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~The Golden Quill~


by mystify

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Amy has been working her way through five different books meant to help her with her writing techniques. She learned many lessons along the way, like how to write like a pro and have a clear vision for her writing. She also read A Hero’s Journey, a book that taught her how important suspense and mystery was to keep the reader engaged. Then Mastering The Hooks taught her all about cliffhangers and keeping the reader absorbed and invested in the story as it went on. Poetry & Prose taught her how to arrange her words in a thoughtful manner, and Describing A Landscape: Making The World Come Alive taught her how to choose those words in order to really convey the story how she saw it. All of this combined would hopefully be enough to turn her into a great writer and published author, someone who would make her parents proud of her and get her praise for everyone in her Terror Mountain community.

     She set to work quickly to apply all of these skills.

     How To Write Like A Pro taught me to have a clear vision in my story, and to know what I want to happen at the end before I even start writing so I can define a clear path to get there. I want this story to be about Katrina, a polite Cybunny who would do anything for her friends, and how she tries to support them in their journeys.

     Amy had a vision set out now, and a defining characteristic of her main character. But she knew that she had to add some type of tension to the story, and that the protagonist can’t just be perfect.

     A Hero’s Journey taught me there needs to be suspense, and a sense of danger. So…Katrina. What is her flaw? She wants to do anything to make her friends happy, but she has to ride the line between making them happy and being honest with them. Make them happy now, but hurt them in the long run, or say something honest now that might hurt them, but would cause them to improve and be happy later. She can juggle that balance.

     Now Amy was starting to get somewhere. There was substance to her plot and things were coming together.

      I can introduce a cliffhanger as a major disagreement between her and a friend, they can have an argument that the reader will want to see how it is resolved. This can be smaller than the overall resolution, something that happens in the middle.

     Like she read in How To Write Like A Pro, she was enacting the plan of crafting the story before she even began writing. This is how you have a consistent vision throughout the writing that makes sense. Otherwise, her story might be all over the place.

     And I have to be descriptive. Okay, Katrina is a Cybunny, but what kind of Cybunny? Let’s make her Royal. Making her Royal will also give her that level of confidence and poise that is part of her personality. Everything will come together like that. And maybe I continue with the idea that her friend is a Blue Acara, to make her seem “basic”. Oooh, that can be the conflict!!

     Amy was flying hot now and she was ready to write. And so she began…

     —

     Katrina, a Royal Cybunny from Mystery Island, was walking across the beach heading to her best friend’s house for a nice lunch. Her friend, Rose, was a Blue Acara who dreamed of becoming a world-famous baker. Rose wanted to craft cakes and sweets from Mystery Island’s wonderful fruits that would then be served to all the tourists that flock to the island every season. She was hosting a meal for Katrina, hoping to get some opinions on her latest creation: a mixed fruit jelly.

     “Good day,” Katrina said smiling as Rose opened her front door. She lived in a small hut just off the beach, it was a humble home but very comfortable. It was filled with a lot of Knick knacks and different baking pans lined the walls as decoration.

     “Come on in, I made something I’m sure you’ll love,” said Rose, gesturing Katrina to the dining table.

     Katrina sat down at the table in front of a large silver platter that was covered by a glistening lid. She could see her reflection in it, and she looked up at Rose who had a beaming smile across her face, full of pride. Rose lifted the lid.

     “Ta-Da!”

     Katrina was…shocked, to say the least. What was underneath the lid was like nothing she had seen before. It was a fluorescent green jelly filled with unidentified fruit chunks, some still with their furry peels on. It was apparent to Katrina that Rose didn’t know how to prepare the fruits properly.

     “Uh, Rose,” Katrina stumbled through her words. “Are you sure you prepared the fruit correctly?”

     Rose was instantly offended, slamming the lid down.

     “What, you think you’re so much better than me that you can’t be served this? I suppose you know everything about fruit preparation!!” Rose was livid.

     —

     Oh I think this story is going well, Amy thought to herself as she was writing. She knew this was a great story and was feeling so confident in her writing.

     —

     “No, Rose, I don’t want to upset you,” Katrina responded timidly. She was starting to think if it was a good idea to be honest with her friend, or if she should just lie and say it looks and tastes amazing. But she knew deep down she had to tell the truth. “Look, you know I will always support you. But I want to be honest with you too, because I want you to grow and succeed. I don’t want to sit here and pretend that everything you do is perfect, then when you go out and serve it in the real world people don’t like it.”

     Rose was starting to calm down a little, and started to get tears in her eyes.

     “I know Katrina,” Rose said with a trembling voice. “I just…I want this so bad.”

     “And that is why you practice Rose! That is why you are having me over right now, this is how you grow!! I’m sure this will be amazing the next time you make it.”

     The two friends hugged.

     “Will you help me?” Rose asked.

     “Of course!”

     And the two friends started to get to work on a new recipe together.

     —

     Okay!! I’m done!! Amy closed her notebook and ran down to the post office. She snatched an envelope and folded her story up and submitted it directly to the Neopian Times! I hope they love it!!

     She had applied herself and all the knowledge she gained studying those other books and put it into practice. The dedication she showed to her story was bound to make her family proud, even the authors of the books she learned from would be proud of her if all went well!

     The following days were agonizing for Amy, as she waited and waited for a response. She would check her mailbox twice a day, and even double-check with the mailman as he came by to see if he was forgetting her letter somewhere. The days kept dragging on, and her patience was starting to wear thin. It was hard for her not to discuss this with people in her life as the anxiety grew.

     She hadn’t told anyone she had submitted her story, she wanted it to be a surprise to her community. And she didn’t want to deal with anyone’s disappointment if she wasn’t published.

     And then after nearly a week, a letter arrived from the Neopian Times.

     Oh gosh, it’s here!! Amy ripped open and letter and begin to read…

     “Dear Amy,

     Thank you so much for your submission! We really enjoyed your story and will be publishing it in an upcoming issue. Keep an eye out for your mail, as we will be sending a package along containing your Golden Quill trophy! Congratulations and we can’t wait to see what else you come up with!

     Sincerely,

     The Neopian Times Editor”

     Amy was overjoyed!! She had done it! With a lot of hard work, she had been able to get her story published in the Neopian Times! Within two weeks, the issue came out and her parents and her whole community were gathered together reading it and discussing it. They were all congratulating Amy on her accomplishment and they also couldn’t wait for her next story.

     And so it went on for Amy, her writing career really started to skyrocket. Every story she wrote was published in the Neopian Times, and eventually, she went on to write full books that went worldwide. She had some of Neopia’s top Book Club readers endorsing her books on the neoBoards!

     My hard work and dedication really paid off, Amy thought to herself from behind her big, new writing desk. Behind her were her wall of awards, many Golden Quills and a few other writing achievement plaques and trophies. I finally found what I was meant to do in this world, and I couldn’t be happier.

     The End.

 
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» ~The Golden Quill~



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