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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Awakening, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 80 > Articles > Writing a Successful Interview

Writing a Successful Interview

by thequeentitania

Untitled Document DEEP CATACOMBS - As one of the most commonly published type of article, the classic interview piece is one of the best ways to write an interesting article. One of the reasons for writing an interview is its relatively simple format. People enjoy reading interviews because it gives them a chance to learn more about some of the more elusive characters in Neopia. However, writing a quality interview is a much more difficult project, than it may originally seem to be. Because of this, I have gathered together my usually jumbled thoughts, and have written this article in order to help others write exceptional interview articles for every Neopian to enjoy.

1. Be Original
This rule is number one because it is the most important. I mean, I know when Meridell was first discovered I went nearly insane with boredom from all of the Illusen and Jhudora interviews. There are millions of characters in Neopia that are just waiting for interviews, all you have to do is find them. I don't ever recall having seen an interview with one of the characters that appears only on a collectable trading card. There are plenty of game hosts to interview, as the only one article I've seen about one was about the Grundo running 'Kiss the Mortog'. And what about Battledome challengers? Personally, I would love to read an interview with the Cave Chia or Vira. The gallery of evil is another good place to look. I'm sure that the Ghost Lupe would be perfectly willing to grant interviews as long as you remembered to bring him a chocolate Chia. Another idea would be to interview one of the minor characters from one of the mystery games, like the parrot that gave out hints during 'Usurper'. Despite the enormous number of characters Neopets have provided us with to interview, there are even more if you make one up. One of the interviews that I enjoyed most was done by fuzzifeline. In her article she interviewed a random dark Faerie. I think I enjoyed it the most because it was a completely original idea, was completely plausible, and was humorous at the same time. As anyone can see from the extensive list I just made, there are plenty of Neopians to interview as long as you are willing to focus on someone that is not in the spotlight at the moment.

2. Research, Research, Research
Before writing a single word it is important to do the research. When writing an article for The Neopian Times I find it very important is to provide information that seamlessly blends with the rest. Since the Neopets Staff are the ultimate authority on the characters in Neopets, it is important to know everything they have said about your topic. It is not a good idea to contradict something written in the Neopedia because this makes your article harder to believe. If the Neopedia says that it took Edna the Witch two hundred moons to learn to ride her broom stick, then unless you can come up with a really good reason for why the Neopedia got the information wrong, then don't say it took her 3 weeks.

There are certain places that you should always check to learn more about a certain character. If you are interviewing one that runs a game or shop, then the first place you should look for information is that page. While it may not seem important that the Breadmaster says "Yo, Eata loafa breada day!" it is. This statement tells you what accent the Breadmaster has, and what kind of words he would be likely to use. You should also wait around a little while to see what kind of items a certain shop stocks the most of and what it runs out of the fastest.

Most games with hosts also have statements by their hosts, and some, like Dice-A-Roo even give you a link to their articles in the Neopedia, which is the very next place you should look, whether or not there is link. The Neopedia is by far the place that you will find the most information about your character, as long as they are actually in the Neopedia. Take careful note of everything the article says about them, and try to find any related articles. Brucy B. does have an article, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't also read the one entitled Cheat: The Big Heist. Since Brucy B. is a co-host of cheat, it would also be a good idea to play a game and try to gather information there and to also look up all of the other hosts of the game to get a feel for the people Brucy works with. If the character you are interviewing is evil, it would be a good idea to look them up in the Gallery of Evil. Balthazar is in both the Gallery of Evil and the Neopedia, and both have very different information about him. Next stop is the Collectable Card Spoiler List. While finding the right character may be a bit tedious as there are fifteen fairies, the information on the card will make it worth it. After all of this, it is time for the Battledome.

The easiest way to find out if the character you are interviewing is a One-Player Battledome Opponent is to look it up at one of the Neopet help sites. I personally suggest pinkpoogletoy.com, which will also tell you where to go to find this opponent. Once you have looked at their description on the 'Opponents Found' page, challenge them to a battle. In my opinion it is not terribly important whether your pet wins or loses. The important thing is that you stay in the battle long enough to find out what their special moves are, what kind of weapons they are carrying, and most importantly what sort of comments they make between moves. The last step in gathering information is not only the least important, but the most tedious. Because of this, many people may choose to skip this step, and I don't think anyone can blame them. Now the time has come to wade through the New Features and Neopian Times Editorials. It won't be fun, but you just might find something in there. Admittedly, only a small portion of what you discover will actually make it to the article, but it is important to know everything you can about the character so that your article can be as accurate as possible.

3. Don't Ignore Other People's Articles
Just because you weren't the one that wrote that other interview with Illusen doesn't mean that it isn't important to read the other article. And just because you aren't going to ignore the other article, doesn't mean that you have to follow that article's lead. Reporters are fallible, and you can find ways to accept what they have written, but still contradict it. In an article discussing Ryshu and codestones, azurerayen did an excellent job of taking into account what people before her had said. First she mentioned the article and what it had said, then gave the reason that Ryshu had been hoarding the codestones. In order to create a seamless whole as best as possible, take into account what other people write and make your own take on it.

4. Tell the Whole Story
Some people write articles that leave a part out because it seems obvious. The first example that comes to mind is the article 'Kiss the Mortog: The Truth Behind the Explosive Game' by poy222. It's obvious that based on the story the Grundo told, there is a limited number of Mortogs that have the ability to turn into Princes and Princesses. This makes it likely that 'Kiss the Mortog' had, based on the article, a limited amount of time before it would have to close down. While Kiss the Mortog is currently not available, it probably would have been a good idea to add a comment about how the Grundo 'refused to comment on where his seemingly never ending supply of Royalty turned-mortog came from.' While many good articles do this, such glossing over can make an article look unfinished, therefore, before submitting an article look through it to make sure that you didn't leave anything out that might have this effect. Even better, show your article to a friend who can look over it and tell you if something doesn't seem to add up.

5. Fill in the Gaps
When someone else makes the mistake of not putting in the whole story, they give you a chance to write your own that fills in the gaps they left. Maybe the Grundo running 'Kiss the Mortog is secretly kidnapping all of the Princes and Princesses that are freed and turning them back into Mortogs. If other people have the same question you do about an article, and you can answer it for them, they will probably enjoy reading what you have to say.

6. Editing
This is the last step in writing any sort of story or article. A piece that has numerous spelling and grammatical errors is likely to annoy those who read it simply because it will be harder to understand. There is a reason why computers have spell check and authors have editors to tear apart their books before they get published. If at all possible have a friend go over it. It is a fact that since you know what you meant to write, you are likely to miss what is actually there.

I hope that you have found something in this article useful, and that it leads to many high quality interviews in the future.


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