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.
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Chapter Twenty-five Part One
I hope that pewter dragging doesn’t seem like something I just pulled out of my hat. I hate it when authors just suddenly come up with new elements of their magic systems. (See my recent article on how to write magic systems for more.) Instead, I find it better when the characters find new ways to apply what they can already do.
This seems to be a natural outgrowth of pewter to me. Plus, I did need a way to get Kelsier and Vin to the battlefield with some manner of speed. In these books, I’ve found getting people where they need to be at the right time to be one of the most challenging aspects of the series. In book three, I have one character crossing half the continent, then having to run back the other way, just so he can get where he needs to be for the end of the book.
Killing off the army like this was planned from the beginning. I knew I needed some kind of big wrench in the plans of the crew, and figured this would make a pretty good one. Plus, it felt natural, since it was a problem with Kelsier’s own growing reputation. The very thing he’s been working so hard to foster eventually turned against him.
When alpha readers read this chapter, they didn’t see the loss of the army as much of a setback. That was one of the first things that made me realize the big flaw in the early drafts. I’d talked a lot in the crew about stealing the atium, but I’d spent all the time with them actually doing things on recruiting the army. So, the readers were still focused on the job being the atium heist, rather than the capture of the city. In that context, losing the army isn’t all that bad.
So, I like how the rewrite focuses much more on the army. It makes the events of this chapter all the more poignant. Yeden, the one that was employing the crew, is dead. That should mean the end of everything.
As Vin herself points out, this is the second time she has forced Kelsier to take her with him when he was planning on going alone. This time, however, is different–or, at least, I wanted to be metaphorically different.
If Vin hadn’t been along, Kelsier would have charged the army. He’d probably have died, and that really WOULD have been the end. He’s got an impulsive streak. Vin, however, learned from her near-death at the palace. Mistborn are not invincible–something that’s harder for Kelsier, even still, to grasp.