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Mistborn Deleted Scene #5


As requested, today I’ll post some more deleted scenes from Mistborn: The Final Empire. We’re getting into areas that include mild spoilers from the first quarter of the book, so if you haven’t read the novel, I suggest doing that first. Conveniently, it came out in paperback last week! (Note that Amazon still has hardcovers for rather cheap, if you’re a fan of those instead.)

I thought for a while about what to post, and eventually decided that I’d like to show another section of the book that got changed drastically so that you can get a glimpse of what the original draft looked like. This is in conjunction with the annotations, in which I discuss some of these changes more in-depth, as well as with the first attempt at a Vin chapter which I posted before.

I eventually tossed out that attempt at writing her story, and instead decided to write her in a position of far less power. It made for a more interesting character, but I felt I needed to hit hard that she wasn’t weak, she was just dominated by her situation. I think I went too far. The following is a clip from the second version of that early Vin chapter where she and Camon face the obligator. Following it is the same clip from the final version of the book:

——Begin first excerpt——

Camon growled slightly, then raised his hand and backhanded her across the face. The force of the blow threw her back against the wall, and her cheek blazed with pain. She slumped against the wood, but bore the punishment silently. Just another bruise. She was strong enough to deal with it. She’d done so before.

But not forever, she thought with quiet determination. Someday I’ll run this crew. I’m poor and I’m weak now. But not forever.

“Listen,” Camon hissed. “This is an important job. It’s worth thousands of boxings—worth more than you a hundred times over. I won’t have you fouling it up. Understand?”

Vin nodded. Do you ever stop to wonder, Camon? You you remark on the fact that I, the girl you call worthless, could possibly ‘foul up’ your plan? Why is that?

It’s because you need me. You’re worried you can’t pull off this job on your own. You need me, and that gives me power.

Camon studied her for a moment, his pudgy face red with anger. However, she gave him not clue as to her thoughts, feigning despondency. Finally, he looked away, muttering to himself.

——End first excerpt, begin second excerpt (the same scene from the final draft)——

Camon growled slightly, then raised his hand and backhanded her across the face. The force of the blow threw Vin back against the wall, and her cheek blazed with pain. She slumped against the wood, but bore the punishment silently. Just another bruise. She was strong enough to deal with it. She’d done so before.

“Listen,” Camon hissed. “This is an important job. It’s worth thousands of boxings—worth more than you a hundred times over. I won’t have you fouling it up. Understand?”

Vin nodded.

Camon studied her for a moment, his pudgy face red with anger. Finally, he looked away, muttering to himself.

——End second excerpt——

As you can see, I cut this significantly. First off, I felt that having Vin be so determined in her mind actually made her a weaker character. It gave her less room to grow, plus it made her seem just too . . . powerful to start off. That’s the wrong word, I know, but what I was trying for in this novel were characters who weren’t as crisp and neat as the ones in Elantris. Raoden’s power wasn’t in ability or magic, but in his force of determination. I felt that by giving Vin that same trait, I was undermining what could have been a much more powerful character arc.

I still wanted her to be strong—but I wanted her strength to be an instinctive thing. She could survive. She could get beaten on, and she’d keep going. She was more a creature of the streets than a careful planner, waiting for the day to seize power. So, I cut this down.


|   Castellano