How to write a manga script?

The guide by our Comics/Manga teachers

There is the drawing itself and all the techniques that are specific to it, which we have started to talk about in our previous articles, and there is also the story, the plot, the scenario.
Today we are going to take a closer look at this aspect by asking ourselves this question: 

How to write a manga script?

Indeed, we suspect that the scenario is an essential step to create a good Manga. 
In this article, we propose 10 questions to ask yourself. Of course, the list is not exhaustive and the more varied your reading, the easier it will be to imagine your own scenario.
If in doubt, ask our qualified Manga teachers, they will be able to advise you on reading material that will take you out of your usual reading.

To create a good manga, do you have to start with the characters?

The answer is yes. The characters will give life to your Manga, they will be your voice. Through them you can express your idea, your path, your story. 
It can be useful to make an extremely detailed sheet for each of your characters and to give them life, where do they come from? what do they do? what do they want to do? what are they afraid of? are they likeable? Is he sympathetic? Is he unsympathetic? 

It is the attachment to your characters that will make you want to continue reading the story or not. By giving him a more human character, good or bad, you will make him more endearing.

How to find the theme of my Manga?

The theme of your story is the message you want to convey through your manga. It is just as important as the choice of characters, the theme conveys feelings, values, affect.

Your theme could be, for example, betrayal, revenge, love or destiny.

Depending on your wishes, you may or may not be involved in this theme, on a personal basis, are you in favour or against the chosen theme? It is up to you to decide. 

What can be the tone of the story of my Manga?

So the tone is not the theme. A love story can obviously be told in a humorous tone. To define the tone, it is important to target who your manga is aimed at and what state of mind you want your target audience to be in. What do you want them to feel? Love, hate? fear? 

At first, choose a tone with which you feel familiar. 
Once you feel comfortable, you can experiment with other moods. As our Manga teachers will tell you, it's with experience that you gain more freedom.

How do I choose the setting for my Manga?

You can create your own universe or borrow a pre-existing one.

Be aware that if you want to be taken seriously when you want to talk about events in the real world, in our time, or others, in the country in which you live or another, it will always be more interesting for you and your readers to research the history, culture, customs and habits of the place in which you are going to set your manga.

Whether the place is real or not, make a detailed map of it so that you can master your story perfectly.

How to make my Manga coherent?

You need to organise your ideas to make a coherent story. For example, you can collect pictures, sketch drawings and put them in a binder, perhaps categorising them under the following questions: 

Who? Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

Even if this is not the way you like to organise yourself, it is still important to answer these 6 questions as often as possible.

How to build the text of my Manga script?

To construct a text, the general rule is that there must be: an introduction, a body of text (development, action, main story, climax) and a conclusion.
The Manga script will follow this basic principle.

In the introduction, one will tend to present the characters, the atmosphere, the genre. As this is the beginning of your story, it is crucial that you succeed in capturing the attention of your audience at this point.

In the body of the text, various events will follow one another, with varying degrees of intensity, until the climax of the story, i.e. the climax. It is at the climax that you will reach a great confrontation, or the denouement of the various adventures etc., the theme of the Manga is revealed at this point. If some of your adventures in the body of the text have no impact on the story, then they are probably not useful. Be self-critical, question yourself, allow yourself to put an idea aside. It may be more suitable for your next Manga.

The conclusion: during the development of the story, you must have left questions and doubts unanswered, and it is in the conclusion that you must answer all the questions that the reader may have asked during the reading of your manga.
Try to surprise the reader with incongruous events, and to do so, surprise yourself.

How to pace the script of my Manga?

You have to know how to balance the moments of action where unexpected events will surprise your reader and the moments of calm where you may have to describe to make your reader escape into a contemplative calm.

Of course, if nothing happens in your manga, the reader's attention will be difficult to capture. Depending on the tone of your story and the character of your characters, you will have to define the adventures, misadventures and significant events that you will confront them with, always keeping in mind that every event must have an impact. When you imagine an event, immediately develop the consequence and what you will do with these elements. 

How to develop the story of my Manga?

Making a timeline can be useful to see the progression of the story.
However, it is of course possible to start at the end, and develop throughout for the sake of understanding the events. Once you have defined the order and sequences, you can develop your arguments.

Try to define before you start how many chapters and how many pages you want to dedicate to your manga. This will give you a framework and you can distribute the ideas, which you had previously classified, within the chapters.

How to define the dialogues of my Manga?

Getting to know your characters and putting yourself in their shoes will help you to define the dialogue of your Manga in the best possible way

In a manga, the drawings speak for themselves. It is therefore sometimes unnecessary to detail in words what the reader already sees. The text must be consistent with the tone, the character and the story. Sometimes you hesitate, you don't know how to express yourself through your character. Give yourself some time. The words will come naturally from your creation.

How to make the storyboard of my Manga?

The storyboard tells the created story in pictures. 
Of course, the storyboard is not, strictly speaking, part of the creation of the text and the scenario, but it nevertheless helps in the transition between writing the story and drawing the plates. At this stage, it can clarify certain events and be modified.

So we asked ourselves the 10 main questions for creating a manga script. 

Of course, there is a lot of work behind each question which we have summarised above. Apolline offers Manga courses in Lausanne, Morges and Montreux or online and on the internet, our Manga teachers will help you to deepen these themes and guide you in your learning of the exciting world of Manga drawings.