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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Swimming, Yr 20
The Neopian Times Week 40 > Articles > Becoming a Neopian Times Writer

Becoming a Neopian Times Writer

by dragonshark173

It seems that every Neopian has one main thing that they concentrate on the most. Some people are heavy role-players, others are skilled in the area of game-playing. Some prefer computer art, while others are concentrated most on their guild. The list can go on for miles, but the one I will tell you about to today is one of the hardest and most enjoyable professions in the Neopian world: Writing.

For one thing, you need to generally be a good writer. It's not that hard: you just really need to think deep and concentrate on every sentence, every word. You don't have to be a college graduate from Harvard. I'm thirteen, in the seventh grade, and I get almost every document I send into The Neopian Times published. First of all, though, you need to break the ice. Once you've proved that you're a good writer, you'll get plenty of documents in. I remember that I didn't care much for The Neopian Times until the comics came out. I tried my hardest to get in and sent in at least eight comics before one was accepted. It wasn't that funny, as I'm not as funny as I wish I was. It wasn't until later on, when I read an article on how Chia hunting was wrong, that I came up with the idea of a Chia-protecting Lupe, as my Lupe had been a previous Chia hunter and despiser.

At the time of writing, I currently have gotten my documents into the Neopian Times 22+ times. This is strangely average for many heavy writers. There really aren't many of us, as not that many Neopian writers have the self-discipline to put out that certain amount of time from their schedules. Some Neopians have plenty of self-discipline, but can never seem to think up a good plot or conflict. Some people simply don't care much for writing. It takes extreme grammar and spelling experts. You don't have to be an A average student in English—personally, I get by with a low 85 average—but you do have to pay attention in class and understand the meaning of it. Although grammar isn't exactly the most fun subject, you should still concentrate on it.

Another thing that I have learned, however, is that every good writer reads a LOT. It was suggested by such famous authors as Stephen King and Agatha Christie. On hot, summer days, how refreshing it is to lay in the shade of a tree sipping cool lemonade and reading a suspenseful novel. Sci-fi, adventure, romance, horror, fantasy, mystery... any genre that you like reading the most is suitable for you. No one is better than the other. Also, try to choose something that you'll get interested in and comfortable. If you read fifty pages of one book and you decide you don't like it, go ahead and stop reading it. That's one thing you can't have in school. The teachers choose the book that you're going to read in class, whether you like the book or hate it. Reading from different authors and genres helps you get under the skin of different voices in writing, and puts you in many different reading environments. It helps you pick up on different styles of writing and can improve your vocabulary.

I absolutely despise a used plot. Don't you? When you've seen an "adventure" movie or book that has the used plot of a reluctant hero put on a quest to rescue somebody that he/she likes, suddenly it doesn't become as adventurous. I've seen the same plot used over and over again, of a poor, innocent Neopet despised by its owner and thrown in the pound, only to be rescued by a good, nice owner. These pound stories vary little in their plots, yet they are still widely produced in The Neopian Times. Although finding a good plot is tough, you must still plan ahead instead of diving right on in with a little idea in your head. You need to let this idea build up!

Try to come up with a unique mood and environment. If you're writing about a certain hero and a certain occupation or series of events that are going to appear in more than one document, you should come up with something that nobody has ever even skimmed the surface of. Some of these heroes include Alexander T. Chia the lupologist (an eccentric blue chia who studies Lupes with his cobrall companion), Zack T. Fuzzle (A fuzzle who turned into a JubJub and goes on all sorts of adventures), and my own character Griffin L. Kingsley (a cowboy Lupe who rescues Chias and is the alpha of a cowboy Lupe pack). Your hero could have existed in the earth-world on a different document... such as a photographer who travels the world in dangerous places, an archaeologist who always stumbles into trouble, or a dedicated scientist who spends his/her life rescuing wildlife. The choices are absolutely unlimited.

Some people consider writing work, and nothing but work. If you do it correctly, then it's fun as heck! Writing can be like creating a movie, making sure that every detail is in place and perfect. When you read your document published in The Neopian Times, it really warms the heart. Suddenly you're watching the perfect movie in your head, perfectly directed and written by you. You may get fan mail or you may not. It doesn't mean that your document is better than a fan-mail-getting one. Hate mail is common if you're writing about something more meaningful, like the Lupe vs. Chia debate. Some really arrogant people send hate mail, because you made the bad guy their favorite species. Softies like this should simply be ignored.

Of course, in the world of Neopia, there are so many different settings and characters that it's unbelievable. With the added ingredient of the spice of Neopian life, your soupy mixture of writing is complete. If you did it correctly, it'll taste great and be published in The Neopian Times for sure. But to really add to your writing and make it great, here are some things you should think of, terms and tips to use while writing:

Protagonist : The good guy

Antagonist : The bad guy, or force acting against the protagonist.

Conflict : The problem or obstacle to overcome in the story. No good story was published where everything good happened and everybody was happy.

Theme : The moral or lesson you get out of the plot. You don't necessarily have to state it at the end of the tale. You can't have a good story where the thieves come along and steal everything, make a huge profit from it and are pure evil and show no good emotions.

Motivation : Something should really be buzzing in your mind when you're writing. For me, it's usually the theme song of a movie with the same genre of the story I'm writing. It can be a funny joke you heard at school, thoughts of your crazy cat or a certain scene you saw in a movie that you heavily enjoyed. Though this isn't absolutely mandatory, it does help with the process of writing.

Plot : The story in general. A plotless story looks like this:

Billy went to the store and bought a gallon of milk. He went home and took out a glass. He poured the milk in the glass and drank the milk.

Without the plot, there is no introduction of the characters, no conflict, no setting, no mood or emotion to it. They aren't fun to read.

Mood : The emotion of the entire plot. You wouldn't have a happy, cheery mood about a car crash victim's incident. You don't have a depressing, frightening mood about the little girl who finally got a pet puppy and was happy ever since.

Good : The little girl wrapped her arms around the chocolate-brown puppy, a wave of happiness overcoming her as the little dog licked her cheek. She merrily chuckled and patted the dog's head, her lips curling into a wide, cheery smile.

Bad : The thunder eerily clapped as the unsuspecting young girl hugged her canine pet, rain pouring down on them harshly like ice.

Notice the first one had a happier mood to it, for a happier plot.

Literary Conflict : A literary conflict is simply the way of saying what force the protagonist is against.

Character vs. Character is the protagonist against another person or creature.

Character vs. the Supernatural is the protagonist against something like ghosts haunting their home.

Character vs. Society is the protagonist against the majority of people/creatures. For example, a person who is trying to get the much-loved mayor that everybody in the town except that person to vote against him is an example.

Character vs. Self is the protagonist against himself/herself. Example: the protagonist is trying to overcome the loss of his/her loved one.

Character vs. Nature is the protagonist against, well... nature. For example, a person stuck on a deserted rainforest island has to survive against the many perils of nature and be able to communicate to the outside world.

I hope my article has helped many eager Neopian writers to take foot and write their hearts out!

I dedicate this article to my English teacher, Mr. Cummins, who has helped me so much to develop my writing skills and taught me further in grammar and spelling. Thanks Mr. C!

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