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Annotation Mistborn Chapter One Second Half
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 One Part Two
This second scene with Camon is important for several reasons. The first thing I’ll note is that Vin doesn’t say anything out-loud in the book until she tells Camon that his servants are too fine. I thought it would be interesting to introduce Vin as a character who doesn’t say a whole lot–who thinks her responses. This establishes, I think, that she’s something of an introvert, and that she’s smarter than she lets people know. When she does speak, she’s blunt and straightforward.
The other thing established in this scene is Vin’s use of Luck. Hopefully, you connect her abilities with Kelsier’s line in the prologue about the Lord Ruler fearing skaa who have ‘powers they shouldn’t even know exist.’ Vin fits quite well into this category. She can obviously do something extraordinary, yet she doesn’t know why–or really even how. It was difficult, narratively, to work out how Vin was able to use Allomancy without knowing it, but it works, and you’ll get the explanation later.
Camon was originally far less competent than he ended up in the final draft. Originally, Vin was constantly (in this chapter and the next) thinking about how he was making mistakes when talking to the obligator and the crew. I thought this would establish Vin as an intelligent, insightful character–one who is even better than the guy in charge of her crew.
However, I eventually realized that this didn’t work. Camon was too incompetent–the version of him in the first draft would never have been able to keep control of his crew. In addition, by making him so weak, it weakened the threat to Vin. It’s always better to have antagonists be strong, if only to make the heroes look stronger by comparison. Though Camon is only a minor villain in this book, strengthening him made the story seem much more logical, and I really don’t think I lost anything.