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redking
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  09:38:48  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Perhaps this has been done to death, but I have not read the threads about it.

Bob Salvatore comes across as a confused man struggling with questions of philosophy through his mouthpiece cut-out, Drizzt. If Bob Salvatore was a dime-store philosopher with the occasional snappy truism, then that might be OK. Instead we have meandering and self contradictory dialog from characters that would benefit from cognitive behavioural therapy or other interventions into mental illness.

The worst thing about this novel besides the sheer boredom it imposes on the reader is the utopian drow city that is presented. I will not belabour the details because no doubt it has been discussed elsewhere, but in this city all racial tensions between the various races have been abolished (somehow). Drow, orc and dwarf and human get along in harmony. Indeed, although the drow are the majority population, we are informed by drow characters that the "contributions" of the minority races are treasured. Salvatore even manages to insert the fantasy equivalent of "use our pronouns" by having the dwarves of this city go by a different name, with casually racist Cattie-Brie being put in her place by one of the utopian drow about the matter.

There is mere lip service to a metaplot about Menzoberranzan undergoing a politico-social change. There is a subplot about rescuing a half-drow half-surface elf character, but this subplot is a ham-fisted device to introduce the utopian drow city and their better way of life.

The message Bob Salvatore unintentionally conveys is that the rest of the people of the Forgotten Realms are functionally inferior in every respect. Instead of just abolishing racism, poverty, class and religion like the utopian, diverse city of drow in the far north, all the other peoples of the world have chosen a needlessly oppressive modality. Utopianism is a choice, and the peoples of the Forgotten Realms have chosen wrongly.

There are random tidbits here and there about Drizzt's moral quandaries, and given Drizzt's "transcendence" he may end up doing the 'beyond good and evil' trope. Catti-Brie's demand that all orcs must be genocided in the name of Mielikki is raised as problematic, which is interesting because it was Bob Salvatore that came up with this concept in the first place. Drizzt (Bob Salvatore's character cut-out) resolves the cognitive dissonance by preaching atheism to his captive audience.

Apologies for the disjointed nature of this review. I am at home with C19 and just read the book, hoping for a bit of escapism. I didn't get that. What I got was an author that dug himself into a hole and keeps digging. Review score: 1 out of 5.

Edited by - redking on 06 Apr 2022 09:42:59

Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  11:37:04  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It's a very bizarre sort of decision given Drizzt has stated that the gods are not people but embodiment of our desire to be better or worse.

Still, I'm going to be very disappointed with this book I suspect given I have always enjoyed the Drizzt books' nuanced take on religion.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36254 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  12:30:45  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never understood where the genocidal Mielikki angle came from. Nothing in the lore about that deity suggests even a casual hatred of any particular type of critter, and a deity with a drow renegade follower (or former follower, whatever) who met a renegade goblin would have more reason than most to know that not all members of any particular ancestry are going to be the same.

I've read enough commentary on this book to think that even if I hadn't bailed on Lord Ginsu after the Thousand Orcs books, I'd still not be inclined to read this one.

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deserk
Learned Scribe

Norway
225 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  21:01:48  Show Profile Send deserk a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Quite honestly I think this is RAS's worst book. For all the reasons redking stated. A flawless utopian society is not interesting, engaging or insightful at all. What made the drow interesting in the first place was how their oppressive society worked, as well as their Machiavellian political intrigues.

I was a bit intrigued of the concept of a drow society existing in the utter north, but it was represented in an such extremely underwhelming way. I'm sure I would have liked it much more had Ed or any other FR designer played a role in designing in it, and I would have prefer to see the faith of Eilistraee involved with it. But instead, we got atheist hippy vegan drow. And also, the names, Aevendrow, Lorendrow, just don't sound Realmsian to me. This is RAS plastering a lazily made setting onto the Realms.

Edited by - deserk on 06 Apr 2022 21:05:52
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36254 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  22:57:24  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deserk

I was a bit intrigued of the concept of a drow society existing in the utter north, but it was represented in an such extremely underwhelming way. I'm sure I would have liked it much more had Ed or any other FR designer played a role in designing in it, and I would have prefer to see the faith of Eilistraee involved with it. But instead, we got atheist hippy vegan drow. And also, the names, Aevendrow, Lorendrow, just don't sound Realmsian to me. This is RAS plastering a lazily made setting onto the Realms.



To be fair, I'm fairly certain WotC came up with these Drow 3.0, and RAS was just implementing what WotC came up with. I can't comment on how they were implemented; I'm just thinking they weren't his design.


(Drow 1.0: The original, "hoo-boy, they're scary!" drow. Drow 2.0: "Ooh, let's capitalize on the popularity of this one character, put drow everywhere, and make them playable!" Drow 3.0: "Yeah, some of those original ideas are... problematic. Let's ignore prior lore and rebuild these guys from the ground up!")

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 06 Apr 2022 22:59:45
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Ashe Ravenheart
Great Reader

USA
3202 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  23:00:24  Show Profile Send Ashe Ravenheart a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by deserk

I was a bit intrigued of the concept of a drow society existing in the utter north, but it was represented in an such extremely underwhelming way. I'm sure I would have liked it much more had Ed or any other FR designer played a role in designing in it, and I would have prefer to see the faith of Eilistraee involved with it. But instead, we got atheist hippy vegan drow. And also, the names, Aevendrow, Lorendrow, just don't sound Realmsian to me. This is RAS plastering a lazily made setting onto the Realms.


To be fair, I'm fairly certain WotC came up with these Drow 3.0, and RAS was just implementing what WotC came up with. I can't comment on how they were implemented; I'm just thinking they weren't his design.


(Drow 1.0: The original, "hoo-boy, they're scary!" drow. Drow 2.0: "Ooh, let's capitalize on the popularity of this one character, put drow everywhere, and make them playable!" Drow 3.0: "Yeah, some of those original ideas are... problematic. Let's ignore prior lore and rebuild these guys from the ground up!")


I'm pretty sure that's how it is with MOST of the decisions for novels.

I actually DO know everything. I just have a very poor index of my knowledge.

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Edited by - Ashe Ravenheart on 06 Apr 2022 23:00:48
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 06 Apr 2022 :  23:21:07  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

To be fair, I'm fairly certain WotC came up with these Drow 3.0, and RAS was just implementing what WotC came up with. I can't comment on how they were implemented; I'm just thinking they weren't his design.


(Drow 1.0: The original, "hoo-boy, they're scary!" drow. Drow 2.0: "Ooh, let's capitalize on the popularity of this one character, put drow everywhere, and make them playable!" Drow 3.0: "Yeah, some of those original ideas are... problematic. Let's ignore prior lore and rebuild these guys from the ground up!")



He has stated that they were his ideas. When talking about the drow changes, he put emphasis on "my vision, my ideas, WotC is doing what I wanted to happen".

Edited by - Irennan on 06 Apr 2022 23:22:04
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Delnyn
Senior Scribe

USA
723 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  00:36:57  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If RAS said those were his ideas, I am done with Drizzt stories until and unless the Lord Ginsu rights go to someone else.

EDIT: To those who claim RAS does not have those rights, WoTC (or other company) has those rights, my refusal still stands. What I see here is an untenable development.

Edited by - Delnyn on 07 Apr 2022 01:10:32
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redking
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  10:08:24  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan


He has stated that they were his ideas. When talking about the drow changes, he put emphasis on "my vision, my ideas, WotC is doing what I wanted to happen".



I don't really understand the people that believe that Bob Salvatore is being forced to write this stuff. Does he have a gun to his head? Did WotC force Bob Salvatore to write all the awkward Sapphic scenes and innuendo also?

To me, this looks like Bob Salvatore got 'woke', and has all the sloppy zeal of the recent convert. There might be an interesting way to implement woke but in relation to novels written by Bob Salvatore we will never know because the execution of such is horrible.

Anyway, it is pretty clear where Bob Salvatore is taking Doum'wielle Armgo in this narrative. Doum'wielle Armgo is a hybrid elf, and she (hope I am not misgendering! Sorry Bob if I am!) will be the saviour of Menzoberranzan. Even though this makes literally no sense based on the culture and norms of all factions in Menzoberranzan. Bob Salvatore is going to throw it in your face anyway. Doesn't matter if it makes sense or not. The better way of the utopian drow is coming to Menzoberranzan.

I remember when sexuality in the Drizzt books was low-key and implied only. Now we get Bob Salvatore acting out fantasies at the expense of his readers. No thanks.
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  10:43:54  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
To me, this looks like Bob Salvatore got 'woke', and has all the sloppy zeal of the recent convert. There might be an interesting way to implement woke but in relation to novels written by Bob Salvatore we will never know because the execution of such is horrible.


Could you be more specific, whenever someone uses woke, I automatically think of the person being described as a better writer. My experiences with it being used as a pejorative have been enormously negative.

Mind you, the best part of the Drizzt novels have been their philosophical examination of racism, religion, and good vs. evil.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  18:35:08  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps
Mind you, the best part of the Drizzt novels have been their philosophical examination of racism, religion, and good vs. evil.



I agree that te work he did to show the impact of racism on Drizzt at the very beginning had value, but things degenerated a lot from there.
Most of his stuff tends to be very didactic (quite literally, since he comes to the point of outright telling you "this is right, this is wrong"), while remaining on the surface, rejecting any nuance of the topic, and showing glaring lack of research. Religion is a prime example of this--dude portrays religion as some kind of mass indoctrination aimed at manipulating people and nothing else, while showing ignorance regarding the functions that psychology has recognized religion and the various forms it can take (which is one and the same with the function that stories have, btw). Religious people that appear in his books are all brainwashed and generally in the wrong and/or underwhelming as indivudals. That's not a "philosophical" discussion of anything, that's just pouring your biases on papaer and masking them as a novel.

Another problem is that he doesn't bother to build good "moral" scenes. When he has to prove a moral point, he either has flat, shallow villains that mean absolutely nothing as the counterpoint (a strawman, basically). Or he pulls off a character out of the blue and have them punised just to prove the point, without showing us the impact of their actions, the flawed belief and the experience that led the character to that, or any conflict surrounding that (the random rapist or molester--I can't recall--out of nowhere that was punished by the judge child-demon-whatever, because did you know people? Rape is bad!!). Basically, he doesn't explore the humanity of his characters, the very same humanity that leads to the various situations.

That's not how you deliver your worldview. You do that in many ways, like the ransformation arcs that each character must undergo to reach their goal, that allow you to explore the conflict that comes from the flawed beliefs that your character holds, as well as what those beliefs mean to the character/the experiences that shaped them. The way of writing morality that RAS' stuff sorely lacks is described by Truby in his screenwriting book: you make your protagonist choose between two bad options or two good options, and the consequences of these choices are among the most powerful ways to delivers your worldview. You create real choices (if you have a bad and a good option, that's not a choice, that's utterly uninteresting), because only situations with no clear cut better options, that come with the suffering of making a sacrifice (especially when you have to sacrifice beliefs that you identify with and that you built yourself on), that the character put themselves in through their flawed beliefs and chasing their (sometimes equally flawed) goal, can carry a deeper meaning.

RAS, OTOH, basically writes platitudes more than showing a worldview through transformation arcs in his stories. I mean, the fact that Drizzt is the perfect boy who never once had to change his morality in a substantial way, that never has the wrong answer to moral questions, always does the right thing, and it's just the world that needs to change, is a gigantic red flag for bad writing. RAS' transformation arcs are either non-existent, or feel forced and strawmanned, like Entreri's "redemption". Which leads me to the next point.

Sometimes he writes harmful things that either miss the point, or should have straight been edited out. The take he offers on trauma and mental conditions shows lack of understanding. The way he has portrayed women in power for 30+ years is damn awful. He wants to talk about complex stuff, but doesn't bother at all to research the topic to offer a good, nuanced views. He acts like those anti-science people who know sh*t about the topic, but claim to be entitled to their opinion.

Edited by - Irennan on 07 Apr 2022 18:45:00
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2686 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  22:48:37  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've come to the conclusion that RAS is a bitter ex-Catholic who preaches his bitter ex-Catholic views via his novels (and Drizzt). All religion is automatically bad, even if it isn't used to justify atrocities, therefore it must be abolished. This stance has become pretty obvious to me in his last several novels. Mielikki's genocidal declaration is used to demonstrate this, even though it is OOC for her. Nevertheless, Entreri is going to hell unless he changes his ways.

And I wouldn't even describe RAS as all that "woke". He still falls prey to the "bury your gays" trope (notice how he kills the lover of all his gay characters, and then later kills that character, too). His attempts at erasing racism are poorly done, and not only that, but he continually stomps on decades of lore in the name of his "religion is bad, even fictional religion".

Sweet water and light laughter
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 07 Apr 2022 :  23:15:20  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I admit my inclination is to give RA Salvatore the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Starlight Enclave as I'm inclined not to judge where a story is necessarily going before it's completed its story. It's entirely possible the vegan atheist cosmopolitan drow are going to reveal a horrible secret or be too good to be true.

I've already heard people speculate the "evil" Mielikki advice from Cattie Brie is going to turn out to be Lolth in disguise because it's always Lolth in disguise.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  04:39:04  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

I admit my inclination is to give RA Salvatore the benefit of the doubt when it comes to Starlight Enclave as I'm inclined not to judge where a story is necessarily going before it's completed its story. It's entirely possible the vegan atheist cosmopolitan drow are going to reveal a horrible secret or be too good to be true.


Maybe? Either way, regardless of where the story is headed to, the book is written badly, so I really don't see how bad writing (which has been going on for a long time) can be given the benefit of the doubt. Besides, if you want to go for that kind of plot, you seed it in your first book. You don't spend your first book raving about the aevendrow, and using your omniscent narrator (which is an immersion killer and a cheap way of writing, btw) to romanticize the memory erasure thingy they practice. So, if these dudes suddenly turned out to have a dark secret, it would feel like an asspull, because plot twists must be seeded.

This without even considering the human dimension of the characters, since RAS' story planning tends to feel like he has a schedule of stuff that he wants to happen to go from A to B, rather than make the story emerge from the characters' goals and relative transformation arcs (which in turn would deliver the worldview that his characters are meant to deliver without the need for being didactic). Starlight Enclave shows this best.

quote:
I've already heard people speculate the "evil" Mielikki advice from Cattie Brie is going to turn out to be Lolth in disguise



It's a plot from like 7-8 years ago, it would make no sense if this had been Lolth in disguise and we still saw no consequence or even hint towards that. Once again, this stuff must be seeded, otherwise it's an asspull. Meanwhile, Drizzt jumped on his moral high horse and rode it all the way to righteousland, to look down on Catti and Mielikki for how wrong they were ("remember kids, genocide is bad, so bad that I need to sh*t on a character and a world I didn't create but that I used to get where I am just to tell you that. Now that's a good and righteous thing to do, right?").

quote:
because it's always Lolth in disguise.


This statement says more about the depth of RAS' plots than most criticism can, tbh.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 04:51:40
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Zeromaru X
Great Reader

Colombia
2288 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  05:26:24  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan



It's a plot from like 7-8 years ago, it would make no sense if this had been Lolth in disguise and we still saw no consequence or even hint towards that. Once again, this stuff must be seeded, otherwise it's an asspull. Meanwhile, Drizzt jumped on his moral high horse and rode it all the way to righteousland, to look down on Catti and Mielikki for how wrong they were ("remember kids, genocide is bad, so bad that I need to sh*t on a character and a world I didn't create but that I used to get where I am just to tell you that. Now that's a good and righteous thing to do, right?").



I was just about to say this, lol. Evulz Mielikki has been a thing since the post-Sundering novels. Like saying "all orcs are evil and should be genocided" or being happy because Anauroch was becoming a desert again. Like, isn't Mielikki the god of the frigging forests? Why is she happy with losing one of them. If all the gods are douchebags as RAS has been saying lately, she should be happy with Anauroch the forests because that gives her more powers... RAS's narrative on the gods makes no sense.

Instead of seeking change, you prefer a void, merciless abyss of a world...
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  05:32:13  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I hate to speculate on RA Salvatore having a religious issue in RL but it does seem weird he would have Mielikki turn evil after all she went through for him.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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redking
Learned Scribe

100 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  06:16:56  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Mind you, the best part of the Drizzt novels have been their philosophical examination of racism, religion, and good vs. evil.



To me this is the worst part of the Drizzt novels, as I stated at the outset. Because of this divergent worldview, I don't think I could make myself understood in relation to the following.

quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps
Could you be more specific, whenever someone uses woke, I automatically think of the person being described as a better writer. My experiences with it being used as a pejorative have been enormously negative.


I gave a number of examples, such as the Sapphic dialog. Bob Salvatore is trying to be woke, meaning that he is trying his best to do the Current Thing, and his execution is just horrible. Many people have pointed out that Bob Salvatore's gay representation is bad. Its a sincere effort. Its just not good at all. You can picture in your mind Bob Salvatore brainstorming new gay characters, scenes of erotic lesbianism, and so on, and desperately wishing for the accolades. Benefit of the doubt or not, this is the most likely scenario.
-------------------------------------------------

The only thing that could salvage the racially diverse city of utopian drow is if they turn out to be Town with a Dark Secret trope. Perhaps everyone is mind controlled, and that is how traditional enemies like dwarves and orcs can get along in the same society. Nothing excuses the terrible writing, however.

Edited by - redking on 08 Apr 2022 06:17:16
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  12:50:50  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
The only thing that could salvage the racially diverse city of utopian drow is if they turn out to be Town with a Dark Secret trope. Perhaps everyone is mind controlled, and that is how traditional enemies like dwarves and orcs can get along in the same society. Nothing excuses the terrible writing, however.


I mean, I 100% believe this will happen. That or it get slaughtered by other Drow or orcs.

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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  18:23:21  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

I hate to speculate on RA Salvatore having a religious issue in RL but it does seem weird he would have Mielikki turn evil after all she went through for him.



We don't have to speculate about RAS' religious isses IRL. What we read in his stuff is enough to say that his portrayal of religion is ignorant, strawman-ish, and quite childish on many levels. But that goes for most complex topics he tries to discuss--his writing is didactic and superficial, at times downright crass and disrespectful of the topic (most topics regarding mental conditions), some of the worst things a story can be.

His personal reasons for doing that are irrelevant, the fact remains that he's more of a seller than an author.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 18:34:45
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  18:28:52  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

quote:
The only thing that could salvage the racially diverse city of utopian drow is if they turn out to be Town with a Dark Secret trope. Perhaps everyone is mind controlled, and that is how traditional enemies like dwarves and orcs can get along in the same society. Nothing excuses the terrible writing, however.


I mean, I 100% believe this will happen. That or it get slaughtered by other Drow or orcs.



I doubt it, because these aevendrow+lorendrow are going to be used by WotC as the new mainstream drow cultures (as they announced last year in the big "summer of Drizzt" thingy they had going on), and they said that the Menzo drow are the only Lolthite society out there, and a minority started by wackos who for some unspecified reason decided to go with Lolth underground some millennia ago (yep, RAS is retconning whole swaths of FR history, aside from nonchalantly appropriating of so many things he didn't create). Oh, and according to the dragon+ article that discussed this topic, you can also tell some drow is a Lolthite because they have skin markings given to them by Lolth: so you now have good tattoo-less drow, and bad tattoo drow.

Plus, the aevendrow are described as peak fighters and magic users (both arcane and divine, to the point that everything in their society runs on "a wizard did it"--in some unspecified way, ofc, because remember kids: putting bare minimum effort in your worldbuilding is for losers!) It's hard to see them getting slaughtered anytime soon.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 18:39:02
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7684 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  19:22:43  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
People change over time. Experience, perspective, growth, loss, maturity, wisdom.

So characters change over time as writers change over time.

Sometimes this is part of the narrative or the format, the characters are an interface between authors and audiences which keep up with the changes.

Other times this is undesirable. Such as when your character is an elf who's lived many centuries and will live many more, who was profoundly shaped by his formative underworld life yet continues to be profoundly reshaped (into a fixed mold) by his "recent" surface life.
Sometimes a writer holds onto a character too long. If the readers already have a tendency to complain about the character then it's already long past the time for the writer to let go and move onto other things.

[/Ayrik]
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  19:42:21  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Problem is RAS doesn't seem to know how to make characters change. His characters are mostly there to make the plot tick, which is bad writing. Narrative is defined by giving a goal to how characters change: the character's goals and stakes plus their fatal flaw and flawed core beliefs drive the conflict that cause the change. However, in RAS' case that doesn't really apply. You either have changes that are neglectable, or just plain bad (Entreri becoming "good"; RAS didn't research what healing from trauma looks like), super sudden (Catti deciding to become some fanatic and go full genocide upon waking up), or characters who "win" while never having to change anything about their core beliefs or who they are (Drizzt). Drizzt was right from the very beginning, he has always been right, while the world was wrong and unjust and in need to learn from him and change. When something bad happened to Drizzt, it usually wasn't because a major flaw in his beliefs and worldview--that is revealing of his character and experiences--caused him to make a mistake. Nope, the world just hurt him in all its wrongness. Yes, Drizzt developed his spirituality more, but that's not changing, that's just becoming better at what you already are. That's why Drizzt is a huge Mary Sue.

Someone may point out at catalyst characters, but catalyst characters don't work like Drizzt (who catalyzed quite little, AFAIK), and they generally have an unresolved ghost, a remaining flaw in their beliefs that they also must change as they help others undergo their transformation arcs.

In any case, I agree that Drizzt is spent. If your protagonist doesn't have any change to undergo, any moral choice to make (lesser evil or greater good), then they have no dramatic value. And if they also happen to be your mouthpiece, then you're just jerking yourself off on some paper and passing that as narrative.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 19:51:16
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CorellonsDevout
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USA
2686 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  20:45:13  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You have only to look at his Twitter account and listen to interviews with him to know his RL stance on religion. He's a bitter ex-Catholic. Now, I don't care what his RL beliefs are, but he is essentially preaching them in a setting where the gods are real. Are they douchebags sometimes? Sure, but that is no reason to sh*t on a big part of the setting or lump all of them into "all religion is bad".

To return briefly to his "wokeness", because I want to say this, as someone who reads a lot of book with queer characters, before anyone uses the argument that he is a straight white male, and thus can't write from a queer character perspective--uh, I have read books by straight authors that speak to the contrary. Gay romance (for example) isn't that different from a straight romance--emotions are the same. RAS throws in Sapphic dialogue, presumably for some titillation, has some gay characters, but kills off their lovers so that he doesn't have to write them as "being gay" with anyone, then later falls prey to "kill your gays". Also, notice how Jarlaxle is canonically pansexual, but RAS has only ever written him being with women (and threw in some Dragon sisters, which readers seemed obsessed with for a while).

Sweet water and light laughter
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  22:44:41  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

You have only to look at his Twitter account and listen to interviews before anyone uses the argument that he is a straight white male, and thus can't write from a queer character perspective--



I mean, do these people think that an author can only write a reskinned version of themselves? Or that an actor can only act characters who are like them?

Guess they need the reminder that empathy exists, which allows humans to put themselves in the shoes of other humans, and even find similarities in experiences that are apparently unrelated, but tied by similar goals and emotions (actors do this, and I've seen recommendations that writers take a few pages from an actor's book, to write more compelling scenes). Also, that research exists, that allows your empathy to be accurate.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 22:48:03
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2686 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  22:51:07  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
You would be surprised how many use that argument. I have seen a number of arguments that amount to authors "writing what they know." Which, yes, to a point this is true. A black woman is going to have a better understanding of the affects of racism than a white woman, but if authors only wrote what they knew, then by that logic, male authors would only write about male characters, and female authors would only write about women.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  23:17:44  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

You would be surprised how many use that argument. I have seen a number of arguments that amount to authors "writing what they know." Which, yes, to a point this is true. A black woman is going to have a better understanding of the affects of racism than a white woman, but if authors only wrote what they knew, then by that logic, male authors would only write about male characters, and female authors would only write about women.



Yep, write what you know is true, but that doesn't mean that you can't write anything outside your experience, just that you need to accurately understand the things you write. There are ways to know stuff that you haven't experienced, which is research--something that people who spew this crap should do before talking about stuff they don't understand.

Edited by - Irennan on 08 Apr 2022 23:18:56
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CorellonsDevout
Great Reader

USA
2686 Posts

Posted - 08 Apr 2022 :  23:47:08  Show Profile Send CorellonsDevout a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

quote:
Originally posted by CorellonsDevout

You would be surprised how many use that argument. I have seen a number of arguments that amount to authors "writing what they know." Which, yes, to a point this is true. A black woman is going to have a better understanding of the affects of racism than a white woman, but if authors only wrote what they knew, then by that logic, male authors would only write about male characters, and female authors would only write about women.



Yep, write what you know is true, but that doesn't mean that you can't write anything outside your experience, just that you need to accurately understand the things you write. There are ways to know stuff that you haven't experienced, which is research--something that people who spew this crap should do before talking about stuff they don't understand.



Exactly. I write stuff outside my own experience all the time. I'm only one person with one life, after all. I can't have every experience or be every race or orientation. But the argument is often used as an excuse for writers (and often by their readers) to not have racial or sexuality diversity in their books.

Sweet water and light laughter
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3676 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2022 :  00:27:43  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Seems like an overall cowardly and unprofessional thing to say tbh.
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Erikor
Seeker

Norway
52 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2022 :  01:18:12  Show Profile Send Erikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
After Relentless I just wanted a short story set maybe 10 years later that told how the lives of the main characters turned out.
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Charles Phipps
Master of Realmslore

1361 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2022 :  06:38:46  Show Profile  Visit Charles Phipps's Homepage Send Charles Phipps a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Even though I'm an indie writer, I've received heartfelt letters from trans, gay, and black readers who were glad to be included.

The latter surprising me a few times but given the response, I see no reason not to do it and a lot of reason to do it. It helps a lot of people and does nothing to hurt.

My Blog: http://unitedfederationofcharles.blogspot.com/
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Erikor
Seeker

Norway
52 Posts

Posted - 09 Apr 2022 :  09:37:49  Show Profile Send Erikor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Charles Phipps

Even though I'm an indie writer, I've received heartfelt letters from trans, gay, and black readers who were glad to be included.

The latter surprising me a few times but given the response, I see no reason not to do it and a lot of reason to do it. It helps a lot of people and does nothing to hurt.


Just don't force it on the readers. Your book doesn't need a detailed description of a sex scene, gay or otherwise. And don't turn a established character gay or trans just because. Create someone new instead. That's the problem most people have.

Take DC Comics. Alan Scott, the first green lantern who was introduced in 1940 I think, turned gay in 2011. DC Comics messed that up. Suddenly his life with a wife and child that people had been following for maybe decades were just gone. Fans were outraged, not because he was gay but because of all the history that was lost and changed. Don't make the same mistake.

I wish you all the best with your writing :)

Edited by - Erikor on 09 Apr 2022 09:42:16
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