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Annotation Elantris Chapter 52


Chapter Fifty-Two

In a later draft, I added a bit of padding to this chapter–in particular, I included more explanations by Raoden regarding how he’d been trying to meet with Sarene. I was worried that I was pushing the bounds of plausibility too much with Raoden’s false persona. One of the main reasons that he left Elantris was to see Sarene again, and it just didn’t make sense that he would try to keep fooling her. Moshe noted this as well.

So, we have Sarene refusing Kaloo’s letters, and not wanting to let him get her alone. Perhaps this is a little unplausible as well–I can’t see Sarene avoiding anything that smells of politics. Fortunately, Sarene is also far more impetuous than other ‘political’ character’s I’ve used. I can see her sending away Kaloo’s letter because of a mood, or simply because she thought he was trying to taunt her.


The saddest part about Kaloo, I think, is that he’s not a real character. I had a lot of fun writing him, and when I was done, I wished that I had a full character to play with. Even in these few chapters, I got across a complexity for him that I thought was most interesting. (His line about acting the fool on purpose, as well as the one “The revolution rolled over us whle we were still discussing what to have for dinner” are some of my personal favorites.)

Unfortunately, all of this characterization is undermined by the fact that Kaloo is really just Raoden playing a part. I often develop characters in my mind based solely on their dialect–and everyone has a dialect, despite what you may think. Galladon’s might be the most obvious, but–in my mind, at least–everyone in the book speaks a little differently. Roial is dignifiedly mischevious, Ahan favors flamboiant words, Kaloo favors frivlouls words, and Ashe likes words that make him sound solumn. Karata is curt, Lukel likes to quip, and Raoden firm.

That’s probably why I grew so attached to Kaloo–he had a lot of dialogue, and through that I created who he was in my mind. This tendancy of mine to characterize through dialogue is why I had so much trouble cutting Galladon’s frequent use of ‘kolo’, which always bothered Moshe. Galladon’s dialect is so much a part of who he is that each cut made me cringe.


It may seem odd that Roial invites Kaloo to the meetings after just a short time. Remember several things, however. First, Sarene wasn’t in the town for very long before she herself got into the meetings. Second, they’re despirate for help and new perspectives. Third, Kaloo has been living with Roial, and Roial knew Raoden quite well. I’m not saying that Roial saw through the persona, but he undoubtedly sensed some of the same things in Kaloo that he liked in Raoden.


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