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MANGA PLANNING THE PROFESSIONAL WAY! – Japanese Manga 101 #041

Posted on Posted in Japanese Manga 101, MANGA Creative

The theme of SILENT MANGA AUDITION 05 has been announced,
and we heard this on Facebook,

Hello everybody! Working hard? Me not. I”ve been thinking about theme for about two weeks and…nothing. Theme is very difficult (or I am that stupid). I”ve written 20 ideas or so but I don’t like them. That “communication tool”- is hard part, don’t know how to connect it with “friendship”, how to tell an interesting story.  <Tim Rzaev on Facebook >



Yes, from this round, we have the “double themes”. You must combine, both “Friendship” and “Communication Tool” in your story.

There maybe many like Tim, who are perhaps confused by that.
So, starting today, we’ll do a “Simulated meeting”, the one that would happen between us editors and manga artists, on the topic of discussing how we’d approach exactly that, creating stories and episodes, with “Friendship” and “Communication tool.”.

There may be hints to creating your next masterpiece! Please stay with us 😉

So how do we begin? If there is a clear theme, manga creators and editors start by asking this question

WHAT is the MEANING behind the theme

T We don’t just think, as in sitting down with closed lips.
We throw out any random words that we can think of, on the theme.

スクリーンショット 2015-11-11 17.33.39

For the word “Friendship”

BEST FRIEND, MATE, TRUST, SYMPATHY, COOPERATION, SUPPORTING, SACRIFICE, RIVALRY, HANDSHAKE, FORGIVENESS, PROMISES…

スクリーンショット 2015-11-11 17.34.34

For “Communication Tool”

PHONE, SMART PHONES, SNS, EMAIL, SKYPE, BULLETING BOARD, LETTERS, WHITE BOARD, RADIO WAVES, HAND SIGNAL, HUMAN SIGNS…

By writing up and organising those words, it gives you great hints about what meanings there are, to the subject theme. These are, like “SEEDS of new ideas”.

Great new ideas that will wow the readers may come out of those seeds. It’s well worth giving it a try!

Got it?

スクリーンショット 2015-11-11 17.35.13

Once we have all the seeds written down, we leave them at that for now.
Then, we work on this :

DECIDE the MAIN, CORE THEME

There may be some of you, who are thinking, to include two themes into the story, it works like this…? :

Having TWO CORES in the storyline.

It’s a bit like having TWO ENGINES in a car. It will be hard to lead the story in one, single direction.

The readers will be confused too, it will be like someone is trying to say 2 things at the same time. They wouldn’t know which one to listen to.

So, no matter how many themes there are, we always determine, just ONE main theme, that will be the CORE of the story.
We decide on the “SELLING POINT” of this manga, right at the beginning.

It will look like this :

スクリーンショット 2015-11-11 17.36.17

Work on the core theme as “Friendship”. Forget Communication tool, for now.

Or,

スクリーンショット 2015-11-11 17.36.55

Focus on “Communication Tool” as the Core, forgetting Friendship, for now.

 

Think of it this way. Like…

If the Main theme is a dish of food, the other theme, is like the SPICE, that little sprinkle of chilli, that makes the main dish taste much better!
…I hope you get the picture?

It’s at this stage, that we decide what direction to take. Like:
“To make FRIENDSHIP as the main theme, we should have a strong, moving drama to make the reader really cry” or “To make COMMUNICATION TOOL the main theme, we should come up with
surprising ideas and tricks, to WOW the reader” and so on.
This will be the selling point of your manga, once you know that, you can direct your manga, to reach that point!

The important thing here to keep in mind, is “How you entertain the reader?”.
Just keep on asking yourself that question, and combining the double themes may be much easier than you may have thought!

We will talk MORE about the essence of this double theme requirement next time. This simulated meeting will continue, so you can draw better for round 5.

See you next time!