Recent entries

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8551 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your hardest character to kill?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. That's spoileriffic. I would say it's a character who dies at the end of The Wheel of Time, which is a series that I finished for another author. Because it was someone someone else created. And then, having to write some of those scenes.

    Questioner

    That would be really hard, because you're killing somebody else's character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right? And somebody I grew up with, right? So, I would say those are the hardest guys.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8553 Copy

    Questioner

    So, if Nightblood, unsheathed, killed someone, would their soul still go to the Beyond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, that's gonna be a matter of-- There's gonna be disagreement in the cosmere about that. Nobody has been able to actively test it, because there are certain things you can see, but there are people who are actively discussing this concept.

    Questioner

    So, no one knows for sure?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nobody knows for sure. And I'll just leave it at that. It's an astute question that even Vasher has-- Vasher has his thoughts, but he does not have a definitive answer, and others disagree with him.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8554 Copy

    Questioner

    How many Shards have been Splintered, besides the four we know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're gonna make me canonize this? I can't canonize this. There's a couple that I'm just kind of...

    Questioner

    Odium, Endowment, Devotion...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, Odium has not been Splintered. Endowment and Devotion have been Splintered... Endowment hasn't been Splintered, sorry. Dominion and Devotion have been Splintered. I've confirmed that one other has been Splintered. And then Honor has been Splintered. Those are your four that I've canonized. The other one is, I don't know if I've mentioned who exactly it is, but it's not one that you've seen on one of the planets...

    Yeah, I'm not gonna canonize it, exactly how many there are. Because there are things going on in the cosmere that I wanna settle down and decide on once I get to it, exactly what. And Splintering can be a vague term sometimes, too... So that's a RAFO.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8555 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Calamity the last book in the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a plan to do a book about Mizzy. But before I do that, I am writing a book called The Apocalypse Guard, which takes place in the alternate dimension that Megan sees into in these books. So, you should enjoy those. They'll be kinda the same style, but different characters from the alternate dimension. They're a blast, I just finished the first book.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    Enasor

    While I am glad to hear the book is going along well, I will not hide the fact I am severely disappointed by Adolin's lack of page time. I cannot believe we won't get to read his thoughts following the events of WoR. If there was one POV I wanted to read, it was his, but according to the planning, we won't, not until the very end of the book.

    I truly appreciate the efforts done to keep the fans informed, but I cannot hide my disappointment. I guess it is better knowing now than finding it out about it after having waited for the book for another year.

    Sorry.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if you're the same person who wrote to me in private, as I closed that window--so forgive me if I'm repeating myself somewhat.

    I am well aware that many people are very interested in what is happening to Adolin, and I consider him one of the more interesting and unexpected developments of the series, in deviation from the original outline. I intend to dig into things with him in the book.

    He's done a lot with very few viewpoints in the books so far. Why not read and see where he goes in this one?

    Enasor

    Thank you for your response. I have pondered on it all day yesterday.

    Unfortunately, knowing Adolin doesn't have viewpoints until the last 100K words of the book basically is a show stopper for me. While I knew his story arc would never be as large as other characters, much to my sadness, I had hope he would, at the very least, remain a steady viewpoint character. My expectations for this book were to read more of him, especially considering how his story arc ended in WoR, not less.

    Those very few words might be amazing, but it sounds too little and too late: especially knowing they are cramped into one of the smallest part of the book and shared with 5 other viewpoint characters including the three major ones.

    My expectations sincerely were very different. It might my own fault for not having understood before how small Adolin's role was bond to be, but I cannot help being disappointed by it. If I knew Adolin had a bigger role waiting for him in later books, I would bear my time and think I only need to be more patient, but I know it will not happen.

    So all in all, as much as I have loved the first two books, knowing Adolin's overall arc in so small in the upcoming book is a show stopper for me as a reader.

    I truly appreciate your work as an author, but I had considered Adolin to be one of the major payers, despite the lack of flashbacks. I had expected him to be present within the story and not just through third person's perspective. Knowing it won't happen basically breaks the magic for me.

    So sorry again.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I still think you're over reacting, and prematurely at that. Jasnah was a major force in the first book, and became many people's favorite, despite having no viewpoints. Sometimes, keeping someone from having viewpoints actually enhances their story.

    Regardless, there is a bigger issue: the story cannot be everything to every reader. It must be the story I shape it to be; to try anything else is madness. You have the option, when reading, to edit the story in your experience of it, if you wish, to better match your desires. I have to tell the story the way my writing instincts say is the strongest, and this is the viewpoint breakdown that is best.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    mathota123

    With Cosmere movies looking more and more like a reality, are there any other types of media you would like to see your works in? Personally I feel Mistborn would translate very well into an anime.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd investigate that if it were an actual possibility, but the chances of it happening are basically zero. Anime companies are not regularly buying western books for adaptation--aside from the few by Miazaki's company (which I'm not going to try to spell because I can never remember how the vowels go.) I would of course say yes to them, were the chance to arise. But an anime based on my books is not something I've ever seen the faintest, tiniest nibble on from any Japanese company.

    (Generally, western fantasy novels do not sell well in Japan; they seem to prefer science fiction in prose form, at least from America.)

    Oversleep

    How about western animation? For example, Avatar: The Last Airbender or Legend Of Korra? I feel Stormlight would do very well animated, since all the visual problems go away. And Legend Of Korra feels very much like Second Era Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The problem is that these, though great, are still pitched as children's programming. I know there are all kinds of arguments with that, but the reality is that the marketing people control things like this, and the chances are really, really slim.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    belerax

    Brotherhood (or siblinghood) seems to be an important relationship theme in Stormlight (Kaladin and Tien, Dalinar and Gavilar, Adolin and Renarin, Shallan and her many brothers, Jasnah and Elhokar - although we haven't seen much of these two together) and perhaps in other Cosmere books too (Vin and Reen, Marsh and Kelsier, Eventeo and Kiin). I was wondering where this theme came from - do you have siblings yourself? Are there other relationships in your life you've used to inspire relationships in your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have three siblings, and my relationship with them is important to me. I also think that books sometimes ignore family, in the name of making a character feel more isolated. While I have used that on occasion, I don't want it to be the norm. I find family too interesting, and important to most real people, to do otherwise.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    amealz

    How do you decide on how much time passes between your world's big "magical moment" and present tense? For example, in Stormlight thousands of years pass between the Recreance and Shallan and Kaladin kicking it in a chasm. How do you know if 1,000 years or 100 years is appropriate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's no set rule for this, I'm afraid. I just run on instinct on this one, though I'm helped by having a larger continuity and timeline between books, so I have an idea of how things have played out cosmere-wide.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    Arkadious4028

    I've heard that you're a fan of Magic: The Gathering and I recently heard about the collaboration you did with Steve Argyle a while back and that got me wondering; in your opinion, what color of magic would the powers of Allomancy fit under?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I built my custom magic set, I made it primarily red, blue, and black. But you could make arguments for a lot of things.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    Darudeboy

    Still don't see why The Reckoners can't be a part of the Cosmere. Especially with all that why down in the last book. Sooooooo shard like

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll dig into it eventually, but there are good reasons why the powers don't fit the magic of the cosmere.

    It's important to me that I don't go stuffing things into the cosmere willy-nilly. The stories that fit should go there, and contribute to the lore of the cosmere. The ones that don't should be able to have their own lore and mechanics.

    Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
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    Ray745

    When a person dies who is then Returned, do they come back essentially immediately? According to Llarimar it sounds like a quick process...

    "When we found you dead, I lost hope. I was going to resign my position. I knelt above your body, weeping. And then, the Colors started to glow. You lifted your head, body changing, getting larger, muscles growing stronger."

    When they do come back, are they unconscious? I only ask because as Llarimar was holding him when he changed, if he came back right then, Lightsong's first memory would be of this man who was to be his priest holding him. I assume this would be something Lightsong would have asked about numerous times, why he was with Llarimar when he died, so it seems to me a Returned must be unconscious for a while in order to give them a chance to be brought to the Court of the Gods without being exposed to their family, whom they were probably around when they died.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's usually a quick process, but not standardized. It could take hours, or longer, but generally does not.

    It's something between what you're saying, and instantaneous waking up. More like they start to glow, and the transformation begins, then they wake up and stand. But they're confused and disoriented, and Lightsong was told his priests were gathered as soon as he started glowing, so that they could greet him as he came to himself. He never had reason to question, and that moment is fuzzy anyway. (As evidenced by him not remembering the event, and needing to be told about it.)

    At least, that's my rationale as I remember it. It's been ten years at this point, so I could be fuzzy on the details. :)

    Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
    #8565 Copy

    mathota123

    Do you have a rough idea of when we will be hearing more about "Dark One"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I decided to do Apocalypse Guard as my next YA project, so we won't see Dark One AT LEAST until that trilogy is done, Alcatraz 6 is done, and Rithmatist has another book in it. (Sorry.)

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Part Two Wrap-up

    And that, Elend getting deposed, leads us into the next section of the book. The first section was intended to re-establish the setting and character, part two introduced us to the plot. Now we'll get into the thick of things, with the three different rulers vying for control of Luthadel—and, they hope, the hidden atium supply it represents.

    I like that this book is, again, about the atium. I hope that people don't get tired of hearing about it. This is a theme for the entire series. At the core, both the first two books are started by the conflict over the atium. In book one, the atium is what Kelsier intends to steel. In book two, the atium the reason the warlords come to conquer the city. It's fun that something that has yet to make an appearance—if, indeed, it's even real—has sparked the conflicts of two separate novels.

    Of course, in both books, the atium quickly becomes overshadowed by other things. Kelsier was going to steal the atium, but he really wanted to overthrow—and get revenge upon—the Lord Ruler. As Straff points out in the last chapter, he may have come for the atium—but the real reason he wants Luthadel has to do with more personal reasons.

    Regardless, the throne of Luthadel is now up for grabs, and that will demand our attention for Part Three of the book.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Elend Returns and Gets the Letter Deposing Him

    And, finally Elend gets deposed. I worry about this plot twist coming out of nowhere, though it is quite well foreshadowed. Elend mentions at one point that the Assembly can choose new kings. He's missed several of their meetings, and–because of his earlier proposition–they can't do anything about the armies until he decides to let them.

    That put a lot of pressure on the Assembly, and they were made to feel irrelevant. There are, of course, other forces pushing and pulling at the Assembly–and you'll find out about those later.

    Elend made a big mistake here. He was so busy being king that he forgot he himself had set up a constitutional monarchy. His enemies DIDN'T forget about this fact. In Elend's defense, both Straff and Cett have a lot more experience with leadership than he does.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin and Zane Watch Outside the Tent

    Zane's cutting has an interesting evolution in the story. At first, I added him cutting himself simply because–well–it made a cool scene. Zane, cutting his own arm in front of his father, primarily to make the other man uncomfortable.

    However, there's more behind this, and the cutting worked very well into the interaction of the different magic systems in the book. Particularly Hemalurgy. The pain makes the voice in Zane's head weaker. There will be more on this later.

    I'll admit that I didn't originally intend to make the Zane-Kelsier connection with those scars on his arms. However, when writing this scene, I couldn't believe I'd missed seeing what a great opportunity I had. Vin already associates Zane with the Survivor; letting her see the scars on his arms gives her another powerful connection, particularly since she misinterprets where they came from.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Seven

    Elend and Straff Spar in Straff's Tent

    As Elend suspects, Straff is lying through his teeth about the treaty with Cett. Straff would be too frustrated by making an alliance with someone he feels that he should be able to conquer, particularly after such a short time at siege. He's not fond of Eastern noblemen, a trait common in those from Luthadel, and he's annoyed that Cett forced him into the siege in the first place.

    He has contacted Cett to feel out the other man's position, of course–which is how he knows that Cett isn't interested in the city, only in the atium. Or, at least, that's what Cett claims. Either way, Straff isn't about to split the atium cache–if he were to find it–with someone else. Particularly not a man who could prove to be such a strong rival.

    Elend threatening Straff here is what I see as Elend's first big character turning point. It's brash, but it's also kingly. He stares down a much stronger foe through sheer force of will, though he does add in a very powerful threat.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Trip into Straff's Camp

    Seeing the obligators here is my other nod to the fact that they're still a small force in the world, that they haven't disappeared, and that they can be important to the setting and the characters. However, we're just not going to deal with them much.

    I hope that readers buy Straff's easy dismissal of Vin as they first enter his tent. It was a bit of a stretch that he'd let Elend into his camp with a Mistborn, but I believe it's important here to remember a few things.

    First off, a Mistborn could probably go into the camp on her own, if she wanted, at pretty much any time. If Vin had wanted to attack Straff's tent, she didn't need to wait until Elend had an invitation to visit to do so.

    Secondly, there is the feel in this world about using Mistborn–it's a little like the modern idea of Mutual Assured Destruction. If both parties have Mistborn, and one attacks, there will be retribution. People tend to hold their Mistborn back, using them only in emergencies, lest they unleash something dangerous in return.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8573 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reasons for the Plot Sequence

    Even still, I realize that what happens in these two chapters represents a very bold–even crazy–move on the part of the heroes. Part of the reason I devised this plot sequence because I wanted to make book two feel a little more like book one. The first book was all about Kelsier's crazy plans, and pulling them off. If you remember, it seemed like every other chapter someone found reason to ask him "are you insane?"

    I wanted to give this book a little bit of that "impossible heist" feel, if just for cohesion's sake. In this book, it is represented by Elend visiting Straff's army, and by the characters doing a few other crazy things.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8574 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Six

    Vin and Elend discuss going into Straff's Camp

    In the original version of this particular chapter, I had Vin think that Elend's idea to go into Straff's camp was terrible. She thought it was too dangerous, even foolhardy. And, since Vin is generally a very competent and trustworthy character, the readers agreed with her. They all thought that Elend was doing something incredibly stupid in this chapter.

    Now, what I had been TRYING to do was have her offer strong objections, then get brought around by the end of the sequence to admitting that Elend was right. Unfortunately, that just didn't work for this scene. The plan was crazy enough that readers were already inclined to thinking it was crazy. When I instead switched the narrative so that Vin had a grudging, yet favorable, opinion of the visit to Straff's camp. With her weight of trust behind the endeavor, suddenly readers had no problem with what Elend is doing.

    Readers trust Vin more than Elend, which makes sense. If she tells them that something is a good idea, they're more likely to go along with it. It was an important lesson for me as a writer. I realized that Elend needed Vin's support in these early chapters otherwise he wouldn't have the readers' support. He is untrained and is stumbling as he tries to learn. In order for us to trust him, Vin needs to.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Aborted attack on the walls

    The end scene of this chapter, with the army outside making test on the Luthadel walls, was one that Moshe suggested that we add. It came into the book very late in the process, during the last major revision, well over a year after I'd finished the first draft of the novel. The purpose of the scene was to give a reminder of the armies and the pressure they're applying to the city. We knew we needed to keep the reader thinking about the armies, and this chapter was a way of speeding up the book by making it longer, as I talked about before.

    A test on the walls, then, makes sense. This also let me show off a bit how Allomancers might be used in battle, which I'd never been able to do in book one.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Five

    Vin and Tindwyl go Shopping

    Part of me wants to get the same reaction out of the reader that Vin gave in this chapter. "Shopping? They're going SHOPPING?" I realize that this scene is a gamble. This is a book about a besieged city, and in the middle of it, I include a chapter spent trying on dresses.

    There are a lot of important things I wanted to show in this chunk of the book, and this really did seem like the best way. First off, I wanted to get Vin back to the market so that she could see how tense the people were. Also, I wanted to have a chance to let her interact with Tindwyl–both to show another side of Tindwyl, and to finally force Vin to start confronting some of the things she needs to work on in this book.

    She's reacted too strongly against the person she was becoming in the last novel. With Kelsier, and his encouragement, gone, she's reverted. She's frightened to accept the noble half of who she is.

    I also wanted to show just a bit more of Allrianne. She's going to get some more screen time in upcoming sections, and I wanted a chance to give her character a little more rounding.

    Beyond all of those reasons, I also just wanted to do something different, something a little more light. I miss the ball scenes we had back in book one. There was really no way to work them into this book, and so I let them go. However, I wanted to at least give a nod to those people who enjoyed them in the last novel. This scene and the dinner with Straff are both kind of throwbacks to those chapters from the first book.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Zane confronts Vin about her desires and not meeting him atop Keep Hasting

    If you didn't pick up on it, one of the things I was trying to do in this chapter–mixed with the last chapter–was forge a link between Zane and Vin. He speaks of things in the very same way that Vin did in the last scene. For instance, Zane here admits to himself that he can't leave Straff because his father is all that he knows. Vin used to think the very same thing about her abusive crewleader Camon.

    It goes deeper than that. These two characters share a lot. Even their names are meant to feel a little similar. In fact, the one big difference between them is Kelsier. He injected himself into Vin's life and changed her course drastically. She would have eventually discovered that she was Mistborn, and she would still have become quite powerful. However, she wouldn't have known the people of Kelsier's crew, and wouldn't have learned to trust.

    It's interesting to think, sometimes, what she would have done in Luthadel without the Survivor's guidance.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Four

    Vin sits and thinks in the mists

    Most of the logbook entries that you're seeing Vin reference in this book were used as epigraphs in the first book. As I mentioned in that book's annotations, one of my goals in this series was to finish the rough drafts of all three books before the first novel went into production. I had a lot of plans for the series when I started the first book, but I knew that there would be a lot of things I wouldn't be able to nail down until I had Book Three worked out. (You'd be surprised at the connections and ideas you come up with as you work through things on the page.)

    I realized that I'd want to be able to foreshadow and worldbuild in a way that pointed toward the third book, as I thought that would give the series a powerful cohesion. For instance, when I was working on the first book (and planning the series) I knew I wanted to use the mist spirits and the koloss in this second book. However, when I was planning the series, my worldbuilding had included the use of SEVERAL different "Mist Spirits" rather than just one. In addition, as I was working on the first book, I realized that the koloss just weren't working, and so I cut them from that book to leave them for this novel, where I would have more time with them. (Allowing me to better define for myself what they were like.)

    By the time I finished this book, I realized that–for the mythology I wanted–there could only be a single mist spirit. Also, I knew pretty darn well what koloss were. It was very helpful to have finished this novel before Book One came out, as I was able to go back and revise the logbook entries which referenced "spirits" in the mists so that they spoke of just a single spirit instead. I also had characters speak of koloss in book one the same way they do in book two.

    Not big changes, but I think they improve the feel of the series.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Breeze's Secrets

    Breeze's real name is Ladrian–I believe I mentioned it back in book one as well. He gets annoyed when he hears it, however, because it is a reminder that he's really a full-blooded nobleman. The "Lord" Sazed uses is even more of a reminder.

    He wishes he could have left his name behind, discarding it. He sees himself as "Breeze" and has for a long time. However, he used Ladrian a few times earlier during his career, and it's never left him.

    These are all things, of course, that we won't have time to talk about in the actual text of the book. So, you get them here instead.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Three

    Sazed's Arrival

    I debated how to have the crew react to the koloss threat. It seemed that having them get worked up about it would be out of character. They all know there's little they can do at the moment–the koloss are too far away to be a pertinent threat, and the other armies have them boxed in.

    I eventually realized that the crew might see the koloss as an advantage. They are an opportunistic group, and have been feeling overwhelmed by events. Any change in the status could end up being an advantage to them.

    So it is that twenty-thousand monsters marching on their city gets dismissed almost as easily as Sazed's warnings about the mists. The crew members aren't fools, but they are pragmatists. They have enough to worry about at the moment. More nebulous threats will wait.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin thinks about assassinating Cett and Straff

    The other thing of real importance here is Vin's struggling with whether or not she should just go assassinate her enemies. It seems like such a brutal, effective way to get rid of these armies. I wonder how many more leaders we'd find dead in our world if magical warriors like Mistborn existed.

    Explaining why Vin doesn't just go and take care of those two men was challenging for me. This is a harsher world than I've written in before, and it was really tempting to have Vin just go kill her enemies. I toyed with doing that very thing for a long time.

    The problem is, I think it would be a bad idea for her to do that. I think it for the very reasons I outline here. I doubt that killing those two men would really have the effect she wanted. And, if she really were determined to drive those armies away, she'd have to kill quite a number of leaders. It seems equally likely to me that, after killing a number of them, the armies might just join forces and take the city.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin admits her real reason for disliking OreSeur.

    Obviously, the most important events in this chapter deal with Vin and OreSeur and their relationship. The real reason why she hates him is something that I hope you've been wondering about. I intended the "He ate Kelsier" argument to fall flat for readers. Vin's smarter than that, as OreSeur said. Eating Kelsier's dead body is a little, dumb thing. A person who grew up on the street wouldn't be bothered by such a simple, if brutal, event–particularly not for as long as Vin has kept her grudge against OreSeur.

    So this is why. She did love Kelsier–not romantically, perhaps, though Vin's emotions at the time weren't as simple as she'd now like to think. Either way, Kelsier's death affected her greatly. Focusing on OreSeur–who knew about Kelsier's real plan, but didn't stop him from executing it–gave her someone to hate. She couldn't hate Kelsier, but she could resent the one who had let him die.

    It's a complicated relationship. But, then, aren't most relationships complicated?

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin asks Ham how to kill a man burning Atium

    This conversation about how to kill someone who is burning atium is another one I'd been wanting to include for a long time. It's important to the plot, and the overall arc of the book, that you worry about Vin lack of atium. Plus, I want to keep the reader thinking about the metal, as the Lord Ruler's atium cache is such a large part of the series' plotting.

    It's tough to know how to fight someone who can see the future. What Ham outlines here are pretty much the only things that anyone has been able to come up with.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Two

    Vin spies on Ham in the Mists

    This chapter has another poetic introduction–I warned you about those, I believe. I hope it isn't too out of place.

    Testing Ham in this way is something Vin really should have done earlier in the book. The problem is, I have a lot of things I need to pack into a relatively short space of time in this book. I did things in order of importance, and–oddly–testing the crewmembers took a lower precedent than getting Allrianne into the city or introducing Elend's plan to deal with the warlords.

    But, finally, we get to work a little bit on the imposter plot. There are dozens of ways that Vin could have gotten Ham to burn pewter–but she wanted to do one where he didn't know she was there and he where he would use the metal reflexively. She also wanted to do it when she knew he was alone. That way, she couldn't be fooled by someone burning pewter nearby to make it seem like Ham was burning.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a short scene, but one of the more important ones to show off a little character development in Elend. He is beginning to see some of the truth in Tindwyl's words.

    Pulling off a transformation like his was one of the great challenges of this book. Actually, the plot was pretty easy–but getting Elend and Vin's relationship down, along with the development of both of their characters, was much more difficult. It takes a subtle hand to make Elend learn to be a king without having him progress too quickly, and I'm not sure how well I did it.

    Vin's development–showing off her inner distrust without making her seem paranoid or making their relationship seem shallow–was even tougher.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-One

    The truth is that yes, indeed, Cett caught Breeze in bed with his daughter. In Breeze's defense, she kind of snuck in herself while he was sleeping and snuggled up to him. However, that wasn't why Cett chased Breeze out of the camp. You'll find out more about that later.

    I couldn't resist throwing in the ending of the last chapter, mixed with the beginning of this one. Ham's wisecrack about Cett catching Breeze with his daughter was just too good to not make true. The thing is, Breeze is always so controlled and self-important that it's good to throw him out of his element every once in a while.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Tindwyl has a lot of good points in her training. Some people rebel against the things she says, but I think that she has a good idea of what makes a leader. Or, at least, one kind of leader.

    The problem is, that isn't the only kind of leader that works. Still, in my mind, she knows that she HAS to be like that in order to react against Elend's frivolousness.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    We get to see a bit of depth from both Breeze and Tindwyl in this chapter. As I said earlier, I can't really spend the time to round out everyone on the crew, so I have to pick carefully. Breeze is one of my favorites, so I decided to work a bit with him in this book. As you'll find out later in the book (when we get a few Breeze viewpoints) he's actually a full-blooded nobleman. It's not really that important to the story; it's just part of who he is.

    Breeze has made a life and a reputation out of hiding his feelings behind his attitude. I likes looking like a scoundrel–not only does it let him get away with a lot of random things, but it also keeps people from poking too far into his past. There are a lot of skaa thieves who would react very poorly if they discovered that Breeze wasn't really one of them, but a nobleman who was forced to seek refuge in the underground.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Also, we get to see here that Zane already has his fingers on Vin's emotions. She's beginning to question and doubt. This, however, isn't a quick change–you should realize that all of these questions were already there inside of her. Not only is she a teenage girl, and living during an emotionally volatile part of her life, but she grew up learning to distrust and fear betrayal. Though she's getting better, the old worries are all still there, and even a little bit of scratching at them reveals them again.

    She never really had to confront these things. Falling in with the crew, learning to trust, was actually easy in the last book. Kelsier was there to make everything work out all right, and Vin was always underneath the watchful care of Sazed.

    This book is about making her face these things directly.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty

    Elend is already progressing nicely as a king. There's a lot more time passing in here than I'm showing–lots of training and lessons. One of my worries is that Elend will develop too quickly. However, considering the situation he's in, I suspect that he knows he has to either adapt quickly or be destroyed. A few tense months can really change a person a lot.

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    Questioner

    At the beginning of Steelheart you say that it was a year after Calamity when people started getting powers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    At the beginning of Firefight, at the end of the prologue, people started screaming. Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Peter [Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant] asked me the same question. And so, the rise of Calamity, number one, was really weird. And number two, there was weirdness with that night [?], associated with the rise of Calamity, that was not the start of the Epics.

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    Questioner

    I noticed, in The Alloy of Law, Marsh refers to-- when he is talking to Marasi he says that Wax is doing his brother’s work. I was wondering, is that referring to Harmony or Kelsier?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s referring to Kelsier in that quote, in his opinion at the moment. I don’t know if I agree with it. He feels that Wax is protecting the people, the little people, which was Kelsier’s work in his... opinion of Kelsier, which is a little lofty.