So Long, Carbon Copy!
NEOPIAN CATACOMBS - Go ahead. Pick up a copy of The Neopian Times and skim
through the articles titles. You'll no doubt come across a few that seem pretty
similar. Most likely they're about some current events. One example is the abundance
of "Join Meridell" type articles that popped up a month or so ago. Writers want
to say something about what is happening now, so they usually try and grab whatever's
just occurred. This can cause a few different problems for both the readers
and the writers. This articles talks about ways writers can find unique topics,
and what risks there are. It also mentions the perspective of a reader.
If you're like me, you're not going to spend your time reading five identical
articles. You'll probably read one, then move to a different topic. After all,
won't they just be the same? Maybe. Maybe not. Take the "Join Meridell" kinds
of articles. Sure, they were by different people, but it was like the chorus
of song being repeated over and over again. They just mixed in the facts with
some personal opinions that all seemed the same. What was the use of scouring
each one if you could get the same amount of information out of one? That presents
a drawback for the writers of those articles. After all, what's the point of
voicing your opinion if nobody is going to listen to it? Not to mention that
the space could be occupied by a more original idea. Maybe you are another aspiring
writer. What can you do to avoid this dilemma? Pick an original topic, no doubt.
But what exactly is a sound way to do it?
Maybe the "original" topic you've picked is about something nobody has talked
about for a while. Maybe it's your personal response to another article. Here's
the problem: There is still a chance that somebody else is thinking the same
thing. I myself have started working on articles about such things, only to
find one near identical to it in the next issue of The Neopian Times. What's
there to do? I usually Neomail the person, telling them that their article was
great and that I was thinking the same thing. Then I scrap the project and try
something else. After all, would you want to read two near-identical articles
when just one got the point across? Of course not. It can be a little frustrating,
since you thought you had hit a new idea, but you just have to brush it off
and realise that you can't waste time trying to figure out why somebody else
thought like you did.
After the article has been screened for relevance and skill, it seems to come
down to chance. The chance that you'll be the only person to write about that
subject at that time. Chance that the spot that could of been yours isn't taken
by an article that's the same as the one before it. Because although you need
to have put thought into your writing, what happens when multiple pieces with
equal writing levels are all about the same thing? Maybe a few of them will
make it in, but it would be pretty hard to just choose one of them. So by the
time your article has been read, there may not be room. Maybe your article is
one of the many that talk about a certain idea. Yours just could be the one
that doesn't make it. It's almost like a coin flip, sending in articles and
all. You make it or you don't. Articles are really popular ways to draw in feedback
from other users, but that means that there's a lot of people trying to get
into the lime light at once. So what other options do you have?
Short stories are a lot easier to make original. You make up a story about
whichever Neopian topic you choose, even if it's one you've only imagined. Short
stories allow more creativity and imagination than your average article. The
problem? There aren't as many people reading the short stories than there are
those reading articles. I myself usually just read through the Editorials and
then make a beeline for the articles. If I have some extra time, I just may
stop by the stories. But don't worry too much about that. Tell your Neofriends
about your publication, and post about it a bit on the Chat Boards. Others will
notice your skill, and you can still get a cut of the appreciation you're looking
If you really want to put some time into your work, you can also make a series.
These also have less chance of being monotonous compared to other pieces of
it's genre. Maybe your short story is getting a bit long, and you're still cutting
out some good parts. Then go ahead and expand the world in your writing. With
a series, you can make it as elaborate as you want, provided that you have a
nice chunk of the story ready when you send it in. If your series is long enough,
you can get more people interested in the whole story. The actual length of
the series is really up to you. Smaller ones require less work and are good
if your story isn't too long. Longer ones are great if it's a big adventure.
Some writers have started a series and ended it 20+ parts later. That equals
a lot of trophies! But these require lots of work. You'll need to have the whole
series done and ready to go up when you first send it in, and you'll have to
spend more time developing and writing the story. Unless you have lots of time
on you, I wouldn't recommend making your series too long.
All of the good writers in Neopia are probably glaring at me and yelling "IT'S
NOT ABOUT THE TROPHIES!" And that's true. You shouldn't be writing just so other
people will think you're whatever you want them to think. What I am saying,
though, is that it's nice to have people notice your hard work. Otherwise, one
may not feel compelled to write again. Do it for the sheer love of the written
word, okay? Okay! Well, that's all I've got to say on this topic. If you've
actually read this far, you're probably half asleep and drooling on the keyboard.
Those of you who know my writing style are probably wondering what happened
that has made me so boring. Personally, I don't know either. Maybe it's just
some lame attempt from my brain to be original. Or maybe it was that weird jelly
that strange-looking thing gave me. What did it say it's name was? Cloth? Smoth?
Ah, anyway, that's all for now. BZZP. BZZP. MUST. DESTROY. NEOPIA. END TRANSMISSION.