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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 7 > Articles > Winning the Caption Competition

Winning the Caption Competition

by li5a6

What is the Caption Competition? Basically, there is a new NeoPets-related picture every week or so. Your job is to come up with the funniest/wittiest caption for it. Then, if a NeoPets staff member chooses to post your caption, people can vote for it.

Why play? Almost everyone loves having trophies. Some look cool, and when someone does a user lookup on you, it makes you look very experienced. But perhaps the coolest-looking and most prestigious trophy is the one for the Caption Competition:

Another reason to play the Caption Competition is if you want a quick 1,000 NP (which you also only get if you win, sorry) or a free rare item. And some people just like to make others laugh. It all depends on you. If you have millions of NP, and don't care much about trophies (some people don't) or being funny, then don't bother with the Caption Competition.

Types of captions: There are really three types of captions: those that contain dialogue (people talking), those that contain narrative lines (lines that almost tell a story of what’s going on), and those that combine the two. If you can’t think of a caption of one kind, try to think of one of the other kind.

Coming up with a good caption: If you want to win, the first step is to have your caption posted here. To do this, you will need something funny, obviously. But that's often not enough. The last Caption Competition got well over 50,000 entries. The NeoPets Staff have to look through all of these and pick the best ones, and post them. A good tip is to be as original as you can, and try to look at things in different and unusual ways. For instance, for this picture, amandajedi said, "With his new fake wave cutout, no one bothered to build in Timmy's favourite spot".

The different way in which the picture is looked at is that you would assume that it is a real wave, and not a fake one. Another good tip is to make references to real life; however make sure that they are something that most people will get. Do not make references to something unless it is quite famous. A reference to someone famous, would be OK (at least in that respect). However, a reference to a character on a cartoon that is on at 4 A.M. every third Sunday of months with full moons would not be a good idea. References to NeoPets things are also good, for instance, M*YNCI, or the Better Than You! competition. Sometimes, even references to recent previous captions have been posted by the NeoPets staff. Personification, the act of giving human traits or qualities to an animal (or NeoPet), can also work. It is a bit harder, but it is how I won my gold Caption Competition trophy (you can see it here), 1000 NP, and Sunutek PetPet (back when they were new and worth much more). A good way to use personification is to relate the picture to a real-life scenario.

Getting votes: These tips also apply to the next step: getting votes. People need to understand any references that you have put in your caption to find it funny. And obviously, if it is just plain not funny then it will get no votes. My last caption entry got over 1,600 votes. However, one person got over 2,000 with a Backstreet Boys reference! Congratulations to that person (the captions have been wiped now so I can't go and see who it was). Another good idea if you want votes is to check your spelling. Believe it or not, entries with proper grammar tend to get more votes. You don’t need to be a newspaper editor or anything, but don’t make silly mistakes like mixing up “your” and “you’re” or “two”, “to”, and “too”.

Overview: Basically, if you want to win the Caption Competition, remember these four things: Be funny – obvious, but also the most important part of the Caption Competition. Be original/unique – give the NeoPets staff a reason to post your caption. References are good, but only if people will understand them – people need to know what you are talking about. Try to keep your spelling and grammar relatively clean. Keep those four points in mind, and good luck!

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