“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”
– Annabeth Chase in The Lightning Thief
“Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes.”
– Annabeth Chase in The Lightning Thief
“A kind act can sometimes be as powerful as a sword… Sometimes small things can become very large indeed.”
– Dionysus in The Battle of the Labyrinth
I love the relationships you build with characters… But I also hate them.
I love Rick Riordan‘s writing.
Seriously, I love it. I love his style. I love how he creates his characters. I love how his books are not only entertaining, but they teach you about mythology.
But most of all, I love the relationships you build with the characters from the moment you meet them.
However, that’s also the thing I hate most of all.
See, I’ve been reading Rick’s books since middle school and have read all of them by this point. Even The Hidden Oracle, which just came out yesterday. Yes, I’ve already finished it. I read too fast to remember much of the plot (don’t worry, I’ll be re-reading it at a slower pace later), but I do remember multiple details that stood out to me.
Anyway, after reading all of his books, I have many developed many different relationships with the characters. Some relationships are good. Some not so good. Some started off good, then got not so good.
I was met with many of these relationships while reading The Hidden Oracle, and I feel the need to share my reactions with all of you.
WARNING: The rest of this post WILL include SPOILERS. If you have not read the book yet, DO NOT READ PAST THIS POINT. Thank you.
All we’ve ever wanted was for her to be happy. Now, finally, our prayers have been answers. Because oh my gosh Sally Jackson is pregnant, seven months pregnant, oh my gosh this is the best thing ever and it’s gonna be a girl!!!!!!!!
By the way, you think we could convince Rick to write a short story featuring Nico and Will at some point after they started dating? Seriously, as much as I loved what I got from The Hidden Oracle, I need more!!!
So when I first read The Lost Hero, the second I read that first line about Leo, I was completely taken. By the end of the first chapter, I realized I had fallen in love. With a fictional character. Like, seriously? Who falls in love with a fictional character? People can develop crushes, sure, but I was in love! As in, heart skipping beats, butterflies in my stomach, stupid smile on my face, and silly fangirl giggles whenever he was so much as mentioned.
Yeah, I’d fallen hard. I decided Leo was my official boyfriend, even if he wasn’t real. I could pretend, at least until the end of the series. It would be fine. Great, even! And when I found out he would be the seventh wheel, the only one without a girlfriend, I was ecstatic! I wouldn’t even have to contend with anyone!
(At this point, you might be thinking I’m a bit off my rocker. This is very true. Sadly, I have not been admitted to an institute yet.)
And then, Calypso happened. The whole time I was reading that part, my stomach was slowly curling in dread, but my mind kept telling me, no, you don’t need to worry! Every other girl has turned him down! It’ll be fine!
And then she kissed him. And he swore on the River Styx to return for her.
And my heart shattered.
I imagine what I felt is what girls feel like when the guy they’re in love with finds another girl. I imagine what I felt is what Nico felt like when Percy started dating Annabeth. Percy didn’t know Nico liked him, but he still broke Nico’s heart. Leo didn’t know I even existed because he’s fictional, but he still broke my heart.
By the end of the series, I thought I had come to terms with my heartbreak. I thought I was over it. But then, The Hidden Oracle happens and Leo shows up. I had thought that his appearance would be small and short-lived, but no! He comes back and, suddenly, he and stupid, perfect Calypso are going on that stupid quest with Apollo! Like, seriously Rick? Seriously?
Not to mention, they’re coming to Indiana. Seriously, come on! Right when they’re actually coming to me… Why does Calypso have to go? She’s a stupid mortal now, she’ll be useless! Apollo’s one thing, she’s a whole ‘nother thing entirely!
I know I’m being a bit of a brat about this whole thing, but I really hate Calypso now. The stupid, perfect, good-for-nothing…
Picture source: Riordan Wiki
“If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.”
– Sally Jackson in The Lightning Thief
A good trope can make your writing. A bad trope can break it. And dancing on that fine line is the best part.
Tropes are basically just clichés. They’re the themes, events, scenes, motifs, and other literary devices that you consistently see in creative works.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking you should stay away from clichés when you’re writing. You’re thinking you should be unique in your writing if you want it to be any good.
One, you can’t completely avoid tropes. It’s impossible. There are just too many. You literally can’t create a single character that isn’t a trope, and there isn’t a single setting that hasn’t already been used.
And two, you need to get those ideas out of your head right now. Tropes are fantastic. Everyone loves some sort of trope, whether they realize it or not. The question is, which tropes are great, and which tropes are poison?
I’m sorry to say, I can’t answer that question. I can probably tell you what most people like and what most people hate, but at the end of the day, it all depends on what you want to create. Once you know that, everything else comes naturally.
However, what I can do is share with you some of my favorite and least favorite tropes.
Obviously, there are instances where the worst tropes are great and the best tropes are terrible, but those instances are rare. Almost always, my reactions to these tropes are the same. I hate them, or I love them. If you want me to love every second of your story, follow these trope guidelines!
Obviously I didn’t include too many tropes. If I had included any more, this would have gone on forever…
If you want to look through the majority of the tropes that exist, tvtropes is the best place to go. It’s basically a giant database of tropes from all forms of media (not just TV, surprisingly enough). You can look for a specific trope or story/media, or the site can find you a random trope or story/media. It’s super fun and super cool, and it can really help develop your story if you find a good trope.
Anyway, I hope this showed you the importance of choosing tropes! They really can make or break a story. Be careful and choose wisely…
But don’t be afraid to test the waters of how far you can go. The best stories are made up of tropes that you usually hate, but somehow became amazing because they were used the right way.
Good luck! May the tropes be ever in your favor…
Picture source: River City Reading
Why the characters of Percy Jackson will forever live in our hearts. *spoilers*
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s a sad (and amazingly beautiful) truth of life. Everyone is flawed in some way, usually in dozens of ways, and fictional characters are no exception.
In fact, a character’s flaws are the reason we love them so much.
The characters from the world of Percy Jackson are my favorite examples of flawed characters. Save a few of the characters who continuously try to ignore their flaws (Jason, Piper… You know the type), they’re all so imperfect that you can’t help but love them.
One of the most obvious examples of this: Percy Jackson.
Though Percy grows quite a bit over both series set in his world, he never really grows out of his “I never really know what’s going on so I’m just going to be sarcastic and sassy about it” faze. He’s a complete idiot and cares more about the safety of others than his own personal health. He’s looked up to by everyone, yet he always steps out of the spotlight and acts like he’s completely normal.
And, of course, he’s completely oblivious.
You gotta love the guy.
But he’s not the only one. Here’s another guy you gotta love: Leo Valdez.
Before I start, I’m just going to get this out there: ever since the fist moment Leo was introduced, I was head-over-heels for the guy. I swear I’ve never had a bigger crush on anyone, ever. My friends called my crazy, said he was annoying, but I thought he was amazing. He was sarcastic and funny, always looking for the positive in every situation, and they way I imagined him was downright hot.
But that wasn’t why I liked him. I liked him because, from the very beginning, I knew he was different from the other characters. His smile was too bright to be real, his humor too common to be careless. I knew he was hiding something, and before the books even told us, I knew what. I knew he was hiding his pain, his sadness, his guilt. I knew he was hiding his hurt and longing.
I knew, because he reminded me of myself.
His flaws were so real and so understandable that my heart went straigt to him and stayed with him. And when he fell for Calypso, I felt true heartbreak for the first time in my life.
People say you can’t truely love fictional characters?
Those people are liars. You can. And they can hurt just like any real person.
Anyway, enough about that. You don’t want to know about my heartbreak. You want to know about the last flawed character I’m going to discuss: Nico Di Angelo.
Nico may possibly be one of the greatest characters ever created. He’s introduced as a supporting character, a character you expect never to see again. Then his sister dies, and you know you’re wrong.
Everything about him is flawed, and that’s why we love him so much. He’s the youngest physically, but the oldest in every other sense. He starts off only wanting revenge, then he decides otherwise and ends up playing a huge part in every victory. Yet he never feels like he can fit in, so remains a loner.
Then you find out he’s gay and had a crush on Percy, and your love for him is increased tenfold.
And that’s not all. He started off wanting revenge, but he ends up only wanting to help, even if it means losing himself to the darkness.
And if that’s not enough, he understands death in a way no one will ever understand and has to let people die when he could have saved them.
Oh yeah. You gotta love the angel.
And this is why the Percy Jackson world is the best place to find flawed characters.
(On a side note, please don’t copyright me on any of these piectures. I just like them a lot more than the official ones and can’t find the artists. If you are one of the artists or know one of the artists, would you please let me know so I can give you credit?)