You’ve got your amazing idea down for a story but how do you begin? You want to make your first chapter amazing! This is where you need to lay down some concrete foundations to get your audience main character and why they care about what is happening to them. So here are a few tips you can use to get the ball rolling down the right hill!
Start at the beginning
Although this is a bit of a “Noi doi” statement, this is often the hardest part of putting together a story (besides the ending). You want to make the best case as to why the audience should care about your story. A neat way to do it is to start with the protagonist in action. It doesn’t have to be an intense action sequence, rather the main character should be heading somewhere to do something. We are dropping in on them just as the action is about to begin so think of where they might be going and how is it getting them to the problem they will encounter later in the chapter.
Spend the first chapter/episode with the main protagonist.
This is the character you want the audience to back, so take the time to focus on them? Got a big cast? Pick someone who is going to be affected the most by the problem they are all going to be affected by. This will give your audience someone to follow and empathise with.
Give the audience a snapshot of the protags normal life.
In the first point I mentioned that the main character needs to be heading somewhere and that still stands. Maybe the main character is rushing cause they are going to miss the bus to school and they had to skip breakfast. Or they could be walking towards a meeting ready to square it off with the boss. Show a snippet of their daily life to help the audience relate to their lives before swiftly moving the plot forward. It is important not to linger on this too much.
Start with the problem. What is going wrong in the character’s life? Why should they care?
Once we’ve seen a snippet of the character’s daily life move towards the major problem that will kickstart the events to come. This will keep readers wanting to know, “what is happening next?”. Maybe the character misses the bus only to see it swerve, fall off an embankment only to be saved by a powerful yet scary psychic who then notices them and now they are being chased by them. Presenting the problem is different from the inciting incident (the event that causes the MC to take action) but by putting forth the initial problem you are hooking your readers in with a reason to care.
Calm down and enjoy the craft
At the end of the day, you have to enjoy your story and your craft. Webcomics rely on a lot of passion to do them so remember that at the end of the day, you can have fun with it. When you have fun then the audience will.
Do you have trouble starting your webcomics? What did you do? Let us know in the comment section below! And join us on Sunday evening for our Quackchat at 5:30PM(EST)!
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Emma_Clare at 12:00AM, June 7, 2019
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