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Chapter Twenty-One Part Two
Originally, you may be amused to hear, I was going to have Vin go on this trip with Yeden, with Kelsier staying behind. I even wrote about half of the ‘leave for the caves’ scene with Kelsier telling Vin he’s going to send her with Yeden.
I’m still not sure what I was thinking.
Fortunately, I came to my senses, and I quickly reworked the scene. Vin had to stay in Luthadel–she’s go too much to do there. But, I did want to get a chance to look over the army, so I sent Kelsier instead. It worked out very well, as I was able to do some other things–such as have Kelsier show off for the troops.
However, I didn’t want to spend TOO long out here. When Vin had been the one coming to the caves, I’d planned two or three chapters. When it became Kelsier, I knew I wanted to shrink it to one chapter. So, that’s why we get the kind of weird ‘time passes’ omniscient bit at the beginning of the second section.
One final note for this chapter. Bilg. I prefer him dead. (This is the guy Demoux fought at the end of the chapter, with Kelsier’s help.)
In the original draft of the book, I had Kelsier–through Demoux–kill Bilg in the duel. I thought this was appropriate, and would be the sort of thing that Kelsier would do. In addition, I really wanted to emphasize the ruthless edge that Kelsier has. He is willing to do whatever he has to in order to see that his goals are achieved. It’s that conflict–the happy, joking Kelsier mixed with the hard, ruthless rebel leader–that makes him interesting to me.
Joshua was the big complainer on this one. He felt that my books are too optimistic for something THIS harsh to be done by one of the main characters. He felt that readers wouldn’t go along with it–indeed, it was one of the main points that my alpha readers brought up. Some liked it, others hated it. The scene did it’s job.
Eventually, I went with Joshua’s suggestion, however, and left Bilg alive. To me, this kind of castrates the scene. However, I suppose the most important elements still get across, and Kelsier gets to remain less tarnished a hero.
Still, I would have liked the death to remain, if only for the future books. I’ll eventually post this scene as a deleted scene from the book.