Have you decided to enter the world of creating manga and are now finding yourself in a bit of a jam? A realization has consumed you and you now realize you have no idea where to even begin in your manga creating endeavors. Luckily, we here at Honey’s Anime have a pretty good idea of the steps necessary to plan a manga and wish to share them with you readers. Welcome, folks, to our How to Plan a Manga article where we will try to break down the path of how to create a manga as best as we can. Let’s get started with step one!
Step 1: Figure out what you’re writing about
We know some of you readers out there are probably groaning right now and saying this step is a no brainer, right? Well, folks, in all actuality, this first step is the hardest when it comes to planning out a manga because it is essentially establishing the base where all the other steps will be built upon. You need to know what you’re writing—the genre and theme—before anything else major occurs with a new manga. Imagine if you are just getting artists to draw characters based on random themes you made up. Sure you’d have some cool characters and a world that might scream individuality but the main story and theme would be a jumbled mess of images and ideas not coexisting with each other well. It is imperative that you figure out what you’re writing about first before you can go anywhere else with a manga.
Step 2: Storytime
Once you understand what you’re going to write about—say maybe a princess being saved by some evil guys and a shining knight rescuing her—it’s time to draft the story. The story will need to focus on not only the overall setting of the tale but also the characters, what direction they will go towards, and the ending. Storytelling in manga is imperative to keep readers interested in your series and to make them want to keep buying more. Get the readers hooked and then allow step 3 to really catch the reader for the long haul.
Step 3: Art, Artist and artists
Manga is a visual piece of literature that captures readers—young and old—with not only words but images in comic-like form. That’s why aside from step 1, step 3 is the most crucial in nabbing readers. You’re going to need to figure out what you’re doing for the art—the style and theme basically—as well as who is working on the manga. If you’re a new manga creator, you might find joy in creating all of your art by yourself but be warned that this is both time consuming and inefficient for a long series that has deadlines—personal or job related—and might cause you insane amounts of stress both physically and emotionally. If you can afford it or know some fellow artists, your best shot to creating a manga is to get some extra hands behind a project and just collaborate with them on how you want the art to look and what details you have envisioned.
Final Step: Publishing
Folks, you’ve made it to the end of the process. Your manga is all done, it looks amazing and you’re ready to spread it out to the world! However, how are you planning on doing that? Publishing is a really tricky element to releasing manga and will be very different from creator to creator and also depends on your country of origin. There are numerous companies that will publish manga—in America you have Antarctic Press and Japan you have Animate—but it will be up to you as the individual creator to see if they are willing to publish original series or are focused on works done by creators already established in the field. You could always go with self-publishing as well which helps save paying the middle man or dealing with rules/regulations and can even find conventions willing to allow you to sell your new works. Publishing isn’t the hardest step in the process of How to Plan a Manga but it will be the one that ultimately becomes your outlet of releasing your work to the masses.
It’s important to know that the steps we listed above for our How to Plan a Manga article are subject to numerous changes and will vary from mangaka to mangaka. That’s why it’s important to really do your homework and research ways to accomplish your dreams of making a manga real. Have you tried any of the steps above or have any you wish to share with others? Tell us in the comments below. Be sure to keep coming back to Honey’s Anime for even more articles related to manga, anime and all things otaku related!
Honeys Anime Recommends!
Do you have your plans? Are they moving smooth? Are you having even the slightest doubt in how something should progress or are you completely lost? Not to worry! We have something prepared just for our readers. Honey’s Anime recommends the following 'Manga Drawing / Comprehensive Course' from Manabi Journey which is professionally taught in English, complete with detailed feedback, and has produced over 100 professional manga artists in Japan. Check it out because Honey's Anime and Manabi Journey are here to help you succeed and realize your dream!