What's Wayne's favorite ice cream flavor?
The more-- Oh rum. Obviously, come on.
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What's Wayne's favorite ice cream flavor?
The more-- Oh rum. Obviously, come on.
If Wayne and Lift were to meet, what would their reactions be?
They would get along spectacularly together and would end up trying to one up each other back and forth and back and forth.
Is there any chance we're ever going to get a conversation between Wayne and Lopen?
Maybe in a non-canon entry.
This was the final piece of figuring out who Wayne was. When I'd toyed with him as a character in the original short story, I'd intended for there to be something like this in his past. In the case of this book, however, I didn't decide upon it until I was quite a ways into the story.
I've mentioned that when it comes to characters, I often "discovery write" who they are. Meaning, I work my way into them as I write. With plots and settings, I tend to do a lot of planning and know pretty much where I'm going from the beginning. But with characters, I do a lot of exploring. If a book isn't going well for me, it's often because I can't get the characters down the right way.
That stated, one might wonder why I don't just plan them out like I do my plots and settings. It's because it doesn't really work for me to do it that way—the characters don't stick to the plan in the same way that plots do. I've found that I need this element of improvisation in my writing to give it authenticity. The characters have to breathe in a way that the plots don't need to, for me. I have to let them be more real, in a way, though I'm not certain if it's possible to explain this process.
Anyway, my instincts said there had to be something in Wayne's past like this, and I had felt for a few chapters it had to do with why he didn't use guns. But until I wrote this chapter, I hadn't settled on how it was actually going to have played out.
What was your inspiration for Wayne?
Wayne had a lot of inspirations... Obviously, there's some Mat Cauthon going on for me when I do Wayne, particularly the way that Mat would see the world differently from the that way he would act. The original inspiration for Wayne was a character who changed personalities based on which hat he wore. He was actually the lead in a Mistborn story I was writing, and he didn't work well without someone to play off of... Some characters work way better when they are surrounded by more normal people. Not gonna say anything about things like the Minion movie (which my children loved), but it's very hard to tell a story about everyone being crazy instead of having a framework of someone to keep it going in the right direction. So that was a big inspiration for Wayne.
The other big inspiration for Wayne was something I noticed about human nature, where I wanted to tell a story about a character who had some really deep-- Wayne should bother you. Like the way he treats Steris. And the way he treats Ranette. And the way he treats some of the people in his life should really bother you. And one of my goals with Wayne was to tell a story that mimics what I see in real life, where there are people I know and I love who also have this way about them that you realize they aren't quite-- grown-up's the wrong term... Like, all of us are the heroes in our own group of friends. We're all the hero of our story. We each have different things we're working on. And some of them are classic good storytelling things, like "I'm gonna learn to be more bold." Which is totally me. Totally something I need to work on. But some of them are "I treat people who aren't in my inner circle really poorly, especially if they're trying to get into my inner circle. And then when you're in my inner circle, I have a dysfunctional relationship with you a lot of time." And I thought I could only really do that with a character that you loved while you were really annoyed by them, because otherwise I feel like the character wouldn't work. Maybe I could do it a different way, but I really wanted to dig into that in these new Mistborn books, and Wayne was my vehicle for doing this.
Some kind of nebulous sort of writerly things going on there.
I personally love Wayne, the character. <Explain to me> what that inspiration was.
I wanted-- I started with a character who changed personalities when *inaudible*. And I kind of built out from that.
Was there a personal... Was there a person who like-- that might have reminded you.
No. *inaudible* It was just that I wanted to write somebody who was a little more goofy. A little more interesting. A colorful character who would be a *inaudible*. Who could just be a representation that this is a little of a lighter world than we were in before.
Your book, Shadows of Self, just released today. What do you think will shock fans the most?
I have a feeling that the ending will be the most shocking part, followed closely by how magnificently Wayne butchers our language.
No spoilers now! Why did you decide to focus on Waxillium Ladrian in this book?
Wax is the heart of these books, though it has been tough to get past his rough exterior. I wanted to really dig into who he is.
Does Wayne have a first or last name?
In Mistborn, last names are in flux. A lot of people still don't have them, as they weren't a skaa thing. However, Wayne would have one he could use, if he wanted.
How do you write Wayne? The guy is a little bit crazy, but when you see things from his perspective it makes sense. How do you get in that headspace to write that?
I put on his hat. Well it’s--characters are so hard for me to define how I do them. Everything else I can define, right? I can talk about it. With character I write their viewpoint and see if I get to know them, and if I do I’ve just got it. That’s all I can say.
Have we seen Wayne in any other series besides Era 2?
No, you haven't. Good question!
Wayne shows up
Another aspect of the Mistborn books is the humor. I plan the humor in each of my novels specifically. In Warbreaker, the humor is all about wordplay and lofty back-and-forths. In the Alcatraz books, it's about being audacious, whimsical, and . . . well, a little insane. In The Way of Kings, it's more character-specific, certain characters engaging in different types of humor to fit the scene.
The Mistborn books have always employed a type of humor I'll call grim banter. Friends who know each other making jokes back and forth amid sometimes terrible situations. There's usually an edge to the banter, much how Kelsier would speak in the original trilogy. I wanted to maintain that feel, and so for this series to work, it needed to be founded on at least two characters who knew one another well and who were comfortable with insulting one another in the name of levity.
It was actually hard not to get to Wayne sooner in the book—even though this is only chapter two, he's a big part of the heart and soul of this story. I wanted to get him in quickly, as quickly as possible. This was the right place, I'm confident—he'd have distracted from Lessie in the prologue.
I'm pleased with how he turned out, by the way. He's vibrant enough as a person, with a good soul and a lot of quirks, that he quite often steals the show. That was a balance I had to work on in the book to make sure he didn't steal it too much. (Or, at least, too often.)
Who's your favorite character to write?
Usually the characters I look more-- forward to the most are the ones that are goofy.
So like Wayne and Lift. Like, but not up to like-- Wit I-- is hard to write, right? It's the kind of wacky but don't have to be too clever characters that are most fun to write.
One Wayne and Wax question left in me that I can't get out of my head. What exactly made you decide upon their combination of abilities? Did you focus on the abilities and what they can do, or did you want to give those two characters specific sets of weaknesses and then went from there?
I built them like I built the original Mistborn thieving crew, actually. I decided their roles, then picked powers to compliment them. This is opposite of the Stormlight archive, where I have the orders, and I fit people to them.
For the Wax and Wayne series, how do you come up with all of Wayne's little wisecracks?
How do I come up with Wayne’s wisecracks. Here's the deal, it’s kind of hard to write people who are more clever than you are, but it's one of the tricks you have to learn as a writer. The big difference is, they make it off the cuff in the moment, and you can spend like a week or two trying to find the perfect thing to say in that moment. And that's really how it does. Often the characters who are more humorous, or something, that are more-- Like Wayne's a great example, it's very natural for him how he says things, it can take me weeks to come up with a couple of lines of dialogue for Wayne. Where other things get written very quickly. My favorite Wayne-isms are when I can have him use a word that looks, when you're reading along, you just assume it's a word but if you go back you go "Wait a minute, did he actually say 'defecation of character'?" or something like that. So you don't even notice it on the first read through. The things where a copy-editor is "Oh, you used the wrong word here" those are my favorite Wayne-isms. Those take forever.
Who/what was the inspiration for Wayne's character? He's the best!
Really, it started with the hats and went crazy from there.
What are two cosmere characters that have never met (and maybe never will) that you would be most excited to write a scene involving?
It is Lift and Wayne. Preferably after Lift is of age, and they can go drinking together. But even before, I think, they would make a very interesting pairing.
Would you consider writing a short story about Wayne's origins?
I don't generally do this. The reason being that I construct stories, generally, in such a way, particularly a story like Wayne's story that starts a little in media res, and he's already had quite a bit of life experience and foundational things... I construct a story knowing that I'm going to give you touchstone moments for that character's narrative in a way that indicate to you what happened in the past. And with Wayne, I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that. There's still a little bit more for the next book, but I feel like if I were to go back and tell this story, it would be like going back and telling Rashek's story or Alendi's story from the Mistborn series. Where the epigraphs are there to give you the story, and if I wrote it out, it would just be really repetitive to things I've already done.
The characters that I'm more likely to write short stories or novellas about are ones where there just isn't room in the narrative to dig into something deep about their character. Rock is an excellent example of this, from the Stormlight books. There's just not room. Which is why I plan to write a Rock novella. Be like, "All right, let's really dig into who Rock is, his past, and stuff like that." Because you just don't get those answers. With Wayne, I feel like I have given the answers in such a way that if I did more, it would be boring.
Wayne imitates a constable
Writing this Wayne chapter was a pure delight. It was here that I was finally certain that I had his character down, following the misstarts before changing to this version of the story. Here is also where I made the decision that I'd chosen right in expanding the short story to a novel. For me, a single viewpoint character often isn't enough to carry a novel. (Unless I'm doing a first-person narrative.)
Wayne, as a character, really grew into himself here. It is interesting to me how quickly he came together as I started working on this book. That first false start was awful—yet, once I started writing about him as a counterpoint to Wax, he just popped out fully formed, Athena-like, brimming with personality and strength.
I do worry that he'll overshadow Wax a bit—which is one reason why it's good to wait until chapter eight to give him a viewpoint. However, I think it is a matter of appeal. The two of them will appeal to different readers. I really like how the two play off one another and have different strengths.
By the way, I realize the cover has a problem with Wayne holding a gun. It wasn't worth complaining about, as I felt that there needed to be a gun on the cover to indicate the shift in the Mistborn setting. However, Wax's hands are both down low, so the gun really does need to be in Wayne's hand. Just pretend he's holding it for Wax.
Waxillium gets pushed to the brink, watching the robbery
I realize it's amusing for people to think of the process of this book, which began as a "short" story. Perhaps I'll post my original attempts at writing the book. As a matter of note, Wayne was the first person I imagined for this series. In very early notes I scribbled down, he was actually going to be a hatmaker. (If you can believe that.) He developed a long way from there.
Many of you may know that I wrote this book during my "time off" between finishing Towers of Midnight and starting A Memory of Light. However, the ideas for this story had been around for some time longer, perhaps a year or two. I decided I wanted to do some shorter stories between the first two larger-scale Mistborn trilogies, and . . . well, this is what "short" means to me, I guess.
Anyway, the first scene with Wayne I dabbled in (this was before the break) was him out in the Roughs riding into town on a kandra that had the body of a horse. It was a nice spin on a typical Western motif—instead of being the quiet gunman of Western cliché, he was a screwball hatmaker. And his horse was sentient and grumbling about having to carry him around; she wanted to get back into a human body as soon as possible.
The scene didn't work, though. I didn't get far into it. Wayne wasn't working for me as a main viewpoint character at that time, and I hadn't gotten around to filling out his character with the things he eventually became. (His "borrowing," his love of accents, his good nature despite a dark past. Things like this grew as his character became more deep.)
The other thing that didn't work in those original scenes was the fact that there was no Wax. Wayne needed someone to play off, someone to be dry and more solemn—but still make for good banter. And Wayne just wasn't a leading man. The story was wrong when it was just about him. I needed to tell a story about someone else and fit him into it.
That brings us to this sequence. When I planned the original short story, this sequence at the party was going to be the end of it. The Vanishers weren't in the book—it was just a simple gang of thieves taking a hostage. The prologue didn't exist, as I've spoken of earlier. It was a more simple story of a man coming into his own and deciding to fight again after losing someone dear to him.
For that reason, this sequence here—this chapter with the next—may feel like a climactic sequence to you, of the sort you often find at the end of my books. Originally, this was going to be the ending. (Though by the time I reached this chapter in the writing, I'd already decided I was going to make the story much longer, and had greatly expanded my outline. Hints of the story's origins can still be found, however. Note that we don't get a Wayne or a Marasi viewpoint until after this sequence when we hit the expanded outline material.)
Is Wayne the author that's writing the Allomancer Jak stuff.
No, he's not. Good question, though! Good question!
What's [Wayne's] effect from his Twinborn abilities?
I don't think I've released that yet.
The Book's Title
It's from this chapter that we get the title of the book. The Alloy of Law. I realize it's an odd title. However, something about it strikes me. I don't think everyone is going to like it; it's certainly not as immediately powerful as something like The Way of Kings. But then, it's also a little more unique. It does, in my mind, encapsulate the theme of the novel. The idea is that these two men—Wax and Miles—are both taking their own interpretations of what it means to follow the law, and mixing it up and making something new of it. This book is a confrontation between their two different ideals.
The working book title was simply Wax and Wayne. (As I was writing the early chapters, that was how they were titled.) I knew this title wouldn't stick, however, as it's a pretty lame pun. Now, I happen to be fond of lame puns. But they don't belong in book titles unless you happen to be writing Xanth or Bob Asprin-type novels.
I can't honestly remember which name—Wax or Wayne—I came up with first. I had Wayne as a character first, but he had a different name. Wax's name came from the Mistborn ideal, where the characters frequently had strange fantasy names that abbreviated to fun terms. (Like Hammond becoming Ham or Dockson becoming Dox.) Wax just fit well with those. Wayne, on the other hand, is a name that feels Western to me, for obvious reasons. As soon as I began thinking of the character by that name, he started to become complete to me—and so I had to keep it, even though the "Wax and Wayne" pun will probably make people groan.
Does Wayne's ability to impersonate people have anything to do with his Allomantic abilities, or is it just skill?
He is just really good at it. Good question.
I just wanted to say ... I like how the main characters are named Wax and Wayne.
Thanks. In all honesty, I was hesitant about the pun. I liked it, on one hand, but also worried that it was too goofy. By the time I tried changing the character names, however, they were too strongly cemented in my head, so changing them proved too difficult and I just left them as-is.
Wayne from the Wax and Wayne, worldhopper?
Wayne is not a worldhopper.
Wayne... Which order would he be in?
It would take-- He would probably fit best as an Edgedancer, would be my guess. Most of the Orders would look very strangely upon Wayne, let's say that.
They're called "Wax and Wayne." Is that something to do with the moon or is that just...
It's a pun, it's just a pun on my part.
So you did it on purpose but it's nothing in the book?
I did. Yeah, Scadrial doesn't have a moon so they wouldn't really... The words "wax" and "wane" still mean what they mean, but it's not part of common vernacular the way it is over here. So it's me being goofy and loving the pun way too much.
Does Wayne have PTSD?
He absolutely does.
Do Wayne and Ranette have last names?
Wayne, no. Wayne doesn’t care about a last name. Ranette does, and I’m trying to remember what her last name is. It’s in my notes. If you ask, we can get it for you.
Is Wayne sick?
Is Wayne sick? In what way?
Like, terminally ill kind of thing?
No. Good question.
If video games existed in the cosmere, which current cosmere character that we know would be the best gamer?
Best gamer? Um...
I want to see if your statement is the same as mine.
Whew, best gamer? Who wants to sit down and game?
That's going outside of mine, my character probably would not want to, but I think they'd be very good at it.
Very good at gaming, very good at gaming... Lift.
Oh, Lift would probably enjoy it. Mine is Sazed because he can store his speed and stuff.
Yes, Sazed would be technically, you're right, would be way, way better. I don't know if Wayne could slow time and put in inputs and then they would come out, I don't know how that would work.
Is the tv outside of his bubble?
Yeah, the tv would have to be outside of his bubble. How would that work?
What happens to a wireless signal when it hits the bubble?
Wireless signal is going to have a red shift. Physicist, what happens if a red shift happens? As I understand it, that actually wouldn't change it appreciably, but we'd let a physicist say on that. Regardless, yeah, Sazed would definitely have a big leg up. That's a very good answer.
Did you have like-- I love Wayne because to me he has a little British background.
Yes. *brief interruption* Yes, Wayne-- If you heard Wayne he would sound... I mean, he's not straight up cockney, but you're gonna be like, "Oh, that's one of my mates."
Cause there's a lot of, like, words in there. I'm like, "He knows, he knows.."
Yeah, yep, yeah. I get a lot of that touring in the UK. Heading over there. I'm like, "Oh, they use this word all the time. Oh, they use this word. Oh...Okay. Things are 'brilliant.'"
Does Wayne ever get married? Does he ever feel redeemed?
...I'm not gonna answer that one for you. That's a definite RAFO. Boy, it-- You'll have to see. Getting Wayne into a committed relationship with someone else who wants to be in that relationship would be a big first step. And let's just hope he can someday do that.
In Shadows of Self, I was wondering if there was a reason that Wayne wanted to ride with Hoid on the exterior of the carriage.
He just thought it would be fun, and he likes Hoid, but he doesn't know who he is.
Wayne mentions a nervous habit that gets cut off, can you tell us what that nervous habit is?
Alright, give me the full context of this please...
It was after the battle on the train, and Wax basically… Wax basically says "There's worse things than being genuine. Why, before blah blah blah, before Wayne would, Wayne used to basically get so nervous that he'd start…" And then Wayne cuts him off.
Oh, okay. Yeah, Wayne had a really, really, deep stutter when he was younger, and that, I believe, is what I was referencing.
So if you can imagine poor Wayne and his poor stutter.
Other than Hoid, which character have you had the most fun writing?
*referring to his personalization request* Just that one. Wayne is a wise man, wrapped up inside of a sad man, wrapped up inside of a silly man.
He likes a hat to be nice and stiff. To mean something. And a fedora is going to be too weak for him. Too... too floppy. It's not a hat you have to commit to, in Wayne's opinion.
Does the name [Wax & Wayne] foreshadow anything that's gonna happen?
No. I named them that because the pun made me crack up. It's not meant to be foreshadowing. The fun thing about that pun is, Scadrial not having a moon, means that those words exist in their language, it's not part of the common parlance like it is here, so they don't get the pun.
So, I don't know how much I've talked about this, but there are two things going on with Wayne in regard to Steris.
The first is that Wayne is a highly instinctive person. He DOES think, and more than people give him credit for, but he judges a lot of what he does by what his gut says. I've known people like this and they can be extremely charming, but have more trouble articulating why they might make a certain decision--or why they don't like a particular person.
Wayne doesn't like Steris. She feels off to him, and his instincts say she's hiding something. Trouble is, his gut is misleading him in this case. Steris doesn't think and react like Wayne does, but it's not because she's hiding something--it's because she doesn't pick up on the same social cues that someone highly sociable like Wayne sees.
There's a second issue here, and that's Wayne's over-protectiveness. Wayne tends to lump people in his head into "my mates" and "those other folks." Once you're "in" with him, he'll do basically anything for you. You'll never find a more loyal friend. At the same time, it's hard to get "in" with him--and if he perceives someone as "stealing" someone from him, he gets very defensive, even mean.
He doesn't realize it, but his subconscious sees Steris as taking Wax away from him and--even more importantly--away from Lessie. He'd be belligerent toward anyone Wax started dating, but the fact that he gets lots of false positives off of Steris doesn't help one bit. If Wax/Marasi had worked out, he'd probably have been okay with it, for example.
Have we seen the resonances of either Wax or Wayne?
Yes, well, Wax is really good at sculpting bullets and things away from him.
Yeah and things like this. This is playing with the fact that he is-- Let's just say that the abilities make this happen, and I’ll let you theorize on why, but it's just an enhancement to what he can do.
I might be wrong, but I thought you said it was because he was becoming a steel savant.
A savant, yeah, definitely, but this is what this is coming from.
But being a savant has to do with being really good with one power--
Being a savant has to do with using Investiture a lot, and it's starting to permeate your soul. Like we've ta--
So he's more a savant with both of--
He's used them a lot, and they are changing his soul, and so the powers are morphing and changing. Just in slight, little ways. You're not gonna see a whole bunch. But you can imagine these two separate powers are kind of becoming one to him.
Yeah I can see that. And Wayne?
So Wayne's is not as obvious. I'll go ahead and RAFO that right now.
Which one did you make yourself laugh the most?
Hmmm... I think Wayne. The Mistborn books. He's the one who makes me laugh the most.
[Wayne] seems to impersonate other people--
That also is just him. There's nothing really supernatural going on, he's just really good at this.
Who would win in a fight? Lift, or Wayne?
I have trouble imagining why they would fight, but it's gonna depend on situation and who gets the upper hand.
Where did Wayne come from? ...Who is he modeled after?
He is not modeled after anyone specific. He came from me wanting to write a character who changed his personality based on the hat he wore. Like, literal, a person who wears lots of hats... I started a short story with him as the main character, and I found he needed someone to play off of, and that's where Alloy of Law came from.
Did you write Wayne as a sociopath? Or just troubled?
As usual, I prefer not to interfere with theories that people are making, to confirm or deny them. I WILL say this, however.
The scenes where he interacts with Ranette and Allriandre are supposed to be uncomfortable, though I don't anticipate the average reader being able to pick out why. Anyone with any sort of experience with similar situations, however, will identify that something is deeply wrong with the way Wayne sees the world. His inability to understand boundaries, and his almost pathological need to PROVE that he's not a bad person any more, lead to him far, far overstepping. (His treatment of Steris is another example.)
Wayne is trying. This is all what makes him work for me as a real character, not as just a goofy sidekick, but you shouldn't just laugh it off and say, "Oh, that Wayne." He is deeply troubled, and isolation in the roughs--with someone who just kind of let him do his thing--did not help.
In Secret History we learned a little about how the Cognitive Realm...could bleed into the Physical if the person was slightly broken.
Broken as Kelsier’s term is not right, and he realizes that over the course of the book, but yeah.
My thoughts were on Wayne, so he seems to notice--and it might just be kleptomania--a connection between items that makes him feel as if he’s not stealing, just trading things for equal value. And I’m wondering if he’s noticing something in the Cognitive-- in one of the other Realms that is actually noteworthy.
He’s just goofy.
Can you talk a little bit about the inspiration of Wayne, and if that was perhaps based off someone you know?
The fun story about Wayne, the beginnings of Alloy of Law were a short story that I wrote where Wayne was the protagonist, and MeLaan was his trusty steed in a horse's body. It was a guy who put on different hats to change personalities, riding into a small town in the Roughs, talking to his horse. Who, then, at the end of the first scene, talked back to him. It was a fun scene. It was way too weird. After I finished that scene, I'm like, "This guy is great. But this guy needs someone else to play off of. And it can't be his talking horse, because this story is just too out there."
Why did I start writing that story? The initial idea is a person who changes personalities based on hats. You put on a hat, and it lets you kind of have a focus for your acting, to get into a role and become someone. That was really fun to me. In fact, in the original story, he was a hatmaker. He was a haberdasher. And he understood people by the headgear that they like.
Which, if gonna be honest and trace it back, probably goes back to Thrawn. I love Thrawn, from the original Star Wars books by Timothy Zahn. And Thrawn was somebody who would look at the art that a culture produces and use that to come to understand them in ways that he could then use to conquer them. Which was just always so cool to me. Like, that's one of the coolest villain concepts, is this art appreciation villain who really gets to know a culture by studying their art, and then crushes them and dominates them. Just wonderful. I'm always kind of looking for characters who see the world in an interesting way. That's probably it. I don't think I was thinking that when I came up with Wayne.
But then, Wayne needed someone to bounce off against. Wayne needed a straight man, so to speak. And he just wasn't working. So that's when I started plotting Alloy of Law, the actual novel. The short story did not become the novel. The short story taught me that there was enough there that I was interested in that I really wanted to tell a story in this era. And it told me that there's something about this character that's gonna work if I can find the right vehicle to include them in a story.
That's our origins of Wayne. I think I can probably also look at the Sherlock Holmes dynamic, Sherlock and Watson. Any time I'm building a mystery duo or team, there's a bit of Sherlock and Watson going around in the back of my head.
When I read Alloy of Law, in my head, Wayne was Simon Pegg... Was that intentional?
No, but when I was working on the newer books, I'm like. "Oh, Simon Pegg would be a great actor for this." The first times I wrote him, I didn't imagine Simon Pegg. But it was an after-the-fact-- kind of like Michael Fassbender [for Kelsier], I'm like, "This is the kind of actor I would like in this role."
Is it a coincidence that, when Michael Kramer was reading... Stormlight Archive and Wax&Wayne, Wayne sounds curiously like Lopen.
It's a cute coincidence. Lopen would have a very different accent from Wayne.