Wanna Be Funny?
Did you ever wish that your friends laughed at your jokes instead of staring in confusion at what you've just said? Or do you perhaps think that all your family and friends already consider you a successful comedian? Then you must surely be a regular participant in the weekly activity, the Caption Contest. It is a popular spot to find stressed Neopians looking for their sanity, er, I mean something funny.
The Caption Contest releases a new picture every week to the public and then gets flooded as countless captions are sent in. You have probably been submitting funny captions for a while, but have never been chosen. That, my friend, is the reason that fate brought you here today to read this article. How in Neopia can you make a decent, funny caption that has the potential of being selected?
Your caption is not going to be chosen if it is not even remotely funny. Ever. So you need to make a funny caption that is entertaining for the average Neopian to read. However, being funny is not enough. If you want to win, your caption has to be exceptionally funny. Many, many people submit their funny captions every week, so you have a lot of competition. However, you will have an advantage over everyone else. Why, you ask? Because you are reading this article, of course! These tips and guidelines will, well, guide you as you develop those trophy-willing, sidesplitting, witty, funny captions. How do you create an exceptionally funny caption? Well, I obviously cannot tell you what caption to submit, but generally if your caption follows these guidelines, it will have a better chance of winning and being displayed for all to see.
1. Your caption has to make some sort of sense and be somewhat logical. Those who are reading your caption have to be able to follow your train of thought. There’s really no point in posting a hilarious paragraph if you lose your readers at the first sentence.
2. Your caption has to be general enough that the average Neopian will be able to get the punch line. If your caption is only going to be hilarious to those who have memorized every article in the Neopedia, or who are on the Battledome Neoboard every single day, not that many Neopians will get the joke. Remember that you are trying to make everyone burst out laughing, so inside jokes just won’t cut it.
3. Study the picture that you are supposed to write a caption for very carefully. There may be some small detail in the background that you can use in your caption. Bonus points if you can make your readers laugh AND say “Wow, I didn’t even notice that!”
4. Do not write down and submit the first thing that pops into your head when you see the caption. Sometimes the things in your head and what actually comes out can be very different. At the moment the idea occurs to you it might seem absolutely hilarious and you think, “Something this witty and clever has got to be the best idea ever!” However, you might revisit that idea later and realize it’s actually not that funny... nor does it make any sort of sense. This is why you should think about an idea and organize it a bit before you actually submit it. Stop laughing at your own joke for a second and make sure it is actually as funny as you initially thought it was before you submit it.
5. When you get a good idea for a caption, it is also a good idea to share it with others before you submit it. Something that you thought was so funny that the universe would cease to exist if you do not submit it might not make much sense to another person. Remember that others cannot see inside your head, so you have to make sure that they can all see the joke the way you do. This means that you have to word your caption carefully. When you do get a good idea, you can share it with someone, and if they don’t think that it’s nearly as funny as you think it is, you can work on the caption until everybody can get your joke.
6. After you have typed your caption and before you hit the “Submit” button, make sure you check and double check your spelling and grammar. Nothing deters readers (and judges) more than a piece of writing that is riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes. You lose nothing if you just spend a minute or two of your time carefully proofreading your caption (well, except that minute, of course).
7. Besides submitting dialogue for the characters in the picture, remember that you can also write about what they do, or are going to do. Put the action between two asterisks (*). This is usually what people do in the captions when they want to make one of the characters do something. For example, if you want a Grundo to walk up to his friends and trip on an obviously protruding tree root, your caption can look something like this:
Grundo: Hey guys, what’s u- *trips over tree root*
The asterisk-enclosed action can be included right in the dialogue, as you have just seen. Remember to include the colour or position of the Grundo if there is more than one in the picture, so the readers will know which one you are referring to. I have also seen action enclosed in square brackets ([) before, so that might also work.
8. Read past winning captions to see what type of humour Neopia enjoys the most.
9. Do not send the same caption more than once. Yes, even if it is the funniest, most clever thing you’ve ever thought of, you only need to click that submit button once. The judges are most certainly not going to pick you as a winner if they see your identical caption go by them 264 times. You just have to send it, along with your hopes of winning, and stay positive.
10. While you should not send the same caption more than once, you can send submit more than one entry for a picture for the Caption Contest, as long as all the captions you submit are different. If you notice two, or even three, funny captions that fit the picture, by all means, send all of them. Theoretically, your chances of being chosen go up with each funny caption you send it. Note the word “funny.”
Well, those are the general tips that most trophy-winning captions follow. If you start to follow them as well, I’m sure that the qualities of your captions will go up by a notch or three. Remember to keep persevering. You should always practice thinking up captions for those Caption Contests every chance you get. You have a chance of winning each time. The bad news is that you have thousands of other half-baked, um, aspiring comedians out there who want the Caption Contest trophy as much as you do. The good news is that you have an infinite amount (well, almost) of Caption Contests you can submit a witty caption for. All the experience will definitely help. Don’t give up and perhaps some day in the near future, you will see your name up there with your trophy winning caption! I wish you all the best of luck. After all, it is people like you who keep Neopia imbued with humour and make our days.
Thank you for reading this all the way through. I hope you enjoyed it. Comments and questions are welcome.