Recent entries

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11301 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    By the way, Vin's line about "We aren't invincible" is a very important one. In part two, I spent a lot of time showing off just how amazing Mistborn can be. I felt I needed to end the section with a colossal failure–and a near death–to show that while Mistborn are powerful, they aren't by any means indestructible. Nothing's more boring than heroes who can't be defeated.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11302 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The new Kelsier is something that this book needed. If he hadn't been forced to go through the guilt of nearly-losing Vin (a reminder to him of how one of his jobs lost him Mare) I don't think he would have had the solemnity and dedication to accomplish the things he does in the rest of the story.

    He'll return more to his old, joking self as the next few chapters pass. However, he'll always remember what he nearly let happen to Vin, and it will become an important aspect of his character.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11303 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Sixteen - Part One

    The epigrams in this section of the book should look familiar. Not because you've read them before, but because–assuming you have any familiarity with fantasy–you've read this kind of story before. The young peasant hero who rises up to fight the dark evil. I suspect that the jacket flap, if you've read it, gives away much of this storyline. This is one of the foundational concepts for the book, however. I've read too many stories about young peasant boys who save the world. I wanted to tell one about a world where the prophesied here came, then failed!

    This concept, of course, evolved. The original idea was for the Dark Lord to defeat the peasant boy. Instead, however, I found the concept of the peasant boy becoming the dark lord more interesting.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11304 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    One thought—you might want to go through the book after each section ending and read ONLY the italicized epigrams at the beginnings of chapters. They tell a story in and of themselves. I will, for those of you who are epigram-challenged, dump some of the more important sections into the narrative later. However, there are some subtle things you'll miss if you don't read through all of the introductions.

    The concept of these epigrams—telling a story within a story—was another of the big things that made me want to write the book. There really is a third viewpoint happening in this book—a first person viewpoint that comes in each chapter, if only very briefly. Who is writing them? Where do they come from? You'll find out soon. (Like, in just a couple of chapters.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11306 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those of you who have read to the end might wonder where the Lord Ruler got his fantastic healing powers. Well, it has to do with Feruchemy. See, the ability to heal one's body is one of the things a Feruchemist can store up. And, the Lord Ruler's power–by being both Allomancer and Feruchemist–is to draw near-infinite power from his Feruchemical storages by burning them. He can be any age he wants. He can live as long as he wants. And, he can heal as quickly and much as he wants. More on this in book two.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11307 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Burning metals by instinct, by the way, is something I had to add to the book for scenes like this. I had to be able to have characters be able to heal quickly–in a relative sort of way–so that I could keep the pacing where I wanted it. That meant long term, quick healing, if that makes any sense. I made it possible for an Allomancer's body to use metals–particularly pewter and tin–when they needed them.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11308 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifteen

    This two-chapter cycle is one of my very favorites in the book. It's the sort of thing you can only pull off–in my opinion–after good set up. The reader has to feel an attachment to the characters so that the tension works. They also have to understand the magic so that the action is quick, not laden with explanations or confusion. And, they have to understand the context so that it feels like something is at stake.

    But, when everything comes together, you get chapters that are very powerful and, hopefully, fulfilling. The scene with Vin falling in the rain, hitting the rooftop, then crawling into a puddle is one of the first and most vivid ones I had for this book. Then, the image of Sazed–the quiet, humble scholar–appearing at the lair with the dying girl in his arms. . . .

    Well, I feel that these two chapters are some of the best I've ever written.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11310 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This altar room is about all you get to see of the actual religious trappings of the Final Empire. As I've said earlier, I intentionally gave the religion in this book a bureaucratic feel. I think that with a living God, the people would be less inclined to faith, prayer, or that sort of worship–and it would be more about obedience and loyalty. So, the obligators and Ministry are police more than they priests.

    Yet, I did want to hint that there are some ceremonial aspects to the religion–they just aren't things that the Lord Ruler cares about the public masses taking part in. This little room, with its strange bowl of tiny knives and odd altar, was intended to evoke a kind of mystical, religious feel. Enough to hint that there's more that the readers don't know, but not enough to get boring.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11311 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fourteen - Part Two

    I don't spend an awful lot of time here talking about the back-story with Mare and Kelsier. I'll get to more of it later. However, you know just about all you're going to know about their failed plan. Kelsier thought there was atium in this room. They tried to sneak in. They got caught.

    In a way, Kelsier is indeed reliving his last days with Mare by trying to break into the room again. He's a Mistborn now, and he wants to accomplish now what he was defeated in earlier.

    This chapter is also another example of the hard edge Kelsier has. He kills his enemies without any pause at all. In my opinion, it was the Pits that did this too him. He's been thought something so horrible that death just isn't as meaningful for him as it once was.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11312 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This room in the palace is another reason why I had to make this book about much more than just stealing atium. Kelsier is half-convinced that the Lord Ruler keeps his atium stash in this room, rather than in the treasury. Either way, it wouldn't be TOO difficult for a Mistborn like Kelsier to break into a room like this–or even the treasury–and be off with the atium. (At least, that's what he thinks. Right up until he gets stopped in this chapter, anyway.)

    Either way, Kelsier wouldn't feel that he needs a crew in order to break into a room and steal some metal. He does that just fine to Keep Venture earlier in the book. By making Mistborn so relatively powerful, I needed a task for Kelsier's group that went far beyond a simple heist. Only something like raising an army and overthrowing an empire would present them with a challenge.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11313 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fourteen - Part One

    Following Kelsier this night is probably one of the dumbest things Vin does in this book. Letting her follow is undoubtedly the dumbest thing Kelsier does in the book. Yet, these two characters are alike in more ways than they may seem at first. Both have a sense of brashness that borders on the foolhardy.

    Vin is beginning to understand that there are crews where people truly care about each other. The problem is, she's feeling a very natural (especially for a girl of her age) desire to fit in and be needed. She has a deep-seated fear that she'll be proven useless, then be abandoned by the people that she's only just beginning to understand that she needs.

    So, she wants to learn to be useful as quickly as she can. For Kelsier's part, he just feels that he's invincible. It's always been a problem of his. He's the type of man who can make things go his way. It's easy for him to ignore the failures and focus on the successes–like the fact that the Lord Ruler trying to kill him only ended up turning him into a Mistborn.

    And so, they infiltrate together. And, this was the natural result.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11314 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is the first chapter where we get to see atium work. The metal is one of the most interesting aspects of the magic system, in my opinion. In fact, one of the things that made me want to start writing Mistborn was this idea of an extremely rare metal that gets used up by the world's mages. It felt natural to me, then, that this metal would do something very powerful.

    Allomancy is, basically, a physical/combat oriented magic system. So, the spectacular power of atium would have to be something physical, and useful on a one-on-one basis. The ability to see slightly into the future, with the atium shadows, felt like a very interesting image to me, so I went with it.

    In Mistborn Prime, the main character lacked atium–and spent most of the book trying to get ahold of it. (He actually stumbled across an atium mine hidden in a small village, which was being oppressed by a tyrant.) It is a small nod to the original book that I developed the plot of this one to be characters trying, essentially, to get ahold of some atium.

    Just a lot more of it.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11315 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The pathway that Vin uses is called a Spikeway–or, at least, that's my informal title for it. I had a lot of trouble deciding how I was going to move people between Luthadel and Fellise (which, by the way, used to be named Tenes. I changed the name because of conflicts with other names in the book. And, for the life of me, I can't remember which names those were.)

    Anyway, the spikeway occurred to me as an interesting application of the magic system that also solved a narrative problem in the book. I needed to get Kelsier back and forth quickly. So, I devised this. Often, this is the way things like this occur to me in writing. I'll see a need–such as Mistborn needing to travel–and fill it by applying the magic system in a logical way. This is one of the advantages of writing Hard Fantasy, where the rules of the magic are very well defined. You can actually be creative in the way you apply things.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11317 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    And, Elend. He's one of my other favorite characters in the series. You'll see more of him–don't worry. I really wanted him to walk the line between being clever and just plain dense (in the way that men can sometimes be.) Some people accuse me of writing Elend too much like myself. In truth, I could see myself sitting at a party reading a book, rather than paying attention to the pretty girl trying to talk to me. Or, at least, that's the way I would have been when I was growing up.

    I'll talk more about Elend later. Though, I do want to note something important. It's a law of storytelling that the girl is going to end up talking to the one boy at the party that she's not supposed to. So, don't pretend you didn’t see it coming.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11318 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Another big change was renaming the Lord Ruler's priests. Originally, they were called just that–priests. And, the Steel Ministry was the Steel Priesthood. I made the change to Steel Ministry and obligators because I didn't want the religion and government in the Final Empire to feel so stereotypical. This was a world where the priests were more spies and bureaucrats than they were true priests–and I wanted the names to reflect that. So, I took out "Priesthood" and "priests." I really like the change–it gives things a more appropriate feel, making the reader uncertain where the line between priests and government ministers is.

    By the way, my friend Nate Hatfield is the one who actually came up with the word "obligator." Thanks, Nate!

    Anyway, I when I changed the priests to obligators, I realized I wanted them to have a more controlling function in the Final Empire. So, I gave them the power of witnessing, and added in the aspect of the world where only they can make things legal or factual. This idea expanded in the culture until it became part of society that a statement wasn't considered absolutely true until an obligator was called in to witness it. That's why, in this chapter, we see someone paying an obligator to witness something rather trivial.

    This was one of the main chapters where obligators were added in, to show them witnessing–and keeping an eye on the nobility. Moshe wanted me to emphasize this, and I think he made a good call. It also gave me the opportunity to point out Vin's father, something I didn't manage to do until chapter forty or so in the original draft.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11319 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twelve Part Two

    Several other things were added to this scene in later drafts. One was the moment when Vin looked up at the windows and contemplated the Deepness and what she knew of it. As I've mentioned, I wanted more chances to talk about the mythology of the world. Moshe mentioned this as well, and so for the sixth draft (this book took seven, including the copy edit) I added in this scene.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11320 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The limelights were added at Moshe's suggestion. In the original drafts of the book, I had bonfires burning outside. That was problematic, however, since they not only required a lot of fuel, but getting them close enough to the windows to provide enough light meant getting them close enough to be dangerous to the glass because of the heat. In addition, Moshe pointed out that bonfires just wouldn't be intensely focused enough in their brightness to provide the right illumination for the stained glass windows. (And, of course, I HAD to illuminate the windows. Why go to all the trouble of putting the balls in gothic cathedrals if nobody could see the windows?)

    So, anyway, Moshe came up with the limelights as a fix. They actually work quite well–they fit the general level of technology I place the Final Empire as having, and the provide focused and intense light. As I understand it, they were the way that stages were illuminated to show the actors during the nineteen hundreds. Hence, being in the limelight as a phrase for someone who is being paid attention to.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11321 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twelve - Part One

    Why do I have the ball scenes in this book? Isn't this supposed to be an action story? Well, the absolute truth is I like party scenes like these.

    It's kind of odd. I don't particularly like parties myself, but in books, they add quite a nice contrast to the dark skulking type of activities Vin has been about so far. It's nice to show the lavish side of life in Luthadel. The ball scenes in Elantris were some of my favorite, since they allowed for some relaxed–if important–verbal sparring and witty commentary. So, when I was planning Mistborn, I knew I had to have some parties at the noble keeps.

    So, that meant I had to get Vin to said parties. That meant she had to pretend to be a noblewoman. That's where this whole plot cycle started–with me wanting an excuse to have ball scenes in this book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11322 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, and no. I don't know what Camon's throat-rope is tied to. You did have a foreshadowing of this kind of execution earlier in the book. (Though, to be honest, I added that in during a rewrite. I didn't come up with particular method of killing someone until I got to this point in the book. It seemed to me that the Inquisitors wouldn't just kill Camon. They'd do something more drastic.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11324 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Originally, I had Vin far less emotionally affected by the scene of slaughter. I wanted to imply that she's seen a lot of death and hardship in her life, and so something like this wasn't all that shocking to her. Alpha readers, however, found her too callous here. I did a rewrite, and realized that I liked it much better with Vin reacting emotionally to the scene of death. She still puts up a strong front, which is very like her. However, she no longer just walks through it without reacting.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11325 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Eleven

    This book is quite a bit more violent than Elantris. I worry about that, sometimes. I hope I don't put people off who enjoyed my first novel. Several things save me, I think.

    First off, though people initially don't think of Elantris as a gruesome book, it really does include quite a few disturbing elements. The brutality of the people in Elantris, for instance, or the slaughtering done by the Dakhor monks. In chapter one of Elantris, we see a boy with his throat crushed, seeping blood. So, really, there isn't anything in Mistborn that stands out THAT much.

    The difference is, I guess, that one of the heroes is himself a killer. Also, we have scenes like this one, which are just plain disturbing.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11326 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Ten - Part Two

    We've now seen Sazed preach a couple of religions to members of the crew. You may be interested in my process of coming up with his character.

    It actually began when I was watching the movie The Mummy. Yes, I know. Sometimes it's embarrassing where we come up with ideas. However, my inspiration for Sazed was the moment when the oily little thief character gets confronted by the mummy, and pulls out a whole pile of holy symbols. He goes through each one, praying to each god, looking for one that would help him.

    I began to wonder what it would be like to have a kind of missionary who preached a hundred different religions. A man who, instead of advancing his own beliefs, tried to match a set of beliefs to the person–kind of like a tailor looking to fit a man with the prefect and most comfortable hat.

    That's where the inspiration for the entire sect of Keepers began. Soon, I had the idea that the Lord Ruler would have squished all the religions in the Final Empire, and I thought of a sect of mystics who tried to collect and preserve all of these religions. I put the two ideas together, and suddenly I had Sazed's power. (I then stole a magic system from Final Empire Prime, which I'll talk about later, and made it work in this world. Feruchemy was born.)

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11327 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the original draft of the book, Kelsier didn't show up at this meeting. He let Yeden do the recruiting. However, as the drafting proceeded, I decided that I wanted Kelsier to present himself more fully to the skaa population. With Yeden now acting as their employer–rather than just another member of the crew–I also needed to show what Kelsier could do that Yeden could not.

    Of course, this is also the first hint we get of Kelsier's true plan. I decided that I wanted him to give this speech here to initiate the idea that he's building himself a reputation with the skaa.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11328 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Ten - Part One

    This chapter has my favorite of Ham's little philosophical dilemmas. Most people I've had read the book don't think much of this argument. It seems obvious to them that resisting the Lord Ruler is the right thing for the people to do. I guess that means I've done my work well, giving the readers a distinct hatred of this government.

    And yet, I don't think the answer is that simple–not for the people living in the world. Ham has a point, in my opinion. Not a big one, but at least one worth considering.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11331 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The fight in this chapter is what I consider the first true Allomantic battle of the series. This is what it's supposed to feel like—there's a reason I started with the concept of Vin feeling free. Allomantic battle is graceful, yet sharp. It is leaps through the mist and clever uses of Pushes and Pulls. This is what attracted me most to the magic system—not the logic of metals and the like, though I enjoy that. I loved the idea of mist, plus flying forms in fluttering mistcloaks.

    I realize that it's obvious, by the way, that Kelsier is her opponent. I didn't write the chapter calling him "her opponent" to be surprising. I just thought that by de-emphasizing Kelsier, I could better create an illusion of tension. The idea is that Vin herself isn't thinking of him as Kelsier. Just as an opponent.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11332 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Nine

    One odd thing I've heard—and noticed—about new writers as opposed to more experienced writers is that the more experienced ones tend to make their books last longer. Many first books take place in a matter of days, or perhaps weeks. Yet, books by more accomplished writers tend to span months or years.

    It might just be coincidence relating to books I've read. I mean, there doesn't seem to be any reason it would be true. Yet, it certainly holds for myself. My first books happened very quickly—even Elantris, which was my sixth, happened in only the space of two months. Yet, in Mistborn, I let more time pass between sections and chapters.

    I think, perhaps, newer authors are intimidated by plotting over such a longer stretch of time. Or, perhaps, it's just something unconscious.

    Either way, we've jumped in time—something necessary for this book, considering the amount that needs to be done in order for the job to get pulled off. This was one of my first clues that I couldn't do a straight-up heist novel with Mistborn. The book covers too much time, and too much has to happen before the ending can occur. I just didn't feel that most of what the crew would be doing would be interesting to a reader, and I wanted to focus too much on Vin's character growth to let me focus on the "heist" of stealing the atium.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11333 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    All of that considered, I know the beginning is kind of slow. That's how my books are—while I can often start with a bang in the first few chapters, I then need to go into building mode so that I can earn my climaxes in the later third. We need to have some scenes explaining Allomancy in detail, for instance, before we can have scenes like happen in the next chapter.

    Still, I like a lot about the introduction to this book. Vin's character comes off very strongly, and the plot is established quickly—something I sometimes have trouble doing. It sets us up for the next section, where things really start to get good.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11334 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part One Wrap-up

    Once I was to this point in the book, I knew that I had something. I needed a book to follow Elantris—one that did all the things that Elantris did well, but then expanded and showed off my strengths. In other words, I needed a "You haven't seen ANYTHING yet" book.

    Mistborn is, hopefully, that book. I took the best magic system I've ever developed, and put it together with two killer ideas and some of my best characters. I cannibalized two of my books for their best elements, then combined those with things I'd been working on for years in my head. This is the result.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11336 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this chapter, we get to meet Sazed–who ranks as one of my favorite characters in the entire series. (Alongside Vin and someone we haven't met yet.) I like Sazed because he's inherently conflicted, yet acts so peaceful. He's a member of a servant race, bred to be humble and submissive. Yet, he knows the one who directed all of that breeding is the Lord Ruler. Add in that he seeks to work with the rebellion, yet feels out of place unless he's acting as a servant, and you get a really good character, in my opinion.

    Needless to say, you'll be seeing a lot of him.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11337 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Eight - Part Two

    In this chapter, for the first time, I straight out mention that plants aren't green. I hoped that this concept would come across in the first few chapters. However, this sort of thing is difficult to enforce in people's minds. The fact that there are NO green plants in the world is something that most people will probably just skip over in their heads. So, I had to make Kelsier aware of the way that things should be, so that he can explain it to Vin, and therefore point out to the reader–in no uncertain terms–how the landscape works.

    The other thing to notice is, of course, that there are no flowers in this world. But, we'll get to that later.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11338 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a few points in this chapter that really and truly sum up Vin's character for me. The first point comes in her asking Kelsier if Marsh beat him often. The fact that Vin wouldn't even consider the fact that two siblings could get along without some form of beating or dominerance speaks a lot about the life she's led.

    She's not a bad person, however. Kelsier gets it right–she isn't herself bad, she just assumes that everyone else is. In my opinion, the amount of good left in her despite what she's gone through is a powerful testament to her character. And, finally, some of that starts to come out in this chapter. It might be a little early for her to begin changing–it's only been a few days–but I wanted to leave a few hints in this chapter, since we're going to have a big time jump here pretty soon.

    The first hint is that she really is starting to want to become part of the team. She feels sad when she thinks she won't get to act the part of Renoux's heir. In addition–and, for Vin, I meant this to be something very telling–she left food behind. That's a great moment in the chapter for me.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11339 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I re-read this chapter, I'm realizing just how obvious I made it here that Renoux is a kind of Mistwraith. Maybe I overdid it a bit. One problem with this novel in alpha reads was that many of my readers had also read Mistborn Prime, and so they understood the nature of kandra, and immediately knew what Renoux really was. It's not an extremely important surprise, however, so it probably doesn't matter that people can figure it out.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11340 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mistwraiths are a hold-over from Mistborn Prime. They did more in that book than they do in this novel, but I thought they were an interesting world element. In fact, in Mistborn Prime, the hero fights one. It was a kind of fun scene, as the Mistwraith tried to ingest him. However, I couldn't really see the things being dangerous enough to threaten a Mistborn, so I turned them into more scavengers in this novel.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11342 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, and by the way. People often ask me how far ahead I plan my novels. Well, I've noted already in this annotation that some things–such as the Kelsier-Marsh-Mare relationship–come to me as I write. They appear when I need something to fill a particular hole in the story. Other things, however, are quite well planned. Want an example?

    Kelsier's warning about not flaring metals too much is a foreshadowing for book three of the trilogy. You'll see what I mean in a couple of years. Also, there's something very important about Vin's brother that will be hard to pick out, but has been foreshadowed since the first book. . . .

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11343 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Seven - Part Two

    Actions and reactions. Kelsier's little explanation here is probably the most fundamental and important thing to realize about Allomancy–indeed, about a lot of my magic systems. I like to follow physics as best I can. I think it's more interesting that way. Kelsier's mention that you can't just fling things around randomly with the mind is a kind of dig against Star Wars and other magic systems with telepathy. Certainly, you could come up with systems that work they way they do. However, I personally find it more fascinating–and more logical–if a person is only able to apply force directly.

    It really is the way the world works. You apply a pressure, and something moves in that direction. For strong forces, people can only push away from themselves or pull toward themselves. It makes perfect logical sense to me that a magic system would work that way.

    Of course, I might just be a loon for trying to apply so much physics logic to magic in the first place.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11344 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The scene with Vin standing in the darkness and looking in at the people having fun inside was one of the first and fundamental scenes I got for her character. Those who have read other annotations and essays by me know that I build my books by important focal scenes. This image of Vin keeping herself aloof from the fun and good humor, yet desiring to be part of it so badly, seemed to me to be the perfect character for Kelsier's apprentice.

    Of course, this scene was actually only half of the image I conjured in my mind. The other half comes, of course, the scene later in the book where Vin has become fully a part of the crew, enjoying their friendship, and looks out of the kitchen at the dark hallway beyond, where she once stood. Nice little brackets of a character arc, and the main focus in my mind of Vin's growth in this book.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11345 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Seven - Part One

    The Kelsier-Marsh-Mare relationship was something that just kind of grew naturally as I was writing. When I started designing the characters for this book, I knew that I wanted Kelsier to have gone through something very traumatic. I settled on a time spent in the Lord Ruler's slave camps, then built his having a wife out of that.

    Marsh's unspoken love for Mare wasn't something I originally intended. It actually worked into the story as I was writing this very chapter. I needed tension between Marsh and Kelsier for their relationship to work the way I wanted it to. However, Marsh's disapproval of Kelsier just wasn't enough–especially since Marsh himself had given up leadership of the skaa rebellion, proving that he himself wasn't as much of a hero as he wishes he was.

    Mare provided the perfect explanation for their tension. It was something I could imply in just a few sentences, then gain a lot of weight of back-story.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11346 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    We mention the Lord Ruler's flawless memory here. This is actually the only time in the entire series that it's mentioned. However, this is an important clue for later. However, as I'm writing this, without being able to hide this text, I don't want to explain too much and inadvertently ruin something. However, if you've finished the book, you might be able to figure out why the Lord Ruler might have a reputation for being able to remember things.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11347 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    This chapter also has some of my favorite early-book characterizations of Vin. The Vin we get in the first few chapters is a beaten down, sorrowful thing. The Vin in this chapter, however, is more true to who she really is. Careful and discerning, quick to scout out her surroundings and wary of anything new. Yet, at the same time, not hateful or even really brutal. She kind of lives in the moment, taking things as they come.

    Mistborn: The Final Empire Annotations ()
    #11348 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Six

    This chapter is where, in my opinion, the book starts to get good. These kinds of chapters are part of what I write for–good, solid character interaction with some intellectual problem-solving going on. I really like the way that the crew works through their challenges here. The items presented really do sound quite daunting as they're listed; yet, by the end, I hope that the reader feels as the crew does–that this plan could actually work, if they pull it off right.

    I had to rewrite this scene several times, bringing the focus away from simply stealing the atium. By the last draft, I had something I was very pleased with. It outlines things simply enough, yet doesn't make everything sound TOO easy. At least, that is my hope.