UFQA/neomail app guide.

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I adopted Nap on Monday the 21st of June 2010, around 5:00AM NST.
Thank you Amber, I owe you.. :3

Read and learn.


Disclaimer:
I wrote this guide based on my own experience with applying.
This guide, or following this guide, is in no way a guarantee that you'll be chosen
to adopt the pet you are applying for.
~*~

Welcome, my name is Morwenna and I'll be using this page to tell you a little something about writing short or small applications. I want to apologise in advance if this application may come over as stuck-up or snotty as that's not my intention in any way, I have made this page because I thought people might want some more information about neomail and UFQA applications. I've noticed that there aren't many of these guides around. ^^

I've adopted the amazing Nap on an UFQA board and I have been getting a lot of questions about writing a (good) neomail/UFQA app ever since. I'll tell you now, I'm not the best teacher so don't expect miracles from this page. =) Even though it is here to help you, it is just a guide.

Applying for a pet takes effort, even when you're applying through neomail.


This guide may or may not be of great help to you. That depends on whether or not you have any experience with applications. I've written this guide for people that understand the basics of applying and want to learn how to write a good but short application, instead of the usual long petpage application. I have links to several other pages that elaborate on applying at the bottom of this page, should you like more information on the basics of applying.

What is UFQA?

UFQA (Up For Quick Adoption) means that a pet is up for adoption, but the adoption process is considerably shorter than with other 'normal' UFA pets. Regular UFA processes last up to a month or even longer. The quick adoption process can take a week or two, a day and sometimes even less than an hour. When a pet is UFQA the owner (also called the foster) usually requires neomail applications, though that is not always the case.

Finding the pet

How many times has this happened to you; You're browing the site and surfing the boards when all of a sudden.. you find your dream pet, up for adoption! You read through the rules and requirements and find out that the owner expects you to write a short application that you can either send through neomail or post on the boards. Most people give up there and then, thinking it will be impossible to get that gorgeous pet with just a simple neomail application. I'm here to tell you the opposite. I adopted Nap with a simple application, sent in no more than three neomails.

How to apply.


First off, always always ALWAYS read the rules before you apply. Even when pets are Up For Quick Adoption, there are still rules. Not reading the rules, and therefore making mistakes in/with your application that could easily have been avoided, will lessen your chances of ever adopting that pet big time. Some owners wish to see certain things in an application, make sure to follow their guidelines and wishes when applying. I strongly suggest reading though the rules again before you actually hand in your application, just to make sure you haven't missed anything.

Content

The content in a UFQA/neomail application isn't any different from the content of a petpage application. It's just shorter! ^^ This is normally the type of information you'd add to any kind of application:

* Introduction
* About you
* A character / story
* Future plans
* The family
* Why the pet?
* Why you?

Introduction
The first part of any application should be an introduction. Whether this is a poem, a short story or something else doesn't really matter. Just make sure you have introduced yourself to the owner, so they know who is applying for their pet without having to read an entire application first. I usually keep this section really short in neomail applications, you shouldn't need more than a few sentences.

About you
This is one of the most important sections of any short application, since it will give the foster an idea of the person that is applying for their pet. Make sure to tell something about what you do on the site and in your daily live, to familiarize with the foster. If you don't have a lot to write.. don't write a lot, since you can use that room for something else.

A character / story
This is my personal favourite part of any application, since I just love to write. Some foster require some sort of a story or character in an application, others would prefer if you'd leave it out all together. A character or story idea doesn't necessarily have to be written out, though. Some people fear this part of the application because they believe their writing is horrible.. in that case you can always choose to give a 'plot summary', which basically means that you explain what the story will be about. =3

Future plans
This is, by far, the most important part of any application for any foster as this section basically summarizes your plans for the UFA pet. Future plans can include entering the Beauty Contest, writing a story/character, roleplaying, customizing, and much more. Please remember not to make promises you can't keep!

Family
This section shows the foster your dedication towards your current permanent pets. It is one of the first things they'll look at when brosing through your account, because it's a good way for them to see whether or not you will/can keep the promises you've made in your application. (Whatever you've promised to do for the UFA pet, make sure you're already doing it for your current pets). In this section you can tell a little something about the pets in your family. I'd leave this section out if you're doing a really short application.

Why the pet?
Most of the time, reading this particular section of any application is a bit of a 'duh' moment for me, since in most cases it is obvious why you'd apply for a pet. It might be fun for the foster to read why you chose to apply for their pets, though I'd personally keep this section short.

Why you?
This is one of the hardest parts to write in your application, since it involves you telling the foster why you'd be the best owner for their pet without sounding like you're trying to sell something. Again, when you plan on writing a seriously short application, I'd just leave this out.

The above are in no particular order, although I like to tell the story early on in the application, to keep things interesting. The most important thing to keep in mind when writing ANY application is Honesty. Do not lie to the owner, chances are big that they will find out. And you know what will happen if they find out.

Promises

Don't ever make a promise that you can't keep. If you promise to enter a pet in the BC, show a previous entry. If you promise to write the pet a story and character, show the owner some of your previous work. I have a lot of experience with adopting pets out and I've had to reject tons of people as well, mostly because they made promises they wouldn't or couldn't keep in my opinion. Your application may look wonderful, may be well written and may be overflowing with great future plans.. If you can't show that you'll live up to your promises, don't make them.

The writing

Writing a neomail application is a lot harder than writing a petpage application, in my opinion. Instead of having all the room you might possibly need to convince the owner of a pet, you have to work with just a few neomails. Writing isn't the real skill you need here. Everyone knows what they want to write in their app. It's what not to write that's really important for those UFQA/neomail applications. The art of omission, as my old boss would say.

Shortening your story and only mentioning what is truly important is the key when writing a neomail application. I'd try and keep your application to a maximum of three neomails, if you exceed that limit you could always stick your text on a blank petpage and send that link to the owner.

I know that not everyone is good at writing stories. As harsh as it may sound, though, it is something you should practice when you know that writing isn't your strongest point. Other than in a petpage application you cannot blow the owner away with your amazing art skills, unless you can link them to (some of) your examples. Your story or character description does not have to be of Shakespeare quality, though. The owner will understand that most of us do not write novels in our spare time. Just make sure that your application is free of grammar mistakes. =)

The pet

The MOST important thing to keep in mind when you're applying for a pet, is that you have to know the pet you are applying for. A pet has a name and gender, get those wrong and your application will almost certainly be auto-rejected.

Calling a pet an 'it' or a She when the pet is actually a He is the most stupid mistake you can make. Simply because it gives the owner the idea that you didn't even take the time to look up the pet you're applying for to see what their stats/gender is.

Always double check your application on mistakes like this before you hand it in. Even if you made a genuine mistake, the above name/gender mix-up is not easily forgiven.

My application.


A lot of you nosy app chatters (you know who you are xD) have been asking me to put up the neomail application I got to adopt Nap with. Please be aware that this is only an example of how a neomail application can be done.


The first neomail.
Subject: My application for Nap, part 1.

Dear Amber,

I am one of the lucky persons that found your board on the PC this morning, and I'd like to apply for the adorable Nap. ^^ My name is Morwenna, I'm a 20 year old student from The Netherlands and I have been playing Neopets for over eight years.

I'll try and keep this neomail application short. I have divided it into three and I'll send it to you in numbered neomails. Now onto the story I have in mind for the adorable Nap:

Nap always got teased, being the smallest baby in the nursery, wearing a diaper that is a tad too big and, worst of all, always falling asleep. He was a just a newborn and people couldn't blame him for always taking naps, but whenever Nap dozed off the strangest things would happen.

The sky could turn purple and the grass clear like glass. It was like Nap's wonderful imagination not only created these extraordinary dreams, they would actually become reality. Nap was an orphan, found by an old man when he suddenly heard soft crying on his doorstep. The sound of the hungry child cut through the thin, winter air and warmed his heart. He never had any children of his own and that hurt him every single day of his live. Now that this small child had found its way to his home, he felt like his prayers had been answered.

-Continued-


The second neomail.
Subject: My application for Nap, part 2.

Nobody could ever believe where this magical child had come from. They wouldn't even be able to find out if they wanted to. Nap was a magical creature, born from a powerful wizards spell and brought under humans because his own world would reject him. On Earth, the child would be able to bring luck and prosperity. Helping men, women and children in their daily lives. Taking away their sorrow and doubt. He'd have to master his gift before he could do anything like that though. And that's where the real work begins.

Mastering magic, becoming a full fledged wizard is not something you do overnight. Especially not in this particular case, since Nap his powers seem to manifest only in his sleep, taking over his dreams and magically turning them into reality. Controlling them would become quite a task..

I hope you liked reading the intro to this story ^^ It's something I came up with quite a while ago, and seeing your post on the boards I immediately felt a 'click', Nap would be perfect for this character. I have altered it here and there, of course. =) Nap would have a Wizards character, being drawn like one as well. I am not the best animal artist, so Nap would have an Anthro (human) design. He'd be entered in the BC as well. I have just entered the BC for the first time ever, two weeks ago, and Phyxd won gold in her category ^^ I plan to do the same for Nap. He'd have his own lookup and petpage with story as well, of course.

-Continued-


The third neomail.
Subject: My application for Nap, part 3.

Nap would fit right into my family, I have several other babies already ^^ Their names are Niemme & Tesoll, the devilish twins, and Eldiin, a magical fish that lives in a bowl filled with lemonade. I'm sure Nap would love playing with them =) As you might notice while going through my accounts, most of my pets don't have their personalized petpages and stories up yet. It's something I'm working on, though. ^^

If you would like to see any examples of my writing and art, feel free to check out my application for Eleui: /~Meaxit, or the story I'm writing for a Royal Girl Shoyru: /~Cishir. If you do decide to read those, I'd love to hear what you think of it! ^^ I'm always open to critiques.

I don't think there's much more to tell you. Should you have /any/ questions, don't hesitate to ask them ^^ I'd be happy to answer any! I am positive that Nap will go to a loving new home, even if that home is not me. I wish you the best of luck in choosing a new owner and I'd like to thank you for this wonderful opportunity ^^
(Sorry if I made any grammar mistakes, English is not my first language)

~ Hugs and all the luck,
Morwenna

The aftermath.


* When you analyze my application for Nap, you'll notice that I haven't really talked about why I should be chosen as the new owner. I haven't mentioned a lot about why I want Nap either. This is because, to me, it is obvious. Especially the 'Why Nap' section. Who wouldn't want Nap? xD Other than that, you only have a certain amount of room in a neomail application so you should be very picky with what to write. I always find the 'Why me' and 'Why (in this situation) Nap' parts a bit over done in petpage applications, so I chose not to put it in my neomail application.

* My introduction is actually nothing more than me saying hi to the owner and introducing myself. That should be enough. Introductions are to be kept short in a neomail application, don't try and make it a story on it's own. ^^

* Other than my name, how old I am and where I'm from, my application doesn't have an 'about me' section. I did this on purpose, mostly because everything you could possibly want to know about me can be found on either my lookup or in my application for Eleui. To the observant readers here, I have linked that specific application in my neomail application.

* I have used most of the space in my application for my character and story, simply because that is the most important part of an application in my opinion. Other people may not feel the same way. Applying for a pet and the way you apply for a pet differs for everyone!

* I have mentioned my future plans later in the application. Some people like to begin with this part, to me it seems a little out of place as a beginning though. Introducing the pet and it's character, and then revealing your future plans is a more logical order in my opinion.

* The family section is hard to put in a neomail application. You want the owner of the pet you're applying for to know how much time and effort your have put in your current pets, but you don't want to use a lot of space for it. If you have a profile page about you and your pet, you could simply link to that. I chose to only elaborate on my other baby pets, the owner could always find more about me and my pets by going through my accounts and my other application.

Conclusion:
As you can read in the previous paragraphs, I've pretty much broken more than halve of my own 'rules'. xD The reason I'm pointing this out, is to show that there is no right way to write a neomail application. Everyone does it a bit different. ^^

Tips and tricks.

Competition

Don't let the competition discourage you, you'll always have competition when applying for a pet. Try to not just deal with it, but learn from it as well. I see competition as a healthy motivation to make my application as perfect as possible.

Some owners will not only read through your application, they'll also look at your posts on the boards. This is especially the case if you're on a UFQA board. Make sure you don't come over as arrogant, snotty, sceptical, etc. Interact with your competition and stay nice at all times!

The worst you can do is send neomails to the new owner after he/she has adopted the pet. Hate and guilt mails are highly frowned upon (and above all unnecessary), and people will find out you did this. New owners have a tendency to flaunt their new pet and the mails the have gotten about that pet. If you flame the new (or old) owner, word will get out and that might seriously lessen your chances in any future applications.

Linking

When you're dealing with limited space, like with a neomail application, there's always the option of adding links. Instead of elaborating on your other wonderful characters, link the owner of the pet you're applying for to a page that contains the info on your neopian family and their stories. =) The same can be done with art/writing examples. ^^

Please make sure not to fill your entire application with links, one of two should be enough. Giving links to all of your work kinda takes away the point of a neomail application.

Some players have a so-called 'profile page' where they list information on themselves, their pets, their lives on and off Neopets and anything else they could possibly think of. If you happen to have a page like this, you could always add the link to your application. =) If you do choose to add such a link, it should be the only link in your neomail application (in my opinion).

Board manners

There's one really important thing you should pay attention to when chatting on the boards. Be literate. That doesn't mean you have to use fancy words or use the correct punctuation all the time, it just means you shouldn't use chatspeak.

When you're on a UFQA board, chances are the owner wants you to chat along and make conversation with the other people there. This gives them time to go through your account(s) and form an opinion about you as a possible future owner and your behaviour on the site. And when you're applying on that same board, you want that behaviour to be good.

Your first impression on the owner of the pet you're applying for won't be a good one if you're using chatspeak (Becuz it'z srsly Ann0ying!1) or typing with your Caps Lock on (LIKE THIS). And that's quite the opposite of what you want to achieve on that board; you want the owner to like you and ultimately give their pet to you.

Originality

Originality is something that's really important in writing any form of application. It's also the one thing that most people find really hard when it's really not! ^^

Just adding a small poem or something similar is enough to get someone's attention. I've read quite a lot of neomail and petpage applications, and poem/lyrics/etc. always catch my eye. When a person wants to read your application for a second time, that's a good thing. (;

Try not to over-do it though, just a few lines is enough. In a neomail/UFQA application, you don't really have room for much more either. Make sure that you mention the original artist when putting lyrics/poems/etc. in any application. Art theft = bad. (Art does not only include drawings and such, it also includes stories, poems, lyrics, petpage coding, etc.)

The end.


I hope this page was of help to you.
~*~

If you feel that any of the information on this page is wrong or incomplete, please let me know through neomail. =) The link for neomailing me is provided in the navigation bar.

When neomailing me, please use Nap's petpage comment as your title. This way, I'm less likely to lose your neomail in the chaos called my inbox. (I'm terrible at organizing xD) All suggestions, comments, critiques and random neomails are welcome ^^ Also, I'd love to hear about any success stories of people that used this guide. I'm thinking of making a list of them =) Applications not included, of course. Just names.

If you'd like to find your way back to this page, you can use the banner provided in the 'Link back' section or press CTRL + B to bookmark this page. =)

Other sites.


For a great guide on writing petpage applications, visit this page:

For a guide on neoboards etiquette, visit this page:

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