Recent entries

    Writing Advice ()
    #1201 Copy

    Will Wight

    Re: ghostwriting. I have no negative opinion of ghostwriters, if that helps anything. I have, in fact, a very positive opinion on ghostwriters, because they are professional writers who are extremely skilled and professional. I greatly admire people who can bring that level of professionalism to someone else's story.

    For example, Brandon Sanderson isn't using a ghostwriter, he's just very prolific. I make jokes about him being a team of robots, but he just has a great system for producing books and works very hard. As for my opinion on assistants, I think it's necessary to have some help if you want to produce good books consistently. It's kind of funny, because although writing a novel is basically the most solitary thing you can do, no one produces a consistent, successful product alone.I have people I bounce ideas off of, people who beta read for me, people who help me manage my finances and my schedule, people who copy edit and content edit, and honestly because I write the books so quickly (and take them through so few drafts) I don't get enough help on each book. Assistants are necessary.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1202 Copy

    Will Wight

    I'm glad you enjoy them! They're fun for me too, they just take a long time due to sheer volume.

    I find it easier to be imaginative within constraints. So when someone asks me "What's the Cradle equivalent of a piano?" I tell myself that I have to give them a satisfying answer. I can't just say "There is none," or "It's a piano," unless there's a story reason to do so. I have to actually invent a Cradle piano.

    Which is fun. It makes me consider avenues of the worlds that I hadn't considered.As for your trying to be imaginative, it's not like my systems are the most original magic systems ever designed. I just give myself permission to have fun with it.

    I start with what general kind of magic I want the people to use. For Traveler's Gate, I started with the idea of an extradimensional mansion where you went for martial training. I knew I wanted the House to exist, so then I built a world where extradimensional training grounds were commonplace.

    For Elder Empire, I started by knowing that I wanted a world where significant objects held automatic power through their significance. Excalibur wielded by King Arthur would have automatic power BECAUSE it was Excalibur and BECAUSE it was King Arthur's sword. Then I worked out from there.You can do that too. And there's nothing wrong with using principles from known magic systems; madra is basically just elemental mana.

    My main weakness is that I throw in everything but the kitchen sink. Every idea I can think of goes in. There are more Territories than necessary, for instance. Too many Guilds. Reading, Awakening, Soulbound, etc. are more complicated than they need to be, and could probably be separated into two systems. Vital aura is essentially elemental energy, but by trying to integrate it into the madra system I accidentally made it muddy and unclear.

    No approach is perfect, but I like mine because it's fun. My magic systems might be too unintuitive or complicated, but they're colorful and fun. That's my priority over a logical, fully hammered-out, and ultimately simpler system.Of course, the Holy Grail is a simple, intuitive system that nonetheless fires your imagination and can be used to create as many fun and colorful situations as you want. And toward that distant goal, we all strive.

    Writing Advice ()
    #1203 Copy

    Will Wight

    First of all, I suspect new writers don't need my ideas. You have to have SOME notion of what you think would be fun to write, otherwise you wouldn't want to write at all.In that case, I suggest you think long and hard about the elements you think sound fun to write. Make a list. There are no wrong answers here, just what sounds fun. Then pick one that resonates with you. What is it about that idea that sounds cool? What can you picture? What makes that idea attractive to you?

    Let's say you wrote down "pirates" and you thought that sounded fun to write about (I picked pirates because it's one of the easiest ideas to latch onto, and also I wrote two books with that as the seed concept).Now, you ask yourself: what attracts you to this idea?

    Write down all your initial impressions. Maybe you like the fast-paced swashbuckling swordsmanship from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, or you want battles on a spray-slick deck, or the vast silhouettes of sea monsters passing under your ship, or the mystery of a buried treasure on an uncharted island, or the adventure of sailing off into an infinite and mystical world.

    Maybe it's the mundane, un-romantic side of pirates that interests you. The gritty details that make it seem real, tangible, possible. Pirates would stink like a week-dead dog, they would stab a man to death over a spilled drink or an angry word, they would have rotted and twisted teeth and they couldn't say two words without cursing.

    Doesn't matter, but something in that broad idea should fire your imagination. When it does, that's the seed of your story.If nothing fires your imagination, then...what are you writing about? What passion is driving you to write? Why write at all? When the story isn't going the way you want, and you HAVE to get this scene does but it's flowing like a sack of gravel pulling uphill and all you want to do is burn everything you've ever written and start over, why keep going? What makes you WANT to do this?

    I also don't think you're bad at coming up with ideas. I don't think anyone is, I just think it's a skill some people don't practice.You can literally take any noun and come up with a story idea. I used the random noun generator from <desiquintans.com> just now and came up with these:"Cake." A down-and-out cake shop owner turns to her skills as a retired jewel thief to compete with her new rival."Dressing." A man tries to cook Thanksgiving dinner for the first time, but finds that he has no idea what "dressing" is and only ten minutes before guests arrive. What will he cook?"Tutu." A police detective finds a break in a long-cold case of a missing ballerina when he finds her bloodstained tutu in the back of his own closet."Wish." ...too easy, pass.That's an example of the first story I thought of for each noun.

    Now I apply what I already know about my tastes, and I go for a story I'd actually write:"Cake." A young baker's apprentice finds that she can bring her confections to life as a sweet-but-deadly golem army."Dressing." An architect finds that the ornamentation around an ancient castle's windows hides an eldritch secret."Tutu." A blessed tutu grants increased grace and agility to its wearer, so a young man uses it to fight crime."Wish." For real though, too easy.You can do this too. It's easier for some people than others, but anyone can do it. I believe in you.I think that's the most useful writing exercise you can practice at this point. Come up with ten story prompts that sound interesting to you.

    You could just write one of the examples above, I wouldn't mind, but I think you should stretch yourself to come up with an idea based on your own vision. If you really are "bad at coming up with ideas," and I'm not convinced that you are, the way to get better is practice!

    Will's Life ()
    #1205 Copy

    Lil' Blue

    What's your writing soundtrack?

    Will Wight

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

    General Lore ()
    #1206 Copy

    Will Wight

    Adriel, the Creator

    The first seven Judges inherited their power and titles. Only Ozriel and Adriel are the exceptions: Ozriel because there has never been a Reaper before him, and Adriel because there has never been a Creator since.Adriel is a myth to the modern Abidan. Some of their oldest records posit his existence, but he vanished before the Eledari Pact was signed. The strongest pieces of evidence for his existence are indirect references left behind by the first Abidan Court.The Judges can defend, maintain, and alter Iterations. They can combine fragments into new worlds.But only one person could, according to legend, design and create Iterations out of whole cloth: Adriel. He created new worlds, introducing fresh pieces into the cycle of existence.His weapon, the Hammer of Adriel, is sometimes used by the Abidan as a symbol of creation.

    General Lore ()
    #1207 Copy

    Will Wight

    Ozriel, the Reaper

    When a world lives too long and drifts from the Way, only one person can terminate the Iteration without scattering corrupted fragments that threaten other worlds.For most of the history of the Abidan, there was no Ozriel. They eliminated worlds the old-fashioned way, and most of their manpower was spent defending Iterations from chaos-corrupted fragments. Ozriel reduced the threat of corruption to such a degree that the Abidan could spread their manpower to an unprecedented degree. Where once it took hundreds of Abidan to protect and maintain a single Iteration, now that same team could supervise an entire Sector of ten or more worlds.However, the entire system of the current Abidan now hinges on one man.Where most Judges are rule-abiding and structured by nature, Ozriel is not so rigid. He often challenges Abidan laws and traditions, trying to change and improve the policies of their organization. He might have succeeded by now if he were willing to relinquish control and cooperate with others. But, traditionally, he has never been much of a team player. When others don't agree with him, he tends to do exactly what he wants anyway.As the one individual in existence with a world-erasing superweapon, he's used to getting his way.And now he's missing.

    General Lore ()
    #1208 Copy

    Will Wight

    Zakariel, the Fox

    The Way governs space, separating universe from universe, but its branches reach into every Iteration. Foxes use these branches like tunnels, slipping through the Way to reach their destinations without the headache of physical distance.Virtually every Abidan has some ability as a Fox--at least the minimum spatial control required to enter and leave an Iteration. But only the best and fastest join the Fox Division: the heralds, scouts, and couriers of the Abidan.Each Zakariel has always been fickle and unpredictable, perhaps as a side effect of the ability to travel anywhere at any time. This generation's Zakariel likes to meddle, as a godlike child with her toys. She tests the bounds of the Eledari Pact with her actions, and the Foxes beneath her have grown unruly and undisciplined. She has been chastised before the Court of Seven many times, but her personal power and ability have kept her from being pressured out of her mantle.She is also an insatiable collector of anything she finds intriguing. Legendary weapons and rare creatures are displayed in her collection side by side with adorable stuffed animals and interesting leaves.

    General Lore ()
    #1209 Copy

    Will Wight

    Suriel, the Phoenix

    The power of the Phoenix is the power of restoration. An Abidan of the Phoenix Division can use the Way to return order to a system, restoring it to prime condition. Phoenixes are used as mechanics and engineers as often as healers, and are prized on any battlefield.Though skilled Phoenix Abidan are rare, and their division small, they are also very durable. A Phoenix is said to be the second-most difficult of the Abidan to destroy (after a Titan), since powerful Phoenixes can regenerate even from total destruction.The Phoenix herself, Suriel, is the only entity capable of restoring the condition of an entire Iteration at once. This can cause irregularities for both the Spiders and the Hounds, so she is required to notify Sector Control prior to temporal reversion.Ozriel is well-known as the most powerful Judge since the first generation of the Abidan Court, and possibly of all time. However, he has no ability as a Phoenix. He has made it a point to befriend both the previous Suriel and this one, holding their talents in high esteem.

    General Lore ()
    #1210 Copy

    Will Wight

    Razael, the Wolf

    The Way protects, but it also strengthens. The Wolves are the Abidan combat division, and each of them commands formidable destructive potential. While most other divisions are filled up by Abidan from Sanctum and the other core worlds--and thus essentially born into the Abidan--the Wolves pride themselves on taking "wild" recruits.Most Wolves were renowned warriors in their original worlds, and they carry those powers with them into battle.As Gadrael is the Court's shield, Razael is their sword. She is the unstoppable force, the heavy artillery unleashed against the greatest of the Abidan's enemies.Before the rise of Ozriel, it fell to the office of Razael to destroy worlds as completely as possible. Razael therefore considers herself something of a rival to the Reaper.Ozriel does not return the sentiment.

    Cradle ()
    #1211 Copy

    Questioner

    So could Lindon learn all the dragon paths?(If he split his core some more of course.) And does this mean that technically he could learn other beasts paths? If he absorbed the remnant of the sacred beast that was in the arelius bloodline would he get their bloodline powers?

    Will Wight

    There is a way for someone born without bloodline powers to acquire them. But in order for him to get the Arelius powers, he'd have to find the same sacred beast they got their powers from. Or another of a similar type.

    General Lore ()
    #1212 Copy

    Will Wight

    Telariel, the Spider

    The Spiders essentially function as the Abidan intelligence network. They spread their awareness through the Way, sensing deviation and disorder all throughout existence. Spiders maintain the system of Sector Control, through which Iterations are divided into sectors in order to make them easier to manage.Inter-universal communication between Abidan is also handled by the Spiders, so they have a reputation as the busiest Division. However, they are also known as the weakest in combat, so they are usually left to roles in support and management.A Spider may be hard-working, but the Spider is lazy, disreputable, and prone to leaning on the perks of his position. Telariel has long ago reduced his personal responsibility to only handling communication between Judges, which rarely requires his personal attention.When Ozriel vanished, Telariel cast his laziness aside and bent his full attention to the search. He was soon forced to admit defeat. Ozriel took steps to hide himself from the detection of the Way, and the Spider's skill is nothing next to the Reaper's.(After receiving the blow to his pride, Telariel retreated back into seclusion. To sulk.)

    General Lore ()
    #1213 Copy

    Will Wight

    Darandiel, the Ghost

    Just as the other Judges supervise the life and health of a world, someone must oversee the process of universal death and rebirth. The Ghosts watch over the broken fragments of worlds, guiding the development of new Iterations and protecting them from malign influence during the vulnerable cycle of destruction and creation.As Hounds tap into the power of Fate and Titans into the power of protection, Ghosts manipulate the force that binds existence to the Way: conscious will. This is an esoteric power that, depending on the situation, can be either overwhelmingly powerful or totally useless.Darandiel is rarely seen in Sanctum, the headquarters of the Abidan. She and her Ghosts spend most of their time beyond the Iterations, shepherding the birth of new worlds and defending old ones from the chaos of the void.

    General Lore ()
    #1214 Copy

    Will Wight

    Gadrael, the Titan

    The Way is fundamentally a force of protection, a barrier against chaos and destruction. Gadrael is the embodiment of that concept.Titan Abidan are the defenders of the Abidan worlds, raising shields and barriers against creatures of chaos and against the enemies of the Court. Whenever the Abidan need a world quarantined, a weapon sealed, a prison reinforced, or an attack turned aside, they call on the Titans.This generation's Gadrael was rescued from a dying world, then raised as a son by Makiel. His loyalty to the Hound is total.He once had a reputation as the weakest Judge, due to his lack of skill in any discipline but his own. Other Judges typically have expertise in more than one area; Suriel, for instance, is an accomplished Fox (who excel at instant travel) and an able Spider (who detect deviations in chaos). Makiel could have inherited the post of Razael the Wolf instead, had he desired to do so, and Ozriel was skilled enough to fulfill the duties of any Judge but Suriel.Gadrael cannot read Fate, he can barely cross through the Way, and his combat power is lower than many ordinary Abidan.But his barriers are flawless.Gadrael is is the sturdiest protector in existence, a one-man fortress, an immovable object, an impenetrable wall. Worlds under Gadrael's protection can rest easy, but there are thousands of Iterations under the purview of the Judges.And the Titans cannot be everywhere at once.

    General Lore ()
    #1215 Copy

    Will Wight

    Makiel, the Hound

    The story of each universe is written in Fate.Fate governs the natural lifespan of each Iteration. It isn't a detailed plan that determines every action of each person, but rather a force like gravity that pushes a world toward a healthy life ending in that Iteration's natural death.‚Äč Since humans tie the universe to the Way, people figure prominently in Fate. One individual life is unlikely to affect the destiny of an entire Iteration, but their actions might be a necessary step toward a world's continued existence. Or its end.Makiel and the Hound Division of the Abidan supervise Fate. They tap into the Way to read the past and the future, and to deal with any deviations that may jeopardize one or more worlds.Makiel is something of a leader among the seven Judges, though the Eledari Pact technically gives him no authority over his peers. This is a tradition continued from the original Makiel, who first realized the need for such a pact and organized its creation.He is rigid and inflexible, utterly dedicated to the enforcement of the rules that protect existence. This mindset has led him to clash with Ozriel, who tends to value his own will over externally imposed guidelines. He has tried many times to recover the Scythe and Mantle of Ozriel in order to pass the title to a different, more worthy bearer, but the Reaper has eluded or defeated him at every turn.

    General Lore ()
    #1216 Copy

    Will Wight

    The Eledari Pact: An ancient agreement between the original Court of Seven that both increases and restricts the powers of the Abidan.Agreements and restrictions are inherently ordered, so this pact is the tool that allows the Abidan to control the power of the Way as they do. There are many rules in the Eledari Pact, but the most relevant one is this: the Abidan cannot use their powers to prevent the natural progression of an Iteration.They cannot stop a global war from claiming billions of lives and destroying a planet, unless that war was started by outside forces or by a significant subversion of Fate. Abidan only descend to correct a deviation, though they're granted a certain freedom of action in doing so. This law exists both to preserve the natural balance of existence and to prevent the Abidan from settling down in lesser worlds and ruling like gods.* (The Abidan definition of "human" is pretty loose, but never too far removed from the humanity we know. When a new Iteration forms that may be able to support life, the Abidan select a new population of human pioneers and send them to inhabit a suitable planet.)

    Cradle ()
    #1217 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there other colors of dragon madra beyond "black"flame?

    Will Wight

    The dragons who inhabited the lands of the Blackflame empire were (and are) black, the color of the destructive aura that they cycled. There are sea dragons that are blue, sky dragons with a variety of colors, and earthbound land dragons that might be green or brown.But you asked about the color of their flame, not the color of their scales. Yes, there are dragons with toxic green flame, frigid icy "flame" that consumes even as it freezes, good old natural flame, and red living flames that drift around like Remnants burning as much as possible to extend their fleeting lives.

    Cradle ()
    #1218 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a ranking system by the Abidan to measure the world level of advancement? Could u give us the rating for your currently displayed worlds if yes?

    Will Wight

    Yes, the Abidan do have such a system, and sufficiently advanced worlds are allowed to interact with the Abidan openly. Though most Iterations never make it to this point.I can't share it with you, though, because I haven't perfected it yet. I have an early version of the system, but I don't like it much, and it's likely to change before it makes an appearance in the books.

    Cradle ()
    #1219 Copy

    Questioner

    Would it absorb madra launched at it? A forged pane of pure madra would be very cool for Lindon to learn how to do if it could be used as a defense.

    Will Wight

    Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Technically it would intercept any madra thrown at it, but most of the time it would just shatter. Sometimes it would actually make the technique MORE powerful for having passed through and absorbed the pure madra.There could be ways to fashion it into a defense, but they're almost all hugely impractical. It would be much easier to just have a regular wall and carve a script into it.

    Cradle ()
    #1220 Copy

    Questioner

    Pure Madra as a building material in the emperor's palace?

    Will Wight

    Pure madra is an unreliable building material. It breaks easily, and it's so impressionable that placing it next to any other Forged madra will cause the two types to mix, changing both of their properties. However, it is used decoratively. Sometimes it is used to substitute for stained glass; you Forge a pane of pure madra and then stain it in spots with madra of different colors and properties. The other madra spreads like paint through the glass, creating a moving, swirling, blending canvas of living power. You just have to be careful about how long you let it sit and how much power you put into it, or it might randomly create a powerful effect.