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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 77 > Articles > So Long, Carbon Copy!

So Long, Carbon Copy!

by taipeiss

Untitled Document

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 for.

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. *ahem*

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