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Annotation Mistborn Chapter Twelve Part One


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 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.


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.


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