As of last week, the Artist Artwork Formerly Known as #CamelotWIP is out in the world. In celebration, I’d like to take a moment to carry on with what I’ve been doing since, like, 2016: Gush about my utter infatuation with this book.
Seriously, I’m not remembering if any other writing project of mine has made a hostage of my imagination like this. Not to play favorites but… no, actually, yeah, that’s exactly what we’re playing. Behold, a few (dozen) of my favorite things about “The Once and Future Camelot”!
~ Favorite Character ~
Why would I even ask myself this when there’s no way I can answer it? I went into drafting this book with a spiked interest in some of the characters and their complicated plot, but it wasn’t until I was neck-deep in the ruins of Camelot that I realized I was falling in love with everyone around me.
With Gawain for his strange serenity; with Lancelot for his rough-edged passion; with Mordred for his secret heart; with Arthur for his impossible love. My spirit tangled with the rich emptiness of Morganne’s. My blood burned in tandem with Bedivere’s. My— well, let’s not go so far as to say ‘love’ is what I feel for Merlin; my inner Will Scarlet’s got too much to process for that.
Anyway, I honestly cannot point to any single character as my certain favorite. Just follow the pain, and you’ll find my heart there.
~ Favorite Relationships ~
(Just went ahead and used the plural, so I can point to more than one. ^o^)
– Galahad x Mordred, because y’all already know I’m here all day for a big ol’ bromance.
– Arthur x Robin Hood; see reasoning above.
– Gawain x Guinevere, because it’s so low-key and tangential yet grounding for both of them to have each other. I think they mutually see one another (in the “Sun’s Rival” sense) better than any other pairing in the story, and something in me takes a relieved sort of comfort in that.
~ Favorite Chapter ~
Book 1, Chapter XV. The one I spent all the chapters that came before it absolutely itching to write. The one that could arguably stand as a satisfying short story all on its own. The one that’s been sending delicious thrills through my bones at the very thought of it for three years and counting. That chapter.
~ Favorite Scenes/Moments ~
In no particular order…
– The birth of Excalibur
– Knight vs. Hell-beast
– Wizard vs. Lady of the Lake
– Mordred in the rain
– Orkneys in the stable
– “A moment to confer”
– Spring Break Faeries
– Prayer room rebellion
– Arthur x Lancelot, shortly after Now
– Two willing tools of enemies
– Two dragons on the roof
– Two roads diverged in a legend, and he… he chose the harder treachery… and that has me over here bawling.
~ Favorite Narrative Voice ~
I originally thought I could write an entire novel from Morganne’s point of view. I would come to learn that this would not be a viable option. The thing about Morganne is – as once I put it in a Twitter post – she’s basically got ‘magical depression.’ She’s incapable of generating her own emotions, making her POV a necessarily dispassionate experience. It’s a fascinating space to put myself in for the odd chapter here and there, but for a whole book? Exhausting just to contemplate.
For a minute later on, I thought I could tell the book’s second half in Bedivere’s voice. Again, that turned out to be a no, but for opposite reasons. Bedivere’s got feelings and opinions about everything, and if he chooses to talk about it at all, it’ll be in the most smart-alecky way possible. While this can be fun, and makes for hilarious irreverent monologue/dialogue, he couldn’t give all the other characters’ inner lives justice if he tried (which he probably wouldn’t).
All that having been said, those two were still probably my favorite first-person voices to use in this predominantly third-person novel.
~ Favorite Quotes ~
Not by any means a comprehensive list, but some of the standouts include…
– The room was thick with breath arrested.
– “Up, Galahad, son of Lancelot du Lac, Champion of the King, and so forth.”
– It was the Age of Chivalry. Unrequited love was the new black.
– Then up goes his head, no matter how heavy. Up goes a smile, no matter how sad.
– “Amendment,” I allow. “I apologize for the villainy.”
– My formative years were all prayers, rites, and living in hope that movable type would someday replace copying the Holy Book by hand.
– The cost of immortality? A silent chuckle. Immortality.
– “The sun favors those brave of face.”
– Feeling I must tell you, choosing to say nothing: My kindest, cruelest way of holding power over you…
– Mordred’s lashes, doom of adoring maidens…
– “What else?” said Robin Hood. “Call our congressmen.”
“I would know him,” I point out, and you shoot me a glare of irritation.
“Of course you would. And were it practical to wave you about like a divining wand over every man I met, so would I. But you are not a /tool/, Morganne.”
My lips play the part of a smile. “Meaning I am not biddable.”
You nod your hair into your eyes, shove it back again. “Meaning I need something that is.”
Have you started reading “The Once and Future Camelot” yet? If yes, what are your favorite parts or aspects of the book, so far? If no, but you think you might get around to checking it out eventually, what are you most looking forward to? (Or, hey, did you perchance have a favorite part of this blog post?) Gush along in the comments!