How to write the plot of your comic, some tips that helped me to improve my story
Before you start to read I want to make clear that this writing method of how to write the plot of your comic is based on LINEAR STORY FORMAT (those stories that have a beginning, a middle, and a conclusion), short comic formats like Sarah’s scribbles or Mafalda may not fit in this writing process.
If you want to have a successful webcomic you make sure to work on your comic script as best as you can to get a chance to engage with an audience.
These tips are written based on my personal experience, this may or not work for you, remember that each artist has a unique path so see if this information can help you or not.
I have more tutorials on my main blog, not just for how to write the plot of your comic, page, check them out! Maybe you will find more useful information! 😀
Check out my main blog page
How to write the plot of your comic? First, make sure to have a real plan for your story
nobody likes stories with mary sues, confusing plots or cliches everywhere, so is better for you and your readers to have a solid plan even before you start drawing.
1. Start with a simple and compeling premise
How to write the plot of your comic: premise
This looks so simple but is the most important step in your writing process, the premise is the whole idea of your comic DONT’T EVEN START WRITING UNTIL YOU ARE 100% SURE OF WHAT IS YOUR STORY REALLY ABOUT!!!
Know where your story is going will help you to avoid:
- Plot holes: when you don’t know where is your story is going you won’t have a clear vision in your writing, what’s is going to happen with your characters? this will cause horrible plot holes that may make your readers to drop your story.
- Reboots: most webcomic creators notice that have to change things when are in the middle of their story!! this is so awful, imagine that you want to reboot your comic after years of drawing pages just because you noticed that you must change your beginning, if you’re making a comic for fun that’s ok, and that’s part of the learning process, but if you want to make money with your webcomic this definitely is not an option.
- You won’t love your story anymore: I‘ve seen many webtoon authors that don’t enjoy their story anymore and they just want to give it a and end as soon as possible with horrible writing just because they have the compromise with the audience (please for your readers never be this kind of creator!).
I hope I gave you enough reasons to think very seriously about your premise, I’ve seen thousands and thousands of webtoon creators (canvas and originals) who fall in one or more in these aspects just because they start with a random idea that miraculously got popular and know they don’t know how to fix it when they have writing problems.
If you want to be a creator that wants to give a professional story to their readers, make sure to sharp your premise, learn how to write the plot of your comic, this will help you to fall in love with your story, give you the energy to draw the pages until the end of your story and have your reading waiting for more content from you.
2. Have a clear central conflict
All stories are about a characters who has a problem
How to write the plot of your comic: conflict
Your readers won’t stay with your comic for so long (even if your art is pretty good) if they see your characters just goofing around and nothing else is happening.
Remember that people stay with comics when they see characters struggling with some kind of problem, if you don’t have a clear conflict your readers will get bored and they will drop your story. Remember that there are thousands of comics out there and your audience won’t waste their time with a comic where nothing is going on. There are better comics out there, make sure to don’t lose your audience.
keep it simple:
No goal = no conflict
No conflict = no interesting story
No interesting story = no readers
Don’t know how to recognize the main conflict of your story?
how to write the plot of your story: questions helped me to find the main conflict of my story:
- What does your character want? this is the main structure of your story, once your character gets what he/she wants your story is over. Naruto wanted to be Hokage and he achieved his goal after 800 episodes!
- What stops your character for achieve what he/she wants? even if your character has. a clear goal, this won’t matter if nothing is stopping Him/her to get it. your plot will drag and your story will be boring if your character doesn’t give the fight to get his goal.
3. Create a timeline of your webcomic's events
How to write the plot of your comic: road map
Is very important for you as a creator to know the beginning, the middle, and the end of your story before you start drawing.
When you have a road map of your story you will avoid writer’s block and you will know where your story is going and what does your character have to do next.
Based on my personal experience I do my road map on a whiteboard with sticky notes, and in every stick note, I write the main idea of each chapter until I get the whole story.
a timeline is very useful for making a consistent story! this will help you to avoid art/writing blocks in the future, and those are really a pain the back!
4. Work in your characters as deep as you work in your plot
How to write the plot of your comic: characters
Characters are as important as the plot of your story, sometimes are even more important than the plot itself, so is very important to craft your characters as good as you can. Nobody likes mary sues and flat characters, Make every character in your webcomic wants something or have a distinctive personality.
Readers engage with comics that have an interesting cast, and this will help you to sell merchandise in the future! so don’t waste this opportunity and create lovely characters.
if you’re still not sure if your characters are interesting enough do these questions to your story to prove your characters:
- does your character has something that makes him unique from everybody else? (this can be on his/her personality or his/her design).
- do your characters act very differently from each other? this will make their interactions interesting.
- does your character has unique abilities and weaknesses? make sure that your characters have both of these requirements. if you only have a character with abilities you’re creating a mary sue, if you have a character only with weaknesses you’re creating a looser that will stress your audience.
6. Think about cause and effect
How to write the plot of your comic: logic of events
Yes, your story is about a character who tries to achieve his/her goal and there are obstacles in the middle, but if you don’t use the cause and effect factor your story won’t have logic!
all actions have consequences, good or bad
The only way for your story to get a logical and consistent structure is by using this factor. does your character did something bad? this must has CONSEQUENCES.
Readers use to feel frustrated when they see a character where their actions doesn’t have a logical consequence.
does one of your characters did something terrible? why everyone around is still acting that nothing happened? this is illogical and makes the story feel unrealistic.
Think carefully the actions of your characters in your plot, I know that we are writing fiction but you have to be able to recognize when something is too unrealistic for ruin your story.
EXTRA TIPS OF HOW TO WRITE THE PLOT OF YOUR COMIC:
Remember that writing is an artistic process too, these tips are not written in stone.
You can agree or disagree with the topic that I’ve talked about previously. don’t forget that every artist has his/her own path and maybe you have a better way to construct the plot of your comic than me.
Do you have other ways in how to write the plot of your comic?
Share it with us!! let’s grow the industry together, if we help each other we can build a community of webcomic creators that can earn money with their art!!
My best wishes to you, I know you can do it!
See you! 😀
Meet my webcomic Among Men
Subscribe to my newsletter!
And get the newest tutorial on your email every time I upload my blog! 😀