Originally Posted by Teresa Edgerton
Interesting that you should say this and then give David Eddings as an example of a writer who does characterization well. My main problem with Eddings is that no matter how old, wise, or experienced he sets his characters up to be, they always sound to me like adolescents. This strikes one false note after the other. In LOTR, on the other hand, Tolkien reveals his characters through their actions. I may not know what they are thinking at any given moment, but to me their words and deeds are truthful (to who they are) and admirably consistent. He was also writing in a different era, when writers expected their adult readers to be able to pick up subtle clues to character. It's considerably more flattering to the reader's intelligence.
sometime less is more. Like Saruman for example probably wasn't described in super detail but I think I have a good picture of him from his actions.
Now Tolkien could be long winded such as Tom Bombadil's songs. To me that makes it feel like he's not in a rush like he just wants us to slow down and relax for a bit like not everything has to be part of the plot.