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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 6th day of Eating, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 119 > Articles > How To Exorcise Your Neopian Times Rejection Demon: Part Two

How To Exorcise Your Neopian Times Rejection Demon: Part Two

by stoneman3x

DEEP CATACOMBS - It's everyone's worst nightmare. You work on a comic for a week. Hours are spent sketching, coloring, adding speech bubbles and perhaps even a minute or two trying to think up a vaguely amusing joke for it. You send it off to the proper Neopian Times E-mail address and wait anxiously for days for a reply. Just when you have started to chew on your dog's toenails because you have no nails of your own left to chew on, the answer finally comes. It begins like this:

Hello there,

We just wanted to let you know that your story, article, series, or comic was received and reviewed. However, it was not selected to be in this week's Neopian Times issue.

EEEEEK! You have been bitten on the neck by The Neopian Times Rejection Demon! And trust me on this one, it's NOT a random event. Alas! Woe is me! You now have one of the most painful wounds on the planet. But-- joy of joys! There exists one doctor in the entire universe who can cure you of his terrible agony! You. Yup, you heard me right. YOU can mend this wound. And the way you can do it is by getting published. Really simple cure, huh? The problem is that as simple as the cure is, it's finding the proper ingredients to make it is annoyingly hard. But I am here to take you through the Pharmacy of Common Sense so you can exorcise that nasty demon.

The first thing you need to do is get yourself a dictionary to look up the word "exorcise". Now that you have done that, there is one more important thing you need to do. Keep that dictionary handy. Either keep a hard copy on your computer table or bookmark an online version of the dictionary. And add a thesaurus too. You need these tools because the #1 most deadly disease that afflicts stories and articles is misspelling. The #2 most deadly disease is not using words properly or making mistakes in grammar. The #3 most deadly disease is using the same words or phrases over and over and over again, like "most deadly disease", for example.

To give you an idea why these spiffy books are so important to have around, I will give you a whole bunch of sentences. You get to decide which one sounds the best. Oooo games! What fun!

(1) The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.
(2) The kwik brown fox jumped over the lazy gog.
(3) The quick brown fox are jumping over the lazy dog.
(4) The quick brown ox jumped over the lacy dog.
(5) The quick, brown, fox jumped. Over the lazy dog?
(6) The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog because the dog was sleeping in the middle of a grassy meadow and was blocking the fox's path so the fox had no other choice than to jump over the lazy dog so he did it quickly because he didn't want the dog to wake up and chase him all over the place.
(7) The quick brown fox quickly jumped over the lazy dog with amazing quickness.
(8) The rapidly moving, chocolate-colored Doglefox leapt over the lazy Gelert.

Okay, let's discuss these sentences and see if the one you liked the best is the actual winner.

(1) There is nothing wrong with this sentence. It's just incredibly boring and has nothing to do with Neopets.
(2) Although "kwik" is easier to type than "quick", it is not exactly the approved spelling of that word. And there is no such thing as a "gog" unless you have made up an entirely new species for your story. So I am going to assume "gog" is a typographical error, also known as a "typo" or an "oops".
(3) You have a choice here. Either the fox is jumping over the lazy dog or the foxes are jumping over the lazy dog. Take your pick. You can't have it both ways because that is grammatically incorrect. Oh well, that's the way it goes. Sorry about that.
(4) Let's pretend every word in the sentence is intentional and not misspelled. You really need to use your dictionary to understand the difference between a "fox" and an "ox" and the difference between "lazy" and "lacy". If you don't use the right word the people reading your story will get so incredibly lost that a compass and a map won't help them out.
(5) The punctuation in this sentence is just plain irritatingly wrong. And whether you like it or not, punctuation can totally mess up the meaning of a sentence? if you don't, use it. right!
(6) Ummm... as interesting as this sentence is, it is still a tad too long. It's known as a "run-on" sentence and will put everyone to sleep faster than a Hypno Helmet filled with snooze juice.
(7) In case you hadn't noticed, the word "quick" is slightly overused. Whip out that thesaurus to look up words that mean "quick" without actually using the word "quick". And please do this as quickly as you can.
(8) I guess this means this is the best sentence. If you chose this one, congratulations! If you didn't, then you need this article more than you thought.

Let's say that you have mastered all of the annoying basic English skills and have created a masterpiece that is a technical marvel. You send it into The Neopian Times with a huge grin on your face because you know that even even your English teacher could not have a written better story than that. Several days later you get an E-mail that begins...

Hello there,

We just wanted to let you know that your story, article, series, or comic was received and reviewed. However, it was not selected to be in this week's Neopian Times issue.

Ouch! What did you do wrong THIS time? Well, I have a tiny Dust Mote of bad news for you. Just because something is well-written doesn't mean it will automatically get into The Neopian Times. The drawback here is that Neopets is a family-kid-oriented type place and certain topics are just not allowed to be discussed. This is true not only in articles and stories, but in comics as well. The rule is, if it will get you a warning or even get you frozen for saying it on the Neopets chatboards, then don't try to slip it into The Neopian Times. Some of these "taboo" subjects are listed in the Neopets "Terms and Conditions". Even if it's something that SEEMS harmless, it could still get you that terrifying letter. So make sure that you read those Terms and Conditions before you submit anything.

There you go. I have just given you a whole heaping pile of more helpful information to aid you in get published in The Neopian Times. But I'm not even finished yet. There are two more installments in this series of articles. Next week I will go into more detail about the different TYPES of Neopian Times submissions and how to avoid those silly little mistakes that somehow wind up being a huge brick wall of rejection. So while you are pacing the floor waiting for "How To Exorcise Your Neopian Times Rejection Demon: Part Three", you might consider checking the grammar and spelling in your story. If you really don't want to do that, you could always submit your story, anyway. Just remember to put the wrong username on it.

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