Are you really, really, and just plain REALLY sick of how-to articles? 'Cause
I sure am. Therefore, to save everyone from the too-much-how-to-ness, I have decided
to write an article on how-to do a how-to. Commonly known as a how-to-how-to.
Or as I like to call it, 101 101. And no, that's not binary for "Free artifacts!",
and it's not a government testing facility in the desert.
So when wanting to know how to do something, you always head to the masters.
Those old guys with elongated bowls on their heads who live in little dojos
and say things like, "Fish not run quick, man lose if he tries," as they stroke
their mystical beards -- yeah, them. That's where you go when you want to learn
something. Well, I may not know anything about anything, and I am pretty much
a complete idiot when it comes to how-to's, but I figure I'm dumb enough to
try it, and if all goes well, many will be led astray. Er, to happiness. So
yup, you're 'learning' from me.
The first part about leading someone down the wrong path -- or teaching, as
some like to call it -- is picking a subject. This seems easier than it truly
is. However, it's best to stick to things people WANT to know how to do, because
no one's going to read something about, I don't know, making NPs, or getting
stronger pets. Instead, write about something people care about learning. Some
good examples are how to take a yogurt bath, how to electrocute yourself with
two double A's and some fishing line, or how to snow-sled uphill on a greased
rock. Now those are things people will READ about, and with vigor and gusto.
Whereas something boring like how to win the lottery might cause them to lose
interest very, very fast, and probably rip your article out The Neopian Times
and use it as tinder to keep them alive in the harsh climate of Terror Mountain.
Or at least spit on it, like "Tuh!"
So say you picked a nice subject -- "How To Avoid Parading Lost Desert Calculators,"
say -- and you want to write it. This is where style gets involved. Some would
carefully layout each subject with roman numerals, numbers, alphabetical notation,
and a complete bibliography. Others would simply wander around aimlessly, from
paragraph to paragraph often trailing off in mid sentence using ellipses...
for no real reason, almost... and just sort of meandering pointlessly, yappering
and yadda yadda, blah blah, yadda...
And they can sometimes just start a new paragraph at random! Not to mention
the spelling and typos! They make typos more than a Neoscholo dorpout! Those
writers are just terrible. Definitely go with the first method, the organized,
elite method, unlike that pathetic other stuff.
So you've got your subject, and now your format, so now it's time to move
on to research. You've GOT to research for your articles, because an article
that has its facts wrong -- or has NO facts -- will never fly. But don't get
your I Love Faerie Cadro T-shirt in a wad, because what I call research is what
another man calls slacking. In fact, what I call work is what most people call
bumming. In fact, what I call existing is what almost everyone calls unfortunate.
But I'm getting side-tracked here. As I was saying -- 'research' is little more
than randomly wandering around the site like a clueless hobo. You pretty much
just click here and there, confirm the calculator is still there, make sure
Coltzan is still as evil as ever, maybe go check the news, browse some collectable
cards, get lost, and then claim your "research" is complete. To be honest, the
only reason research is done is to let us writers' pale, glowing skin see the
fresh light of the world, and use our legs for once. So what if we're just browsing
a site -- pretending can be just as good!
So now you're ready to sit down and write this thing. Well, when writing anything,
not just how-to's, you're going to need your basic supplies. I choose to use
a Dung typewriter with standard parchment, because it's all I can afford. I
hear there are these things called keyboards, but my race hasn't grown advanced
enough t-- um, that came out wrong. I'm definitely NOT an alien life form. Moving
on. Also, you might want some whiteout for your typewriter, unless you're one
of those super-advanced humans. Not to mention chair choice, because hey, your
back needs support! I use a stone chair, otherwise known as a rock I hauled
in from the front lawn. Or the little patch of grass in front of my NeoHome
-- not really a yard. Also, the beverages and food supplies you choose to...
accompany... you, can make a serious impact on your how-to article. See, all
I ate was Milky Moo Ice Lollies once, and I got really hyped up, and the whole
article was basically me going, "WHHEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" So try to pick
something without high sugar concentration.
Okay, so that was little bit of a side-track, but hey, I take my writing seriously.
Um, or something. Anyway, like I said before, we need to write this baby. So
let's get on it. There's a very secret technique I use when writing how-to's.
Using it, you can become a failure like me -- or maybe you'll succeed. It works
like this: press the character you want to appear on your screen/paper on your
typing device. This is an age-old secret, handed down by masters from generation
to generation, and must be protected. It's how I pumped out this baby. So watch
closely-- this is important.
If you want to type out, say, "Noremac stinks!" just go like this:
N o r e m a c s t i n k s .
Pretty amazing. Of course, you don't have to use all the spaces, unless you
want people to throw your article into the Tyrannian volcano. However, if you
WANT to use spaces, say, between words (a stylistic choice), then just hit the
space bar when you want it to... space, I guess.
So now I've given up my greatest secret. I can only hope it gets you farther
in life than it did me.
Anyway, I promised to talk about writing the thing, right? Well, just use
the dang secret, type up a big thing on the Lost Desert calculator, and let
all your friends read it. This is why I REALLY write how-to's -- while all your
friends are asleep put dung in their pockets, Mortog Berries in their ears,
and Pickled Olives up their noses! It's more fun than anything else in the world!
Actually, watching them wake up from their how-to-induced coma and realize they're
stuff with bad food is the most fun in Neopia. Not just doing it. You can even
set things on fire, abduct them, pickle their petpets -- whatever you can think
of can be done while they're in that how-to-coma state! It's awesome! If they
don't fall asleep, then you've failed, because they LIKE it. That's bad. Trust
me -- have I ever steered you right before?