Author's Note: Awwww, shit, I'm writing a how-to guide. But seriously...Percy Jackson fandom...seriously...come on...I know that you're better than this crap.
Just sayin'...I will be very, very, uncharacteristically MEAN and BITCHY in this fanfiction how-to-guide. :3 You have been warned...
How to Write a PJO Fanfiction
(and Things That You Must Never Do While Writing That Said Fanfiction)
A Warning to the Reader!
This author will really hold nothing back in her endeavors to help clean up the PJO fandom of its overused plot bunnies, OOC characters, terrible action scenes, Annabeth-bashing, FUCKING CHAOS STORIES, FUCKING HIGH SCHOOL STORIES, Percy becomes a god, etc., etc. So if you have a weak stomach, hate cursing, and don't want to be insulted because you think that I may be referring to you when I rant about everything that is wrong with each section of the PJO fanfictions that I will be discussing in separate chapters, LEAVE NOW.
Chapter One: Original Characters
Well, here's the catch...NO ONE CARES ABOUT YOUR GODDAMN PERFECT OC.
So once, there was this demigod called Mary Sunshine Rainbows Sparkly Fun Chocolate Marshmallow Lala Jackson. She has long black hair and gorgeous, brilliantly green eyes, and porcelain skin. She is five-foot-eight. Due to the complications of demigod siblings (because, you know, demigod siblings are totally something to worry about), Mary was separated from Percy Jackson when they were just two. Over the years, she has learned to fend for herself, becoming an expert weapons master, and she can handle anything from a sword to a knife to a bow and quiver, even though children of Poseidon are generally bad at archery. However, since she is fifteen now, she decided that it's time to find Percy at Camp Half-Blood. She's instantly best friends with everyone she meets, and eventually starts to date Nico di Angelo, and she's constantly saving Percy from trouble.
*Smiles brightly and shoots Mary Sunshine Rainbows Sparkly Fun Chocolate Marshmallow Lala Jackson in the head with a machine gun*
I do not regret that.
Okay, so, maybe I over-exaggerated that, but seriously...stop making fucking siblings of Percy Jackson. And why would you make them siblings of Percy? Percy?
I will save my ranting about EVERY FUCKING THING THAT IS WRONG ABOUT PERCY for another, later chapter. Annabeth is so much better than him. And also on that note, I will be talking about Chaos stories. NEXT. CHAPTER. Because all of you writers who make Annabeth a bitch? I'm sorry, but seriously, go and shoot yourselves. Right. Now.
Yes, I am going to be brutally honest in this guide/fanfiction, and if you don't have the stomach for it, then stop right here and don't read. Whatever. Flame me all you want, my lovely, Percy Jackson-loving "anonymous" users. We all know that you're actually users who are too chicken to review under your penname. By the way, didn't I tell all of you people to leave yet? If you want to stick it out and flame/spam me, fine. Hopefully, you'll learn something along the way.
...Yeah. Anyways, for all of you who have stayed and write Chaos fanfictions wherein Annabeth is a bitch, I have a bone to pick with you. Let's fight it out tomorrow, because I'm incapable of writing two chapters in one day of the same story.
So, getting back to the main point...seriously...why would you call your fucking OC "Mary"?! MARY, OUT OF ALL THE DAMN NAMES IN THE WORLD! M. A. R. Y. WHAT. THE. FUCK?! If all the other characteristics didn't scream "MARY SUE" into the reader's face (which it really will), well, THAT SURE AS HELL DID.
Okay, so besides the point, here are a few things that you should never name your OC. I have seen these and many, many more.
1. Silver (Now, listen, I've never seen this name been used in the PJO archives, but I sure as hell have in other ones. Namely, the Legend of Korra. But...why the fucking hell would you name your character after a fucking precious metal?! That just conveys superiority and perfection and narrow-mindedness.)
2. Gold (Don't get me started. I think that you get the track: Don't name your OC after any precious mineral, unless you're in the Pokémon fandom, I suppose, in which characters are already named after Gold, Silver, Platinum, etc., etc. Yes, this author, once upon a time, loved Pokémon. What of it?)
3. Mary (REALLY?! FUCKING REALLY?! I'M NOT EVEN GOING TO GO THERE AGAIN.)
4. Persisia/Persa/anything-Percy-like-that-is-genders wapped (No. Just...no. I mean, yeah, genderswap fanfictions are nice and funny to read once in a blue moon, but do them too much and with fucking similar names every single time and the plot bunny and character just get stupid and bitchy, respectively. :3 Let's be honest here..."Persa Jackson" sucks major ass.)
5. Meredith (Okay, I am certainly generalizing here, and I admit it. A use for a semi-old Hunter, maybe around a hundred, fifty years is fine. In fact, that's perfectly fine for, like, fanfictions set in the 1900s or something, but in the twenty-first century? Get outta here. Don't use outdated names unless you have a good and specific reason for it.)
Yes indeed. Those are only five (three) of the most atrocious/inappropriate names that I have stumbled upon.
iii. Physical Description/Characteristics/Attributes
Now now now now now! Here we arrive at physical description. Oh, holy Zeus above, physical fucking description. Excuse me for a moment while I try to claw out my eyes.
For the ladies: No one has long silver hair, beautiful iridescent eyes the color of the sky, curves, muscles, flawless skin that everyone loves, and has an IQ the level of Einstein's. That just makes your OC more Mary-Sue-ish than it already is. No. Just...NO.
For the gentlemen: ...This is the epitome of what you MUST NOT DO:
"I am tall and very muscular. I have unkempt, spiky black hair and black eyes, although they sometimes turn other colors in different kinds of light. I have really tanned skin and I am extremely athletic. I am pretty much good at every single kind of sport I play."
What the fuck are you; some Herculean, male model, Olympic athlete?
Listen, no one is that perfect when it comes to looks. They're dreams. Don't make them into a reality, because that will never happen. You want your fanfiction to be real, and real-looking/just-plain-real characters are part of that. This will be elaborated upon in the next section.
Okay, listen. I don't really fucking care if your character is named "Silver", or if she has long silver hair, beautiful iridescent eyes the color of the sky, curves, muslces, flawless skin that everyone loves, and has an IQ the level of Einstein, but if you won't listen to me on those topics, THEN YOU SURE AS HELL BETTER LISTEN TO ME ON THIS. THIS, personality, is what makes a character a true character.
Now, let's take a look at your original character's attributes and personality.
*Cue block of text*
LISTEN TO ME. Your characters are not perfect. You have to get it through in your head. Just because you make them "short" or "weak" doesn't make them any less Mary Sue-ish/Gary Stu-ish. In fact, I believe that you're simply inflating their other, much more desirable attributes in the reader's faces. Give them real personality flaws. Give them a life. The world is not perfect; we have all gone through some sort of hardship in our life. Parents being killed do not automatically make your character three-dimensional. I can't say how many times I've encountered stories like that, and then the authors are all like, "Okay, I put them through a life-changing and traumatizing event, let's not develop them anymore and instantly make them a really good sword fighter!"
Here, as one brilliantly gifted user (check out minnichi on this site) so beautifully put it in an "official" review (this is from another site, mind you). The sections emboldened are the parts that you should pay attention to.
"I tried my best to be fair in this section, and I've examined each of your characters closely. As of now, they have...little to no development. Development starts with a personality, which grows into unique flaws in each individual that they must learn from as the story progresses. Your story consists of so much dialogue that I can't sense much of a personality from anyone at the moment. There's a complete lack of inner reflection, one of the keys of personality. That can sometimes be fixed within the dialogue, but what they say as of now still doesn't contribute much to character. I know that [omit] does start to change later on regarding her views about [omit], but character development is much more than just stating that it happens. We're not shown these actual changes, nor are there any traces of emotion to pick up from. Your characters are hindered most by the simplistic, sometimes unrelated dialogue, and you have to gear the story to show us what goes on in their heads. I see great effort in some areas, but they lack basis. You must develop the personality before you can believably tell us why someone is sad, for instance. Naming emotions right now doesn't create the connection it needs to the characters, and as of now this [fanfiction] really needs to pick up on that. They are great characters waiting to be heard! I know you can do it."
Read that again. And again. And again. That should be your holy grail when it comes to character development.
AND DON'T GIVE THEM THE FATAL FLAW OF "PERSONAL LOYALTY". "Personal loyalty" is not a fucking flaw. Rick Riordan has totally brainwashed you all. I will be elaborating upon this in my "Hate Percy Jackson" vendetta. Maybe Chapter Four or Five?
Mmm, that's about it for now. I've covered the main problems. *Deflates rage down to healthy levels*
So, the main points in which your OC needs to be fixed in: NAMING, PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS, and GODDAMN PERSONALITY. I cannot stress that last one enough. Personality is KEY to your OC. Okay? Good.
Next chapter: Chaos Stories
Fuck, I am going to have a field day with that one.