Graphic Novels: Writing Your Own Comic | Mary Marck | Skillshare

Graphic Novels: Writing Your Own Comic

Mary Marck, Comic artist and writer

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8 Lessons (41m)
    • 1. Introduction

      3:35
    • 2. Materials and Project

      1:49
    • 3. Theme

      3:28
    • 4. Story

      5:20
    • 5. Plot

      8:54
    • 6. Chapters

      5:07
    • 7. Sitting Down to Work

      5:31
    • 8. Four Heroes of Note

      7:17
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About This Class

Do you have an idea for a graphic novel that really excites you? Maybe you've even drawn some concept art and character designs! But when it comes to actually crafting a story that will keep readers hooked... where do you begin?

This class will give you a basic foundation upon which you can build any number of stories, of any genre. We will cover the basics of storytelling as well as how to plan and outline your comic. By the end, you will have all the tools you need to turn your idea into the map your project needs!

I go by MissMarck on most social media, and I'm the creator of the webcomic DAZER AND ELEANOR on Webtoons. 2 years ago, I made the decision that I wanted to dive into the world of graphic novels. Since then, I've learned so much about producing a webcomic, and I'm excited to have this opportunity to share it all with you!

Transcripts

1. Introduction: Hello, everyone, and welcome to my skill share class on writing an online graphic novel or Web comic. I'm Miss Mark, and in this class I'm going to share with you everything I've learned there in the last two years of writing and drawing my own Web comic days. ER and Eleanor. So posting a graphic novel to the Internet is a super quick freeway for comic artists and writers to reach their audience. You don't need a publisher, you're not on the schedule and you have complete control over a creative content. But I think the obstacle that a lot of us run into when we decide to tackle a project like this is how do you actually start? How do you write something that will captivate and inspire your readers and make them want to come back for more? There is no one single way to write a comic, but there are key elements that will make a story resonate with your readers. Some of these elements are universal to all storytelling, including comics and film and books, and some are specific to Web comics. My goal in this class is to give you a big box of tools and a basic understanding of what those tools dio. So you can create a comic that has a personal meaning for you and your readers. It's a real quick, a little bit about myself. As I said, My name is Miss Mark. I am the creator of the Web comic days Er and Eleanor. I spent nearly 15 years with my comic story bouncing around in my head before I finally sat down to seriously produce it two years after I finally sat down and did it. I have drawn over 100 comic pages, and I have nearly 3000 subscribers on Web tunes. Although I've been a fan of comics and manga it since my early teens, it wasn't until my late twenties that I felt really prepared to create my own comic. I just never felt like my story was quite ready for drawing, no matter how many character and study designs I came up with. Which leads me into why I created this class. A large part of the reason I struggled was because I didn't know how to create the bones of a comic, the structure that it all rests on. I only knew how to dress it up. The story is what supports the art and gives it purpose without a proper, developed and meaningful story. You're really just drawing the same people a few 1000 times, So it's no wonder that I felt uninterested in my first several attempts. There was no story. After paying attention to the story structure first and writing a worthwhile journey for my characters, it actually feels now, like I can't not draw my comment. The purpose is so crystal clear that I keep moving forward even when it feels impossible, so back to my own reason for, ah, for writing this class. But is this class right for you? If you have been stuck in concept mode for years, like I was constantly redesigning your characters, redesigning their world, then yes, this classes for you. If you recently discovered comics and you'd like to know more about what makes them tick, how are stories written? Why do some stories interest you and some don't if you've been drawing comic strips and smaller comic projects, but you want tackle something bigger, you're just not sure how to adjust your structure for that, or if maybe you've been doing graphic novels and Web comics for a while, but you're looking for a refresher on planning and outlining, then, yes, this classes for you. Now there's more to writing an online graphic novel that I could possibly squeeze into a skill share class. So this class isn't intended to tell you everything you ever needed to know. The purpose of this class is just to give you the confidence to get started and get your story written down. It'll never be perfect, and that's all right. The important thing is that you feel strong enough to sit down and see it through to the end. I look forward to working with you, and I can't wait to see what you guys share in the projects. So that's enough for an introduction. Let's move on to what you will need for this class. 2. Materials and Project: first, let's talk about materials. What are you gonna need for this class? Well, first of all, we're not doing any drawing, so you won't need your art supplies. But we will be doing lots and lots and lots of writing, So pick out the writing tools of your choice. It could be your computer, a laptop pen and paper pencil on paper, whatever. I also recommend having the ability to highlight passages, whether you're using a physical highlighter or a highlighting tool if you're working digitally cause these really come in handy in the editing stages when you want to pull out important parts or really good bits of writing to save for later as a tip. So many writers have told me that they find it helpful to work traditionally so with physical pen or pencil on paper rather than typing on a computer. And the reason for this is just that when you're typing, it's easier to go back and edit and revise, and you don't want to do that in the early stages. So if you typically type, I recommend just trying out writing by hand. This times just, ah, let it be rough and unpolished in the early stages. So for your project, you probably won't have a finished script by the end of this class. And the reason for that is simply it takes hours and hours to write pages and pages of script. That's the only reason, however, by the end of this class you will have the tools you need to write a 1 to 2 sentence theme for your story, a 3 to 5 sentence summary of your entire story and maybe even some paragraphs to summarize various chapters and episodes that will take place So I invite you to share those things down in the project below. I especially invite you to share the theme of your story and why it's important to you and why you think your readers might benefit from reading a comic with this theme. We'll talk more about that in the class 3. Theme: so to get started on your graphic novel, let's talk about theme. Does your graphic Malval actually need a team? While you probably want to avoid being too blunt or preaching your comic? Yes, you do need a thing without one. At best, your comic is at risk of becoming chit chat or small talk. It's light, easy to take in, but not very memorable and doesn't have an impact. At worst, your story will become confusing as your readers trying to figure out what is even happening to your characters. Now this doesn't mean that your theme needs to be an ace up like moral, but it does need to be something solid and concrete. You can hold on to it as your work, and your readers can hold on to it as they follow along. And you'd be surprised how universal a simple theme could be. In fact, I'd make the argument that the more simple a theme is, the more people can identify with it. In my graphic novel days, ER and Eleanor, I created a man character days er, whose obsession with duty and honor is slowly driving him into the ground. I created an opposite character named Eleanor, whose free spirited nature actually ends up hurting those around her as the to fall in love . Their two characteristics end up balancing each other out as days or slowly lets go of his obsession with duty, and Eleanor slowly takes on a greater discipline in her life. The message here is very, very simple. Happiness is weighing. Creativity and discipline are in balance. Too much or too little of either causes unhappiness. That's the theme for my comic, and I used it to guide each character in this story. But as simple as this is, it's something that every single one of my readers can understand and identify with. Why you're theme doesn't have to have a right or wrong or good evil. It does help to have two opposites, something to go towards and something to avoid. If this is a compass, consider your north and your South. You're a few questions to help you sort of figure out that direction. What will your protagonists learn, or how would they grow on this journey? What's point A. For your protagonist in what's point B? And what's the difference between two? Why does it matter if they go on this journey, If it doesn't matter if they end up the same at the end, your readers are gonna feel like Why did we read this? So just try and think about why the journey might matter What is the alternative or what if they fail? What if this journey doesn't go the way they want? So this is basically like the South. What is the opposite of you know, the North Star for your character. I would also suggest that you reflect on why you personally care about this journey. Writing a graphic novel is a time consuming project. You will be in this for the long haul. This is days and weeks, months, maybe a few years of work. So I would upfront Think about why this matters to you and why you want to pursue it, that you can reflect back on that in times where your motivation is maybe a little lower for your project. I challenge you to write your theme in one or two sentences. This is super duper short, but I think you guys can do it short as it is. This is gonna take a lot of thinking and Ah, meditation, so to speak if you haven't considered your story from this perspective yet, but I would just encourage you to think about what it is that you need to read from a graphic novel. And can you put that into two sentences? It's definitely possible. It'll just take a lot of thinking, but definitely share what you come up with in the projects, because I would love to read it. In the next lesson, we're gonna talk about story and how to develop that theme into a narrative. 4. Story: Once you've got a theme in the basic message for your graphic novel, the next thing I'd like to talk about is the difference between story and plot. A lot of people think these air the same thing, but they are slightly different. And I think talking about those differences will actually really, really help you when you work on the outline in the development of your narrative. So I'm going to talk about the difference between the two and then I will talk more about story in this video and in the next video will be about plot. The sequence of events. The stew story in your graphic novel is the specific character in this setting. So to explain it a little bit better, I thought I would compared to stories that don't seem to have a lot in common, but they actually have very identical plots. So you guys probably know the basic story of this outsider kind of lunar child gets super magical powers, and they're kind of brought into this supernatural world. The first thing they have to do is learn the rules and how to have a youth, their powers, the you know, the famous Spider Man line. With great power comes great responsibility. That's a classic. They also usually make friends who have powers. They get allies who have the same powers, and then after that, they encounter the evil form of the power. So the bad guys who have the same strengths and abilities, and then they have to team up the friends to fight evil. That's a pretty basic plot, and a lot of stories have that, As it turns out, on to that I picked to compare were the first book of Harry Potter and the first season of Sailor Moon, the anime. So they have the same plot, but their stories are incredibly different. So you have a boy who was living under the stairs in a closet, and an owl arrives with a message for him. Whereas it Sailor Moon, you have a high school girl who meets a talking cat. Harry goes to a wizarding school and Sailor Moon. It's the cat who trains her user powers and gives her the various little phrases she needs to use to transform. Harry mixes friends at the Wizarding School, and Sailor Moon meets the other sailors and tuxedo mask. Harry discovers his destiny to battle evil. Everyone knows him as the boy who lived boy, that scar, you know that he already has this destiny. Sailor Moon discovers the same thing that she has a secret past you didn't know about, Um, and it kind of leaves her with the destiny that she's obliged to fulfill in both stories. With the help of their friends, they save their respective worlds. In Harry's case, it's from Voldemort and then Sailor Moon's case. It's from the dark Kingdom, so the plots are the same is the important thing. Whether stories in the context are vastly different in the medium is entirely different to so. The reason I want to share this is in case you think maybe your stories not original. You might be thinking the plot is not original or you've read the plot or seeing the plot in other stories. That's okay. The the important thing is that the story feels important to you. As long as that's the case, it will come across as unique and original no matter what the plot is. And no matter how often you've seen the plot in other stories, the story is the specific character in the setting. It's the who and the wear all of the actions and choices that take place in your story. Here are some questions to kind of turn over in your head to develop your story a little more fully. Who is your protagonist at the start? It's not just a outsider child. That's part of the plot. Is it a boy living under the stairs, or is it a high school girl failing her math classes? Is that a boy living on the desert planet? Or is it a young Prentice living on Paradise Island? Those are story elements. So who is your protagonist? And what is their world? That they're living in? Who or what makes them embark on this journey? So what is the catalyst that just that sparks this? It might be the wise person sending them off on a quest. It might be the loss of someone that you know, you know, forces them to come of age, so to speak. What is it that makes them embark on the journey? What skills, values or powers do they pick up along the way? It might be magic powers, or it might be just mature values. Maybe it's a coming of age story where they just learn to be a grown up. Or maybe it's skills and they have to go away a train and learn how to fight. What do they pick up along the way? Who or what wants to stop them? Who's the villain? Not soup. You don't have to be super specific yet, but just think about what's what causes the friction. What is it that is rubbing against the hero's journey? And the last question. This one's really, really important. Who does your protagonist to become? As a result, As I said in a previous video, if your protagonist doesn't go on a journey and become someone else at the end, your readers gonna feel like they didn't. There was no point to the story. So right now, before you even write your script, think about who your protagonist is at the beginning and who they are at the end, and the greater the difference, the harder the journey. But if you can pull it off, the more worthwhile the journey. Okay, so for your project, try to write a 3 to 5 sentence summary of your story and don't forget to refer to your theme to make sure that that's included. So think about the summaries that I did for Sailor Moon and for Harry Potter, those air five sentences. And can you do that for your story, for your character in your protagonist's journey? And don't forget when you're done, do you share it in the projects below so we could take a look and we can leave comments on each other's works? I think they'll be super awesome. Right in the next video, I'm gonna talk about plot in outlining. So this is the next videos where you will do your heavy writing, so be ready for that. 5. Plot: So once you have your story written out and kind of have your little summary to work with, the next step is writing your plot. And this will probably be one of the more time consuming parts of writing your graphic novel, because this is when you really start zooming in on all those little details and moments that will tell your story. There's no need to get super specific in terms of dialogue yet, but there are a few essential Platt points that need to be solidified at this point. What you're trying to do here is create the map for your characters. This is the journey they're going to go on, where they go when they go and what happens when they arrive. So to simplify this process, to try and make it as easy as possible for you guys, I came up with nine key plot points that your story should include, and I find these black points to be very helpful when outlining complaining the plot of my graphic novel to start off. It's important to give your readers that premise what's normal in this fictional world, and what is it normal? What is life like right now, basically, you're bringing them up to speed on kind of where the hero is at the beginning of their their journey. You quickly want to introduce whether or not there's magic in the world, whether or not people believe in magic. Um, what technology is there? You know, kind of what time period you're basing it on our their superpowers are there, not superpowers. You know, all of this needs to be introduced in the beginning so that your readers can understand what exactly is possible on what's not possible in this world. It tends to take the reader and the story. If you suddenly introduced something supernatural were unbelievable when you kind of led them to believe the story is realistic or vice versa. All of a sudden, you know, magic powers don't work or something. So early on in your first chapter, just that a brief premise. You don't have to give away all your secrets. But chess give your readers an idea of what the rules are for this world you've created. After you have the premise, the next thing you have to do is introduce the cast. You don't have to introduce every single character in the first chapter. But after your readers understand kind of the world that you've created, it's important for them to know who exactly they will be following on this journey through the world that you made so for sure, introduced the hero as quickly as possible. Who is your hero, and how do they fit into this world and how did they stand out? It's also important to know who or what is the villain, whether it's a bad guy, some aspect of major nature or something else you may not introduce, say, the main villain right off the bat. But just let them know what it is that's about to cause friction in the hero's life. After establishing the world that your story takes place in and who the main character is gonna be and kind of what state of life the main character is in. This is when you shatter all of that. This is when something comes in and causes a disruption for the protagonist. What, and you have to ask yourself what causes you're here to step up? Or maybe even what causes them to run away at first? Now this may be something as obvious as the bad guy comes in and destroys their village. Or maybe something a little bit less dramatic, like the loss of a loved one or just the hero finally decides they want to go on adventure and they go with someone. What is it that comes in and interrupts the normal day to day life of your hero? That's your catalyst. Okay, I jokingly call this the training sequence. You might also call it like the travelling montage. This is the This is the new life that they live. It's not. It's not what they had before. And so they're doing a lot of learning and sort of growing as a hero. Eso some good questions to ask are, What does your hero need toe learn? And what strength do they already have? Is this going to be a physical journey like they're actually going on a road to another place? Or is it more of a mental journey where there's a lot of growing up that they have to do in their own mind and heart? Or is it both most stories? It's both, and I know I'm using terms like Hero and Journey, but you don't have to necessarily think about this in terms of fantasy. It might be moving to a new town with their family. It might be transferring to a new school. There's a whole lot of options, but this train sequence is basically them, figuring out what in the world they're supposed to do after the catalyst. As your hero goes on this journey and they learn and they grow, it's important that you keep giving them obstacles and hurdles to overcome. These obstacles are probably going to get bigger and harder, the more the hero learns. So some questions to keep in mind our how in wind is the villain. Stop or try to stop the hero. What is the villains plan? And what are the steps in that plan? How does your hero react to failure? They sort of have a challenge, accepted mode? Or do they feel defeated and do they want to give up and ultimately, what makes them continue? What is it that makes them dust themselves off, picked themselves up and keep on going? Now these are not to be confused with the climax. That's the really big hurdle. The final hurdle that your protagonist has to overcome. These are just small things that caused the hero Teoh, maybe question themselves and grow a little bit more as a protagonist. And they don't have to be anything huge just enough that your hero considers maybe not continuing so that your readers really want to cheer for them. But this is basically you want these obstacles to turn your readers into the cheerleaders for your hero. All right, the ultimate failure. What does the ultimate failure look like? I think it's really essential that your hero pretty much lands on their face at some point . And the reason for this is just that your readers should get an up close look at what it might look like. If the hero does not pull through. The hero doesn't do their job and win. This failure is showing your readers possible alternate reality. Where failure is the end result, you see the outcome of failure. You are really motivated to try and win. So that's what you're offering your readers is a glimpse of what failure might look like. So how and when does your your hero see failure? How did they react to it to figure out your ultimate failure. Look back at your theme. If there's something that you're trying to tell your readers, this is the alternative that no one wants or this is the This is the bad outcome. That's the inverse image of your theme, if that makes sense. But the point of this, ultimately, it's just to make sure your readers know really truly why they want your hero to succeed. The immediate results of that ultimate failure failure is the lesson that your hero learns . You could might also call it the comeback after your hero sees the worst what or who makes them stand up again for the reliefs. And the bigger this failure is, the more dramatic this moment becomes, You know, the lower they fall, the more impressive it is when they finally do pick themselves up again and again. At this point, refer back to your theme because this is where it's really sinking in for your hero. This is where the theme suddenly clicks into place. This is also what equips them for the final stage, which is the climax now, the climax that sounds kind of like a battle, and it might be a battle in your story, but in your graphic novel, it might also be a spelling competition. It might be a confession of love in the rain. Doesn't matter what it is, but it is the final greatest hurdle for your hero. It's the moment when everything becomes a complete circle. Your theme comes home. If you're themes suddenly clicks into place for your protagonist, it for sure will happen to your readers. So it's important that this climax it's something that completes the theme that you came up with at the beginning. The final plot point about your story needs is known as Thean Day. Newmont. This is the sort of wind down after the climax, the important things here. How has your hero changed and what becomes of your hero? How has the world around them changed? This is basically giving your readers closure and just let me know that the world doesn't end just because your hero has completed their quest. This might be the end of your entire story, or it might be the end of just the graphic novel, and maybe you have another volume. Either way, you need to do a little bit of a wind down and tie off the loose ends in the day. Newmont. All right, So for your project, what I suggest doing is writing 123 sentences for each plot point. Now, don't worry about giving too many details or any specific dialogue or anything like that. And here, at this point, just worry about the who does what when, maybe where. But even that even that you can figure out later. This is about the hero's journey. Everything else you can flesh out a little bit later. But right now, just figure out what happens in what order in the next video. What I'm gonna talk about are the same plot points, but how to use them for individual chapters after your whole plot is written. So I do recommend getting a big chunk of this done first before you do the assignment for the next video. But you can definitely watch them together, so I will see you next. When we talk about chapters 6. Chapters: now. The cool thing about those key plot points I talked about in the previous video is that those plot points also work when you start outlining your chapters and you try to structure the story for individual episodes instead of just your whole story. There are view differences, but for the most part, those plot points will help you create individual chapters that are interesting and engaging for your readers. Let's take a look at how the elements kind of function in the chapter setting. You still have a premise. It's just the current situation that your hero is in. It might be something that's left over from the previous episode, or maybe they're in a new place altogether. Whatever it is, it's the current situation and setting. Then you have your catalyst. It's the thing that they react to, whether it's a bad guy showing up, whether it's a new town, whether it's a new school, whether it's a new person, you still have a catalyst in every single chapter. Then you have training or the learning part. It's the tat. It's the hero, sort of grappling with this new thing and trying to figure out what it means for them and for their journey. Then you have the hurdle. Now every chapter needs toe have this struggle. It's not always gonna be huge, and you don't have a climax like a massive climax and every single episode. But you need to have these little hurdles in each episode. It's things not working out or not working out right away, or just something that challenges your hero a little bit. After they face this hurdle thing learned something from it. They gain new info or new skills or new powers from having done this, even if it's just very slight. Every chapter needs toe have them changing just a little bit to keep it interesting for your reader. And then a chapter has the daemon, and this may be the situation is totally resolved, or it may actually be a cliffhanger that sort of leads into the next chapter. Either way, your hero is in a new situation because they've learned something from their struggle, and they're looking forward to the next part of the story. Now, when it comes to figuring out how to divide your plot up in the chapters, that's something that kind of depends on your story and how long you want to be. And, you know, maybe working with an artist if you're not the artist yourself and figuring out page count all of that. So you know, the way you divide up your story is gonna be really different if you're writing, like 15 page episodes or like, 30 page episodes. But my tip would be to look at your hero, look at key moments in their journey, key moments of development for them and start there. Now you're chapters may not be super clear, cut and dry, where the character learns one new three per chapter. But each chapter should support their your characters growth in their development as a protagonist. All right, so writing an actual script, I personally don't write a script because I'm also the artist, and I just tend to go straight into drawing after my summaries air done. But if you are planning on chest during the writing and you're working with an artist, here are a few things that your artist is gonna need. They're gonna need a setting, and by setting I mean location and lighting. Maybe time of day, all of that they need to know who says what. You need to be very clear about your word balloons and who's on panel who's not. They need to know what you want to emphasize, where you want the emphasis in your story. So things like close ups or distant shots, things like that. If it's important to your story, you need to make a note of that. Also, I do recommend doing a panel by panel script, not just writing little paragraph summaries because you're artist needs to know the page count. You know, if you're hiring an artist and you're gonna pay them, my experience has been there, generally paid by page. So you're gonna need to write a really detailed script with separate lines for dialogue, and you have to pay attention. Toe How much goes on each page Now if you are the artist yourself and you're gonna be writing and drawing it. Still, take note of things like setting the location lighting. Like I said, Who says what? This is really important. Um, it's important to figure out dialogue on Lee because the dialogue is part of the artwork because of word balloons. So figure out your dialogue, make a note of what needs to be emphasized, because it may seem clear to you right now. But if you forget later on, which will happen because you have a lot of your mind while you're drawing comic, it's important to make a note of what needs to be emphasized and why that you don't forget in the in the middle of drawing that that character actually is supposed to be like. It's supposed to be a dramatic moment. You don't want to forget things like that and then last but not least, even if you are drawing it, even if you think you'll remember, be very clear about about your plot points. If you don't write a full script, refer back to your theme. Remember what's important. Refer back to your plot. Remember what part of the story you're in. It's really easy in the middle of drawing to sort of get lost and slow down and get caught up in the visual aspect of it, so make sure you're black. Points are super clear because you're gonna be referring back to these. Okay, we just covered a lot, and I know it might be a little bit overwhelming So in the next video, what I'm going to talk about is how to actually sit down and sort of the mentality behind approaching a project of this size. So hopefully by the end of this next video, you have a feel totally confident and prepared to tackle your own graphic novel. 7. Sitting Down to Work: Okay, so we have covered so much territory from what is the theme of the comic to you? What is the climax of your hero's journey if you're anything like me? Even with all that information, tackling a graphic novel is probably still a very overwhelming thought. So here is my approach to actually sitting down and doing the work. First, let's talk about drafting. What do you actually need in the drafting stage? I think the most important thing is that you do write your theme in your story summary taped them on your wall. This is the compass for your story that this is your guiding star. The next thing is to just work with what you know. Chances are if you're taking this class, you may already have some ideas bouncing around in your head, so just get out everything that's been sitting there waiting to be addressed, even if you don't have the whole story worked out, just sit down and let all the things that you do know out onto the page and then fill in the blanks, even if it's real bad and it might be bad at first. The reality is just that you can't have all good ideas at once. But if you fill in the blanks, even with certain sort of less than perfect work, eventually, as you come back to that and you make progress on your project, you'll figure it out. You'll have better ideas. So do a big word dump. Just put it all out paper, fill in the blanks with just the worst Platt points you can think of and invest quantity before quality. I think that's probably the biggest piece of advice I can give you for tackling a graphic novel put in the hours, even if the result is unpleasant to read. I also bought it here a couple of musts for your story. If you have these things, your story will be built on a very solid foundation. So keep these things in mind. Your hero must grow over time. In the literary world, this is known as a dynamic hero hero that evolves as the story evolves. If your hero doesn't change in the course of a graphic novel, your readers are gonna feel ripped off. That's the truth. Your readers must share the heroes, fears or desires. Now your hero may be afraid of something that's totally fictional, but it has to be relatable enough that your readers also feel the fear. So, for example, dragons don't exist in the real world, as they do in fantasy books. But we all know the fear of fire and getting burned so we can identify with a hero sphere of the dragon. Your hero success must be worth risking failure. If you have a character that risk everything for something stupid, it's not believable, and your readers will be sucked out of the stories or, you know, the opposite. That would be they get a lot for not very much risk. That's kind of a letdown as well. Last but not least, your theme must be consistent. Your theme may change from novel to novel if you do a Siri's. But at least for individual books, keep your theme consistent for your own sake. As a writer trying to make sense of all of these ideas, do you have in your head but also for your readers? Because this is what they are going to take away from your story after you put in that time , no matter what the result is and you make sure you have your hero on their journey. Editing now. Really specific editing kind of depends, you know, changes from story to story. But some general guiding principles I can offer are these questions. Here is your theme. Clear and present. Meriel. No joke. Your sleep needs to be super clear. Don't don't worry about it being too obvious. Just make sure it's clear. Does the overall story have a complete arc? Did you have all your plot points? Did you hear hero go on a big journey? Do they learn about themselves? Do they go down to the depths where they think they're gonna fail and do they come back up ? Does each chapter have a complete mark? Does it go somewhere if you have a store? If you have a chapter that doesn't really go anywhere, doesn't have ah, learning moment or a struggle of some kind that the chapter probably doesn't need to be there. Do you have believable reasons for the heroes growth? This may seem obvious, but still a good thing to check as you're going through your story as you're going through your chapters and editing is do you know why your hero is doing things. In my experience, whenever I've read something of my own or work by someone else that feels weak, it's mainly because I don't know why they're doing things. It's because I don't really believe that the hero has a purpose. So if you feel like there's some areas of your story or some chapters that are as strong, ask why the hero has to go through that chapter. And if you have a good why, then you can work backwards from there and figure out how to improve the chapter. But make sure your hero has a good reason for growing. Obviously, there's a lot that we didn't talk about in this glass. There's so much that when it comes to writing a graphic novel and this, this class would just be 200 hours long. If you've made it this far. Thank you and I appreciate it so much and I hope you learned a lot. But I also hope that you will tell me in the discussion or send me a message of what you would like to learn next, or what aspect of writing a graphic novel you would like to focus more on in the future. I would love to be able to share everything I've learned with you because I think graphic novels are a great way to tell stories, and I want to help you guys do it as well. The next video is sort of a bonus video. It's not really a super specific lesson, but it's kind of just more my thoughts on a hero's journey and kind of share my thoughts on what makes a good protagonist. So it's really just a broad in your idea of what a hero is and what a hero can do for your story. So I hope you guys enjoy it. And I hope you got a lot from this class, and I look forward to seeing everything that you guys share down in the discussion and the projects below. 8. Four Heroes of Note: when writing your graphic novel. The most important part, the single most important part is having a hero that your reader identifies with. What the hero basically does is they are the avatar that your reader will put themselves into. They there, the placeholder for the reader. So it's really important that you have a hero that your readers identify with and it that care about and that they want to follow along on this journey. So I decided in this video to just real quick talk about four of my favorite heroes from four of my favorite graphic novel. Siri's first character. Included is Tintin, from the tent in Siris by her J. And I included him because he actually breaks the rule. Like I mentioned in this glass about your character needs to grow and they need to change. Tenting doesn't really change throughout the series. He starts out very brave and adventurous, and that's pretty much the way he is at the end. He never really goes through any major character development, but he does gain new experiences and new knowledge as he travels the world and make meets new people. And it's the excitement of these travels that compensates for his lack of emotional or mental change. In a way, he needs to be neutral and familiar so that the reader can easily put themselves in his shoes and sort of just feel the way they would feel if they went on those adventures. So Tintin doesn't interrupt the reader in a way. He's so neutral. He's so consistent that the reader can easily put themselves into his shoes because he hasn't conflict with any readers. So that's kind of Ah, that's an approach to writing a hero who doesn't necessarily have to go through all the change. I would argue that this could be hard because your world had better be very, very interesting. Her J was a master at creating believable worlds and a hugely diverse A collection of countries and cities and people for attention to interact with. So if you're gonna create a character who doesn't change a whole lot, you're gonna need to create a very, very interesting world for them to inhabit. Okay, the next hero is Toru Honda from Fruits Basket, the Japanese manga series, and I include her. She doesn't change Ah whole lot. She does change. She does, but she sort of starts out as this very good natured, compassionate person. And she she manages to keep that, Um, But she starts out as a high school student who stressed trying to graduate high school in honor of her mom, who passed away. That's kind of her only goal in life, and she's always afraid of offending others and afraid of, you know, sort of contradicting anyone. And she's also very afraid of letting her mom down because her mom wanted her to graduate high school. But over the course of the Siri's, what happens is she does decide to move on from her mother's death. She starts to want things for herself, not just because her mother wanted them, and she also risks a lot trying to break the curse that all of the Soma family are under. You know, she risks contradicting people who have told her to stay out of it. She risks you know, her high school grades in trying to pursue this mystery, trying to investigate and all of these things. She ends up risking a lot despite the consequences. So she still remains the kind, compassionate person that she was at the beginning of the story. But over the course of the whole Siri's, she becomes more courageous and looks forward more to the future. So she's an example of a character who doesn't have to become a total the total opposite of what they were. She's very true to her nature. She just becomes a little more rounded out in a little bit stronger by the end of the Siri's right next. His phone bone from the Siri's Bone by Jeff Smith. I love Bones so much, Um, he's such an interesting protagonist to have. You could make the argument that he is not really the protagonist. You could say it's Thorn, but Phone Bone is the character that you follow throughout the comic Siri's. So he starts off the Siri's. He's just banished with his two cousins, and they're basically trying to return home or find a way to live in their banishment. And he's a very naive character. He's grown up very sheltered, so he's a pretty noble character to start out with. But he's grown up in his tiny little town in Bone Ville, and he's very much out of his element when things like dragons and the rat creatures start becoming involved. But despite his fear, he does his best to support Thorn. So even though he's very afraid, he's a very noble character, and he puts his life on the line for this girl that he loves. He eventually becomes, Ah, very great hero in this epic battle of good versus evil and its vast name, because he starts out as sort of just this, this very innocent character. But everything that he sees makes him mature, and he knows now that there is great evil in the world. But he never imagined before. But throughout all of it, he does maintain his good, noble nature. It's kind of reflected even in the way he's drawn. You can see just how child like he is, and he kind of maintains that childlike hope even when he has a more mature since of what he's really up against. Eso. He's a really, really good example that, you know, a serious story can be told with with a very child like perspective, and it can appeal to a wide variety of ages because of that. Definitely recommend bone if you haven't read it yet, Okay, The last hero that I want to talk about is Edward Elrich, and he's from full metal alchemist. Ed might be my favorite comic here over, but he starts off the comic. Siri's just trying to save his brother Alphonse. He and his brother were both hurt when they tried to bring their mother back after she passed away. And so Ed is on this journey with his brother to try and get back what they lost. He's constantly trying to cope with this heavy, heavy feeling of guilt for what he did, but the same time, even though he's seeing terrible things, he still knows right from wrong. And he still tries to preserve what he sees as right and fight what he sees as wrong and what you see over the course, the Siri's is that eventually his quest for himself and al time and time again has to take the back seat, and Ed has to constantly put that behind him for a little bit in order to preserve the greater good. And it kind of becomes a little bit more mature about what the greater good is and what evil is that he needs to fight, and I say that he's one of my favorites because the way that he's written is his. He's already had a major story arc before the story takes place because you've seen the first book, you know this flashback of him trying to bring his mother back and what happens because of that? So he's already sort of had this hero's journey, and he failed the first time around, and his brother paid the greater price. So I just think he's a fascinating example of a hero because his entire quest is basically making up for the first quest in which he failed. Anyway. I hope you enjoyed looking at these four heroes. I know there's so many other heroes I could address. And if you're interested, definitely take a look in the discussion. And we could chat about what kind of heroes have motivated you when you read them in their stories. I hope this gives you a better idea, sort of what's possible when you write the protagonist for your graphic novel. It doesn't just have to be a very cut and dry basic formula hero. There's all kinds of ways you can play around with it and get something that you that is unique to your story. So I hope you enjoyed this little bonus video on heroes