Dinner conversation with Marasi
This is probably a good point to talk about Marasi too. She's a little more simple than Steris, but also more innately likable.
Marasi represents me playing with concepts of how to make strong female characters. I'm well aware that in fiction, one of the most simple ways to make someone strong—male or female—is to make them capable in combat. Whether it's Vin or Kaladin, being able to kick butt and take names on a battlefield leads to a powerful sense of competence and self-confidence. It's only one side to those characters, of course, but it's an important side.
It shouldn't be the only way to be strong, however. Though I'm very pleased with Vin's ability to be both feminine and combat-savvy, I don't want to fall into the trap of implying that only those who can lay waste to their enemies are strong. I have conversations about this in The Way of Kings, but this story felt like a place to put some of it into practice.
I'm curious to see what people think of Marasi. I gave myself a challenge with her—create a female lead who is also very young and inexperienced, prone to blushing, and has no interest whatsoever in picking up a gun. I hope that she ends up interesting in her own right.