June 13, 2014 01:12 PM
初心者/ Shoshinsha / Beginner
After looking around this section of the forums, I've come to the conclusion that there are more writers than illustrators. Not only that, but a lot of the writers are quite young. Of course there's nothing wrong being young, but I've noticed common issues with their ideas, that I personally feel is due to their age. I decided to share some insight I acquired during my years of writing manga-based stories.
Most manga companies will require you to create a One Shot. Sometimes this will be your first chapter and other times it wont be included in the final volume release. It's used to show the editors and the readers what they will be expecting from your manga. Even if you do not go through a manga publisher, and attempt to either self-publish or digitally post it, you will still need a "hook".
A lot of ideas I've seen, both here and from people I've talked with over the years, are good, but they don't start off well. People will tend to put too much information in the first chapter, causing it to be wordy, semi-lengthy, and overall boring. This is a terrible idea and wont hook the readers. On the flip side, I've also seen people jump right into the plot without giving any background information. This is also a terrible idea, as it can lead to the reader becoming confused and not wanting to continue reading it.
Finding the right balance between action, information, and character introduction is one of the hardest parts of creating a manga., but also one of the most important parts. Even more so, if you decide to go the magic and/or superpower route. You'll need to find a way to explain the "rules" to your world, without becoming too wordy and also leaving room for the character to "learn" about some of the rules for one of their power-up arcs.
In my own personal experience, I've found that starting with a very short arc that has a very weak "boss" is the best way to introduce the character. You can show off some of their abilities, while having onlookers talk about some of the "rules" that might apply to your world. This arc doesn't have to be connected to the rest of story. In fact, you could argue that it's a filler arc. However, it shows the reader what to expect. From there you can either do a flashback of how the character go to that point or have your character continue onto their adventure, which will lead right into your main story.
Please not that starting a manga this way, isn't the only way to create that hook. It's just a method that works for me. Feel free to share your first chapter methods. I would love to see how others manage to achieve that "hook".