@FoxalypticWorld It’s great to see you, and THANK YOU so much for posting your artwork – I love it!! It’s similar to the designs I’ve always had in mind for if/when I ever do publish commercially. (I’ve always imagined four stylized statues, a little like the Andraste statues in Dragon Age, each with a different symbol of the four skills.)
I have a zillion text files of notes. Each book has its own file with the major plot points (as far as I’ve figured them out) outlined, and little snippets of descriptions and dialogue that come to me (usually while I’m out walking or exercising) that I plan to incorporate. I have a file of ideas that I haven’t figured out if/how/where to incorporate, a huge file of edits I want to make to the parts I’ve already shared, a file of suggestions from readers, a master character list, a master timeline, a file working out the overall backstory (which is an enormous mess at the moment) and short prequel stories, and a lot more.
I think I watched like the first season and a half of BBC Merlin? I know I didn’t get as far as Morgana going evil. I can’t think of anything specific that I knowingly incorporated (unlike, say my Merlin turning people into animals drawn from TH White / Disney), but it does all kind of mush together. Maybe the idea of having a young Morgana be present at Arthur’s court and have a relatively positive relationship with him? I guess my Arthur and BBC Arthur share some raw idealism and some cluelessness, but I think my Arthur is nicer – at least, he’s supposed to be.
In many ways I’m going to be sorting out the exact parameters of “hardening” as I go, but @darkwolf76 is on the right track for what I have in mind. Negative events provide the potential for Arthur to “harden;” Guen can then push Arthur more toward pessimism or optimism in the wake of such events.
If Arthur loves Guen, he certainly won’t love her any less if he’s hardened. (Dear goddess we need a better term for this than “hardened.” It’s all Bioware’s fault.) At this point I honestly don’t know how much of a difference it might make in the details of how he interacts romantically with Guen. Like maybe, as I’m writing those scenes, I’ll see some interesting ways to show it? But maybe not? I’m certainly not going to write romanced Arthur, like, pushing Guen around or acting dominating or anything like that; it’s just not in his character, no matter how “hard” he gets.
You’ll have your chance. The last book is pretty much entirely Guen choosing to help Arthur or not (it’s called Le Morte d’Arthur, after all – if Arthur isn’t dead at the end of the book, it will only be as a result of Guen’s actions).