Some tips to help you out:
When you meet the red dragon on the bridge, go under the bridge and move close to his right underneath, you can see his tail wagging to the right, hit it with arrows and itll eventually come off and you get the drake sword, you can do this at any level, sword does about 200 damage!
Always block when you can, and circle around enemies to get em in the back. Use land elevation to your advantage, you can often hit an enemy from lower ground and he cant hit you, its subtle but it works. Also, always keep moving.
If you're looking for some high adventure in a dangerous way, ha. Run into areas that are way above your level, then just run around avoiding enemies looking for higher level gear, its fun and crazy. I got a great stamina boost shield early in the game this way, you'll probably die but you get to keep any items you pick up. Keep your equip load below 25% to move the fastest.
Before a big boss fight, you can practice it with no loss by putting down your soapstone to be summoned. Sometimes it takes awhile but you can be summoned to someones game and you get to keep all the souls and if you die you just go back to your game.
Also, what is a soapstone and where can I get it?