I have had the privelage to interview Ridergirl333, an acomplished Neopian Times author who has brought us such stories as "The Student Journals". Enjoy! - Holycow81
Holycow81: Sorry about the short wait, and if I messaged you twice (My hand slipped and hit the enter key). Anyway, hello, Ridergirl, and welcome to he interview I promised for the Neopian Times Master Index. First off, how did you find Neopets?
Ridergirl333: Hello Mr. Cow. Glad to be here! Anyway, I used to be an avid chatter on the AOL chat boards. One person from the boards told me about Neopets. Liking the looks of it, I set up an account. I took to it like a fish to water.
Holycow81: I see. And, when you did become the rhetorical fish, why did you decide on the username "Ridergirl333"?
Ridergirl333: Well, it had been my screen name for AOL, so I decided to use it for Neopets too. Why did I use it for AOL? Well, I ride horses and 3 is my lucky number. I was about 10 when I made that screen name, so don't mock my lack of creativity.
Holycow81: Don't worry. Anyway, what really inspired you to start writing for the Neopian Times?
Ridergirl333: The first Meridell War got me started writing. It was something I felt passionately about. A bunch of people I knew were joining Darigan's side because Darigan had spiffier shields, which I thought was shallow. So I wrote a little article from Lisha's point of view, not actually expecting it to get in. (I mentioned something about not knowing what species Darigan is.) You can imagine my shock when I logged on to an inbox full of flame mail, calling me a n00b and telling me that Darigan is a Korbat. Took me a full five or ten minutes to realize that I was published. But again, I ramble.
Holycow81: So, since then, what type of feedback have you gotten to your submissions, and how do you react to it?
Ridergirl333: Most of the feedback I've gotten has been pretty positive. In fact, I don't think I've ever gotten anything that can be clearly classified as hatemail. Which is a shame, because I hear the other NTWFers talking about some of the hilarious hatemail you get. Anyway, I get a lot of people talking about how cool my stories are, and some people asking for tips on how to write for the Neopian Times. I thank them for Neomailing me and give them tips that resemble those on Ruby's pet page.
Holycow81: That's quite understandable and common. I notice you've done articles, short stories and series'. Which is your favourite to write?
Ridergirl333: Hmm... I guess series would be my favorite things to write. You can really let your imagination run wild. Even though there's no set limit to how long a short story should be, there's always this understood limit that you don't want to go past. Plus, it's easier to develop characters and a plot in a series. It allows more room to "get to know your characters" if you know what I mean.
I'm not the greatest article writer. Rarely can I find a topic that I can write an article about, and a lot of times when I do, the article turns out to be more story-ish. There are actually several stories ("The story of Boochi" and "The Remnants of Meridell" that I wrote and sent in as articles, but the editor turned them into short stories. But again, I ramble. I like rambling.
Holycow81: What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a Neopian Times author?
Ridergirl333: Hmm... I've got a breif blurb of advice on http://petpages.neopets.com/~RubyRainbow333
Ruby's pet page but I suppose the three biggest pieces of advice I have are these:
1) Ideas are all around you, so don't say you can't find ideas. You just have to be creative, let go of your social inhibitions. ("What if everyone thinks I'm a dork because I wrote this?" Let your imagination run wild! There are no dorks in writing, only the creative people and the not-so creative ones.
2) Describe everything to the best of your ability. Play each scene like a movie through your mind and think. What's the weather like outside? What is your character wearing (if anything)? Is the bike she's riding a beat-up, rusty old thing, or a shiny, sporty, new model? What expression is she wearing on her face? Is she talking to anyone? if so, what is her tone of voice like? Keep asking yourself questions until the movie plays smoothly.
3) NEVER GIVE UP! Just because your first dozen-odd articles for the Times were rejected doesn't mean that you're an awful writer. Keep practising! Keep writing! Keep trying! If that doesn't work, find out what went wrong. Is there some Times rule that you're breaking? If so, fix it. Are your humor articles not funny enough? Make them funny, or try drama or adventure writing. But anyone can be a Times writer if they want to. You just have to stick with it.
Holycow81: Good advice. So, when a new Neopian Times issue comes out, what do you look for first?
Ridergirl333: I look at every category, articles, short stories, comics, new series and continued series, seeing who wrote what and what I have to look forward to reading. Then I go to the articles. I always read them first so I can do the reviews for the NTWF. (depending on how many articles there are, I might read all of them or I might pick and choose.) Then I read the comics, (I try to read all of them) then short stories, (whichever ones interest me) then the continued series (whichever ones I'm following) and finally, the new series. (If there's anything good, I might take a look at it.) Needless to say, I don't read all of this in one day. I spread it out over the week. Read a bit here, a bit there.
Holycow81: So, besides Neopian Times articles, stories and series', have you had anything else published on the Neopets site?
Ridergirl333: No, but I've never really tried. The poetry contest, site spotlight, none of them interested me as much as the Times does.
Holycow81: Do you have any of yur writing anywhere else on the internet, or are you dedicated to the Neopian Times?
Ridergirl333: Pretty much dedicated to the Times for now. Though I am hoping to spread my wings and get busy on some non-NT work in the semi-near future.
Holycow81: What is your favourite part of the Neopets site?
Ridergirl333: Hmm... I don't think I have one favorite part. Some of the games are kind of cool. The pets rock. So do the petpets. And of course, the plots and the Neopian Times. I just love Neopets in general.
Holycow81: What does an average Neopian day consist of for you?
Ridergirl333: Ridergirl333: First and foremost, I feed my pets and play with them if their happiness is down. Then, I check the news and pick up a copy of the NT. I read the NT between clicks while I'm doing my dailies. (Tombola, Fruit Machine, Omelette, etc.) Then I collect my bank interest, post on my guild, answer my neomail, then come to the NTWF to bug the dung out of you guys. Later, if I have time, I play games and read older stories in the Times.
Holycow81: I think that's all the questions. Is there anything you'd like to say before the interview is over?
Ridergirl333: Yes. In my experiences on Neopets, I've learned several things.
1) Feeding n00bs to the Cave Lupes of Neoquest is Neopia's favorite past time.
2) Never let a hyper Scorchio too close to a container of gasoline.
3) Never marry a Meepit and never trust a Lupologist to pay child support. (Just kidding, Al!)
4) Impossibility is the only impossible. Other than that, anything can come true.
Thanks for interviewing me, Mr. Cow!
Would you like to read all of Ridergirl333's stories? Just click here to check them out in our database!