Picking Apart the Past 2: "Half-Blood Heroes: A Matter of Chaos (Percy Jackson Fanfic) ~ Chapter One"
Posted December 25th, 2019 by SilverMoon
Picking Apart the Past 2: “Half-Blood Heroes: A Matter of Chaos (Percy Jackson Fanfic) Chapter One”
An old writing critique of one of my very early Percy Jackson fanfiction attempts, in which the villain was planned to be the primordial deity Chaos. That was the only thing about this idea that was cool; the rest of it was… less than stellar. And primarily a rip-off/ carbon copy of existing Riordan work. So I critique it here for you, Half-Blood Heroes: A Matter of Chaos, aka “How Not to Write Fanfic”.
The chapter was ridiculously short, but I had lots to say. Here I go.
A School Field Trip Why would you title a chapter this. First of all, they don’t even leave for the field trip in this chapter, it’s just mentioned at the end. I would title this “San Francisco Institute” or something at least.
My name is Atlanta Ember Daniels. Fun. Atlanta’s a fine name, Atlanta Daniels is good, Ember is horrible as a middle name especially when it more or less immediately reveals her powers and thus her parent. Also, why on this hell world of an earth would you begin a story with ‘my name is’. Why. I live alone... kind of. I hate this sentence?? Well, I live at my school, That’s not alone, but okay. which is an all-year just say year-round, pls boarding school, called the San Francisco Institution for Mentally Troubled Children. Am I mentally troubled? Yeah, you could say that. NO. That’s literally the exact same thing as the very beginning of Percy Jackson where he was like “Am I a troubled kid? Yeah, you could say that.” IT’S THE EXACT SAME THING, PLS. DO NOT.Well, Don’t start this sentence with ‘well’ after starting the last with ‘yeah’.I'm ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactive disorder. I can't pay attention in class, even if I try, though you'd be surprised of the things I see outside the classroom windows... I seem to be attracted to fire, but I get nervous around it, Why did you suddenly veer off and mention fire?? and I know exactly why. When I was eight... Oh for fucks sake, here we go with the flashback explaining the backstory in the first chapter…. (Don’t do that, kids.)
I was sitting in my living room with my mom, playing with my toolbox (yes, my mom let me play with real tools), Pls no. Pls don’t be so obvious. This is a Leo clone. Don’t. Fan OCs are fine. Just make them *original* (which this isn’t). while she was reading a novel. Then, suddenly, the lights flickered out, and a darkness descended on the room. It wasn't normal darkness, but a force. A cold, unfriendly, force so powerful that it scared even me. ‘It scared even me’. You’re a child, realistically you should be easily scared. You’re a kid, you’re not that tough. Also, bad description. As the spreading darkness reached my mom, she screamed. I, surounded by the darkness, I don’t like the structure of this phrase, and surrounded is misspelled. stumbled toward the chair my mom was in... or I thought so. Again, I dislike the structure. When I reached the chair, it was empty. Whatever was hidden in the darkness had stolen my mom. From me. I… hate the stiltedness of that fragment. Also, it’s redundant to say ‘from me’ because you said ‘my’ mom. My fear was replaced by intense anger. Okay, so I know *I* had anger issues as a kid, but damn, kid. I think like the normal kid reaction would be to become even more terrified. Suddenly, a whispered, deep voice sounded in my head.“Suddenly, a deep voice whispered in my head” would be better if you must keep something resembling this sentence in the text.
Yes, she is gone... Press F to pay respects.
"Who are you?!" I bellowed. "WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY MOM!?" Okay, this is just stylistic, but it personally irks me when yelling is in actual caps. I tend to prefer italicizing the exclamation for emphasis.
You will die, impertinent demigod!
"NO, YOU WILL!!" A yellow fire burst from my hands. IIt flickered, turning into orange, then red, then blue, purple, then green.The fire expanded quickly, filling the room as I screamed. And then I knew no more. So besides the fact that I hate her unoriginal fire powers (which are like really rare according to the canon smh), and also that nothing can possibly ever do fire powers better than Promare, that’s not how fire colors work and again this is not Promare, you can’t just make the fire whatever color you want. Lastly, fuckin hate that sentence “and then I knew no more.” This is a CHILD character. Nobody fuckin talks like that.
When I woke up, I was in a bed. A bed at the San Franciso Damn a bitch can’t even spell San Francisco. (I'm just picking on myself y'all, typos happen.) Institute for Mentally Troubled Children. And I've been here ever since. A fragment aND a cliché. That's my story. Goodbye. The end. Wow you’re so special. Edgy.
So, yeah, I'm a really mentally troubled kid. I mean, if I wrote this with appropriate reactions, that would make sense, since losing your mom and being institutionalized is bound to be traumatic. There’s still no real reason she lost her mom OR got institutionalized though. I’m pretty sure I just had her go straight to the school because even I knew putting her in foster care or whatever was too close to Leo.I'm thirteen now, so I've been here for a long time. I mean, you gave the numbers, you don’t really have to explain this.It's full of weirdos, but there's this one kid that's my friend. I actually like this sentence. It tonally fits and it’s funny. Also, I like the idea that ‘Atlanta Ember’ doesn’t see herself as a weirdo. His name is Pacific Tidus Sentrets, and he's really cool. You really don’t have to explain that he’s cool lmao. Also, Pacific is fine, if ALSO super obvious, but the rest of that name? Where does that even come from. Then again, when I was like 7 I practically named my characters keysmashes to sound unique, so I suppose it’s an improvement. Also, I’d find it interesting if a demigod named Pacific WASN’T a sea kid. Maybe the name hints at the West Coast, which could say something about his past, whether he’s Greek/Roman, or even his parent—the Underworld is on the west coast, for one. I haven't even told him my secret, and I have a feeling that there's something that he's hiding from me. Yeah lmao of course he is. Woo, GREAT foreshadowing.He has dark hair, sea-green eyes, and fair skin, and he's my age, thirteen. Nothing says all Poseidon/Neptune kids have to be Percy clones. Also, it doesn’t really matter what his exact numeric age is unless it’s somehow specifically relevant. This could have been done way better in an original concept, though. Scratch the backstory and all that. But two kids, fire and water, best friends, comically hiding their powers from each other a la Miraculous Ladybug while trying to navigate their weird school? That could be an adorable middle grade fantasy. Also, Pacific and Atlanta could refer to location, east coast vs. west coast, to emphasize their opposite natures or foreshadow that there will be forces trying to keep them apart.
We were walking out of the dorm building together, across the courtyard to the school building. Kind of stilted and boring structure wise, but whatever. We didn't talk, but just walked together in companionable silence. Pacific and I walked past a group of fifteen year old bullies. I heard them talking about beating up some little kid, and that really got to my head. Nice hero complex. Also a classic ‘telling instead of showing’ mistake. Easily could have shown Atlanta stiffening or clenching her fists and left the reader to interpret what exactly she’s feeling and why.
"What's the matter? Beat up someone else today? That's like, what, your tenth victim this week?"
"Eighteenth, Daniels," Lmao bully knows exact number of victims. Christopher Clearwater, the leader of the pack, growled. "But why do you care? You gonna go tell your mommy that these bullies beat up a couple o' wimps? Oh, right. You don't have one. Ha." Oh wow. SICK burn kid. If you’re going to write smack talk please do it better than this.
My hand curled into a fist. My face contorted into my wolf however-bad-you-think-you-are-I'm-worse stare, This could have been an interesting description from someone else’s point of view, but as stands, ok edgelord. but Pacific whispered to me that he wasn't worth it, which was probably true, but still...
I turned and walked away with Pacific. Abrupt and doesn’t wrap up the scene well.
At the end of the day, in Science, the teacher had an announcement to make.
"Class, we will be taking an overnight field trip to White Lake, Montana on Friday. We will stay until Monday, and we will be leaving at noon..."
That's all I heard, because after that, it got pointedly more boring. Pacific shook me when the class period was over.Ok, mood.
"C'mon," he grumbled. "We have to go pack for this thing."
I sighed and followed him back through the courtyard, my hands in the hand-pockets (my jacket had a zillion pockets) Hate the parenthetical description but it could be a telling or interesting character quirk for Atlanta to always have a zillion pockets.of my black leather jacket. It was going to be a very long afternoon.
Was it good? I mean, keep writing, kid.
Did you like it?
This is my first PJ fanfic.
I have a question for y'all.
Should they go to the Greek camp or the Roman camp?
What do you think?
Just comment back with your opinion!:D
And there we have it! Lord these are both so entertaining and so exhausting to do. There are a couple more chapters of this to playfully and constructively rip apart, so I'll likely do more of this for my next PATP. Meanwhile, also look out for some other writing! I do plan to put the first scene of Sin Game and possibly some subsequent scenes up here at some point. So look out for Sin Game 0101! At the very least it's better written than this and has more thought put into characterization.
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