The Weewoo Den
Welcome to The Weewoo Den! The Weewoo Den is where rocknrollpup95 and her Neopets write their stories/articles for the Times. Us Weewoos assist them in doing so.
We've decided to make The Weewoo Den a guide to the Neopian Times. But to make it better, we (the Weewoos!) will be your guide through the page.
Perhaps you've read every single article/story/comic/issue of the Neopian Times, but you're tired of just reading it. Maybe you want to write for it. Well, that's what we are here to help with. Writing for the Times can be really fun, and we hope you have fun going through our guide.
Here are all the Weewoos who live in The Weewoo Den. We'll take you through each step on how to get your work published in the Times.
||Hi! I'm Quills. I'm snoweeblizzard's petpet. I think you've seen me pop up in a our petpages a few times. ;) Since white weewoos are the official mascot of the Neopian Times, it's fitting for me to be the captain of our Weewoo team, don't you think? I'll be your main guide through the page, but some of my friends are specialists in parts of the Neopian Times.
||Arrr! My name is Scout, and I've been assigned co-captain of the Weewoo team. I don't really know anything about writing, but I have very important information for you that I'll tell you later on.
||Hi there. I'm Feathers. If you're interested in writing short stories or a series, then I'll be helping you out. You can jump to my section here.
||Yo. Name's DJ. I do article stuff. None of that fantasy fiction stuff. It's all the facts here. I've got a few tips for you. Take 'em or not. I've got the Editorial under my wing too. Check it here.
||Hi jazzmonkey95, I'm Blitzen. I specialize in the comics section, so if you're not much of a writer, but an artist, you can read my section here. ('Cause we all know that writing stuff can be terribly boring and hard.)
Scout - Important Information
||Scout here again. Like I said, I've got no tips for how to write or draw or whatever, but I do got some information about the Times for you. It's important information too, hence the title "important information". So listen up...
- Do NOT ever, ever, ever, ever copy or steal anyone's work. EVER. Got it? It's rude, reportable, illegal, and just plain wrong.
- I suppose it's not reportable to use someone else's idea and change it around a lot, but it's not recommended and it probably won't get you into the Times. No one wants the same old stuff being published. We want new and original stuff.
- Don't get mad if you can't get in. The majority of people do actually fail before they succeed. Actually, they usually fail a lot before they succeed once.
- For anything you submit into the Times, make sure it does not break any rules. Make sure the content of your work follows the Terms and Conditions. Read number 5 for all the things you SHOULD NOT have. For a short list, check the Handy Tips written by TNT themselves.
- No one's forcing you to read this page or write/draw for the Times. If you don't like the Times or you don't like this page, then leave. Us Weewoos don't want to waste your time. Hate mail is unappreciated. If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all.
- Don't neomail rocknrollpup95 or jazzmonkey95 (same person, in case you needed that heads up) before you read the following FAQ or unless it's really, really, important. Thanks.
PLEASE READ: There are some examples of works from the Neopian Times, but some are not written by rocknrollpup95. The author of the work has been included. If one of your pieces has been mentioned on this page and you do not want it to be, please neomail rocknrollpup95 and she will remove it.
TNT states that it is okay to work on something for the Times with up to one other person. Only one of the users needs to submit the article/story/comic. Be sure you mention the name of the other user in the additional comments on the submission page. Both users will receive a trophy. Make sure you trust that the person you are working with will not steal your work or take all the credit.
I've read your guide and I think my article/story/comic is really good, but I got rejected. Why isn't your guide working?
Like I said before, most people fail multiple times before they succeed even once. You aren't gonna get it every single time you submit something. It takes time. Just keep trying. Don't get discouraged. Trust me, we've been rejected too many times to get angry about it.What if I get stuck in the middle of my writing and can't figure out what comes next?
Buddy, it's called writer's block. Any writer will relate to it. I believe Quills has a section all about it. Check here
.Will you give me an idea to write about? I'll credit you.
No can do. If we had an idea, we'd use it. ;) And the whole "credit you" thing? Yeah, that doesn't work for the Times. It's an every-Neopian-for-themselves world here. You're on your own. But Quills has a few pointers on how to think of ideas
.Can I use the coding for this page to make my own page? I'll credit you.
Nope, sorry. Our coding is off limits. No touchy. If you want to learn CSS for yourself, go here
. DO NOT TAKE OUR CODING!!!!!Can we be affiliates?
No, The Weewoo Den is not taking affiliates. Perhaps later if rocknrollpup95 feels up to it. But for now, no. Sorry.
Well, now that I've given you all the basic information you need to know about the page, I'll let Feathers take over. I've got some links that might be useful for you. And... I think I'm done. Scout is out
. Peace. ;)Neopian Times Navigation
(will open in a new window)The Neopian Times
Handy TipsThe Weewoo Den NavigationShort Stores/Series
Quills' Corner Quills' Corner NavigationHow To Think Of Ideas
Writer's Block Help
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Feathers - Short Stories/Series
Step One - Getting Started/Reminders
||I'm your expert on all things for short stories and series. Just a heads up, these two things call for wild imaginations and just plain convoluted minds. We all know that TNT is ridiculously crazy and they love things that are ridiculously crazy, so, get those gears turning in your brain.
You should be typing your story in Microsoft Word. This way, you can see your spelling errors and grammar mistakes. Also, it's just easy to work with. After you're done, you can just copy and paste it into the submission form.
Always keep in mind the minimum/maximum word requirements. For short stories, you must have 1,200-4,000 words
. For series, you must have 1,500-50,000 words
for each part. There is a word count in Word, so you can always keep track of how many words you have.
If you are typing a series, TNT suggests you have 6-8 parts, but you can submit up to 12. Remember to keep your parts separate from each other so that it will be easy to copy and paste into the correct boxes at the end.
Don't worry about indenting for paragraphs, TNT does all the formatting themselves. For paragraph breaks, just enter down twice (just like the way you see this page laid out).
If you want to use bold, italicized, or underlined text, use the right HTML tags.
You don't have to worry about the pictures that you see in the Times. TNT will pick out an appropriate picture for your story.
Step Two - Plotting
Whether this is your first time or fiftieth time writing for the Times, thinking of ideas is literally the hardest part of the process. The very first step of writing a story or series (or anything for that matter) is thinking of an idea. Without a good storyline, you've got nothing.
What makes it harder is that your story must
be about Neopets. And no, I don't think that rewriting Twilight with Bella as an Usul and Edward as a Quiggle will get you into the Times. (Having anything to do with Twilight will not get you anywhere in life.)
If you need help on thinking of an idea for your story, visit Quills at his Corner
, and he can help you out.
Step Three - Beginning
Remember that the first sentence of your story is what will get your reader's attention. If you have a boring sentence, the chances of your reader leaving before even finishing the story is high. Just like if you were writing an essay for English in school (ew, I know), you need an attention getter...
Dialogue: someone saying or shouting something
Example: "'Hey!' yelled the little Kau, 'Knock it off!'" - from Kau Says by falonony
Randomness: everyone wants to know what's going on when something random happens
Example: "It all started with a knock on the door." - from My Brand New Old Sister: A Species Change Story by akitera
Mysterious: make the reader ask, "Huh?" or "Ooo...ominous" or "What's going on?
Example: "Something terrible is happening at the lake. I can feel it, every night I get the same chill down my back...." - from The Werelupe Of Neovia Lake by tyranosaurus_rampage
Exposition: introduce the setting and the main character(s); kind of boring, but many stories start like this; this often takes more than one sentence, usually a paragraph
Example: "Little Mika grabbed her parka off the hook. 'Mom, I'm going out!' The blue Chia didn't wait for an answer, she just burst through the door into the icy air. It was cold, and the wind chill was beyond imaginable. It was just how Mika liked it." - from Friendship In An Igloo by rocknrollpup95
There are other ways to start your story, but these are the most common.
Don't forget that you want to set a tone for your story. If your story is humorous, make sure your beginning has a humorous tone. You don't want it to start out dead serious and then turn into a comedy.Step Four - Content
Whatever you do, make sure you keep the same tone throughout your story. Like I said above, don't start out serious and then turn into a comedian. If you switch tones, your reader gets confused or becomes uninterested.
Remember that idea you thought of? Make sure everything you type revolves around that idea. If you go off on a tangent, you're dead
. If you do happen to go off on a tangent, make sure it leads back to your original storyline. On the other hand, don't get repetitive. If your story happens over a period of days, make sure your character is doing something different each day. This can be especially hard with series. If your series is really long, sometimes it can get really out of hand or too repetitive. If you find yourself repeating events in your series, perhaps you should cut it down and make it a short story. That's usually what happens here in The Weewoo Den. We start writing series and then they turn into short stories.
Boring stories are no fun to read. Don't make your story predictable. Put twists and turns in it. Even if it's a comical story, put some humorous suspense in it. Sometimes, the best ideas for unpredictable events come while you are writing. Just keep writing and ideas will just hit you in the head.
Contrary to popular belief, not everything about your story has to be planned out. Like I said above, some of the best ideas come while you are writing. Your brain is constantly thinking of stuff, even if you are not conscious of it. Sometimes when you're writing, an idea will come to you because of the last line that you wrote. So if you're a lists and outlines person, don't always stick to the plan.Step Five - Ending
Irony. Irony is one of the best things that has ever happened in the history of the world. Irony is what differentiates a good story from an amazing
story. We're still working on irony here in The Weewoo Den, but we're getting pretty good. (My personal favorite of rocknrollpup95's stories is The Symol Investigators
, which has pretty good irony.)
Yes, irony is a difficult concept to write, but there are other ways of ending your story well.
Step Six - Editing
This is the step that I think many people like to skip. It's one of the most important steps, SO DON'T SKIP IT
Editing is a step for writing stories, series, and articles, so Quills offered to write this section. Go here.
DON'T SKIP THIS BECAUSE IT'S IN A DIFFERENT SECTION OF THE PAGE!
Step Seven - Title
Yes, I purposely left out the title at the beginning. Hopefully, you didn't give your story a title yet. If you did, that's okay. If you still want to use the title you first gave it, that's fine, but I suggest you still read this section.
It's best to create your title after you finish writing because now you know the overall story. At the beginning, you don't really know exactly what you're writing. Now that you're done, you can incorporate a theme or a quote from your story in your title.
Titles are very important. I know I said that the first sentence of your story is the first thing the reader reads. But actually, the title is the first thing they read. You want a good title that will get your reader's attention. There's not much to it. Here are some things to think about:
Randomness: everyone loves random things
Plain: sometimes plain things can catch people's attentions, such as the title mentioned earlier, "Kau Says" (written by falonony)
Out Of Your Story: pick a meaningful phrase out of your story
Tone: your title can match the tone of your story; if your story tone is humorous, have a humorous title
You want to be creative with your title. Don't be boring. No one likes boring things.Step Eight - Quills' Corner
This step is optional. It's basically for if you want to go the extra step. You can go visit Quills
over at Quills' Corner, where he has a few extra tips to help spiff up your story.Step Nine - Submit
You have now finished your story. Now, go over to the Submission Form
, click on the appropriate button for your submission. Copy and paste your story in the box. If you're submitting a series, make sure you put the correct part in the corresponding box. Type in your title, and click the the "submit" button.
Congratulations! You're on your way to becoming a published author! Good luck!After Submission
After you've submitted your story, you can head over to Quills' to learn more about your submission
, or you can go to Quills' Extras section
for more random stuff about the Times.
DJ - Articles/Editorial
||Yo. What's up dudes? DJ again. Now, maybe you tried doing all that short-story-series-comic-whatever junk, but you know, that stuff is hard. I mean, you gotta twist your brain to think of these things that no one else would ever think of. I mean, man, my brain hurts just reading Quills' ideas list for stories. That fiction stuff is bunk.
Luckily for you, though, fiction does not
dominate the Times. Come to think of it, newspapers aren't supposed to have made up fantasy stories. Newspapers are supposed to deliver the news of the world. They're supposed to keep Neopians updated with the current events. (And quite frankly, it's so much easier to write facts that you can find.)
So here you go. I'll take you step-by-step on how to write your own article for the Times.
(PS. I also have information about the Editorial. If you want to just skip straight to that, you can click here
.)Step One - Getting Started/Reminders
Microsoft Word is your friend. Use it. It edits your stuff and counts your words. 1,000
is the magic number. Don't miss the mark, dudes.
Indenting is unnecessary. Just enter down twice for paragraph breaks. If you want to use bold, italicize, or underline stuff, just make sure you use the correct taglines.
No worries about the pictures. TNT's got your back.
Step Two - Plotting
I've got a few suggestions for you. They're not in depth or anything. Just take a skim through and see if any of them spark one of those brain cells.
- site events
- specific guides (games, Money Tree, avatars, etc...)
- facts about Neopia
- personality quizzes
Quills took the initiative to go a little more in depth with a few of these ideas, so if my wonderful list didn't help you, you can check out Quills' Corner
for more help. Just check for "articles" under the "works well with..." part.
Hopefully you got an idea, 'cause if you don't, the rest of this guide won't help ya.
Step Three - Introductions
Your readers will greatly appreciate it if you tell them what they're about to read. And try to do it well, not boring. It is
possible to write non-fiction without being boring. For, example, say you were writing a guide on Kass Basher.
Here is what NOT to do:Here is my guide to Kass Basher.
Any idiot could figure out that that is a bad
way to start an article. On the flip side, here's good way to start out:You've heard that Kass Basher is one of Neopets' most popular games, so you go take a whack at it (no pun intended), and you get a score of 50. Well, no worries, because after you read this guide, Kreludans will be wondering why there are so many Kass plushies in their craters.
(No, you may not use that as an introduction for your Kass Basher guide.)
Here are some other ideas to think about when starting your article.
Scenario: paint your reader a picture; much like my previous example
Example: take a peek above
Question: ask your reader a question that a) you will give an answer to later in your article, b) relates to your article topic, or c) all of the above
Example: "If I said the word 'Money Tree' to you, what images, I wonder, would be first to pop into your mind? Rotting driftwood? An old rotten left sandal? Or, maybe, it would be the very nutritious rockfish?" - from Campaign Against Money Tree Pollution by absdafabs
Address the reader: start talking to the reader
Example: "I don't know about you, but I'm mighty fond of fool's errands." - from Zapping for Colour by teaspill
Randomness: randomness never fails
Example: "Dear Neopians,
The other day I ate a Jhudora Jelly." - from Wobbly Food Thoughts From a Wobbly Mind by rck2002
Pretty much, there are no limits when it comes to an introduction. As long as the few sentences after your beginning sentence tie in to the overall topic, you're good.Step Four - Content
First and foremost, YOU ARE IN CHARGE
. This is your article, no one else's. If you're writing an article, you're obviously writing about something that you know a lot about and feel comfortable talking about, so talk about it. Tell the world what you know. Share your wealth. Of knowledge.
Going along with that, you must know what you're talking about. Don't write something, and then contradict it two paragraphs later. You need to be believable and convincing. Convince people that your information is correct. You are the expert here.
Now, many people think that non-fiction articles are all straightforward information and nothing else. WRONG! There is a genre that falls under non-fiction that I believe is the best type of writing that has ever walked the planet: SATIRE.
Everyone loves humor. Sarcasm and satire is always fun to read, and it can be fun to write too. I mean, if you go through the articles in the Times, only about a fourth of them are serious. The other 75% is satirical, sarcastic, humorous stuff. I mean, most articles contain information that no one even cares about. Sometimes it's okay for articles to turn from informative to entertaining.
Basically dudes, if you've got satire under your hat, you're set for life.
(But, people do like informative stuff and learning new information, so we do need you serious, straightforward, smarty-pants who have lots of knowledge to share.)
Endings for articles are not as sophisticated as endings for stories, so you basically end your article any way you want. Whatever fits. Just remember not to end abruptly. Wrap things up.
Step Five - Editing
Uh, yeah. I have poor editing abilities. But just 'cause I can't edit doesn't mean you shouldn't. You should. Actually, you have to. So head on over to Quills
and he'll help you out.
Step Six - Title
Well, titles can be anything, really. Feathers gave an entire list of good ideas for titles, but you know, Feathers can get too sophisticated for me. So the best advice I can give you for titles is to be creative.
Step Seven - Quills' Corner
As we all know, Quills is the chief Weewoo here in The Weewoo Den. He knows everything there is to know about writing stories and articles and comics. If you want to bring your article to 110%, Quills has a few tips for you. Check it out here
. (No, you don't have to do this, but I suggest you do.)
Step Eight - Submit
Congrats, dude! You finished your article! You are now ready to submit your story to what I call the Black Hole of The Neopian Times. (Your article goes in and you have no idea what will happen when it comes back out.)
The submission form is here
. Hopefully I don't need to tell you to click on the article submission button, but if I do, click on the article submission button. Copy and paste your article into the box and hit submit.
Your article is now in the Black Hole. All you can do now is wait...After Submission
There are few things you can do now. If you want to learn more about your submission, Quills has some information
Or you can see some stuff about the Times that Quills has compiled in the Extras section
in Quills' Corner.
is a small portion of the Times where TNT answers questions that users ask. You should read it every week
. If you don't read the short stories or the articles or anything else in the Times, you have to read the Editorial
. It has LOTS AND LOTS of information about the site for you. Basically, if you don't read the Editorial, you will be left in the dust, behind everyone else who does read it.
You can submit a question here
. But just a heads up, you can send in 10,000,000,000,000,000 questions and the chances of TNT answering even one of them is about .00000000000000001%. It's very hard to get your question answered.
Also, you do NOT get a trophy for getting a question in the editorial. (Though that's obvious, right?)
Blitzen - Comics
Step One - Getting Started/Reminders
||Oh look. Fancy meeting you here. =) If you've tried writing a story or an article, but find it quite hard, then you might want try a comic. It can be quite fun.
Comics are quite different from stories and articles because it does require some knowledge of technology. First off, you should know the requirements of your comic:
- 200KB (You can see the size of your file when you save your comic.)
- maximum width of 470 pixels
- file format must be either jpeg or gif
- your comic has to be one file; it's okay to have more than one frame as long as all the frames are one picture
Hopefully, you understand those requirements.Step Two - Plotting
Just like everything else, you must have a good idea. It's probably easier to think of comic ideas, but if you still need help, drop by Quills
and he'll help you out.Step Three - Layout
A good thing to do is put your idea down on paper. Don't worry about the size or colors or actual drawing yet. Just draw a quick thumbnail sketch of each of your frames. Use stick figures or shapes for your characters. It doesn't have to be detailed or anything. This is just so you know what's going to be in your comic. Write out the dialogue, place your characters where you want them to be. (Although remember that people read from left to right, so keep your order of speakers left to right.)
Also, make sure you comic is funny. That's kinda the whole point of comic...
Here is TNT's thoughts on how a comic should be:Dear
[username],Your Neopian Times submission
[title of comic] was rejected because the editor did not understand your joke. Try to understand the basics of setting up a joke. That is to say, begin with a premise, provide statements that build upon the premise, and then finish off with a punchline that is consistent with the premise of your joke. Please try not to use any coarse, rude, or insulting language which others might find offensive.
This is a rejection neomail. So basically, what this is saying is that you need to build up to your punchline. You can't have a comic with a punchline that has nothing to do with the rest of the comic. Punchlines can be said with words, or shown with the last frame. For example, Clueless Chia
by johnnejohnne has a dialogue punchline. On the other hand, Faerie Tales - Altador Cup
by rhiannonmalia is a good example of a punchline in a drawing.
Very rarely can you make a good comic with one frame. I suggest you have more than one frame, using the first few to build up to your punchline.
When it comes to dialogue, you have to remember that you're not writing a novel. Too many words gets boring. Comics are supposed to be fast and fun. And even though it's just a comic, you can still make grammar and spelling mistakes. Don't spell things wrong, and please
use uppercase letters.Step Four - Artwork
Ultimately, the media of your comic depends on whatever you like. Here are the two most common ways:
Colored pencils: You can't go wrong with colored pencils. Just draw and color your comic by hand and scan it into your computer.
Drawing+Technology: The majority of comics are drawn out by hand and then colored with computer programs such as Adobe Illustrator or MS Paint.
Here at The Weewoo Den, we are still trying to figure out how to make comics successfully, so I don't have many tips for you on how to use MS Paint or Illustrator, but I promise that as soon as one of us (probably me) figures it out, I'll put up a guide on how to do it. No worries, no worries!
Since I can't provide you with how to use those programs, I'll provide you with some tips on your artwork, because as an avid reader of comics in the Neopian Times, I know what good and bad comics look like. ;) (Of course, you don't have to go along with any of these tips. After all, they're just reminders/suggestions and a lot of it is opinionated.)
Colors: Contrast contrast contrast contrast! No one wants to ruin their eyes trying to read neon blue letters on a neon yellow background. Simple colors, my friend, will take you places.
Font/Writing: If you have poor penmanship, I suggest you type out your dialogue. It can be easily inserted with MS Paint or Photoshop or Illustrator. ALso, if you're typing out your words, pick a font that's not fancy. Fancy is too distracting. But whether you're writing your words out or typing them out, make sure it's BIG ENOUGH FOR PEOPLE TO READ!!!
Simplicity: You're not making a graphic novel. If you compare comic strips to graphic novels, you see that graphic novels are much more detailed. For the Neopian Times, I personally think that simple comic strips are better. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy graphic novels, but sometimes the comics in the NT that are like graphic novels take too long to read because there are so many details to pay attention to.
Characters: Make sure your characters show emotion. If you base your drawings off of toys/plushies, it's quite hard to depict if he or she is happy or sad or angry. rocknrollpup95's not too good at free-handing neopets and petpets and items off the top of her head, so what I suggested to her was to go around the site and look for images of the neopets that show emotion. Looking at plot comics can sort of help with what neopets should look like when their happy or sad or excited etc...
If you need help using computer programs, you can probably find guides and tutorials online_ Just Google it, chances are you'll find something to help you. Keep in mind if this is your first time using programs like these, it'll probably take a while to learn it. Heck, we're still learning!Step Five - Thumbnail
This is an optional step. You can create a 150X150 pixel thumbnail, which is the picture you see on the comics page. Think of it like a preview of your comic. If you don't want to do this, you don't have to. TNT will make you one if you don't submit one in.Step Six - Title
I'm not really sure why this gets its own step, but it's time for you to give your comic a title. Any title will do. Just be creative.Step Seven - Submit
Well, it's now time to submit your comic. Go to the submission page
and click on the comics. Enter your title and find your comic file.
You will get your reply soon enough! Good luck!Step Eight - After Submission
You can do one of three things: 1) You can leave the page or 2) You can go to Quills' extras
section or 3) You can try writing an article
or a story
How To Think Of Ideas
||Hi again! Quills here. Now, my Corner is basically an extension off of what all my weewoo friends have already told you. This section applies to all the other ones, so there are no specifics. I've got a lot of stuff for you here, so you can jump to a certain part with these links:
Writer's Block Help
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Thoughtless brain? Help is on its way.
No, I, nor anyone else apart of the Weewoo Den, will give you an idea to write about. Like Scout said, "If we had an idea, we'd use it." But, I do have some tips for you on how to think of ideas. (Now that I think about it, why are we helping you think of ideas? That would be minimizing our chances of getting into the Times? Haha. Just kidding.)
If you need ideas for a certain type of writing (articles, short stories, comics, series), check under the "Works well with" part under each title. That will tell you what it will help you with.Origins
Works well with: Short stories, sometimes series
A Day In The Life
- Explore Neopia. Click on everything and anything.
- Ask yourself: Why is this here? How did this get here? What could've possibly happened for this to be? (Try to ignore things that are part of past plots because they already have a reason for being where they are.)
- Think outside the box. One of the easiest ways to do this is to think inside the box first. Think of the story behind the item/place/thing as anyone would think of it. Think plain, boring, and predictable. Then expand on it.
For example... The question could be, Where did the Money Tree come from? You can say that someone planted it there. Well who planted it there? Maybe it wasn't just a plain Neopian. Maybe it was a famous Neopian, such as Illusen or Fyora or Dr. Sloth. We all know that trees grow from seeds, so how did this person come across the seed? Maybe someone gave it to them. You have to build on your ideas. Expand them. (This example is from one of rocknrollpup95's stories published in the Times called A Neopian Citizen. This story is a very good example of how to create the origin of something.)
Works well with: Short stories, comics, maybe series if you're creative
- Pick a very specific Neopian. They can be really famous Neopians (Illusen, Sloth, Bonju, etc...) or they can be not-so-famous Neopians (Gilly; Castle of Eliv Thade, Charlie; Rubbish Dump Guardian, etc...). Usually the not-so-famous Neopians works better. The ideas on famous Neopians are limited because they usually have a background that everyone knows about already.
- Write a story about them. Write about an experience they had. Write about something that may have affected them and who they are.
For example... The specific Neopian may be a character in a game you like to play. You could write about something that happened to them on a certain day. What happened while they were playing the game? What do they think about the game they're playing in? Remember, think outside the box. (This example is from one of rocknrollpup95's stories published in the times called A Knight's Nightmare.)
Works well with: Short stories
- Take a peek at the Neopian Calendar.
- The Neopian Times often changes its appearance based on certain holidays/events. TNT likes it if you submit a story with a certain holiday theme. Don't pick a holiday coming up in a few days or weeks. Pick one that's a month or two away. TNT needs time to read through every submission, so by the time they see yours, the holiday/event will be just around the corner. Don't pick Neopet days, like Grarrl Day or Acara Day. The Neopian Times changes during the weeks of Valentines Day, Illusen Day, Jhudora Day, Fyora Day, Grey Day, Mutant Day, Petpet Day, and on anniversaries of the Times (300th issue, 400th issue).
- If you make it into one of these special issues, you get a special present. ;)
For example... rocknrollpup95's story, A Knight's Nightmare was featured in the Grey Day issue. It wasn't even about Grey Day; it was just a sad story. Sometimes it happens unintentionally. (A Knight's Nightmare was written and sent in, not intended to get into the specific issue, but it did anyways.)
Works well with: Articles, short stories, comics, a slight chance for series
It's All You
- Is there a site event going on? A plot? Games Challenge? Altador Cup?
- These are really great because after all, the Neopian Times is a newspaper, and newspapers have all sorts of stuff on current events. You don't just have to write articles about site events. Stories can be written too.
- This is a really good one for comics because everyone loves poking jokes about site events. Especially during the Altador Cup.
- Writing about site events is very competitive because everyone's writing about them and only the very best get into the Times.
Examples... A Yooyuball Story (short story) by kacheekgirl444, Life of a Mediocre Gamer (short story) by ginny_invisible, Bonju's Punishment (short story) by treenifer, Altadorian Advice (article) by maraqua_royal, Further Ado - Altador Cup (comic) by elksy
Works well with: Short stories, series, comics
- There aren't really any steps for this. This one is all pure imagination.
- Everything must be original. You must create your own characters and create an entire background for them. You can still use famous Neopians, but the main character(s) should be your original character.
- Pick a land as a setting.
- Now you write. This is great for writers that want no limitations whatsoever. You can just let your imagination run loose. I think this is the most fun to write, but your idea has to be very original and creative. The majority of the series and short stories are these type of stories, so it's pretty tough to beat some people's imagination.
Examples... A Lonely Place (starring a baby Lupe named Chase!) and The Symol Investigators are two stories by rocknrollpup95 that are all original.
Works well with: Articles, comics
- Is there something about Neopia that you think is stupid?
- Write a rant about it. Perhaps there's something going on on the boards that's bugging you. Or, like a past pet peeve: the infamous Bonju avatar.
- Comics are good for this. Think of it like a political cartoon. (Forgive the term that's derived from the world "politics", I understand that we're not allowed to talk about politics, but it's just a comparison.) Poke fun at something.
- If you are doing this one, still be nice about it. Don't write anything offending that can get you in trouble with TNT or other Neopians.
Examples... LOL, XD, and T_T- A Rant by fattree
Works well with: Articles
- If you've got information on a specific thing in Neopia, you should write a guide. Everyone loves guides because it helps them.
- Maybe if you have a guide on your petpage and it's really short, just convert it into an article.
- Good for if you can write in second person.
- Some ideas: game guides, specific dailies guides (Underwater Fishing, Money Tree, etc...), basically anything in all of Neopia
Examples... Search "guide" in the search bar; there are a lot
Now that you've looked through this, hopefully you've got some ideas forming in your mind. Take a trip back with the other Weewoos and they can give you specific tips.
||Feathers will take you if you want to work on a short story or a series.
||DJ will take you if you want to work on an article.
||Blitzen will take you if you want to work on a comic.
Edit, edit, edit. Skip this and you die.
People skip editing because they're lazy. Don't be the lazy person who writes the story with every grammar and spelling mistake there is to make. No, The Weewoo Den will not edit your story, so don't neomail rocknrollpup95 asking her to. She won't.
Here are the some things you should look out for when editing your story:
Spelling Mistakes: You should be typing your story in Word, so it should automatically find spelling mistakes. Still, don't rely on the squigglies to edit your entire story. If you don't know how to spell something, ask someone, Google it, or use a dictionary.
Grammar Mistakes: I'm not gonna go into a whole English lecture, but just make sure you have correct subject-verb agreement, correct capitalization, and you use the correct form of a word (two, to, too; they're, their, there; it's, its; etc...). Punctuate your dialogue correctly. Also, don't underuse or overuse commas. These are just a few things to look out for.
In the Neopian Times Editorial (issue 448), there was a question about capitalizing Neopian words, and this is what they said:
|This is kind of a random question (I know y'all get tons of those, though)... is there a correct way to capitalize the names of Neopets? Is it peophin or Peophin? Xweetok or xweetok? ~muffin6083|
|All Neopet species names are capitalised, as well as specific item names, locations, and of course proper names or characters.For example: the words "faerie" or "codestone" by themselves are not capitalised, but Bottled Fire Faerie or Main Codestone would be, as would the Faerie Queen. There are also about a bazillion rules concerning capitalisation and British spellings, etc. It's amazing our writers are still (relatively) sane. For more clarification, here's an example:|
Wrong: The faerie xweetok left the trading post, bottle of blue sand in hand. With a leap, the neopet spread her wings wide and began her flight to faerieland.
Right: The faerie Xweetok left the Trading Post, Bottle of Blue Sand in hand. With a leap, the Neopet spread her wings wide and began her flight to Faerieland.
There was also another question answered (issue 403) about spelling errors:
|I made a typo when I sent in my article to The Neopian Times. Do you fix them? Example: Ghost don't say "boo." Will you change it to "Ghosts"? ~krazycat927|
|Yep, we correct minor grammatical and spelling errors before we publish The Neopian Times. If articles are completely plagued by poor spelling and grammar (not to mention people who LEFT THEIR CAPSLOCK KEY ON WHILE WRITING), then we will most likely pass on them, though. So, yeah... just do your best, and if there are little errors we will fix them.|
So just keep that in mind when you edit.
Go back to where you were in your writing steps.Short story/series
Time to spiff it up a little.
There are some extra things you should add to your piece to make it better. You don't have
to, but sometimes adding one or two of these things will be the difference between making it in and not making it in to the Times.Laughing is good.
My favorite things to read in the Times are the funny things. I love reading articles and stories that are humorous. This is especially good with articles. I believe DJ mentioned this, but I'll say it again: Not all articles have to be objective. Satire is much appreciated. We all know and love TNT's humor, and they love ours.
If your story is intended to be humorous, then make sure it's funny. Even the corniest things can be funny. You know, it's so lame that it's funny.
And if you're ever in doubt, always remember that sarcasm, alongside with irony, can never go wrong. ;)Put us in the picture.
Anyone in the world can explain something that happened. "It was cold outside." Anyone can say that. But it takes a true writer to turn that statement into a description. Check this.
Statement: It was cold outside.
Description: Terror Mountain loved to play the game "How cold can you make the peak today?" and it was very, very good at it.
Turn your sentence into sentences. Make your reader feel like they're right there with you. You can even do this with articles. Instead of telling your reader about it, put them in a scenario. For example (written by DJ):
Statement: Here is my guide to Kass Basher.
Description: You've heard that Kass Basher is one of Neopets' most popular games, so you go take a whack at it (no pun intended), and you get a score of 50. Well, no worries, because after you read this guide, Kreludans will be wondering why there are so many Kass plushies in their craters.
So just remember these three words: Show don't tell.It's okay to break grammar rules.
Yes. It is. Some grammar rules are stupid and can be broken whenever you want. But some rules are good rules and you shouldn't break them.
Fragments are a very good example of this. Fragments can be good. They add to the mood/tone. Not everything has to be a complete sentence. Like that rule about never starting sentences with "and" or "but"? Yeah, that's a dumb rule. Run-ons, on the other hand, those are bad. Try not have run-on sentences.
And. Well. There are other things to add to this grammar-breaking section, but, um, I can't think of anything at the moment. I'll come back and add something later. o.0 Did you say something?
No story or comic (and sometimes article) is complete without dialogue. You can narrate all you want. Blah, blah, blah. But dialogue is what makes things interesting. Dialogue brings the reader into your story. It makes them feel like they're right there next to your characters, listening to them talk.
Make sure you punctuate dialogue correctly. Here's a quick example:
The Meepit rambled on. "Green is my favorite color. Green is the color of grass. Green is the color of a green jubjub. Green is the color of a bush. Green is the color my shoes. Green is the color of a sick neopet. Green is the color of Meuka. Green is the color of... asparagus," he said.
A bad example, but still an example. If that didn't help, look up how to punctuate dialogue in a book. If you don't read books, check another Neopian Times story, or Google it.
Dialogue can be used in articles if you are doing something like an interview. Normally, dialogue is for interviews goes like this:
Me: Hello, Meepit, how are you today?
Me: Oh, yes. That's wonderful. Have you had your daily cup of juice?
Me: Guess not.
Your interview should probably be better than that (if it isn't, that is truly sad), but you get the idea.
Hopefully these tips helped you and your story is just that much better than it was before. You can go back to where you were in your writing steps by using the links below.Short story/series
Wondering where your submission is headed? You've come to the right place.
To answer your question, your submission is in Limbo, or as DJ likes to call it, the Black Hole Of The Neopian Times. Your submission will be here for a few weeks or so. While your submission is in the Black Hole, it is basically standing in line to be read by Droplet, who is the Neopets Teammember who reads every single submission
. She has a very hard job, if you can imagine.
If you're wondering what to expect, here are the different things that can happen:
Thank you for submitting to the Neopian Times. Currently your submission [title of submission] is being held over and may be considered for future publication in the Neopian Times. There is no need to submit your submission again, as it is saved by the editor.
- If you get this message, that is very, very good. This means your chances of getting into a near future Times is about 98%. Later, you will get another neomail saying:
Congratulations! Your entry [title of submission] has been selected to appear in a future issue of the Neopian Times. A shiny trophy has been added to your user lookup. Thank you for contributing to the Neopian Times!
- Very rarely, in that other 2%, you can get the rejection neomail after being held over, which is mentioned next.
Your Neopian Times submission [title of submission] was rejected because we had too many good entries in this category this week and there was not enough room for them all. Please try again next week.
- This is the main rejection neomail you will get. If you get this specific rejection letter, you can either choose to submit again or not. I personally feel that whenever we re-submit, we just get rejected again, but many people say that they have re-submitted and got in. But then again, we're not too persistent, so go ahead: If at first you don't succeed, try and try again! (But before you re-submit, you might want to try to spiff it up a bit so that it's better than last time. Check out Quills' tips section.)
- Other rejection neomails:
Leaving out important details
Your Neopian Times submission [title of submission] was rejected because your story was found to leave out one or more important details about the characters. You should always describe the species and color of every character.
Your Neopian Times submission [title of submission] was rejected because the editor did not understand your joke. Try to understand the basics of setting up a joke. That is to say, begin with a premise, provide statements that build upon the premise, and then finish off with a punchline that is consistent with the premise of your joke. Please try not to use any coarse, rude, or insulting language which others might find offensive.
- There are others, such as breaking Neopian rules, using technology that doesn't exist in Neopia, violence, too many errors, having a neopet or color that doesn't exist, etc... I would really appreciate it if you could send me a copy of any of these neomails if you receive them so I can put them in here.
Is there a road block in the way of your words? Well then let's move it.
A writer's worst fear is writer's block. For you newbie writers out there, writer's block is a fancy term for you can't think of anything to write. It's different from not having an idea to write about, though. Writer's block is when you're in the middle of writing, and then you can't think of what comes/happens next.
There are few ways to get over writer's block. Here are a some tips if you have writer's block:
- Just stop. If you've been writing for a long time, you might just be tired of writing. Your brain is worn out from writing so much. Come back later when you're brain is refreshed. New ideas will come easier then.
- Reread what you've already written. Sometimes if you go back and reread what you've got, by the time you get to the part you were stuck at, you'll think of something.
- This one is kind of obnoxious, but rocknrollpup95 says it helps her sometimes. Open a new Word and just type random stuff. It doesn't have to be about what you're writing. Just be random. Write whatever comes to your mind first.
Don't get frustrated if you get writer's block. You'll eventually think of something.
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
There's a lot of other stuff associated with the Times. For example, the funny little sayings in the corner that change every time you refresh on the Times pages.
teh 1337est n00zpaper
White Weewoos don't exist. *shifty eyes*
The inside scoop on Jelly W-argh! *choke*
Preparing Neopia for the Meepits
A Waffle Paradise
For an easier life
Still thwarting Sloth's mind control...
Battle Quills... ready!
Sanity is forbidden
Come dance with the gypsies...
MeowInvisible Paint Brushes
Chet Flash wuz here
A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll!
Reporting live from Neopia
Caution: Quills may be sharp
Enter the Snowflake's lair...
There are ants in my Lucky Green Boots
Up-to-date coverage on faerie wars
Neopia's Fill-in-the-blank News Source
Voice of the Neopian Pound
The most fantastic thing in the universe!
Now with 50% more useless text
Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way
Stand behind yer sheriff
I could just sit there reading those all day. They're hilarious. I hope TNT adds more later.Prizes
Other things to be aware of are the PRIZES YOU CAN GET
!!!! Everyone loves prizes. You can receive trophies and avatars.
||You can get this avatar by getting 10 submissions into the Neopian Times.
||You can get this avatar by getting into a 50th NT issue. (300th, 350th, 400th, 450th, 500th, etc...)
||You can get this trophy with 1 submission into the times. Just one! If you get more than one, it will say Neopian Times [# of submissions in the Times]xCHAMPION!!! Cool right?
Well, we've come to the end of our guide. Hopefully we've helped you in some way. And if not, hopefully we made you laugh with our dry sense of humor. ;) Come back and visit us soon. We may have updates!
The Weewoo team is out. See ya!