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Tips and Tricks for Submitting Your Article

by bananasr4u


YOUR DESK - Everyone wants to get their Neopian Times article submitted. Whether you're striving for the avatar (which is UBERLY AWESOME, by the way), wanting to add a trophy to your collection, or simply to express your views to the world, it's extremely satisfying. The worst thing that can happen goes something like this:

New Event! Mail from theneopetsteam!

"Dear *insert name here*, Your Neopian Times article has not been accepted. There's too many articles that have been submitted that are waaaay better than yours. Have a nice day."

That is the worst feeling in the world. It's happened to me too many times (actually only once), so I've composed a guide for you wanna-be NT writers.


Step 1: Choose a really interesting topic to cover, or catchy story to write. Nothing like: "Jerry the Lupe Goes To Make A Sandwich" or "50 Ways to Sleep". Stories about games, fictionally evil characters, or basically funny topics are good. Examples: "How to Prepare for Meepit Attacks" or "Has Sloth Finally Cracked?". If you start to drool on your keyboard while typing, it's not a good sign.

Step 2: Think about what the basic thing will be like. Let's use an article like "The Adventures of Illusen" as our example. Maybe she goes to get a sandwich (cheese!) and is attacked, kidnapped, burgled, covered in cheese, or something. Imagine the characters and what they are going to do. Figure out the beginning, middle, and end, so that your story isn't stumbling all over itself. Remember = If you're confused, readers are confused.

Step 3: Prepare! Get a cup of borovan and some asparagus cookies and plop down in front of your computer. Maybe turn on some soothing music. Maybe turn the TV on. Whatever. Flex those fingers, and get a nice big hunk of time to work. Try to finish in one sitting, because if you keep coming back, you might forget the focus or important parts of your story. Also, if you have a great idea for a later part brewing in your head, by all means write it down!

Now it's time to...*drumroll* WRITE YOUR ARTICLE!! FWAHAHA!! -coughcough- MUHAHAHA!!! -tells self to stop cackling- You can write your article in a place other the NeoPets. Maybe type it down somewhere and then copy-and-paste it into the submission thing. Whatever you want.


Step 1: Start with a great opening sentence. Something like "Hi!" just won't do. You need a good hook that draws the readers in to your article. Possibilities could be: "Janie shivered as lightning crackled outside.","It was as dark as a grave as I crept into Sloth's Lair that night.", or "Everyone wants to get their Neopian Times article submitted." :-P

Step 2: Two words: Be descriptive! For example, look at the sentence "He hopped over the fence." Kinda boring, isn't it? Try adding adjectives, adverbs, and all of that wonderful grammar stuff. Take a peek at the sentence now: "The clumsy Kougra leapt over the rusting fence like a overweight duck trying to hop over a tree." It really makes the readers think you're smart and well-educated, even if you actually have the intelligence of a soggy Cheese Puffs box. Plus, it makes your article longer, which helps to fit it into the word minimum. :D

Step 3: Create an interesting plot. Maybe if you're an extraordinary writer, you could write paragraph after long, detailed paragraph, but if it's on some boring topic, like sleeping, then nobody will like it! Make a story with twists and turns and engaging characters, or an article with really funny, helpful, or interesting information.

OK, so now you've composed a faboo article. You're still now done yet-DON'T YOU DARE TOUCH THAT "Submit Article" BUTTON!!!!


Step 1: Reread your article. Make sure that there are no blaring spelling mistakes that a blind goose could spot. Check that everything you want written is written and that it makes prefect sense. Put yourself in someone else's shoes. Would you want to read this article? Make your article interesting to the younger NeoPets users, as well as the older ones. Young kids may enjoy an article on the wonders of water slides, teens/adults may find it horrible boring. I personally find water slides insanely cool, though. Think about your article. Is it useful? Funny? Interesting? Well-written? Cheeseful? If you answered "yes" to all of these questions, then you're almost done!

Step 2: Submit it! If you get a notice that your article is too short, add a little more on. Maybe sprinkle in a few more adjectives, add a descriptive sentence, or add an author's note thanking your pet sheep for inspiring you. Keep on checking until you get a message telling you that it's been sent.

Now that you're done, all you can do it sit and wait. Maybe compose some more articles or worship the sheep-god. You won't get a response IMMEDIATELY, seeing that loads of articles are being sent in each day. If it doesn't get accepted, it's not the end of the world. Stop crying and move on.

OK. So you've read this. Several times, hopefully. When you write, repeat the mantra to yourself..Choose. Think. Prepare. Start. Describe. Create. Reread. Submit. Say it with me: Choose. Think. Prepare. Start. Describe. Create. Reread. Submit. And again: Choose. Think. Prepare. Start. Describe. Create. Reread. Submit. I know that it might bore you, but keep repeating until you got the process glued into your head or until you pass out from boredom. And to take up some space, I've written a short haiku about writing.

Meh Haiku

Choose a topic well,

And then write a great story.

You are set to go!

And here's another haiku about cheese.

Meh Cheese Haiku

Cheese is good dairy.

And cheese is never scary, no!

I like to eat cheese.

Author's Note: Thanks for reading this. This will be the 2nd article I've sent, and about the 5th one I've wrote. (The other ones were too short.) Remember: Eat cheese and prosper!

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