Posted in writing

What I Like about Drizzt: An Analysis of R.A. Salvatore’s Character

Many of you know that I enjoy reading, and also that I am an aspiring author. I’m always looking to learn more about my craft and my chosen genre. Part of that is reading what others have written and learning from them.

For the past two weeks I’ve been reading R.A. Salvatore’s books. You can call it my latest addiction. I’ve done little other than read his books. I’ve read the first ten books (yes, ten!) Legend of Drizzt series, and I’m eager to read the more.

What is it about these books that I enjoy so much? What can I learn from these books, and how can I apply it to my own writing?

Picture courtesy of R.A. Salvatore’s website

Drizzt Do’Urden

I tend to be enjoy characters who have a lot of depth to them, and Drizzt Do’Urden certainly possesses that. From the very beginning he stands apart from everyone else. When the world around him is evil, he is good and caring. He was born knowing right from wrong, born with a strong sense of morality–and I say born because he certainly wasn’t taught good from evil. When everyone around him wants him to do bad, he chooses to do good. The fact that such a character rose from an evil place as the one he was born into is simply amazing.

And that’s not all there is to him. Let’s face it: Drittz is the perfect hero. He has almost everything: loyal friends, unparalleled skill in combat, striking looks, a heart that feels deeply, and strong morals. He fights with a pair of scimitars–curved swords–and is so good that virtually no one can beat him. Yet, he doesn’t let his spotless track record make him prideful or boastful, but seeks to use his skills to help others.

I’ve thought many times that I would love to see Drizzt fight on the big screen. Salvatore’s fight scenes are simply awesome, and I doubt I could ever write fight scenes with the same skill and knowledge.

What Drizzt doesn’t have only makes him a better hero. He doesn’t have looks. If you take a look at R.A. Salvatore’s website, then you’ll see that Drizzt is more striking and exotic than handsome. He’s more intimidating than trustworthy. In fact, most people hate and fear him on sight, based on the way he looks and also on his people’s evil reputation. And trust me, his people are very evil. Most people met with this kind of instant hatred would end up hating the world in kind. Drizzt doesn’t. Instead, he is selfless and understanding, and never hesitates to help others–even when they hate him.

Applying what I like to my writing

Recently in my writing career, I’ve concentrated on character building. I’ve deliberately chosen a deliberate character to do this with a difficult to relate to character, one with mental problems. Yes, this can come back to bite me (and it has, on more than one occasion), but I figured if I can learn to do this with a difficult character, then I can learn to do it with a hard character.

After reading of Drizzt, I have to ask myself: does my character evoke the same reaction? The answer, unfortunately, is no. I have a lot to learn. I need to learn how to evoke feelings from my readers, not just mastering writing techniques.

Looks like I got some work to do.

Writing is constant learning process. No one is born knowing how to do things. I may never be published, but I’m not going to stop learning, or stop reading.

With that in mind–I’ve got another book calling my name.

Posted in Pun Lists, writing

A Weak Week of Puny Puns

In spite of the title, it has not been a weak week for puny puns. In fact, it has been quite a fruitful week for puns. But that’s what happens when both my brother and my husband gang up on me while on hour-long car-rides.

This week we went through not one but but three pun-offs, each easily lasting thirty minutes. One was tree-themed, another bean/seed themed, and the third was about fences. I wish I could remember half the puns, but there was no way I could withstand the deluge. There was simply too many.

That does not mean I didn’t enjoy myself. I did. It has been much too long since I’d had a long visit with my brother.

Normally, this is where I would attempt to recreate the conversations we had, but I just don’t have the attention span to do it. Not only is it difficult to recreate something that just naturally happens in the course of conversation, but it’s difficult to write when you don’t want to write. And I’ll be frank. I don’t want to write. Besides, if I tried  to recreate the conversations, it would consist of puns you’ve all heard before and me just banging my head against my desk saying to my husband, “oh please, enough already!”

I would much rather be reading instead of writing. There is, right at this very moment, a book in front of me. It’s an anthology, written by R.A. Salvatore, Book One of The Legend of Drizzit. My sister has a box full of books by him, and she’s lent them to me. And yes, they’re good. And no, I don’t want to put it down.

The books weren’t what I expected. I’ve read three so far, and I’m enjoying them immensely. They are fantasy books, straight out of someone’s Dungeons and Dragon’s adventure stories. They are full of action and very well written, but I will say this–don’t go reading the books out of order. You won’t get near as much out of it otherwise.

I am excited to be reading these books. R.A. Salvatore is a prolific author. His books take up entire bookcases in many bookstores. And Dungeons and Dragons, as a game and as a realm, has contributed a lot to the fantasy genre. I am looking forward to learning as much as I can from Mr. Salvatore, and hope to improve my own writing.