This guide will centre around articles as they are what I am most experienced with. I’ve currently had around nineteen published to date. Additionally, two of my articles were published in Issue #500 (which were selected out of thousands of entries). There is a possibility that I may write another guide regarding short stories for those who are interested in creative writing, but I would need to have more than a couple of them published before I would feel comfortable writing a guide about it.
At any rate, if you’ve been interested in writing a top-notch article for the Neopian Times, it is my hope that this guide will set you on your way. I’ve been around the block many times and I can assure you that being published is a very simple process and writing out your article is a piece of cake if you know what you’re doing. This guide is designed to be very easy to follow and is organised with your success in mind.
Your premise will allow your article to take flight. Consider it to be the backbone of your submission. Even if the rest of your body is functioning at normal capacity, if your back is broken, you won’t be able to walk — and you want your article to soar!
Characteristics of a strong premise:
- Easy to write about,
- Most of those who read it will be able to relate to it and/or benefit from it,
- Unique, i.e. hasn’t been done before.
Varying themes of strong premises:
- Light, humorous, yet informative,
- Dramatic with dark undertones,
- Contains humour relating to site events,
- Addresses various points of interest, such as contests, customisation, etc.
Popular subjects for articles:
- Celebration of Neopian holidays, e.g. Kougra Day and the Chocolate Ball,
- Chat-related articles describing Neoboard etiquette and/or avatars,
- Articles centring round puns or otherwise interesting takes on Neopian lingo,
- Game guides, although these usually have another element to make them unique,
- Item lists of ten (which are especially popular for Neopian holidays),
- Articles debating certain aspects of Neopian culture, e.g. Meepits and Neopoint sinks,
- Interviews with popular Neopian figures (such as Illusen),
- Site event coverage, e.g. the Altador Cup and the Advent Calendar,
- Guides regarding areas of the site, e.g. eateries of Terror Mountain.
What your article contains will ultimately be the deciding factor in whether or not it is deemed worthy of publication by the editor. Luckily for you, it isn’t as if there is a sea of criteria for you to attempt to stuff inside of your article. Instead, there are some very basic components that your submission should definitely employ that are far from cumbersome.
Things that your article must have:
- A strong introduction; you may start off with a question or a pun,
- Solid syntax and variation of sentences,
- A broad range of vocabulary used,
- Illustration of an idea that centres around Neopian life in one way or another,
- Good organisation, such as the proper separation of paragraphs.
Things that are ace to include:
- Humour relating to current site events,
- A fluid, entertaining writing style,
- Interesting organisation,
- British spelling rather than American spelling,
- Impeccable syntax rather than solid syntax,
- Very few grammatical errors, if any,
- A hefty word count (2500+),
- Great metaphors relating to Neopian culture,
- A very detailed description of your premise.
This is about all I’ve got as of now. If you have a suggestion re: things you would like to have some more help with, please leave a comment with your desired request. I’d like to contribute a bit more to DZ because it seems to be lacking with guides in this area, and teaching you guys all that I’ve learned in my time as an NT writer should be a nice start.