How Not To Get Published In The Neopian Times
What’s that, fellow Neopian? Your inbox is getting cluttered with acceptance letters and fan mail? Your Neopian Times Champion trophy is outshining all of your others? The lights that illuminate your name to the rest of Neopia are too bright and have forced you to buy a pair of Extra Thick Goggles? That’s too bad. But I think I might be able to help.
Getting published is a drag, isn’t it? The fame is muggy and the avatars are boring. You’re getting sick of the ‘How to get published’ guides, which are mocking and unsympathetic, because EVERYONE knows how to get published, right?
So I’ve decided to take this problem into my own hands.
Read this article and do everything it says. If you do, I promise you’ll never see the light of an acceptance neomail ever again!
Ignore your spell checker and grammar guide.
If you do this right, you probably don’t have to read on. The Neopian Times is so cut up about their items being ‘understandable’ and ‘easy to read’. Phooey, I say! Text language is now a dying art these days and must be appreciated. Evury1 nos dat dis is fa easya 2 undastand, ryt?
Even better, use the syntax and grammar of a totally different language. Latin is a stunning choice, because it’s a dead language. Your undecipherable article never published will get.
And then here’s my personal favourite: leave out full stops; full stops are for sissies in my opinion, commas are the way to go, so sleek and elegant on the page; a well, placed comma, will be sure, to, really get on, the editor’s, nerves...
Fiddle, get creative! You’ll have an amazing time straying from the claustrophobic boundaries proper English requires. By the time you’ve edited your story, transferred it to text language, swapped nouns and verbs around and replaced as many full stops for commas as you can, you’ll baffle the editor so much they will have to reject you!
Adopt King Skarl’s sense of humour.
Q. Where does you let a school of apple Avabot unlike can’t stand the Chomby and the Fungus Balls?
A. When it’s protected him a curse of Usuki Babaa Bruce bomberries!
Don’t get it? Well, King Skarl seemed to. I got a Bag of Peas out of that one.
Being funny is difficult these days. That’s why you must look to the man that surely understands a good joke when he’s heard one! Before submitting your article to the Times, run the joke or punch line past Skarl. If he gives you the thumbs up, you know you are set for publication failure!
This technique is particularly good with comics, but it works perfectly fine on comical stories and articles too. It’s also very effective. If the editor doesn’t understand the joke in a piece that is solely meant to be funny, obviously they can’t accept it.
If you’re not writing a funny piece, that doesn’t matter. The logic still applies. Writing an article about sock collecting? Stray off topic and conclude your article about how fishing has the potential to give your pet a rash. Feel good story about how Balthazar found a friend? End it with a Babaa discovering a Mootix in its wool to become the first millionaire petpet in existence.
Sense is the big word here. If your item doesn’t make it, you are golden!
Base it in a non-existent world
It is so limiting basing your writing in Neopia, isn’t it? Nineteen potential settings simply are not enough! Your imagination far exceeds Neopia’s borders; it needs places to roam, worlds to create.
So construct your own world! Garnish it with as many ridiculous ideas as possible. Like... perhaps create a world entirely made of jelly, and there’s a giant jelly that offers free jellies, just like the Giant Omelette! Oh forget I said that. Out of anything the imagination could create, that idea is just too ludicrous!
But if you base your story in a world that isn’t real, the editor would think you’re crazy. Even better, create an article all about a fake world. Make a verbal documentary on it, make it seem real! No matter how well written your piece is, if set in a fake world the editor just could not accept your nonsensical item.
Write about a topic that has been done before.
Originality and creativity. Two words that must be sprinkled on a story or idea, or the Neopian Times doesn’t want anything to do with it. But if you’ve failed in the above three tips, why don’t you give this one a try?
File through a recent copy of the Neopian Times and pick out as many ideas as you like. Recent article about how to celebrate Christmas on Mystery Island? Write your own take on it! Story on conquering Terror Mountain? Maybe you could spice it up a little.
Your own versions of previously done topics will be irrelevant, and a space in the paper will never be available for a topic that will give a reader déjà vu. If you do this right, you’ll be sent a rejection letter in no time!
Don’t listen to critique.
Ever shown your work on the Neopian Writer’s board and told that exclamation marks and question marks cannot be side by side?! Or that your plot is inconsistent? Or that your article is off topic? Don’t listen to them. What do they know? They have no idea how not to get published.
In fact just keep that comic under wraps. Tell no neofriends, otherwise they’d want to get a preview. If they get a preview, they’d tell you how to improve, and improvement means publication! The same goes for your Neopets, random people on the board, strangers around Neopia Central. Tell NOBODY about your work; treat it like the biggest secret in Neopia. You’ll thank me for this later; any eyes on your work apart from your own would simply try to help you and make your work better.
So there you have it! The best possible tips to ensure you will never, ever, ever get published. But be aware, it is an art form, my friend. The best thing you can do is practice. Before you know it you’ll be writing the most insane, uninteresting, difficult to read items anybody’s ever seen.
I wish you the best of luck in not getting published into the Neopian Times!