Ace Iverson and the Fabric of Fate is my first foray into the world of Percy Jackson fanfiction. It is, in essence, the perfect project to practice with prior to fully committing to my own original novel. It was also by far my most spontaneous writing decision thus far. I now have about ten chapters written, and I can honestly say I have loved every second of it. That’s a relief to me as usually, my stories are planned for months before a single word is ever published.
My beta and moderator on Discord—Yoshi89—and I have talked about a Percy Jackson fanfiction for quite some time. Both of us, him in particular, are extremely fascinated by and quite well-versed in the Greek myths. For the longest time, I told him it would never happen. There just wasn’t as much to work with for PJO unless I wrote a series post Blood of Olympus, which I really had no interest in doing. That all changed one night when the both of us started joking about what we would do if inserted into the PJO universe.
In many ways, that is the foundation of the story. I don’t think the story can accurately be called a self-insert. Most of the time, those types of stories are defined as the character having outside knowledge as if they’ve read the books. Oftentimes because that’s exactly what they’ve done. That isn’t the case with Fabric of Fate. I think a more accurate description would be that Ace and Cato are at least somewhat based off of myself and Yoshi. We have no knowledge outside the scope of what we reasonably should have. Cato was studying to be a professor of Greek history, but even then, he has the basic mythological knowledge. None of it is in the context of the PJO universe. The same can be said for Blaze and Andreia, as well as another original character that won’t be important for quite some time. All of those characters are at least loosely based off of my betas, but none of them will have otherworldly knowledge, which is why I don’t think Fabric of Fate can be categorized as a self-insert.
Now, with the semantics out of the way, let’s discuss the story itself. I have decided that—on fanfiction.net, at least—the entire story will be posted under the same title. This is how I posted Ashes of Chaos and all of my other Harry Potter fanfiction. Without getting into too much detail, it really makes no sense from an analytical perspective to split a series into multiple books on fanfiction.net. As a reader, I would also just personally prefer it to be in one book, and therefore easily accessible all in one place. When I do this for my Harry Potter stories, I typically divide them into “years” within the story itself. So, by example, Philosopher’s Stone would be year 1, Chamber of Secrets would be year 2, and so on, so forth.
The problem with Percy Jackson is that it isn’t quite so black and white. With the Harry Potter franchise, a plot is typically crafted around a school year. Even when coming up with original plots, I usually tend to do the same thing, at least for the short-term ideas. This doesn’t work with Percy Jackson though. Sea of Monsters and Titan’s Curse take place within six months of each other, and most of the Heroes of Olympus series takes place within a three or so month window. This pretty much meant I either had to not categorize each arc at all, which I was frankly not a fan of, or I needed to get a bit more creative. Long story short, I chose the latter.
Instead of dividing the story into years, I will be calling each main arc a season. So by example, season 1 takes place in the fall prior to the events of the first Percy Jackson novel. It follows Ace Iverson, the main character of this series, and Cato Anders on their own adventures. Season 2 will cover the Lightning Thief arc, though I will have my own spin on certain components of it. The Sea of Monsters actually won’t take place until at least season 4, but I think you get the picture. One season for each major arc. My OCD demanded I split it somehow, so this is the solution I have come to. My goal with this story is to cover at least until the end of Blood of Olympus. My seasons will be much shorter than the years are in my Harry Potter stories, but needless to say, this is going to be a long story. Especially as there will be at least two additional seasons prior to the events of Last Olympian. Possibly three or four, but we’ll say two for now. I would not be at all surprised if this story winds up totalling at over a million words one day, though I think that day is quite far in the future.
I think the main question that a lot of people will be asking is, if I am writing a story that is not only centred in the Percy Jackson universe, but also one that takes place during the same time as the original series, why is it an OC centric story? I think this is a fair and reasonable question, especially considering I know it’s not everybody’s cup of tea. The answer to this question isn’t singular, I’m afraid. I wanted to do something different. I didn’t just want to enter the Percy Jackson fandom with a generic story that leans on tropes, by example. By having the series primarily follow original characters, it immediately diversifies it from most Percy Jackson fanfiction out there. The idea was also sparked from that conversation with myself and one of my betas, so I thought it only natural to follow through on it.
More than anything though, the reason this story centres on original characters is because it is phenomenal practice. I have an original series of novels mostly outlined, at this point. I actually expect the prologue of book 1 to be available for my $5+ Patrons by the end of 2020. My philosophy on fanfiction is, in part, that it is a relatively risk free environment within which I can learn and grow as an author. I have already taken leaps and bounds forward, both grammatically and stylistically, and I plan on continuing that progression as time continues to pass. Fanfiction is also much easier to write than an original novel. There is no point in sugar coating it, because it’s true. The plots and characters are already laid out before you. You just have to mould them in a way you like.
For me, the plots aren’t difficult. If you are an author who puts hundreds of thousands of words out on the Internet, I have a hard time believing you can’t come up with at least semi-original plots. Characters are more difficult, though, and just as essential. I am obsessive about characterization. I would like to think that obsession makes me quite good at characterization in general, but I had never really put that theory to the test outside of fanfiction. By centring Fabric of Fate around an original cast of characters, I allow myself a low-risk environment with which I can learn how to effectively craft original characters that are both complex and compelling.
This is not to say that the characters from the original series won’t have a role to play. Percy, for example, is a Roman demigod in this story. Season 3 will be Percy centric, and it will follow his journey to, and early days, in New Rome. Annabeth will also have a profound impact on this series. I have read next to no Percy Jackson fanfiction, and I was actually quite mortified to find out Annabeth apparently gets bashed quite ruthlessly and needlessly in PJO fanon. That will not be happening in Fabric of Fate. Other fan favourites like Luke, Tyson, Leo, Piper, Hazel, Nico, Zoe, Bianca and so many more will also be major facets of the story. The canon characters aren’t just going to disappear because I introduced some original characters. That would be poor writing on my part. They will still be prevalent and important, even if the spotlight isn’t always shining as brightly down upon them.
Speaking of changes in regards to characterization, it is also worth mentioning the changes I have made to some canon characters. Basically, I have aged up everyone Percy’s age and a year younger- possibly others as well, we’ll see- by two years. I am much more comfortable writing characters at that age, and I honestly think it makes for a more interesting story and has more potential for deeper characterization. This will not conflict with the Prophecy at all.
Without spoiling anything, I have made changes to the Prophecy. The lines “A child of the eldest gods shall see sixteen against all odds” are not a part of the FoF prophecy. Partially because “eldest gods” makes no sense when describing Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. Aphrodite, Hera, Hestia, and others are all older than the Big Three mythologically, so the line about eldest gods is fundamentally flawed from the get-go. Seeing as I was changing that already, I have also taken the liberty to remove the age qualifier altogether. It makes things a whole lot more ambiguous and, in my opinion, ambiguous often equals interesting.
This story will vaguely follow the general arc of canon at least until near the end of the Titan War, but it will do so in a rather different way. For instance, Percy is a Roman, as I have said, and Ace isn’t actually even going to be on the original team sent into the Labyrinth when the time comes. He will be on an original quest. Those original quests will be quite numerous in this series, and they are only one of many changes I will be making along the way.
My goal with this story, at least for season 1, would be to upload once a week on fanfiction.net and AO3. Those on my Discord server will stay at least 2-3 chapters ahead of the site. Those who support me on Patreon at the $5 tier or higher will get the chapters as I write them, so they will be very far ahead. With the exceptions of Patrons, keep in mind that there will likely be a break period between seasons. During that time though, I will be writing interlude chapters covering various things. I never liked how Rick left gaping periods of months on end between each major arc without filling them in, so I will be filling them with interlude chapters; some of which will actually be quite significant. By example, the first one or two of them between seasons 1 and 2 will actually be on the Roman side of things.
Fabric of Fate is very different from anything I have ever done before. I am rather nervous to see how it goes over in light of that, but I truly do hope I can bring enjoyment to those who read it. I enjoy Percy Jackson a great deal, but the fanfiction side of the fandom just isn’t as strong as it probably should be. There are some incredibly talented authors in the fandom, no doubt about it, but there are a far larger number of very poorly written stories that turn many- like myself for several years- away from the fandom. Even now, I won’t so much as touch a PJO fanfiction without strong recommendations from people whose judgement I trust. I hope that, with Fabric of Fate, I can add a positive addition to a community that I think desperately deserves the very best, and that people enjoy the story, the characters and the world, especially now, in such trying times. If I can do that while at the same time learning and preparing for my original projects, then this foray will have been a massive success.
An early happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers, as well as a polite plea to be sure to comply with whichever security measures are in place in your area of residence. If you’re lacking motivation, set small, day-to-day goals to help you get through it and stay in peak mental form.
Stay safe and happy reading!
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