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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Relaxing, Yr 21
The Neopian Times Week 95 > Articles > A Guide To Writing An Actual Book

A Guide To Writing An Actual Book

by noremac9

BOOK SHOP - Have you ever been restocking in the book shop, seen a cool sounding book, read it, and thought it was cool? Well, please tell me how you did that, because I can't find the, "Read to self" option in the drop-down menu. But I'm not hear to complain about reading, I'm here to complain about--that is, TALK about--writing those books. Yes, someone IS writing them, and they don't have magical powers (unless we're referring to Lenny Witchcraft, or Evil Spells... because if they don't, those books are fake), so that makes them just like you or me. Which means you or I COULD write a book, right? Funny I should you should say that, because that's exactly what we're going to go over.

First we need to get a topic. This actually the easiest part of writing a book. Your best bet is to pick a subject that's already been done, then add one word (a good is example is taking something like "Dental Care," and writing "Krawk Dental Care."), or change one word (an example of this-- "Chomby Pop Up Book," then "Koi Pop Up Book"). So, for this book we're supposedly writing, we'll just take a book like "Eye-sha," and change it to... uh, "Eye-blah!" There might be an uncanny resemblance to the other book, but it's not like you can sue anyone in Neopia. I think.

Now we have a title, we need to work on the contents, right? Wrong. Not that your book shouldn't HAVE contents--oh no, indeed it should. I just wouldn't call what you need to do "work." Mainly because the matter of whether it's well written or not has nothing to do with the success of your book. Only three things matter.

That your title is at least 11 characters long.
That your description is very vague. That your book is very rare.

Now, before you go Neomailing me about the first requirement, allow me to explain. Or Neomail me, then read on, then Neomail me again saying "oh heheh nevermind don't respond go away ur weird ahhhh im scared dont talk to me ever again or first time or anything yaaaaaah!" Like I was saying.

There's only ONE, yes ONE reason a pet can't read something-- and it's all about their name. If a pets name is, say, 44455, a book it reads with a title of ten characters will always be rejected, indefinitely. So when your pet rejects a book, check your pets name with the name of the book, and you'll always find a match. Also, as you may know, no pet may have a name over 20 characters. So if you put 2 and 2 together, you get one thing (well, four things, really, but overlook that)-- the need for a long title. In other words, if your title is 11 characters or more, every single pet in Neopia will be able to read it. So let's check our title.

Okay, so it's seven characters. We can change that. All we need to do is add four letters, and it'll be fine. I think "Eye-blah blah," will work, no? Okay, so it's a little lackluster, but this whole project is going to be... er, not really lackluster, per se, just... moving on...

So now, according to the cheap checklist I made universal rules of book writing, we've completed one third of what there is to do. Oh yeah, and then you have to write it, but that's just a minor detail.

Let's make our description--the biggest part of actually WRITING the book--for "Eye-blah blah." Remember--think VAGUE. Really vague. Something like, "This book contains excitement, adventure, tragedy, and eye balls, with an added bonus of blah blah!" Hmm, maybe, "If you only read one book this year, read THIS book. To your pets, that is." Or perhaps, "This is a book about a Nimmo named Eye-blah blah. Read it." I think any of those work-- and remember, when in doubt, go read some book descriptions and get an idea of what yours should be like. There's another third down, one to go... and writing. Sheesh, why do you keep bringing that up?

The last on the checklist is very simple, and very, very easy. See, since you're an owner, you can't actually read your book. You can't even read the last sentence you typed into your Dung Typewriter. Nope, there's no drop down for, "Read to self," as stated before. So there's only one way to check-- have a pet read over your work. However, there's a catch-- once they read over it, poof! Everything you just read will disappear in a puff of colored smoke. So then you have to start over, write what you just wrote again, this time with the suggestions, PLUS continue writing farther. Then have a pet read it, lost everything, write it all up again, write it a little farther, and poof once more. There's a reason there are only a little over 700 books in Neopia. But I'm getting off topic-- this about RARITY.

If you're still wondering what that has to do with rarity, go read, "X X Y Y Z Z" and come back. If you still don't get it-- fine, I'll elaborate. As said above, almost every copy of your book disappears, except for the ones never read, which are often totally horrible, since no revision is possible. So what you have to do is write your book one word at a time-- one word in one copy, same word in another. You just keep repeating this process, until you have two identically completed books (may take 1 to 3 years, results may vary). Then you can have a pet read one, tell you what to change, which you can then change (repeating the word-by-word process once again) and have them read one of the two NEW copies. Then, if all is well, you've got a book. A book, mind you-- we're talking one. And no one can repeat it because you have to read it. This is where mass printing comes in handy, but good luck getting a book called "Eye-blah blah" published.

So see, now you have a REALLY, REALLY, REALLY rare book! Congratulations! That one copy in Neopia will be worth so much at the book award, they'll be squabbling to get a hold of it. Unfortunately, you can't sell it directly to them, you have to sell it to the book shop for something like 1,244 NPs, so they can resell it for 2,187 NPs. And then whoever gets THAT deal will make untold millions. But you just get lunch money... but at least your close friends know you wrote it. Too bad they don't have credits on books...

Well, you've seen the glamorous life of an author, but before you get enthusiastically writing, let's talk to a few REAL Neopian book authors.

N9 [noremac9]: Hello, Fronds Von Vicktimheimlech, can I ask you a few question? Hello?

Note: Turns out Fronds had turned off his brain for two years after finishing "Counting Potatoes." Ah well...

N9: Hello, Mr. Meir, can I ask YOU a few questions?

MM: Leave... while you... cannnn!

N9: Is that a yes?

MM: RUN!

N9: Okay, first question-- what was it like writing "The Legend of Count Von Roo?" did you get any interesting field work? Any tips to aspiring authors?

MM: RUNNNN!

N9: Well, yes, excersize can be helpful, but what about writing tips?

MM: It's taking me... agghghghg...

N9: I see.

Note: Mr. Meir then proceeded to attempt to bite me on the neck and suck the life out of me, mumbling about the evil of Count Von Roo, so I left. Humph.

N9: Hello, Sandy Dorkensen, can YOU PLEASE answer some questions PLEASE?

SD: Is that an Attack Fork?

N9: Yes.

SD: Then yes, I can...

N9: How terribly thoughtful. First question-- did you almost go crazy writing, "Caring for Peophins," like most authors, or did you keep your cool? Any thing to say to young authors?

SD: No, I didn't go crazy, because I learned the secret of writing a book-- don't care. If you care about the book, you'll go crazy... if you don't, you'll only go slightly loony.

N9: So you wrote a book about caring without... caring?

SD: It's 17 characters.

N9: Ah. Any tips for others?

SD: Don't write a book. Write Haikus.

N9: And you've only gone SLIGHTLY mad?

SD: I'm not the one holding the Attack Fork.

Um, so as you can see, being an author is really glamorous, healthy, and enjoyable... so, uh, I recommend writing a book to anyone with at least one opposable thumb and a moving arm! And some fingers for the thumb, probably...

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