I don’t usually write about celebrities passing away, especially if I’m not that big a fan of them. But this, this needs to be written.
I dare say that you did not just inspire a generation of readers, but a generation of writers too. I’d have never really considered writing fantasy as my main genre if it were not for you. I was first introduced to the Eddings’ works in 1996, when a family member had dropped out a whole bunch of books at my grandmother’s house, knowing I loved to read. I remember reading the book but it not making that much of an impact of me. I was only twelve, and I dare say that the book was written in a way I would not be able to relate until much later.
Fast forward to 2000. I first found out about the Eddings from a friend who bought the first Belgariad book to school. He let me read it as others were awaiting the end of the school day to read it at home, and it was thanks to the Eddings that I began learning how to speed-read unconsciously. As I also tended to visit the library often, it wasn’t too long before I went looking for other books from the same author. It wasn’t too long reading into the Mallorean that I realised that I had already read it once before, but this book was a completely different experience, because I simply got the jokes and the humour now. I could laugh now at what they were saying.
It was through the Eddings and subsequent books that I managed to pick up taught me about making my characters seem real. It was because of them that I learnt humour in writing was something essential, but it need not be contrived. They were the ones who taught me that seeing characters interact is the main point of a good novel, with everything falling into place otherwise.
They were also the ones who inspired me to just pick up the pen and write, and that there is no such thing as an idea unworthy of being fleshed out. It was thanks to David Eddings’ doodle of Aloria that brought the Belgariad and the Mallorean to life, and it was his quirky characters that stayed with me long after. It was also his partnership with his wife that made me realise the importance of writing with someone you trust.
I fell in love with Eriond, the young boy who eventually would become a God. He was such a self-effacing and gentle character that I ended up basing both Sukina and later on, Anra on (I also started a fic about him, but it was such an embarrassment that I threw it away. The draft’s still in my head though).
Ce’Nedra was one of my favourite characters, as she showed a small-sized girl wasn’t someone to be taken lightly, nor was she simply just another Princess. She was independent, had a mind of her own, and wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. That’s something a lot of people don’t really mention in fantasy novels, not really.
They also taught me that Gods need not necessarily depend on their worshippers to survive, something that played a direct hand in how Celeste was born. They taught me that Gods needed to have distinct personalities, but their conduct (rather than the other way around) are traits that their worshippers would pick up. This was something I carried over without thinking into my own writing. They taught me that Gods with Disciples could be more powerful than Gods without Disciples but many worshippers.
Both the Eddings (Leigh and David) taught me the importance of having fun in the universe you created. They prepared me for the enjoyment of books like Inkheart, they taught me to see the lighter side of thing and to appreciate satire, and more importantly, they taught me that if you enjoyed the process of writing, then it will show. They showed me the lighter side of writing and got me started to where I am today.
Thank you, Mr David Eddings. Thank you Mrs Leigh Eddings.
Rest in Peace, and may UL welcome you into His caverns and Aldur share his wisdom with you.