Eight Tips for Getting Published in the NT
Back when I was a newbie to Neopets, there was always one thing I dreamed of, getting published in the NT. Now for an eleven year old girl, that was nothing more than a dream for me. Only excellent writers got published in the NT. But with the help of a mentor, I managed to write an article for the NT that finally got published when I was fifteen. Since then I've been published several times, four on this account alone. And I thought I could give back by writing my own guide on how to write for and get published in the NT. Whether you just want a shiny trophy, bragging rights or that prestigious avatar, you can follow my tips to better prepare yourself to be published!
1: It's all about the concept: One thing to help you stack the deck in your favor is find a subject to write about that wows the reader. A great source of inspiration can come from anything. I personally like picking new site events or features that nobody has written on yet and jumping on it first. Originality is what drives the NT; nobody wants to read recycled articles every week. A good tip to see whether or not your idea is fresh or not is to go through the archives and see if somebody else has written about your subject. If your ideas are too similar to their article, either scrap it or alter it to make it your own.
2. Make a list: Once you have your idea, make key points you want to hit throughout the article. It might be hard to remember all you want to say once you get going! I find that with a checklist my thoughts are more organized and the flow is much better than when I write without a list. Being organized will help you greatly.
3. Spellcheck and do it again: Embarrassing as it sounds, I've had articles published in the NT with spelling errors. It's mortifying to see all your hard work look silly because of a slip of a key stroke. Make sure you proof read your work. I like to read mine out loud because it helps me catch mistakes I might not otherwise. Another good idea is to have somebody else read it. You're writing for your audience. If they can't understand you, then it's all for nothing.
4. Write about something you love: Fan of Gelerts? Convinced Jelly World exists? Pick something that you'll love writing. A thousand words doesn't sound like much, but if your heart isn't in it, then you could find yourself stumped on how to meet the minimum requirement for your article. Also the chances of you hitting a wall or getting writer's block is less likely. I can usually finish an article in less than an hour if I love the topic enough.
5. Don't be afraid to admit defeat: I know this one sounds a little bit backwards but this is the most important one. When I was writing my first NT article, I went through five different ideas before I finished one I liked. It might not be fun scrapping an idea you liked so much, but you need to be able to recognize when it isn't working. Don't waste your time on an article that you're just not feeling. Instead of wasting your energy on something you dislike, you can start fresh and feel revitalized. It might be heartbreaking to leave behind an idea you had so much hope for, but if you want to be published sooner rather than later, it is OKAY to call it quits. But if you're like me, you could even just save it for later when a new idea strikes you. Who knows when inspiration might sweep you away?
6. Partners can be helpful: Are you less of an artist but you have an idea for a comic? Or maybe you love to draw but need some ideas? Well, the solution is simple; a partner in crime. There will always be somebody else out there with the drive and desire to be published. If you can find that somebody to help you bring your vision to life, it can be just another step towards getting published. Find an artist to help you bring your comic to life. Find a writer who can help you put your idea into words. Working with a partner is also a great way to take a basic concept into a full blown article/comic/short series! Plus, you have the satisfaction of helping somebody with their NT journey.
7. Step outside your comfort zone: Are you a writer with a flair for design? Don't be afraid to try something new. A short series might be a great way to help your creative side out. Plus, if you're after trophies, then it's a great way to get multiple NT trophies for one amazing thing you've done. Fear of rejection might make you stray from something new, but it shouldn't stop you from trying. You only get good at something with practice.
8. Read the rules: It would be great if everyone could get published every week. But that's not how things work. So you need to up your chances by reading the rules about what you're submitting. Is your article long enough? How about your short series? Make sure your comic is the right size in order to be accepted. Nothing is worse than being rejected over a technicality. You'll waste more time going back and fixing it than you would just taking two seconds making sure you read the guidelines. You won't regret it.
There you have it! Eight tips on how to be published in the NT. Remember that it might take more than once attempt to finally get in. But take it from me, when you've got an idea that you know will get you published the only thing stopping you is getting your thoughts onto paper!