until the captain of their vessel realized that the face was big enough to cover the ocean for miles.

    Their force escaped with no losses, and from then on, the Vebross Pit was classified by the Navigator's Guild as an Unknown Danger Zone. A captain plotting a course through such a zone must leave all Guild assets behind, as they are likely to be lost.

    Asylum ()
    #1194 Copy

    Questioner

    What is generally held to be the must ridiculous awakened object that turned out to be much more useful than anticipated?

    Will Wight

    A wide-brimmed hat invested to keep its wearer cool. When a Magister spent weeks attempting to Awaken it, his colleagues thought he was crazy. He was actually called into the Guild to question the use of his time.

    Now he makes a fortune selling them. They can't be mass-produced, so each hat is a work of the Reader's art. There's a waiting list.

    Wearing such a hat is like wearing sunglasses while your head is stuck in an air-conditioned room.

    Asylum ()
    #1195 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the greatest battle ever to take place in the arena

    Will Wight

    Baldesar Kern, the current Head of the Champion's Guild, was never a gladiator. But he did have one fight in the arena.

    He had attempted to persuade a rival of his to back the Guild, but his rival was not convinced of Kern's strength. Therefore, Kern agreed to meet his rival's representative in the arena.

    His rival's "representatives" turned out to be a half-dozen Kameira trained and equipped for battle. There was a lizard bigger than a horse with red-hot teeth, a lion-headed ape with a pair of axes, two shark-creatures that may have been Elderspawn, a worm that burrowed through the sand, and a puppy-sized flea that conjured clouds of smoke.

    Baldesar's battle with this army of creatures lasted over an hour, and is widely considered the greatest battle ever to take place in an Izyrian arena. It became a mark of honor to say that you were there that day.

    At the end, his rival had no choice but to support the Champion's Guild, and the Champions were victorious. As they always are.

    Cradle ()
    #1196 Copy

    Questioner

    Which sacred beast produces the best bristle material for the Aurelias Clans brooms?

    Will Wight

    There's a species of eagle whose tail-feathers have a unique relationship with wind aura. When you sweep such a feathered broom, the wind actually gathers up all the dust and loose debris in a small area and piles it neatly up. Scholars believe that the patterns in the feathers act as a script to produce such a unique effect, but no one really knows for sure. In battle, the Broom Sage used bristles from the tail of the Thorn Mountain Boar, a fifteen-story-tall boar that ate forests. The wood for his broom was taken from a branch of the Underworld Herald, a self-aware ancestral tree that once grew upside-down in an underground kingdom of blood and darkness.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1197 Copy

    Mestama

    Will, what is your opinion on writing assistants?

    Will Wight

    I guess I should have addressed my above answer to you as well.

    I might have misunderstood the question, but it sounds like you may have an idea of a "writing assistant" as something like a manga artist's team of assistants, where they help him draw side characters and backgrounds and stuff and the whole thing goes down under one name on the cover. That doesn't happen so much in writing. Usually you have ghostwriters or a group under a pseudonym (Animorphs was written by a team of ghostwriters under the same name so that they could produce a book every month), but that's pretty much always something you can find out with a little research.

    Normally, the person who gives you a lot of suggestion and help on your writing is called your editor. I don't know if I've ever heard of someone who leaves writing certain scenes (or certain POVs or whatever) to assistants and then claims all the credit. Theoretically I'm sure someone must have done that somewhere, but I'm not aware of it as a common practice.(edited)If anything, writing as a team is harder than writing alone.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1198 Copy

    Tievel1

    Will, what would you change if you had to do Cradle over?

    Will Wight

    There's a lot (as with all the books I've ever written), but I can hit the highlights off the top of my head. I would keep the series only in Lindon's POV, perhaps in first-person, or maybe in third and then just do one POV from Lindon, one from the bad guy, and maybe a brief interlude from Suriel.

    EDIT FOR CLARITY: This means no Yerin or Eithan chapters, for instance.(edited)I would change vital aura, maybe getting rid of it entirely, but at least defining it more clearly. Not because it doesn't work now, but for the sake of removing ambiguity and increasing clarity.Basically I would streamline the whole thing so it's more immediately clear.Also, I would give Lindon more of a personal connection to the world and everything he's doing.So lots of general changes. There are specific things I would tweak, but mostly in the service of this general style change so that everything feels more immediate. I feel like it would increase the impact of the stories.

    I would change vital aura, maybe getting rid of it entirely, but at least defining it more clearly. Not because it doesn't work now, but for the sake of removing ambiguity and increasing clarity.

    Basically I would streamline the whole thing so it's more immediately clear.

    Also, I would give Lindon more of a personal connection to the world and everything he's doing.

    So lot of general changes. There are specific things I would tweak, but mostly in the service of this general style change so that everything feels more immediate. I feel like it would increase the impact of the stories.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1199 Copy

    Will Wight

    I'm regularly tempted to go back and clean up old books, but that's not something I can make common practice. I could always go back and make an old book better. Always. There will never be a time where I couldn't improve one of my old works, because I'm always learning and growing.

    So at a certain point, I have to let the stories go. I could work on each compilation and change them so that they flow better and work better as three-part stories, but where does that end? Do I change the individual books to match those changes? If not, then the people who buy the books individually and the people who buy the collections are getting different stories. If so, then I've told a story in three-book arcs rather than in one-book arcs, which is a very different approach to storytelling.

    It just becomes complicated. And I think it has to be rare to go back and make significant rewrites to a story, because it's too easy to justify. I'd rather improve by writing new stories and getting better as a writer over time than by constantly fixing stories I've already written.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1200 Copy

    dyring

    Have at any time a followup book sold more then the first(total, I expect they sell more right away)? Aka, I assume noone would buy soulsmith without having read Unsouled, so there should be more sales of unsouled, but is that always true? Is there a falling stair of sails with Unsouled at the top?

    Will Wight

    There's always a falling stair of sales, so to speak. The first one always sells more total, but subsequent books always sell faster.