From my journal, written the day I finished this chapter (I sometimes keep a chapter journal for purposes of doing annotations later on.)
MBFE Twenty-Six: pewter draggingFinished 5-11-04
The first half of this chapter came quickly, especially after I switched it to Vin's viewpoint. She's come to dominate the story far more than Kelsier, which is good–that's what I'd hoped would happen. Now, it's much easier to write in her viewpoint than Kelsier's, since she has more internal struggles and, I think, more depth.
Things got tough once I got back to the caves. I knew I wanted Kelsier to have a kind of soul-searching period of thought, followed by the return of Mennis. The problem is, I wasn't exactly sure how much I wanted him to self-doubt. He isn't really the type to second-guess himself, so I didn't want him to brood for too long. Also, I didn't want his discussion of Mennis to go into the things I need to discuss in the next chapter–namely, the reasons the plan hasn't failed just because the army is dead.
The second half didn't start to work until I made Mennis more of a conversation-antagonist, having him advise that Kelsier just give up. This was kind of his function in chapter one as well, so I'm not certain why I didn't figure out his place in this chapter more quickly. In a rewrite, I think I'll strengthen this idea little more. It's good to pile on the "you can't succeed" sections of the book, so that when the rebellion finally does happen, it's all the more sweet because of the overwhelming sense of the odds.