Before we begin, I'd like to address anyone who was looking for a physical copy of Wintersteel. The paperback is finally available to order, and if you order it today, it should arrive in most places on Tuesday.
We can't arrange paperback pre-orders or set it up so that we can guarantee delivery on Day 1, but we got Amazon's advice on the best way to get the books to people on October 6th.
They recommended putting it up three days in advance, and that's today!
Additionally, I'd like to invite you all to join me on my Twitch channel (twitch.tv/willwight) this Monday, October 5th, from 9 PM - 12 AM Eastern for my Wintersteel release...celebration? Event?
Anyway, I'm going to be streaming from nine until Wintersteel goes live.
Unlike previous releases, I won't be reading a scene this time. I couldn't do these early scenes justice. Maybe next time.
Instead, I'll be playing random games (most likely Subnautica, but maybe I'll mix it up with some Subnautica) while answering book questions and wearing a hat!
The hat was Twitter's fault.
Now that the housekeeping is out of the way, proceed for the behind-the-scenes content for Underlord!
As a reminder, I won't be covering Uncrowned behind-the-scenes stuff. At least not right now.
I'm not sure how much I can say without spoiling Wintersteel.
(If you don't see the rest of the post, click Read More!)
In my initial plans for Underlord, I had a new character as a villain: Akura Vanity.
She was a member of Charity's branch of the family, and she's the one who pushed for Harmony to go to Ghostwater in the first place.
More importantly, she was the character who had it out personally for Lindon. And Mercy. She would eventually start to think that Lindon's actions--which resulted in Harmony's death--were all part of Mercy's plan to remove a rival for the position of Malice's heir.
Of course, Harmony was never actually in contention for that position, which Mercy and the reader would know. And would become clear at the end, when Malice personally intervenes to save Mercy.
Vanity herself is an Overlord, and the idea would be that she's the one who's pushing the Seishen Underlords to go after Lindon specifically while Charity is the evenhanded judge. At the end, once Lindon beats Kiro and advances, Vanity would personally attack him with the intention of wiping him out, and would be unable to kill him before Charity stops him.
Anyway, that was my intention! I've got a quick scene with Vanity, and then I'll tell you where she went.
This scene is even less refined than the previous behind-the-scenes moments I've shared before. This is more like an off-the-top-of-my-head rough sketch of a scene, like I sometimes write into outlines.
It's partially in present tense and partially in past, because that's how I usually write notes, so don't let that make you.........
See you afterwards!
In the middle of the night, just outside the walls of Blackflame City, Charity and Vanity walk around driving huge pillars into the ground. They are veiled by a technique of Charity’s, so they’re invisible walking around regular people.
The pillars were made by Malice herself, and contain high principles that Charity can only slightly comprehend. She had spent some time examining these pillars, and they had given her great insight.
Vanity is asking questions about the Blackflame Empire (and Mercy’s presence here), and Charity is answering her, but Vanity’s heart clearly isn’t in it. She’s unraveling.
Once the final pillar is placed, Charity says, “Vanity,” and the woman flinches at her own name. “I know how difficult this is to hear now, but Harmony made his own decisions. He was prepared for the risks.”
Vanity’s face distorted. “What do you know about it?” she hissed. “You don’t know anything. You’ve never—”
She choked off her own words, covering her face with her hands, heaving dry sobs.
Charity looked at her.
Honestly, the words pricked her. But she was more than four times Vanity’s age, and the Path of the Silver Heart emphasized mental discipline even more than combat. Nothing Vanity could say would get a rise out of Charity.
It did hurt briefly, though. She was still human.
Vanity was forty years old, and would age very little for the next century, and Charity looked nineteen. But Vanity wiped her tears away and dipped her head to the Sage.
“I’m sorry, Aunt Charity. I spoke out of pain.”
Charity softened, walking up to her great grand-niece and gathering her in her arms. Vanity was taller, but she crumpled and pressed her face into Charity’s shoulder, weeping into the fabric.
The Sage waited, patting the younger woman’s back.
After a while, Vanity took a deep breath and straightened herself. “I’ve found the young Blackflame. He’ll be here when the portal opens.”
Her voice was quiet, but Charity knew the raw pain that ran beneath it.
“Don’t go too far,” Charity advised. “If you affect the tournament, I won’t be able to help you.”
Vanity forced a laugh. “Don’t worry, Aunt Charity. I know how to hold back.”
Akura Vanity did not know how to hold back.
I liked Vanity as someone for Charity to play off of, and you could see Charity as more human as she interacts with someone she's practically raised. And at the same time, Charity would look fairer and wiser by contrast, as she gets to take the role of a distant arbiter.
But all those scenes would take time. And there are already three Underlord villains in this book as it is, so how many antagonists does one story need?
When I realized Charity alone could perform the same role as both characters, I cut Vanity.
Broadly speaking, if you find that you have a group of characters performing the role of one, that probably means they should be one.
Perform the fusion dance ASAP.
Aaaaaand that's the end of my behind-the-scenes series for Cradle. For now, anyway. There are a lot of other things I could have shared in these posts, so let me know what you thought about them!
Do you want to hear more about my thoughts on the writing process? See more of my rough notes? More deleted scenes? Hear more about what could have been?
Which of those parts did you enjoy the most? What do you want to see more of!
Let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy Wintersteel on Tuesday, October 6th!
10/3/2020 02:00:15 pm
10/3/2020 02:09:14 pm
10/3/2020 02:05:05 pm
But, but, but what about the Jai Chen cosplay? 😭
Couldn’t Be Bothered to Come Up With A Good Fake Name
10/3/2020 02:15:07 pm
I second this motion! We shall have the Jai Chen cosplay!
10/4/2020 10:09:46 am
10/4/2020 08:10:01 pm
Create a petition just for the fun of it lol
10/3/2020 02:08:40 pm
Hey Will, will you share the summary of uncrowned before release. Don’t want to miss out on any reference.
10/3/2020 08:42:44 pm
Yeah, no...he kinda already said multiple times, including this post, he's NOT doing Uncrowned because there would be spoilers for Wintersteel...
10/3/2020 02:09:17 pm
More deleted scenes!!!
10/3/2020 02:10:06 pm
Lover these behind the scenes posts and im looking forward to Wintersteel! I realy want to see the draft of the 9CC archlord vault shopping trip with Fury, håpefullt you will do one of these posts about uncrowned before the next book 😊
10/3/2020 02:11:58 pm
And there where alot of autocorrects in this post.. some to my native language..
10/3/2020 07:49:33 pm
I want to see this too! What did Yerin get from the vault? I can’t remember seeing what she picked up? What did Zeil grab? If I could get 1 deleted scene or BTS notes from Uncrowned, it would be this.
10/4/2020 12:54:59 am
Commen thought is that she got the black sword for bleerin but nothing is confirmed, no clue about ziel 😃
10/5/2020 01:15:39 pm
Sounds like a stellar idea for a fan writing contest! See who can write the best scene, then Will and co. or Reddit votes for their favorite.
10/5/2020 07:58:05 pm
I was thinking the same thing! I would love a tour through that vault and learn a little more about fury in the process. I just relistened to that scene and felt a little let down when it just got passed over and here's lindon's new sword...BTW he made a shield too.
10/3/2020 02:12:48 pm
On your final questions: if I could ask for any behind-the-scenes knowledge, it would be for write-ups on the Paths that Lindon was shown in Blackflame, which I believe you've mentioned before where Paths that you considered giving Lindon in the past. In particular, Crawling Shades and Broken Star both sound really interesting.
10/3/2020 02:15:43 pm
Will Jai Chen and Jai Long return?
10/3/2020 02:16:31 pm
Meh, it says in amazon.de that paperback delivery should come to my place (eastern eu) on Tuesday, Oct. 13....
10/3/2020 02:23:48 pm
This format of dispensing deleted scenes has been suuuuuper awesome. I think it should continue between books, maybe to keep the blogs a little more consistent during the periods where there isnt a whole lot to say? Also itd let you give uncrowned scenes :) :)
10/3/2020 02:28:38 pm
Please put her back in the series later would love to she her try to you know off Lindon when he reaches over lord. Merely to see how he reacts to meeting Harmony's and the consequences of his actions, you know make it like a mirror of what he is trying to avoid by saving sacred valley and then guilt it causes him or any other emotion, even though I admit Harmony practically killed himself with his attitude. I think it would make great development for his character even though we have Sopharanatoth doing something similar you could even compare her to Lindon's mom since she probably thinks Lindon is dead. Also don't forget to include dross commentary even if I find him just a bit annoying but mostly funny with his dark humor.
10/3/2020 02:32:14 pm
Hello Mr. Wight. Personally, I really have enjoyed the deleted scenes, and then you explaining why you cut them/what they were replaced with. Pretty much this post.
10/3/2020 03:04:32 pm
10/3/2020 02:32:53 pm
We were promised a Wight Jai Chen cosplay. If Will is wearing a hat, I guess that means Sam is doing the cosplay...
10/3/2020 02:45:15 pm
Would love to see more deleted scenes, and bloopers, love the bloopers. But also some write ups on the world and paths that we don't get from the books.. basically I need you to directly inject all Cradle knowledge into my brain, I must know everything!
10/3/2020 02:46:25 pm
I don’t care what kind of hat Jai Chen wears. Just make sure she is there representing the Wight clan!
10/3/2020 02:49:40 pm
I think I am enjoying the "I wanted/tried to this thing in this book but ended up cutting it for these reasons" far more than the actual deleted scenes. Of course, what I enjoy most of all is secret, even if not necessarily important bits of worldbuilding. Looove me some worldbuilding.
10/3/2020 03:07:13 pm
You? Say it ain't so! I don't believe it
10/3/2020 02:54:40 pm
Why will why. I have school at that time. 😭😭😭😭😭😭😭. You torture me Will you really do.
10/3/2020 02:59:53 pm
For the twitch stream I mean
10/3/2020 03:55:52 pm
I would love to hear more about the characters that didn’t make it into the books!
10/3/2020 04:21:14 pm
Love the behind the scenes. I would enjoy any content showing how you put these books together and decided where to stop and start the next. I always wanted to write but im horrible at all the important bits of it lol. So seeing how your mind works while writing probably my favorite series ever brings this one such joy
10/3/2020 05:04:26 pm
The things I enjoy the most are the extra facts and background for the world, characters, factions, etc. All the things you don't get to put into a book due to size constraints. I would love to hear more about infighting within the akura clan, bids for power, introduce more characters, the what, the how and the why. Bring it on! It doesn't necessarily have to be days before release, and it doesn't even necessarily have to be scenes. Just more information and background. If released before a book or even halfway between releases, it shouldn't be regarded as too much content; on the contrary, I think it works to keep us interested!
Well, it's usually things I cut because they would have been unnecessary or pointless. If I had a longer page count limit, I probably would have cut most of the same stuff.
10/3/2020 05:07:23 pm
10/4/2020 05:40:46 am
10/5/2020 04:50:32 am
10/5/2020 07:06:33 am
My paperback copy came in this morning!
10/3/2020 09:13:49 pm
10/4/2020 08:17:43 am
Great peek into could-have-been. And looking back, it seems so unnecessary for the plot, but I'm certain that had you stuck with it, that version would have seemed the "correct" timeline that makes complete sense. It's always a bit mind-bending to contemplate how a plot can hinge of these decisions.
10/4/2020 09:39:37 am
10/4/2020 11:12:14 am
The insights into your writing techniques have been eye opening and appreciated. Out of curiosity, when do you typically summon your inner circle to provide initial feedback?
10/4/2020 12:18:24 pm
Could be that I am misremembering, - and if I am, then feel free to rip the failing mind construct from my spirit - but didn't Akura Harmony have a brother who had encouraged him to visit Ghostwater and retrieve the 'true prize' from the tree?
10/4/2020 07:45:54 pm
welp, that's the last time I buy a knock-off.
K. Webb Waites
10/4/2020 02:12:14 pm
I would definitely like more deleted scenes as well as more background info on the world and characters. The more the better. I've enjoyed all of these behind the scenes segments.
10/4/2020 03:04:11 pm
10/4/2020 06:15:41 pm
10/5/2020 02:23:19 am
10/4/2020 08:52:48 pm
I have been thinking about this for the past year, so here's a short essay:
10/5/2020 02:18:15 am
I agree with most what you said. He could at least won the black dragon fight...
10/4/2020 04:19:29 pm
Is this still how the portal was made? Did they use scripted poles and everything?
10/4/2020 04:53:58 pm
so will I get Wintersteel at 9 pm, as I am on the west coast? if so, sick
10/4/2020 05:33:14 pm
This might be a dumb question, but is there a map in any of the books? I loved to understand more of the geography and where everything is in the world.
10/5/2020 04:41:57 pm
I think will is anti map because he doesn't like complaints
10/4/2020 06:19:26 pm
Im a huge fan of the deleted scenes so please continue doing them! The world itself is so rich, and obviously seeing the characters go through it is awesome, but these little details really make it that much more vibrant. Also, the little tidbits of your thoughts before the del. scene are just as great. Its just as cool hearing where you were mentally with the scene and how your thoughts on it changed over time. Cheers! And as always thanks for content!
10/4/2020 06:47:58 pm
As an aspiring writer, learning about the writing process of one of my most influential inspirations is amazing. So more of it, if you please
10/4/2020 06:54:45 pm
Am I the only person who thinks Cradle would make a really, really fun single player game? Sort of like Sims where you can create multiple characters, only controlling one at a time and letting the others play on AI while you (possibly) set goals for what the ones you aren't controlling should work on. It would be awesome. Want to create a sect of sacred artists who all use shadow/life madra? Create a bunch of characters with similar goals, and set them all travelling together.
10/4/2020 07:10:31 pm
I have been thinking this exact thing. But an MMORPG or RPG maybe. I have always thought that if I win the jackpot powerball, I'm going to see if Will would option the rights to make a video game......
10/4/2020 07:48:59 pm
I think I would actually like it less as an MMORPG. Part of what interests me about Cradle is all the interesting sects and characters who use the same Path in different ways. And that would be.... hard... to do as an MMORPG. You'd need to get a group of people who all have compatible personalities AND who all want to pursue similar madra types, and establish a home for them, in an area where Remnants of those madra types can be found so they can advance to Lowgold. Speaking from experience playing Conan Exiles, it's hard enough just getting people to agree on a LOCATION to build a base, and to agree on what type of architecture said base should have, let alone also requiring them to all agree on the same or compatible madra types for purposes of creating a viable sect of people working together and growing. Being able to spawn in new characters to a single player world sounds infinitely more interesting, especially as it has the potential to discover that the character you started and got bored of ten in game years ago has gone off and become the leader of the Skysworn since you left them alone being piloted by AI.
10/4/2020 07:08:38 pm
Hot 🔥 DAMN! I cannot wait for this book to come out! But I will wait, and then after I get it, wait some more to read it!
10/5/2020 02:01:54 am
I want to learn more about the results of the previous uncrowned king tournaments and the winners and dramq that unfolded at those times!
10/5/2020 03:43:29 am
Would love to keep hearing the behind the scenes and what could have been.
10/5/2020 07:42:56 am
I'd love to hear more about the process that your writing goes through. How many drafts do you usually have before publication? At what point do you work with an editor or beta readers, and how much do you usually adjust the story based on the feedback from your editor / beta readers?
10/5/2020 07:55:07 am
I want to hear more about how you are dealing with your wild success? Any stalker stories? Did the swagger appear on its own or did you have to practice the new walk?
10/5/2020 07:57:08 am
Yes to more writing insights. It's always useful to hear how the nuts and bolts come into being than the typical, "yes, no matter what, I write 4 hours a day without fail". It's even more insightful when its going on when I'm reading the books, rather than 20 years after the author has skipped town for the Riviera.
10/5/2020 10:37:20 am
Books 1-7 free through the 7th. He posted on facebook but hasn't gotten around to mentioning it here yet that I can tell.
Jamie Danielle Woods
10/6/2020 05:35:14 pm
More on your writing process!!
10/18/2020 12:26:11 am
Leave a Reply.
Of the Cradle series
Want to get short stories and book releases before anyone else? Sign up below!
Hey, what about those short stories you claim to have already written?
Apparently they're kept here!