Neopian Times Cookbook - The Ingredients
So you want to be a Neopian Times writer! Easy as pie, right!? Exactly. Pie isn't always all that easy to make. So let's call this the cookbook. Baking a pie is a whole lot easier with instructions.
We will start with a list of ingredients.
- A couple good ideas
- Several characters, one or two of the of the main variety
- A setting
- Good grammar and spelling
- Paper and/or a computer program
- A white weewoo
- Many pies
What? You don't know where to find these ingredients? You could try the general store, perhaps. If you don't live in Neopia Central or just don't feel like paying (trust me, it pays to be thrifty), this guide should help you gather everything you need. What's first? Ahh. You need to find...
A Couple Good Ideas
The crust of a story. All of the delicious berries and characters will be piled on top. It needs to be strong to support the rest of the ingredients. Many fine ideas can be found around the site. Worlds, pets, and items are all good inspiration. Perhaps a picture of a yellow Pteri soaring through the sky gives you a marvelous beginning. The pet is flying over Shenkuu in hopes of spotting the lovely Princess Lunara. Or maybe you wonder what the famous blue Ixi plushie likes to do for fun. Whatever the notion is, no matter how crazy it may seem, write it down. It could be useful later. This is why you need a couple ideas. If one doesn't work out, you could move on.
Remember, there should always be some kind of conflict. It could be external or internal. No one wants to read about Gilly the Gelert playing dolls and then eating a calm, quiet dinner. A more exciting situation would be if Gilly's dolls turned into mutants and ate her for dinner. Then Gilly could use a fork that the mutant had swallowed to dig her way out and... You get the idea.
Several Characters, One or Two of the Main Variety
Well, this one is sort of obvious. Pie just isn't good if all it consists of is the crust. You need some sort of filling. Characters could come from anywhere. Berry picking is easy for many Neopians. And I don't mean the kind you do at Meri Acres. You could use your pets, Neopian celebrities, or even your very own brainchildren!
The pet or pets that your story is mainly about are the main characters, but I bet you already knew that. I like to really get to know them. Sometimes, when I'm writing a story, I'll just start having an imaginary conversation or interview with my "new friend." Yes, I feel like I need to make friends with my characters before I write about them. Baking a pie is no fun if you don't like the flavor. Know their strengths and their weaknesses. Know their favorite color. Know their hopes, wishes, and dreams. Know them! Here is a short fill in the blank exercise you can fill out.
Hi. My name is ___. I am___ years old. I live in ___. I am a ___ ___. I like to ___, ___, and___. My family has _ people/pets. If I could have one wish, it would be _____. My favorite color is ___. I am bad at ___, ___, and ___. I am good at ___, ___, and ___. Pie is good because _____. Cara (misshoginpitt) is awesome because ____.
I recommend doing a little more. That just covers the basics.
You might also have villains. You might not want them to be completely evil. Everyone has feelings, right? They also might not truly be "bad guys," just normal pets whose views or wants might not coincide with your main character's. An example of an antagonist that isn't nasty would be a sister that wants the same room as your main character.
Meridell? Shenkuu? Neopia Central? Maraqua? Mystery Island? Where will your story take place? This is the plate your pie sits on. It holds up the idea, which holds up everything else. Sometimes the setting isn't crucial, but it does have a role to play. If your story revolves around the place where it all happens, definitely mention it.
Good Grammar and Spelling
Now this is really, super duper important. It is the delicious whipped cream sitting on top of your pie.
Your readers don't want to read "He sed he wants to eat food. Like, food is goood!1" If you don't have good grammar, I'm not much help. You should have paid more attention in Neoschool. If you're using a word processor, it can correct some errors, but it doesn't catch everything. Keep in mind that Neopets words probably aren't included in your processor's dictionary, so Auto Correct might change them.
Paper and/or a Computer Program
This does not relate in any way to the pie comparison. Oh well. It is important. You have to write your story on something.
A White Weewoo
Use the trading post or the auction genie. Weewoos are very useful petpets, as they can throw little pieces of paper at people who try to disturb you while you write. If you can't afford one (don't worry; neither can I) that is perfectly all right. This ingredient is optional.
The pie of your pie. Your story-pie, that is. Whenever your hard work is through, relax with a slice. Or two. Or three. Or four. Or five. Or six. Or seven. Or eight. Or nine. Or ten. Or... You get the idea. Lots of slices, lots of pies.
As you can see, many ingredients go into the making of a short story or series. If you mix all of these ingredients together and bake them for just the right amount of time... Voila! A story worthy of the Neopian Times! You may even have your own shiny trophy very soon. Good luck! I'll enjoy reading all of your delicious creations!
Pie-pie, oh beloved readers!