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    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    After that, the scene with Ham and Vin discussing pewter is nice, but not one of my favorite of the Allomantic explanation scenes. The thing is, I had to stretch to find things that Ham could tell Vin about this one. She's really good with the physical metals–she uses them instinctively, and may even understand them better than Ham does.

    I do like how Ham comes across in this scene. His personality, as the one who doesn't fake or play games in the crew, makes him really work for me as a character.

    Then, of course, everything goes wrong. It always does, doesn't it?

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11253 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I hope you feel a little bit of Vin and Ham's same hesitance regarding Kelsier's growing reputation, not to mention the mysticism with the Eleventh Metal. The thing is, Kell really hasn't bothered to explain himself to them, and they can sense that he's got other things going on beyond what he's told them.

    The Eleventh Metal is supposed to be very suspicious. We'll have a scene where Vin confronts Kelsier about it soon. Also, we'll get to what the tenth metal does. I promise. (Sorry that takes so long.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Things are going to start picking up in the novel from here out. We haven't hit the infamous "Brandon avalanche" yet, but the pacing will increase from here to the end. So, I wanted to have this more light-hearted, relaxing scene as kind of a calm before the storm.

    Also, I like to laugh. Mistborn, as a series, hasn't given me as much opportunity to have friendly banter as some of my earlier books. It's more dark, and more intense. However, I did want to fit in what I could. That makes this one of my favorite scenes in the book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    If you hate Spook's dialect, I apologize for this chapter. This is the place in the book where I spent the most time on it. I really like some of the phrases here–I tried to make the dialect focus on rhythm and sounds, making it alliterative and interesting simply to say out-loud. In case you need it, here's a loose translation of the exchange in this chapter:

    Spook: "It;s not nice to play with people like that."Kelsier: "Oh, don;t worry about what he does to you. He;s not worth your concern."Spook: "You're probably right."Breeze: "What are you two babbling about?"Spook: "He wants to be clever. He pushes people around because he wants to prove that he is clever."Kelsier: "He's always been like that."Ham: "He's insecure. I think he worries that he's really not that clever."

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    One interesting aspect of the book that I haven't mentioned yet comes with the metal of tin. Originally, tin wasn't one of the Allomantic metals—I used silver instead. You see, I originally paired silver and pewter together, thinking that pewter had a significant amount of silver in it. Well, turns out that isn't the case. (Remember, each set of paired metals is a metal and an alloy made from it.)

    My false impression on the belief that pewter is a silver/lead alloy goes back to my childhood. I remember when I used to paint lead fantasy figures that I bought at the local hobby store. One of the employees told me that they would be going up in price because the manufacturers wanted the figures to be safer. They were going to cast them out of pewter instead of lead, because pewter is much less toxic. I asked what the difference between pewter and lead was, and the employee told me that pewter is lead PLUS silver, and that's why the figures cost more.

    He meant tin, I guess. Either way, that's stayed with me for quite a long time. I soundly resisted changing silver to tin during the first drafts of the book, even when I found out the truth. The problem is, I really liked the name "Silvereye" for those who burn silver/tin. It sounds far slicker than "Tineye."

    I eventually came around, however. Consistency in the magic system is more important than a single cool-sounding name. I blame Hobby Town in Lincoln Nebraska for my pains.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11260 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really like the scene between Vin and Elend here. I think I wrote this one in the car, actually, while I was driving back from a vacation we went on in Palm Springs about two years back. My roommate—Micah DeMoux, the namesake for Captain Demoux—did all the driving on that trip so I could get some writing done. What a great guy. He deserves a character named after him.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11261 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shan's scene here is just another placeholder, I'm afraid. She just showed up to remind you that she's still around, making Vin's life more difficult.

    Since I wanted to use her later as an antagonist, I had to make certain you didn't forget who she was. It was important to me that I have another Mistborn in the book that Vin could fight, if only to show off a little of what Vin is capable of. And, of course, I like the fact that I can pull a nice reversal of expectation with Shan.
    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11262 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like the obligator scene in this chapter, as it gives Vin a chance to realize just what the whole obligator system is about. Regular priests watch over the spiritual well-being of their people. The Lord Ruler doesn't really care about that. So, his priests watch over the economics of his empire. Seems like something a living god would do.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11263 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty Three

    Has it been too long since we've seen Elend? I think so. I wish I could have worked him into the story more earlier, then shown him a little more consistently. I promise that you'll see more of him in the upcoming chapters, however.

    He's one of the major characters in not just this book, but the entire series, after all.
    Ad Astra 2017 ()
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    Questioner

    So in Reckoners you mention that the three, like, most powerful Epics in North America, pretty much the ones you're afraid of, were Obliteration, Steelheart, and Night's Sorrow.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Questioner

    What about Night's Sorrow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Night's Sorrow? Is still out there.

    Questioner

    But it's-- it-- will it ever be shown what Night's Sorrow can do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah-- I mean, in-- the Pacific Northwest has suffered... uh, yeah--

    Questioner

    No, but when--is there gonna be a book that has what Night's Sorrow can do in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there will be.

    Questioner

    Good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *pause* Eh, uh... yeah.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
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    Questioner

    If you could have any power that's in your worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Questioner

    What would you be taking?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, probably Allomancy because it's the only one that I could use in this world, right? Because most of them require the magic from the world, this one you can make it happen. So, eh, Allomancy.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
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    Questioner

    How many hours a week do you spend writing? You write more than anybody--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do it in normal person's job, I'm... Eight hours a day probably. Two four-hour sessions usually. I'm not that fast, I'm just very consistent. It's just my personality. It's served me really well in writing, just because I can consistently write everyday. I don't go through mood swings and things.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11267 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ham's family makes no appearance in this book. I added this line in on a whim, since I figured it would add some more depth to a character who–unfortunately–I just don't have much time to develop.

    I am happy, however, that I found a chance to spend some time with Dox. The scene between him and Vin is one of my favorites in the book, since it humanizes him while at the same time giving us further insight as to who he is, and why he does what he does. Dockson feels the same way about things that Kelsier does; Dox is just far more subdued in the way he goes about life.

    This aspect of the world–the fact that noblemen regularly rape, then kill, peasant women–is the most discomforting to me. I don't like my books to be overly sexual in nature. However, there is a difference between having sexual books and having sex in the books, I think. This is a very corrupt and fallen society, in many ways. I think I had to include this aspect to show just how terrible it is.

    In addition, I wanted this scene to be shocking because I hoped to put the reader in Vin's shoes. You all know that this sort of thing happens in noble society–in the prologue, a nobleman tries to rape a young girl, after all. But, I hope that you–like Vin–have kind of glossed over that sort of thing in your mind. Seeing people like Elend, and the pretty balls, has helped you forget about the terrible things these people do. So, when Dockson lays it out so bluntly, I hope that it is surprising.

    Some alpha readers thought that it was unrealistic that Vin would delude herself to this extent. She's know about the whorehouses, after all. However, I think that this is the kind of thing that people naturally try and gloss over. It is natural for Vin to not want to think about these sorts of things until she is confronted by them so expressly.

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    Questioner

    Are you a programmer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but I did take a programming class. One. One programming class. Enough to be dangerous, um, in college. And you know, half the people in my writing group are code monkeys.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11269 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Two - Part Two

    The Terris religion, and the Keeper's inability to find it, is one of the more interesting–and tragic–elements of the society. I liked this concept of a race that collected and preserved knowledge of the past for those who would come. However, I couldn't have them be experts on their own religion, since that religion hides many of the clues about the nature of what is going on in this series of books.

    That necessity gave birth to the idea that they're searching for the most important of religions–their own–yet haven't been able to find it yet. They have everyone else's knowledge memorize, but that which they want the most is still lost to them.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11271 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spook is based very loosely on a person I knew from the timewastersguide forums. Zack–or Gemm, as his nick was–is very good at posting random gibberish which, if you look at it very closely, actually reads to be rather poetic. I wanted to do a character who spoke with a dialect that had an interesting rhythm, yet was difficult to make out.

    Hence the character of Spook. Normally, I don't like dialects. Yet, something about this one was very intriguing to me. I like the way his sentences sound, even when they're completely unintelligible. I do realize, however, that some people really don't like reading what he has to say. Don't worry–he begins to speak more and more intelligibly from here on out.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11272 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Two - Part One

    Feruchemy. Some like the word, others aren't as happy with it. It used to be called Hemalurgy, but I decided that would be a better word for the third magic system in the series. (You'll see it eventually.)

    Feruchemy (not called that, however) was a magic system I lifted from Final Empire Prime, a book I wrote some years before I wrote this book. I had a person who could store up attributes, such as strength, then use them when he needed them. The thing is, the magic wasn't really that well formed, and this character never got any viewpoints, so I didn't get to use the magic as often as I wanted.

    When I was developing this world, I knew I wanted the Keepers to have the fantastic memories. I realized that Feruchemy would make the perfect magic system for Sazed and his people. When I decided that I could use metals as a focus for this magic system (something that made it much more interesting, because it put a definable limit on what could be stored and how much of it could be stored) I knew I had something really good.

    I like to use multiple magic systems in books, but I like it when they all have common elements. Feruchemy and Allomancy are like different aspects of the same concept. They both do some similar–yet different–things. There will be a lot more about this in the text.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11274 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    One final note for this chapter. Bilg. I prefer him dead. (This is the guy Demoux fought at the end of the chapter, with Kelsier's help.)

    In the original draft of the book, I had Kelsier–through Demoux–kill Bilg in the duel. I thought this was appropriate, and would be the sort of thing that Kelsier would do. In addition, I really wanted to emphasize the ruthless edge that Kelsier has. He is willing to do whatever he has to in order to see that his goals are achieved. It's that conflict–the happy, joking Kelsier mixed with the hard, ruthless rebel leader–that makes him interesting to me.

    Joshua was the big complainer on this one. He felt that my books are too optimistic for something THIS harsh to be done by one of the main characters. He felt that readers wouldn't go along with it–indeed, it was one of the main points that my alpha readers brought up. Some liked it, others hated it. The scene did it's job.

    Eventually, I went with Joshua's suggestion, however, and left Bilg alive. To me, this kind of castrates the scene. However, I suppose the most important elements still get across, and Kelsier gets to remain less tarnished a hero.

    Still, I would have liked the death to remain, if only for the future books. I'll eventually post this scene as a deleted scene from the book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11275 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-One - Part Two

    Originally, you may be amused to hear, I was going to have Vin go on this trip with Yeden, with Kelsier staying behind. I even wrote about half of the "leave for the caves" scene with Kelsier telling Vin he's going to send her with Yeden.

    I'm still not sure what I was thinking.

    Fortunately, I came to my senses, and I quickly reworked the scene. Vin had to stay in Luthadel–she's go too much to do there. But, I did want to get a chance to look over the army, so I sent Kelsier instead. It worked out very well, as I was able to do some other things–such as have Kelsier show off for the troops.

    However, I didn't want to spend TOO long out here. When Vin had been the one coming to the caves, I'd planned two or three chapters. When it became Kelsier, I knew I wanted to shrink it to one chapter. So, that's why we get the kind of weird "time passes" omniscient bit at the beginning of the second section.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11276 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this chapter, we get our first real information on what it was like to work in the Pits of Hathsin. It wasn't originally planned this way–I was just going to have the caves here be regular caves. The cracks in the ground, however, clicked with me, as that was what I had planned for the Pits. This made for a much more defensible position, as well as let me explore some of Kelsier's past.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11277 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Originally, I started this chapter by going right into the logbook excerpt. Then, I realized that I had logbook excerpts before and after the chapter heading–which made things confusing. So, I added in the quick sentence about what Kelsier was doing.

    This is our first chance to see the text of the logbook collected in a longer form. I don't repeat all of the chapter epigraphs in-text–just some of the more essential ones. Partially, this is to make certain everyone who's been skipping the epigraphs has some of that information, and partially it's so that those of you who HAVE been reading the epigraphs can see some greater context for their order and flow.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11278 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-One - Part One

    You can thank my editor Moshe for the canals in this book. He's a bit of a canal buff, and when he had read through Mistborn, he excitedly explained to me how canal technology was just perfect for the level of development I had in this book. So, at his suggestion, I changed caravans into convoys, and swapped horses for longboats.

    I really like the change. It gets boring seeing, reading, or writing the same old things. So, by getting rid of one standard fantasy element–highways and horses–I think we add something very distinctive to the world.

    Moshe, though. Man. He knows TOO much about this stuff.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
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    Questioner

     How sweet was it to taste the tears of everybody who read Shadows of Self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ahhhhh, uhhhhh-- It was kind of a painful book to write, so I--I sympathize.

    Questioner

    It was gorgeous.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't-- I'm not George Martin. I don't bathe in the tears of my fans.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11280 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty

    I worry a little bit about this chapter. The problem is, it's probably one of the chapters that has undergone the most revisions. Not in a "Fix problems" way–more in a "I need to add scenes to the book. Where shall I put them" kind of way.

    For instance, the beginning has a few paragraphs that–looking at them now–I think drag on a bit. The reiteration of Vin's relationship with Shan, for instance. I put it in because I need to indicate that time has passed, and that Vin's relationships have continued, but I worry that I spent too much time on it at the beginning of the scene. Next, I added another scene showing skaa life (the one with children shaking the trees) in order to remind the reader of how bad things are. Then, later on, I changed the book to have canal convoys rather than caravans. So, this chapter got some more revisions. Then, I added a lot to the scene with Marsh, including Vin’s discussion of her mother.

    All in all, it feels like a hodge-podge chapter to me. A lot of important information is explained, but it doesn't fit together as well as I might have wanted. The rhythm of the chapter is just a little. . .off.

    I'm not certain how interested people are in the real theory of Allomancy and how it works. However, I do think that some people like to hear the theory and background to magic systems like this, so I try to include the occasional explanation. For those of you who don't fit into this category, I apologize for Marsh's lengthy explanation here.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11281 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Originally, the nobleman Kelsier met with was Lord Hasting. This was the only place he appeared in the book. I decided in a rewrite to introduce Elend's father here instead, since he's a character we’ll see much more from.

    I also strengthened Straff in this scene. Before, he came off too weak as he bought the lies Kelsier told him. (Which, by the way, I've weakened. I realized that spreading too many falsehoods would be dangerous, and not really effective. Kelsier needs to whisper half-truths, rather than outright lies.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11282 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11283 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was the first novel I wrote knowing for certain that it would be published. That was an odd experience for me, after having written some thirteen novels without ever knowing if I'd make it as a novelist or not.

    So, in a way, this is my celebration novel. And, as part of that celebration, I wanted to include cameo nods to some of the people who helped me over the years. We get to see characters named after my friends and alpha readers, the people who encouraged me to keep trying to get published–my first fans, in a sense.

    So, a lot of the names of side characters come from friends. Stace Blanches, mentioned in the last chapter, is Stacy Whitman, an editor at Wizards of the Coast. House Tekiel was named after Krista Olson, a friend and former writing group member. (Her brother Ben is my former roommate.) Ahlstrom square was named after my friend Peter Ahlstrom, who is an editor over at Tokyopop. There are over a dozen of these in the book–I can't mention them all.

    I do, however, want to point out Charlie–or, as he's called in the book, Lord Entrone. I've never actually met Charlie, but he's hung out on the timewastersguide message board for the last three or four years. He was my first British reader. I figured I'd commemorate that by having his dead body get dumped over a wall by Kelsier.

    Spook is actually based directly on someone I know, but I'll get to that later.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Nineteen - Part One

    This book is not a story about the history of the Final Empire or Allomancy. Those things will come in later novels. This is the story of a girl learning to overcome her trust issues, while at the same time the story of a beaten people resisting despite the odds.

    However, I did want to give some clues as to the nature of this world and its mythology. The biggest clue outside of the logbook comes in the way that the mists themselves react to someone using Allomancy. They swirl around him or her. This is meant to show that the mists are not something natural. They're more than a weather pattern; they're part of the magic of this world.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11285 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The scene with the skaa getting killed in the courtyard was also added later in the drafting process. Moshe was worried that the Final Empire didn't seem brutal enough–especially in these middle chapters, where it was easy to forget (as Vin almost did) how dangerous the world was. The balls and the frills were supposed to be distracting. However, I realized that I needed to bring people back on-course by throwing in a scene like this, where abject brutality could be contrasted with the night's beauty.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11286 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why would Elend bring a dangerous book like this one to the ball? We'll talk a little bit about that in the next chapter. However, I can offer some further insight.

    The thing is, Elend goes and meets with his friends after balls, and they discuss political theory and the like. Elend is the leader of those meetings, and guides the discussions, and so he feels that he needs to be ready to present interesting ideas and arguments to keep the conversation going. That's why he's always reading at balls and taking notes–he's getting ready for the night's meeting. He's the type who is always preparing, right up to the last minute (I'm the same way.)

    So, it makes sense for him to bring the books he wants to talk about with him to the ball. He's been sheltered, and doesn't really believe that he'll ever get in trouble for what he reads, and so he has a habit of being careless with his reading material. Hence, we end up with him in a room full of obligators and nobility, reading a banned book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Eighteen - Part Two

    Shan was a later addition to the book. In the original draft of the novel, I did mention her in this chapter, but we didn't see her–and Lord Liese didn't mention her. As I wrote the first draft, however, I began to realize that I needed more tension and political wrangling in the Vin ball scenes. So, I expanded Shan and made her a larger character. Then, during the first rewrite, I added her in to this scene, along with some others.

    The purpose of Shan, therefore, is to show that some of the nobility ARE the way Kelsier says. The thing is, most of what we get about the nobility come from him, and he has a very skewed perspective. Our only real opportunity to interact with them is at the balls, and so I knew I needed to cram a variety of personalities into this scene, so that people could have a chance to experience the range of the nobility.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I wasn't planning on Elend getting as big a part in this book as he ended up having. However, the more I wrote scenes with him, the more interested I became in him as a character. He doesn't exist just to provide a romantic interest for Vin–he exists to show the human side of the nobility. I knew that I needed at least one nobleman who was presented favorably, otherwise Kelsier's harshness wouldn't have the contrast it needed. So, I designed a young man that Vin could meet at the balls.

    Yet, when I started writing the scenes with Elend, I found them flowing very easily. I really liked his voice and his relaxed affability. Mistborn, being about such a harsh world an society, threatened to become too dark. I needed another character like Elend to provide moments that were more lighthearted. He also gives us scenes that are interesting in a more thoughtful way, rather than a dark way. He turned out much better than I'd hoped, and is probably the biggest and most pleasant surprise of the novel.

    Part of humanizing the nobility was to show Elend being interested in the skaa. I had to walk a line with him. I didn't want him to be TOO interested, or sympathetic, toward the skaa. He's a nobleman, not some crusader for the rights of the oppressed. Yet, I wanted to show through his simple interest that he wasn't cruel. I also wanted to show how little some of the noblemen know about skaa. The things Vin wonders–if the nobility even know about much of the suffering in their world–are valid. Someone like Elend, who spends most of his time at balls or being waited upon in his keep, wouldn't really understand the life of a skaa.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    The Elariel ballroom isn't a place I've ever visited. (Unlike keeps Venture and Lekal–which are both based on real places.) I just liked the concept of a ballroom with the stained glass windows on the roof. It seemed like a good image, especially if it were lit from above. The ballrooms are the only places I really get to show off noble extravagance in this book, and so I worked hard to make each of the four distinctive and visually interesting.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Also, I think it was about time to establish firmly the relationship between Kelsier and Vin. She–if you haven't guessed–has a bit of a hero-worship crush going on with him. It will never be stated explicitly, but it's there, and kind of has to be there.

    Kelsier, however, regards her like a protégé, and perhaps even a daughter. That's it. I apologize to those who were looking for a romance between the two. I realize that I'm breaking some laws of storytelling by introducing a female viewpoint in chapter one, then a male viewpoint in chapter two, and not having them get into any sort of romantic way. However, that's not what this book is about. Kelsier is not only much older than Vin, he really doesn't look for relationships any more. Not his focus in life right now.

    I never intended there to be any romantic tension between the two of them. However, some of my alpha readers were hoping to find it–and found more than I anticipated. So, I added the lines here from Kelsier about wishing he had a daughter, just so I could make things clear.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Seventeen - Part Three

    This conversation between Kelsier and Vin on the balcony is one of the most foundational scenes in the book, at least in regard to how Vin's character is going to progress. As I've mentioned, I'm often accused of being overly optimistic in the way I view the world. I'm probably guilty as charged, but I figure that most optimists I know tend to be pretty darn happy. Seems like a good life.

    Anyway, I really do think it would be better on a person's psyche to just go ahead and trust those that are close to you. However, you run the risk of having to deal with what happened to Kelsier. Do you stop loving someone because they betray you? No, that's what makes it hurt. That's why breakups are tough, because you can't really change your feelings. You can only try and overwhelm them with bitterness instead.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Flowers. It was actually hard to write a world without flowers. For instance, the scene where Kelsier fights in the conservatory–I had to struggle to not call things flowerbeds. Describing gardens without flowers was tough too.

    So, how does a world get by without flowers? Why don't they exist any more? All these questions will be answered.

    In book three. Sorry.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Seventeen - Part Two

    Sazed calls Breeze by his real name–Ladrian–for the first time in this chapter, I believe. Breeze doesn't like going by this name. You'll see later that he tries to get people (or, rather, Sazed, who is the only one who uses Breeze's real name) to avoid calling him Ladrian.

    The reason is simple. Ladrian is the name that Breeze went by when he was growing up. He's actually the only one on the crew who is a full-blooded nobleman. (More on this in book two.) None of the others know this, of course. He's come to the underground from the opposite direction of everyone else–down from the top. He has let some few people know that his real name is Ladrian (mostly on accident, when he was younger) and the name has stuck.

    It's a common enough name in the Final Empire, but someone COULD theoretically connect him to one Lord Ladrian who disappeared from noble society some number of years back. He doesn't, of course, want anyone in the underground to know he's actually a full-blooded nobleman, otherwise he would loose credibility–and maybe even gain the anger of people like Kelsier, who hate the nobility unilaterally.

    So, he pretends that he finds the name unsuitable for other reasons, and asks people to just call him Breeze. None of this, of course, gets to come out in the book. Otherwise, I wouldn't have just told it to you. I just don't have the chance to develop Breeze as I would like here. So, those of you reading this can feel vindicated in the fact that you've gotten some true insider information! Breeze will, for those of you who are his fans, get some viewpoints in the next book, which will expand his character somewhat.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    I sincerely hope that you've figured out that the logbook Sazed is translating is the source of the epigraph/bums at the beginnings of the chapters. I found this a very interesting way to use the epigraphs–almost every one of my alpha readers spent a lot of time trying to guess who wrote them, and where they came from. That kind of anticipation makes for strong storytelling, and so I'm very pleased with the way the bumps start to come together and make more sense once the book gets found.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    I kind of wish I'd had more time to show Yeden's transformation into trusting–even liking–Kelsier. Unfortunately, I've focused the book around Vin. By now, you should be seeing that she's taking more and more viewpoints, and Kelsier is getting fewer and fewer.

    That's another reason why I shifted the book from being a true heist book into what it became. I wanted the story to be about Vin, not about the various clever members of the crew. Vin is a deep and interesting character to me, and she deserved the screen time to develop. That's more important to me for the overall series than the clever heist against the Lord Ruler.

    The result is that I don't have a lot of screen time for characters like Yeden. So, their character arcs have to happen quickly and abruptly–such as the way he shows his changes in this chapter.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Seventeen - Part One

    Whew! I've got a lot to say here. First off, Vin's earring. It's a little morbid the way she wears it around, since it was her mother's. The same mother that killed Vin's sister and tried to kill Vin, before Reen rescued her. But, we'll get to more of that later.

    My feeling is that the earring is Vin's last connection to her real family or the life she knew with Reen. True, it wasn't a great life–but it was part of her, just like the Pits became part of Kelsier. He'll always carry those scars. The earring is the same for Vin.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    I almost took out the section where Vin thinks "Oh, that's why Sazed saved me. He has to because he promised Kelsier. That makes sense–after all, why would he want to save me?"

    This section fits with the earlier Vin, but I think it's just a bit out of character for her now. She's getting over her feelings of worthlessness and solitude. She knows Sazed well enough now to understand that he WOULD save someone because he's a kind person, not just because he promised that he would.

    So, I shortened Vin's thoughts in that section, de-emphasizing them by adding them into another paragraph, rather than giving them their own. I maybe should have cut them, but I wanted to hint that she's not over her hang-ups yet. She still has some of those old feelings. The progress is that she doesn't dwell on them as long.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    The bit about Mare betraying Kelsier was one of the little tidbits I'd been reserving for quite some time. I hope that some of you managed to guess it. It only makes sense, I think, considering the emotional torment Kelsier has gone through. In order for him to be the man I want him to be, he has to have faced a TRUE betrayal–a hurtful one.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Sixteen - Part Two

    Sazed's nature as a eunuch was stabilized in my mind almost from the beginning of the formation of his character. With the Lord Ruler trying so hard to breed a perfect race of Terrisman servants, I felt that it would be important for him to castrate most of the Terrismen. In addition, I've never written a eunuch character before, and really wanted to see if I could deal with one in a good way.

    I read up on what castration does to a man when it's preformed before puberty. Often, apparently, the result is obesity. Another result is that the person grows taller than normal (for some reason) and their arms grow longer in proportion to their bodies than regular people. I didn't make Sazed fat–I think that had been done too much for eunuchs–but I did give him the other physical characteristic.

    He continues to grow more complex as a character as the book progresses. That's one of the things I absolutely love doing–giving readers a side character that they think will only be secondary, then building his motivation and complexity until he becomes one of the most important figures in the story.