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Originally, by the way, Yeden wasn't the one who hired the team. There was no employer–Kelsier just wanted to try and overthrow the Lord Ruler. The main way I took the focus off of stealing the atium (making this less of a heist book and more of a Mission: Impossible style book) was to put the focus on raising and training the army. Having Yeden be paying them to get him an army worked much better for this format.
This is probably my favorite section from the logbook. It really comes together here, weaving in elements from the various epigraphs, making a story out of what the reader has previously only seen in pieces.
I hope this story-within-a-story is interesting to you. It really does have a purpose in the novel, as you'll eventually see. At the very least, I should hope that the concept intrigues you. The past story is, after all, the standard fantasy novel story–the young peasant hero who follows the prophesies to rise up and defeat the dark lord. Except, as you can guess, something went wrong.
Though I try to avoid writing the standard fantasy story, it intrigues me. That's why I wanted to have these epigraphs make reference to the concept. They let me play with what has come before me, without actually forcing my readers to spend all their time reading "my" interpretation of the same old story. (It seems that every fantasy author has their own spin on this story–yet none of them realize that as a reader, I don't really want to read a new spin on an old story. I want to read a new story.)
You said you had thirteen books that you wrote before you got published. Did you ever go back to any of them, or are they all just totally trunkable?
So, number thirteen was Way of Kings--that first version I talked about. Elantris was number six. So those two got published. I ripped apart number nine and built it into Warbreaker--some of the ideas. White Sand was one of them but became a graphic novel. Some of them, ideas are still waiting to get used. Because some of them got ripped up and turned into Mistborn. I have reused some of the ideas, but some of them just--
Yeah, but like-- but you did reuse some of the full book?
I didn't ever--I didn't take any of the actual words, but yeah.
Chapter Nineteen - Part Two
This is the only chapter where we get to see directly what Kelsier is going about doing at night. You may think that a thousand manuscript pages is a lot of room to do things in a book, but you'd be surprised. With the focus on Vin's progress, I really can't spent that much time showing Kelsier running about being sneaky. In truth, I think it would get old very quickly.
Yet, one chapter–such as this one–makes for a very interesting break from what we have been doing. It gives us an idea of Kelsier's part in the job without being laborious. Actually, I find this chapter quite fun, since it gives us quite a bit of information in a very short amount of time. Having Kelsier ask about House Renoux, and getting the response, lets the reader know that the crew is safe for the moment. Yet, having Straff ask about the Survivor lets us know that Kelsier's reputation is growing, and that the crew might soon be in danger.
This chapter is where, in my opinion, the book starts to get good. These kinds of chapters are part of what I write for–good, solid character interaction with some intellectual problem-solving going on. I really like the way that the crew works through their challenges here. The items presented really do sound quite daunting as they're listed; yet, by the end, I hope that the reader feels as the crew does–that this plan could actually work, if they pull it off right.
I had to rewrite this scene several times, bringing the focus away from simply stealing the atium. By the last draft, I had something I was very pleased with. It outlines things simply enough, yet doesn't make everything sound TOO easy. At least, that is my hope.
If I were to start reading your books, which you would recommend I start with?
Normally, I recommend that people either start with a book called Mistborn or a book called Warbreaker. Warbreaker is a standalone. It has a little more romance to it and it's a little lighter. Mistborn is a little more action oriented and a little more plot focused. So it just depends what you're interested in.