|The Heart of Camelot
Author: Storyteller Knight PM
The Deceiver intends to destroy the Pendragon bloodline, the oldest daughter of Gorlois strives for vengeance and the Saxons battle for land. Mordred Pendragon and the leaders of the Fifth Command defend against them all, for the greater glory of Camelot.Rated: Fiction T - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Chapters: 48 - Words: 323,580 - Reviews: 100 - Favs: 56 - Follows: 19 - Updated: 06-06-11 - Published: 06-06-05 - Status: Complete - id: 1933040
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I usually like to sum up a story at the end of the last chapter. But since Heart is so long and because I wanted the last chapters to stand alone, I decided to write an Author's note instead. There are spoilers here- so don't just jump here after reading the first chapter or anything. This is strictly for those who have finished the story.
I always tell people I started Heart of Camelot in February 2005, but the truth is that I'm not exactly sure. I wrote the prologue the year before for something else and put it together with Heart after I had finished the first chapter because it fit. I know I started the first chapter early on in the New Year—before April because I was already working on it before my family's spring break vacation. And it had to be somewhere after mid-to-late January because at my High School, the third quarter started a couple weeks after winter break. And I know I started soon after third quarter because I had decided to read Bernard Cornwell's Warlord Chronicles for a book review for English that was due after spring break. And I remember clearly starting Heart not long after I started reading The Winter King.
While I don't remember the date, I remember how it started. Bernard Cornwell's book had given me the itch—I'm sure you all can relate to the itch. That feeling inside you that demands that you start a new story NOW! No matter how well formed the idea or bit of inspiration is, the itch demands that you put all other stories, no matter how far along or how well it's going, aside and begin working on this new idea. I don't get the itch so much anymore and when I do I pretty much jot down the idea but then proceed to ignore the feeling (it goes away after a couple days). But back then, when the itch struck I put pencil to paper and started something new.
Except at that moment I did not have pencil (okay, I probably had a pencil) or paper. So while the way home from somewhere with my mom (I honestly don't remember where) I begged to stop at a bookstore so I could pick up a journal. We stopped at Borders (still existed in 05) and I grabbed a $5.00 journal that was green with a fabric cover. I got back to the car and wrote Jenal's first line- "Lovely." (And yes, I actually hand wrote every chapter first and then typed it up.) When I started, I only had some basic ideas for a few storylines—Mordred's exile and his eventual arrival in Camelot after Morgause's death and reunion with his brothers, the Grail Quest, and the deaths of Areria and Percival at the end of the book. With nothing else in mind, I just started writing.
By early June I had finished the first chapter (Those who have been here from the beginning—and I don't know if there's anyone besides me—would remember that I initially broke the first chapter up into six short chapters before deciding that was dumb and went with the long chapters. So I started posting before the first chapter was done). By spring of 06, I had written Mordred's arrival in Camelot. I was absolutely floored by my success. Here was this scene that had seemed so impossibly far away at the beginning and I had arrived at it—within the context of the story! I hadn't even jumped around to get there. By fall of 2006, I had started the Grail Quest (Really? Really? It only took a year and a half to reach the Grail Quest and write 20 chapters? That felt like it took forever while the three years it took me to write the last four chapters felt like a blink. Crazy). Summer 2008, I started the last section of the Saxon Invasion and started some serious feet dragging because I was not looking forward to killing Percival or Areria.
But now it's done. And while I'm happy and proud that I finally managed to finish, mostly I'm just sad. I've been with this story and these characters for so long—it was my first solo story that actually went somewhere—that I'm not really sure to do with myself without it. It's sad to think that this journey is over and as exciting as the next one might be (whatever it might be), I still can't help but look back at this one with regret that it had to end.
I have learned so much from writing Heart of Camelot. First and foremost, I learned that I actually could write. Before Heart, I would never write more than a few pages of a story before I moved on to something else. Heart was the first story I actually stuck with beyond a few pages and I don't think I would have survived that first year of NaNo in 06 or have gone on to write Chronicles of an Evil Overlord if I hadn't gotten as far as I did with Heart. I learned the importance of writing—just writing and getting the story on paper. Of being able to ignore the flaws of what I wrote previously and just keep going—whether it be spelling errors (and there are a lot of those I'll be the first to admit) or ideas that my 17 year old self thought where brilliant but made my 20 year old self cringe with shame. If I had gone back to edit at any point, I never would have finished. The important part was to get the story down on paper. Editing could come later now (yikes!). I learned that I had to write the story chronologically and couldn't jump around to scenes that were more interesting. And eventually, every moment became interesting.
I want to thank my reviewers and readers. After six years, there have been a lot of you and many have come and gone. So it would be impossible to thank everyone, but there are a small handful I do want to mention by name. Kyllorac, Bellesrose, Enigmatic Warrior and LadySarahJane. I don't know if any of you are still reading, but at one point you all wrote really touching reviews that either kept me going when I really wanted to stop or gave me a boost of energy rarely seen before. Thank you so much for taking the time to not only comment, but giving such touching and heartfelt reviews.
A special thanks to Your_Vennela. I don't know if you're around anymore, V, but I just wanted to say how much I appreciated your help. We had some great and inspiring discussions about Arthurian literature and our own stories. I hope you're still writing and wish you the best in everything.
A super special thanks to Elaine… who has been here the longest, with reviews stretching back to March of 06. I don't know if you're still reading either, but I want to say how appreciated every single one of your reviews were. They continue to fill me with warm fuzzies every time I go back and read them. I wish you the best with your own Arthurian saga and hope one day to see it. Also, once long ago you complained about my decision to give Mordred a white charger. The black stallion in the later chapters was made for and dedicated to you. The best I can do to thank you for being so supportive and wonderful over the years.
Samoaphoenix remains the best roommate ever even after two years of living hundreds of miles apart. We started sharing stuff we'd written pretty much right after meeting and eventually went on to write Overlord together. Once upon a time I came up with an alternate Arthurian retelling and was very much obsessed with that for a couple months until she said something along the lines of 'no matter how good or interesting this new story is, don't give up on Heart. Heart is good and you shouldn't ever give up on it'. And I never did. So thanks, for simply being awesome.
Aphrodite's Dragon—my wonderful sis and beta reader. She's been putting up with me and my spelling/grammatical errors since chapter five (if you think what gets published is bad, you should see it before she's fixed it :-P ) and she's been reading since the very beginning. In fact, she sat in front of me in English and sometimes would turn around to watch me write. I think I owe her major ice cream and chocolate for making her cry in just about every chapter since chapter twenty-nine. You're the best, sis. Love you and thanks for everything.
What's that? What's next, you asked? Well, I'm working on a short story from the Cat's-Eye Private Investigators Universe and the second story of the Tepes Legacy and of course in November I'll start the fifth Cat's-Eye book and Samophoenix and I draw ever closer to being ready to send Overlord in to a publisher and I'll probably keeping blogging about Arthurian literature over at Camelot's Library…
Oh, you mean with Heart of Camelot and its prequel/sequel.
I'm not sure. I don't think I'm going to start Soul of Camelot right away because I want to do some editing of Heart first and get a better handle on the world building before I jump into Soul. Also, right now the kids just don't interest me as much as Mordred, Areria, Percival, Nimue, Yvain and Galahad.
NaNoWriMo is launching a Camp NaNoWriMo this summer and I think I'm going to participate. And I think I'm going to muck around in this world for a while longer. There's a four year jump between chapter thirty-one and thirty-two. A lot of adventures can be had in four years ;-) . I'm not ready to part ways with these characters yet—so keep any eye out.
Heart of Camelot
02/2005 to 5/31/2011
1092 Pages Hand Written
649 Pages Typed