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Annotation Mistborn Chatper Twenty-Five Part Two

The following is an author’s annotation that relates to a specific chapter of the book MISTBORN: THE FINAL EMPIRE. Note that the following is NOT the text of the actual chapter, but a companion to the chapter, revealing “behind the scenes” information. If you have not read the book up to–and including–this chapter, you risk serious spoilers! Please, if you haven’t read MISTBORN, go visit the sample chapters, or perhaps purchase the book via Amazon.

You can navigate between annotations by using the list of links on the left. The very first annotation has a more detailed explanation of what is going on. If you want to start there, go to this link. Note–thoughts in the following annotation that might spoil later chapters have been hidden. You can reveal them via the button on the left, and they will appear in red. Not all chapters have hidden text–in fact, relatively few of them do. Thanks!

Chapter Twenty-five Part Two

I hope the timeframe of the various armies, with Vin and Kelsier running the distances, work all right. This is one of the toughest parts about writing fantasy for me, as I mentioned last time. I don’t have a really good concept of distance, and getting things moving at the right speeds on a national level, so they intersect at the right places. . . yeah. Tough.

I had to, for instance, decide how quickly a person pewter dragging could run, and how that compared to someone marching in an army, and how that compared to someone taking a canal boat. If you can do that math and get back to me, well, it’s too late. I already put it in the book. So, I hope I did it right.

Yes, Vin is more powerful than Kelsier. That’s what I’m trying to imply by the scene of her and Kelsier in the hole. And, for one little more quip, I like the fact that Kelsier walks straight forward and says “I need no password.” Which, if you think about it, is the opposite of what he told the soldiers last time he visited the caves–he told them they couldn’t even let him out, if he didn’t have proper authorization. Ah, Kelsier. . ..

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 dragging
Finished 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.