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Just Keep Trying!


by ewagon

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ART CENTRE - Your story got rejected from the Neopian Times, AGAIN. You go insane. After all, you worked for two months on that particular piece, and even though your grammar appeared flawless, it didn't pass inspection. I've compiled a list of reasons to help you on your quest to be recognized in the Neopian Times, or maybe even help you get that tricky little avatar. Well, you go and write another story, or review it and fix that grammar, and here's why.

1) It takes time to get into the Neopian Times. There are at least 126 million users on Neopets, and the Neopian Times can show about 100 items or so. If that's one item per person, that's only 100 users. And don't forget the people who are really talented and get into the Neopian Times almost every week it comes out, so it could take THOUSANDS of issues if it featured one item per person in each article. That means that you have to try your hardest and do your best to have the highest chances of being accepted.

2) If they didn't "criticize" your story, then there's a chance that they liked the idea, but it had problems. Go over what you submitted to them. Look it over as many times as possible until either you're positive it has no errors, or you've memorized the story. Whichever comes first. If it gets rejected because there are too many entries, KEEP SUBMITTING IT! It is rare, at least in my experience, for your first attempt to get in without it being rejected for some reason.

3) Did you do another "50 reasons why..."? If you did, that's likely why it got rejected. At first those are funny, but they're also very popular, and at times, overused. Try to come up with at least one item for every subject: articles, comics, etc. If one of those gets in, you'll realize that you may do your best in that category and you can go from there. No more "50 reasons why" from you.

4) Even if you think that you're a horrible writer, keep trying. Think of an interesting story, and find a way to make it apply to Neopets. Maybe you can't think of a way to change best friends with differences into Neopets. I suggest making them different colors or species. Now you have a way to change a real story into a Neopets story.

5) Did you submit a comic? Make sure it was funny, and that it shows your hard work. If it doesn't look like you put any time or effort into your comic, of course it won't be chosen. Work hard on it and do your best. If it still doesn't get it, try a different category.

6) "But theirs is better than mine." Ok, so you think theirs is good. Re-read the article. What strong points did it have? If there are weak points, notice those as well. Some incorrect spelling? Remember it. If their piece was really good, use the same structure. Don't take the story or idea, but learn how to make your story like theirs. Did they skip in time? Was it confusing? If it was confusing, don't try to write your piece like that; do it in a way that makes it easier for you to write your piece.

7) "But I've already entered about 1 billion times already." Perhaps you need to take a break? Non-stop writing isn't good. When you force yourself to think of an idea, it probably won't be as good as an idea that comes to you naturally. Keep trying, and don't push yourself. If writing isn't "your thing," try reading books. I'm far more of a reader than a writer, but it helps me write.

8) "But nobody I asked liked it." Ok, so they didn't like it. It's all based on personal preference. The people that look over your article don't reject every story about Jhudora that comes along. Just because they might like one thing more in Neopets, they won't give someone else's story preference over yours just because of the topic. The person you asked IS biased. They have no reason to say that they like your story if they don't even like the topic.

9) "But they said I should change stuff." Did a friend tell you that? If a friend suggests that you change something, they probably only want for you to do well with it. Consider their advice; it may help you enough to finally have that article published. If a certain name seemed to not fit the character, or perhaps the species didn't fit with the name quite right, feel free to change it.

10) "But I couldn't spell to save my life!" Use spell check to help you. It's true that it won't correct mistakes like their and they're. But it will correct mistakes like cried and cryed. Also, have friends review it, or people whose opinions matter to you. Ask them to look for mistakes in your spelling, or for an incorrect word. I'm sure your friends will be happy to help you.

Alright, those are my theories why you should keep trying, and how to avoid some of those nagging thoughts you have when you're writing. I know that you probably read this thinking it was another one of the "How to get your article into the Neopian Times" articles. However, as you just read, this isn't necessarily for tips, but for reasons to keep trying. It also provides you with some ways to help ensure that your article is so good that there's no way it'll be rejected.

Just don't forget, just because your story was rejected ten times, it doesn't mean that it's a bad story. It means that you need to keep reviewing it, checking it for spelling and grammar, and possibly even altering the plot or story line a little so that the general idea is better. Also, remember that if it's rejected because there are too many entries, that's just another way of saying, "Please try again next week."

I hope that the information I provided will help you get your item into the Neopian Times. If not, just keep trying. After all, you never know until you try.

This was rejected 5 times before it got in because of too many good articles. Proof that sometimes it takes a while!

 
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