Cradle Series By Will Wight

Avani

Legendary
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
19,538
Kin
3,470💸
Kumi
204💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
You must be registered to see images



I came across this series a while ago but didn't get time to start on it. Now I finally did and kind of rapid read though 1-8 book...Going to re read it to get a better grip on the universe and all the powers etc. It was self published series so I didn't think of it much first. I have had a few bad experience with them so I often keep away from them. When I started the first book Unsouled initially, it instantly reminded me of shonnen manga style story. It has a systematic magic verse that reminded me of Naruto in some ways. First 9 pages I wondered if the writer was inspired by Naruto or something like The Breaker series but soon I dumped both thoughts and simply got in to the story of this book itself.

The first book is mostly the foundation of the series. It sets up the universe in quite a detail but seems relatively slow if you are impatient. Hero is barely starting his journey by the end of it. Second book solidifies the larger verse and by the third it simply grips. As we proceed and learn more about the world, different clans, we also learn they have their different sets of magics and different dangers and challenges.

The Earth is the Cradle and it's one of the many worlds in this universe. Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their 'souls' to control the forces of the natural world.

Here are some spoiler from the first book of the series, Unsouled, this point on:

It starts with a typical underdog story. The hero lives in a small valley, where everyone practices magic according to their magical affinities. They do a S before starting to teach them Sacred Arts Path. Wei Shi Lindon is born without a specific affinity for the Sacred Arts. His madra fails to react in a test to see check his potential magic. Since everyone’s value in this community is based on how powerful of a Sacred Artist they are, Lindon becomes a sort of outcaste. He gets the badge which says "Empty" and call him Unsouled.

The village not only doesn't want to waste of resources on him they prohibit him from practicing any sacred art or letting him use any elixirs or fruits to help. Lindon tries everything he can from cheating to practicing the simple techniques which were taught pretest ( not the actual art) by himself. Village elder is sympathetic but tells him to simply fade in the background to avoid potential bullies. Lindon is of course, not happy with this situation. After a particularly bad encounter, Elder sends him to The White Fox who is one of the oldest creature and one of the founding fathers of the valley, silently hoping he might help Lindon. White Fox advises him to find his own path. Mind that Paths here are also specific type of magical traditions.

Lindon takes the advice to the heart but has no idea how he is suppose to make his own path. He cheats for a while. He works in the library of the village. He is not allowed to practice the sacred test. But he figures out if he only reads the scrolls or books without trying practicals they won't find out. He comes across a small mention of two techniques where someone used Empty Palm and talked about dividing their "core" where the madra is stored in the body, in two. No details are given and no one seems to have paid attention to it. Dividing the core is not going to help him but he learns Empty Palm with help of his sister. Empty Palm basically disrupts the madra of the opposite party for a few moments, giving Lindon a chance to succeed, if not "win", a few times.

Lindon bets with his elder that if he wins in upcoming festival where a few other schools would be participating, he will let him have White Fox Path book. Though it makes people more annoyed at him as they see it as cheating. It's bad enough that his competition are mostly children, him being the only person of his age still stuck at Foundation level.

, Sixth Judge of the Abidan Court makes her way in the village to fix a temporal divergence during this festival. During the course she watches as Lindon gives his life in what he knew to be a futile effort to stop a being who had transcended Cradle. She notices Lindon's peculiar condition and actions and ends up showing Lindon a glimpse of possible future and some of the most powerful monarchs out there as a reward of a sort. She is can intervene in fate within set parameters and allows him to keep the memory of this encounter.

Lindon now realizes that world is too big outside. And so are the dangers they will be facing in future which will end the whole valley itself. Now he has a choice to make. He can stay. If he stayed his future would get better and he would be able to live a normal family life and live for another half century till some thing destroys the valley. But if he wants to change that fate and save his home and people in future, he would have to get stronger himself. To go beyond, he must contact Yerin, a young girl around his age, whose fate needs an intervention. She is his ticket to get out..

It looks like I am putting out the whole plot but it's just beginning of the story. These books are action packed along with training sessions, tournaments, dragons, humans, biotechnological artifacts, magical beasts, demigods, sacred ruins to explore, different motivations and goals interesting enough characters and a coherent definite plot. The various details of the first book are important and come together later on so they must be paid attention to.

If you like this anime/gaming style story, I would say one should try it out at least once.
 

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
it seems a little generic imo. like yo i get nothing is completely original... but it doesnt seem like theres any good or interesting ideas that hasnt been done a million times and better from reading this. what do you like about this? what really makes you want to read through eight books of this? seems like you can find this same set up in any fantasy section. what separates this from the millions of underdog tries to get stronger to save his village in a world filled with magic, monsters and factions stories for you?
 

HowDidIGetPrem

Active member
Elite
Joined
Jan 18, 2018
Messages
5,827
Kin
5,644💸
Kumi
1,171💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Awards
Looks a lot like Black Clover. I think I'm only willing to read if the story takes place over decades as it implies and the main character isn't the sort to constantly bring up protecting friends nor the key player in every arc. Basically, only if his role is reversed with the typical side character until he's worthy of actually being treated like a MC (constant praise, key player, and the protector opposed to the protected).
 

Avani

Legendary
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
19,538
Kin
3,470💸
Kumi
204💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
it seems a little generic imo. like yo i get nothing is completely original... but it doesnt seem like theres any good or interesting ideas that hasnt been done a million times and better from reading this. what do you like about this? what really makes you want to read through eight books of this? seems like you can find this same set up in any fantasy section. what separates this from the millions of underdog tries to get stronger to save his village in a world filled with magic, monsters and factions stories for you?
Yea that's what I thought when I ignored in the past. What really matters is whether the story is able to get one involved with the characters and the world it creates. It's a well fleshed out world with many layers. Cradle and the universe beyond. Abidan court has it's own internal conflict and threats ongoing. In Cradle too there are empires and kingdoms and families within it. Different factions and their local politics as well as certain players going for long games. These are 8 books and ninth (probably final book) story yet in writing. It wouldn't be this long and big unless it could hold enough audience/readers. If it was that generic and predictable it wouldn't make it this far.
Lindon is not exactly a character with stunted personality. He is forced to use his mind, and he uses that smartness to get by. He has to develop a different skill set to survive in his environment and is not above cheating when facing certain enemies he doesn't want to lose to. But he is still kind and compassionate and works as hard as possible when he is allowed to and learns as much as he can. His journey is more of a boy who grew up like a starved frog in a well and is hungry for knowledge. And the first book sets up a lot that starts coming together towards 8th book.

I hate simple game like novels where hero is moving on the levels one by one. Cradle series has some arcs like that they are never so linear or tedious. And frankly once I got in to it, I rapid read though them all. I need a re-read to arrange my thoughts properly on what point it got me hooked so completely.

Looks a lot like Black Clover. I think I'm only willing to read if the story takes place over decades as it implies and the main character isn't the sort to constantly bring up protecting friends nor the key player in every arc. Basically, only if his role is reversed with the typical side character until he's worthy of actually being treated like a MC (constant praise, key player, and the protector opposed to the protected).
Not like black clover but I can see where it comes from. Spoiler here but Lindon is not exactly void of magic like Asta. It's more like the people living in his little valley were completely isolated for centuries and didn't know much. Lindon's madra doesn't have special affinity towards a particular set of skill to excel in that one area. But as Yerin's informs him later, outside of the Sacred Valley people didn't stick to a single set of technique anyway. It won't be enough. The life style of Valley actually limits people so severely that even strongest of them are too afraid to go out. Within Valley they were used to a safe and passive life mostly. Lindon misses sleeping in his bed and having his comfortable life back home, after he leaves it.

What's difficult to get in the world are resources. There are families, factions with different goals and motivations and they may or may not help you. If you are weak you can get killed of easily. You can be looted, harassed and exploited by people stronger than you. They can escape any accountability for it unless that victim has a family, willing to avenge him. The elixirs, fruits that can accelrate one's learning or teachers who will actually teach him, are hard to come by. People with resources are more likely to advance to higher stages of magic than someone from poor faction. If you show some talent and can be useful, there are families that can adopt you or show some favour in return of your service to them. No matter your power level and skill you may end up a pawn to meet sudden death. Or you may become part of a long game without knowing how did that happen.

I like premise of Black clover but it's world is much smaller compared to the Cradle book series.
 

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Yea that's what I thought when I ignored in the past. What really matters is whether the story is able to get one involved with the characters and the world it creates. It's a well fleshed out world with many layers. Cradle and the universe beyond. Abidan court has it's own internal conflict and threats ongoing. In Cradle too there are empires and kingdoms and families within it. Different factions and their local politics as well as certain players going for long games. These are 8 books and ninth (probably final book) story yet in writing. It wouldn't be this long and big unless it could hold enough audience/readers. If it was that generic and predictable it wouldn't make it this far.
Lindon is not exactly a character with stunted personality. He is forced to use his mind, and he uses that smartness to get by. He has to develop a different skill set to survive in his environment and is not above cheating when facing certain enemies he doesn't want to lose to. But he is still kind and compassionate and works as hard as possible when he is allowed to and learns as much as he can. His journey is more of a boy who grew up like a starved frog in a well and is hungry for knowledge. And the first book sets up a lot that starts coming together towards 8th book.

I hate simple game like novels where hero is moving on the levels one by one. Cradle series has some arcs like that they are never so linear or tedious. And frankly once I got in to it, I rapid read though them all. I need a re-read to arrange my thoughts properly on what point it got me hooked so completely.
mmm, idk plenty of people like predictability, not seeing whats special about it from this. but if you liked it this much to go this hard in support, i guess ill give the first one a try why not
 

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Fair enough.
yo so i read the book, when a muse recc’s i gotta check 😛 but your original summary of the first book was pretty dead on. i cant place it but its like shonen but its not its different. there has to be some sort of genre for this within in fantasy books, i didnt understand what you meant by “gaming” till i read it. but yeah its extremely focused on the character getting stronger like almost like thats the center focus literally

but that part when Lindon was beating up those kids had me dead. but it made me think, a lot of shonen type of manga has adults vs kids combat, never really thought about that before this. like part 1 Naruto, Hunter X Hunter might as well be called child abuse the way those kids get beat. i wonder why...maybe its like a conflict between immaturity and maturity? or maybe that maturity isnt really dependent on age?...idk but he was savage for that

but i see how you could read through 8 books of this, the book was very short. and its extremely direct like, the pacing is like very to the point which makes it go by fast. also theres a lot of info, because of how direct it is, its like i had to re read certain parts, i feel like i could easily forget a lot of what stuffs called because theres a lot of stuff about the world to take in. which may be a reason why you want to re read it? its a lot of info and foreshadowing, it sets up a lot of stuff through foreshadowing which makes you want to keep reading. even the goddess telling him how strong he become is like heavy foreshadowing and creates mystery of how he gets theres. its actually a very skilled way of writing, though i wish the other characters had more development or depth. better dialogue between each other too. also Lindon seems a little one dimensianl, seems like all he cares about is getting stronger. does that get better?
 
Last edited:

Avani

Legendary
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
19,538
Kin
3,470💸
Kumi
204💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
yo so i read the book, when a muse recc’s i gotta check 😛 but your original summary of the first book was pretty dead on. i cant place it but its like shonen but its not its different. there has to be some sort of genre for this within in fantasy books, i didnt understand what you meant by “gaming” till i read it. but yeah its extremely focused on the character getting stronger like almost like thats the center focus literally

but that part when Lindon was beating up those kids had me dead. but it made me think, a lot of shonen type of manga has adults vs kids combat, never really thought about that before this. like part 1 Naruto, Hunter X Hunter might as well be called child abuse the way those kids get beat. i wonder why...maybe its like a conflict between immaturity and maturity? or maybe that maturity isnt really dependent on age?...idk but he was savage for that

but i see how you could read through 8 books of this, the book was very short. and its extremely direct like, the pacing is like very to the point which makes it go by fast. also theres a lot of info, because of how direct it is, its like i had to re read certain parts, i feel like i could easily forget a lot of what stuffs called because theres a lot of stuff about the world to take in. which may be a reason why you want to re read it? its a lot of info and foreshadowing, it sets up a lot of stuff through foreshadowing which makes you want to keep reading. even the goddess telling him how strong he become is like heavy foreshadowing and creates mystery of how he gets theres. its actually a very skilled way of writing, though i wish the other characters had more development or depth. better dialogue between each other too. also Lindon seems a little one dimensianl, seems like all he cares about is getting stronger. does that get better?
Genre..You can find them under Western Cultivation Novels.


These are inspired by Eastern fantasy novels, Xianxia from what I could find. Wuxia ia a martial art novel. Add fantasy elements to it, like gods, spirits, demons, etc and it becomes Xianxia. These are martial art fantasies that revolve around cultivating inner Qi/chakra/madra/mana/spirit/xyz and mastering various martial techniques and larger than life super powerful characters. Main characters progressively get stronger through his/her journey.
Gamelit / LitRPG are separate category.

Since I made that initial post I have learned that the first book reminded me of The Breaker, for a good reason. Will wight is mainly inspired by Korean manhwas and novels.


What chinese or korean novels were the most inspirational towards the Cradle series?

Will Wight

It's hard to pick out just one. 'Against the Gods', 'Coiling Dragon', people always assume 'I Shall Seal the Heavens', I did not like 'I Shall Seal the Heavens', I just didn't enjoy it very much. So that was not the best to me but 'A Will Eternal' is really good but it wasn't really an inspiration, 'cause it came out after I started writing 'Cradle', but that was one of them. There were some korean novels, some korean cultivation stuff, too, like 'Gosu'. So, 'Gosu' is a big deal, 'Veritas' was an influence on the magic system, 'The Breaker' that was a big one. 'The Turorial Is Too Hard' was not an influence on 'Cradle', I didn't start reading that until after I had started writing 'Cradle'. It's good, I like it. I wish 'Veritas' had gotten a sequel or continuation, 'cause I thought it was really great. I thought 'The Breaker' had a lot of potential and some of it it lived up to and some of it it didn't, but I didn't really like it and then it didn't conclude, so, I hope the artist is doing great. These are korean kind of martial arts comics that had some impact and influence on 'Cradle'.


Lindon isn't one dimensional. He is a product of his environment, polite and somewhat naive at times. Initially he only wanted the knowledge of the sacred arts, and to become a soulsmith like his mother. They forge weapons and constructs for various uses etc. If he was allowed to learn enough to do that he might have remained content. He worked as hard as possible, but as things turned out, even 5-7 year olds were ahead of him in social standing. He had to defer to children and his family's status was also affected because of him. Physical power that came with it helps in practicing the art itself, but that was not his initial main goal.
But, now a lot more riding on his becoming powerful enough. No one is coming to save his home if he cannot rise to the occasion. Even to gain alleys to help him out with this task, he must prove himself capable enough. Not only Lindon's own fate but that of his family and homeland too, is tied to his choices. Once he starts shaking things up by whatever means and reasons, he starts changing his fate and people around him, for better or worse.
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrapeApe

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Genre..You can find them under Western Cultivation Novels.


These are inspired by Eastern fantasy novels, Xianxia from what I could find. Wuxia ia a martial art novel. Add fantasy elements to it, like gods, spirits, demons, etc and it becomes Xianxia. These are martial art fantasies that revolve around cultivating inner Qi/chakra/madra/mana/spirit/xyz and mastering various martial techniques and larger than life super powerful characters. Main characters progressively get stronger through his/her journey. Gamelit / LitRPG are separate category.

Since I made that initial post I have learned that the first book reminded me of The Breaker, for a good reason. Will wight is mainly inspired by Korean manhwas and novels.


What chinese or korean novels were the most inspirational towards the Cradle series?

Will Wight

It's hard to pick out just one. 'Against the Gods', 'Coiling Dragon', people always assume 'I Shall Seal the Heavens', I did not like 'I Shall Seal the Heavens', I just didn't enjoy it very much. So that was not the best to me but 'A Will Eternal' is really good but it wasn't really an inspiration, 'cause it came out after I started writing 'Cradle', but that was one of them. There were some korean novels, some korean cultivation stuff, too, like 'Gosu'. So, 'Gosu' is a big deal, 'Veritas' was an influence on the magic system, 'The Breaker' that was a big one. 'The Turorial Is Too Hard' was not an influence on 'Cradle', I didn't start reading that until after I had started writing 'Cradle'. It's good, I like it. I wish 'Veritas' had gotten a sequel or continuation, 'cause I thought it was really great. I thought 'The Breaker' had a lot of potential and some of it it lived up to and some of it it didn't, but I didn't really like it and then it didn't conclude, so, I hope the artist is doing great. These are korean kind of martial arts comics that had some impact and influence on 'Cradle'.


Lindon isn't one dimensional. He is a product of his environment, polite and somewhat naive at times. Initially he only wanted the knowledge of the sacred arts, and to become a soulsmith like his mother. They forge weapons and constructs for various uses etc. If he was allowed to learn enough to do that he might have remained content. He worked as hard as possible, but as things turned out, even 5-7 year olds were ahead of him in social standing. He had to defer to children and his family's status was also affected because of him. Physical power that came with it helps in practicing the art itself, but that was not his initial main goal.
But, now a lot more riding on his becoming powerful enough. No one is coming to save his home if he cannot rise to the occasion. Even to gain alleys to help him out with this task, he must prove himself capable enough. Not only Lindon's own fate but that of his family and homeland too, is tied to his choices. Once he starts shaking things up by whatever means and reasons, he starts changing his fate and people around him, for better or worse.
oh okay. i knew it had to be something

thats a valid perspective, maybe one dimensional isnt the correct word....i guess the way i see it, i agree that hes a product of his environment, i believe everyone is to some degree ya know i also believe everyones actions play a big part in shaping their future and even in a lot of cases affecting others, thats pretty much in every story because its kind of a fact of life. im also only judging from reading the first book. but its like the whole set up is centered around getting stronger, even if they alter the different circumstances that make it so his responsibility is to get strong for the sake of others, honor and even survival. it would be nice to see diffferent sides of his character, that isnt around getting stronger. maybe other characters in the world having more dimensions to themselves, like if you take the first Lord of The Rings for example (i get Cradle is a different sub genre of fantasy). Frodo was kind of put in a similar situation where he had to rise to the occasion and decided to take on responsibility for the fate of his home and larger world, even though he was very small in large world. everyone other character in the world he interacted with had depth and development in the writing as well, while still having deep world development. but to be fair that book was A LOT longer lol

though i agree in the beginning when he was apart of the ceremony to see his sacred art. it showed where he wanted to be in society, and maybe if he got that then yeah. maybe he would have grown and expanded in more areas of life. but its like...really focused on him getting stronger. its only the first book and its definitely like you said. i cant tell if i quite like it yet though from the first one...its not doing anything bad but its not doing anything really well and i want the main character to want more, side characters to have more depth and focus, i think thats needed more than world building but its only the first book. i might check out the second one, you did say it took till like the third book
 
Last edited:

Avani

Legendary
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
19,538
Kin
3,470💸
Kumi
204💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Frodo ...
...
want more, side characters to have more depth and focus, i think thats needed more than world building but its only the first book. i might check out the second one, you did say it took till like the third book
Frodo? Frodo had to walk... he walked a lot but he was not expected to fight. That whole carrying burden of the ring aside, Frodo is the most boring member of the fellowship. Also LOTR was published in 1954 and it was result of work starting from 1917.

Anyway here is what writer said:
Questioner

Why do you not like character development?

Will Wight

Yesterday, I saw a comment wherein a reader wondered why I didn't give character development the same attention as the plot, action, and magic scenes. "It would only benefit the story," this person said, and "I can't understand why he doesn't give this aspect of storytelling the same attention as the others." (Paraphrased, because I can't be bothered to look up the actual comment, but it's pretty close.)The thing is, he's not wrong. And neither are you, to suggest that the world-building is shallow. It is shallow. I have all this stuff charted out in my notes, but much of what I imagine about the world is only skated across or touched upon before we've left the area and moved on to the next.However, there's no such thing as a fast-paced, action-focused, character-focused, plot-focused, worldbuilding-focused fantasy novel. There are series that do all of those things well, but they tend to be much longer and they don't come out twice a year. And even they have priorities, because you cannot have every aspect of story-crafting as your highest priority.I have a limited amount of time to produce these novels if I want to keep releasing them regularly. Therefore, I have to choose what is most important to me.I think will is putting too much stock in keeping books close to the same length.There are two reasons why I put a high priority on keeping the books close to the same length. First is story consistency. It's very easy to let each book in a long series balloon longer and longer as the series progresses, because you're always adding new characters and new places and new aspects of the world to explore.Plus, you hear most of your feedback from your hardcore fans (because they tend to care the most and therefore talk the most), so they're always clamoring for more. However, a 120k book is structurally different from a 90k word book. It's not just "the same story, but more of it." You don't want people to sign on for one type of story and end up getting another.That said, I could see a Cradle book stretching up to 120k without it changing too much, and we might end up there. Which brings me back to the other point: release rate. It takes me longer to write a longer book.If I didn't give myself a cap, I would always write longer and longer books, because there are more cool things I want to cram in there. But I have to limit myself, or the stories will stretch and change and the release rate will slow down."Ah, but Will, you snide devil," I hear you say, "why don't you just take more time to write each book?"Two reasons: first, I don't believe most people want that. I believe most readers value consistent releases more highly than you might expect. I am firm in this belief, but I know everybody doesn't think that way, so in comes my second reason: it just doesn't work.If I took as long as I wanted for each book, and they each took more than a year to write and were as long as I wanted, they might individually become more highly rated. But the series as a whole would be less popular. My sales growth comes almost entirely from quick releases and ratings spikes on Amazon, and the way the Kindle store works means frequent releases are far better than infrequent releases, even if the infrequent releases have individually higher sales. My sales charts make it staggeringly obvious. Sales trend way down, and then a new release spikes the sales for all my books (especially books in that series) back up.If I were to take so long between books, I would fall below my minimum monthly income in about eight months. Which means that for the remaining 6-12 months it could take me to write this book, I'd be running off my savings.That is not a viable business model.Even beyond a business perspective and back to the artistic: the same thing happens to fans. Readers forget about me if they aren't reminded every few months. People stop talking about my books. Word of mouth slows down. People don't care as much. Fans are happier, more engaged, and more interested with more frequent releases.This might not be true if I had one Harry Potter mega-hit that sold a million copies and spawned a perpetual motion machine of fan engagement. Then I could take 2+ years for each book and really knock your socks off every time. But since I have not done that, I have to bow to reality.Bottom line: having established that I have to produce books in a finite amount of time, I therefore have a finite amount of space, and I have to choose carefully what I spend that space on.However, that doesn't mean I've given up on improving my world-building!Specifically in the areas of world-building and character development, I know that I can do more in the same amount of space and with the same amount of time. I am trying, and I push myself in these areas every book. There is a way to write an action scene that gives you deeper insight into the characters involved and demonstrates unique aspects of the world without taking up any more page space or sacrificing pacing, but it's hard to do.I am working on it, though! The issues you've brought up are valid, and I'm aware of them, and I'm working to improve, even within the constraints under which I now operate.Thanks! I don’t want to be one of THOSE writers who lets time stretch on forever between books...although Elder Empire fans might say I’m getting there.By the way, part of the “unanswered question” problem is that, when I set out to write this series, I knew a lot of the upcoming plot points but I did not know how long the series would be. So I wasn’t sure when I would reach the right place for those answers.Now, I have a much better idea of where we are and where we’re going.


 
  • Love
Reactions: GrapeApe

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Frodo? Frodo had to walk... he walked a lot but he was not expected to fight. That whole carrying burden of the ring aside, Frodo is the most boring member of the fellowship. Also LOTR was published in 1954 and it was result of work starting from 1917.

Anyway here is what writer said:
Questioner

Why do you not like character development?

Will Wight

Yesterday, I saw a comment wherein a reader wondered why I didn't give character development the same attention as the plot, action, and magic scenes. "It would only benefit the story," this person said, and "I can't understand why he doesn't give this aspect of storytelling the same attention as the others." (Paraphrased, because I can't be bothered to look up the actual comment, but it's pretty close.)The thing is, he's not wrong. And neither are you, to suggest that the world-building is shallow. It is shallow. I have all this stuff charted out in my notes, but much of what I imagine about the world is only skated across or touched upon before we've left the area and moved on to the next.However, there's no such thing as a fast-paced, action-focused, character-focused, plot-focused, worldbuilding-focused fantasy novel. There are series that do all of those things well, but they tend to be much longer and they don't come out twice a year. And even they have priorities, because you cannot have every aspect of story-crafting as your highest priority.I have a limited amount of time to produce these novels if I want to keep releasing them regularly. Therefore, I have to choose what is most important to me.I think will is putting too much stock in keeping books close to the same length.There are two reasons why I put a high priority on keeping the books close to the same length. First is story consistency. It's very easy to let each book in a long series balloon longer and longer as the series progresses, because you're always adding new characters and new places and new aspects of the world to explore.Plus, you hear most of your feedback from your hardcore fans (because they tend to care the most and therefore talk the most), so they're always clamoring for more. However, a 120k book is structurally different from a 90k word book. It's not just "the same story, but more of it." You don't want people to sign on for one type of story and end up getting another.That said, I could see a Cradle book stretching up to 120k without it changing too much, and we might end up there. Which brings me back to the other point: release rate. It takes me longer to write a longer book.If I didn't give myself a cap, I would always write longer and longer books, because there are more cool things I want to cram in there. But I have to limit myself, or the stories will stretch and change and the release rate will slow down."Ah, but Will, you snide devil," I hear you say, "why don't you just take more time to write each book?"Two reasons: first, I don't believe most people want that. I believe most readers value consistent releases more highly than you might expect. I am firm in this belief, but I know everybody doesn't think that way, so in comes my second reason: it just doesn't work.If I took as long as I wanted for each book, and they each took more than a year to write and were as long as I wanted, they might individually become more highly rated. But the series as a whole would be less popular. My sales growth comes almost entirely from quick releases and ratings spikes on Amazon, and the way the Kindle store works means frequent releases are far better than infrequent releases, even if the infrequent releases have individually higher sales. My sales charts make it staggeringly obvious. Sales trend way down, and then a new release spikes the sales for all my books (especially books in that series) back up.If I were to take so long between books, I would fall below my minimum monthly income in about eight months. Which means that for the remaining 6-12 months it could take me to write this book, I'd be running off my savings.That is not a viable business model.Even beyond a business perspective and back to the artistic: the same thing happens to fans. Readers forget about me if they aren't reminded every few months. People stop talking about my books. Word of mouth slows down. People don't care as much. Fans are happier, more engaged, and more interested with more frequent releases.This might not be true if I had one Harry Potter mega-hit that sold a million copies and spawned a perpetual motion machine of fan engagement. Then I could take 2+ years for each book and really knock your socks off every time. But since I have not done that, I have to bow to reality.Bottom line: having established that I have to produce books in a finite amount of time, I therefore have a finite amount of space, and I have to choose carefully what I spend that space on.However, that doesn't mean I've given up on improving my world-building!Specifically in the areas of world-building and character development, I know that I can do more in the same amount of space and with the same amount of time. I am trying, and I push myself in these areas every book. There is a way to write an action scene that gives you deeper insight into the characters involved and demonstrates unique aspects of the world without taking up any more page space or sacrificing pacing, but it's hard to do.I am working on it, though! The issues you've brought up are valid, and I'm aware of them, and I'm working to improve, even within the constraints under which I now operate.Thanks! I don’t want to be one of THOSE writers who lets time stretch on forever between books...although Elder Empire fans might say I’m getting there.By the way, part of the “unanswered question” problem is that, when I set out to write this series, I knew a lot of the upcoming plot points but I did not know how long the series would be. So I wasn’t sure when I would reach the right place for those answers.Now, I have a much better idea of where we are and where we’re going.


😂😂😂 . personally id have to give that to Legolas, especially in the books, his personality was Sahara desert dry. though he was cooler in the movies because of his fight scenes. but his whole character was to highlight how much character Gimli had in contrast, even though he was hella racist

id even say Frodo had one of the hardest fights. he had to fight the will of Sauron, even Aragorn, Gandalf and Galadriel didnt want that smoke and he still lost too it in the end. but his character development was great and had depth

yo thats hilarious that someone asked him why he doesnt like character development. his reasoning basically was, “i known its shallow but im trying to get this bread real quick, not make something timeless that sticks with my fans for a while”. so i guess that answer my question, not going to knock the hustle.....also not trying to take away from your recc, was just something thats really needed imo when i read it but....guess thats not happening
 

Avani

Legendary
Joined
Jan 26, 2009
Messages
19,538
Kin
3,470💸
Kumi
204💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
id even say Frodo had one of the hardest fights. he had to fight the will of Sauron, even Aragorn, Gandalf and Galadriel didnt want that smoke and he still lost too it in the end. but his character development was great and had depth
Oh I'm not denying Frodo his credit. His struggle and silent courage is real. And yes Legolass and Gimli are there to represent their races and that's about it for the most part.

But how any of it helps your argument about side characters needing more fleshing out? You brought up LOTR only to remind us that Tolkien used all the previous work the Hobbit, Tom Bombadil and Silmarillion etc, and still didn't bother to flesh out any character, more than he needed to. If Legolass and Gimli didn't need it why does Cousin Teris or village elder do?
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrapeApe

GrapeApe

Active member
Regular
Joined
Jul 10, 2016
Messages
1,041
Kin
2,635💸
Kumi
15💴
Trait Points
0⚔️
Oh I'm not denying Frodo his credit. His struggle and silent courage is real. And yes Legolass and Gimli are there to represent their races and that's about it for the most part.

But how any of it helps your argument about side characters needing more fleshing out? You brought up LOTR only to remind us that Tolkien used all the previous work the Hobbit, Tom Bombadil and Silmarillion etc, and still didn't bother to flesh out any character, more than he needed to. If Legolass and Gimli didn't need it why does Cousin Teris or village elder do?
well yo i brought up Frodo as example of great development as a main character, if you think about where he started as a character in the shire, till the end not even being able enjoy being in the shire and suffering from PTSD and everything in between, thats tremendous. every character had development, including Legolas and Gimli. if you think about where they started when we were introduced to them in the LOTR in Riverdale, to how they ended up being best friends and more open minded, thats development for minor minor characters. even Gollum had dimensions and development

i havent read the others. i saw the Hobbit movies but do you think any of those you listed are better than LOTR? like really? lol. it can even expand to other great books in Fantasy, like Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, it even goes into anime and manga, Death Note? Light had tremendous character development. im not aware of Will Wights other books, im sure he has some but with Cradle so far its like dude...

its one of the most key parts of storytelling, even in great movies and books of different genres. because its such an aspect of life, no one stays singly focused from childhood to adulthood. but its like so far with Cradle, everything around Lindon in the world is keeping him in this one box of getting stronger, then the characters around him are even less developed. the author talked about focusing on world building because he didnt want to put in the time to make the characters deeper in fear or losing his audiences interest. but then his world building is really derivative, just because you give stuff different names, doesnt make the concept different. thats my opinion anyways
 
Top