The following quote is taken from the comments/annotation R.A. Salvatore wrote as the introduction to his short story Iruladoon for the book The Legend of Drizzt Anthology: The Collected Stories, edited by Philip Athans.
“Why am I a writer? Because writing is the process I use to make sense of the world, of existence, of life and of death. My writing is my internal dialogue–I wonder, had I realized this before, would I ever have let you all in?”
I haven’t written a novel. I have written a few short stories and a number of flash fiction pieces. When I look back at my writings, I can see my outlook and/or philosophy on life in some of them, while others are simply stories. Someone in an English class somewhere could be given an assignment to analyze them and figure out what my “real” message was, but the truth is that some of them are just stories.
Having read quite a number of Mr. Salvatore’s works, though, I didn’t need to read the quote above to understand that his writing is a way for him to examine aspects of life and death, especially through his most famous character, Drizzt Do’Urden. Salvatore uses Drizzt’s internal dialogue as his own, examining issues from different angles. Looking at the obvious, as well as the obscure…questioning why “we” think certain ways.
Maybe, someday, I’ll use characters to voice my internal dialogue, but right now, I’ll stick with the occasional display of my view on things.