Last week I wrote about what you can do when you make mistakes in the artwork of your webcomic. A mistake in the writing is oftentimes harder to fix than the artwork. Foreshadowing and building of the world’s foundations is baked into what you write, so when you finally realise your kingdom is built on sand it can be difficult to relocate it to sturdier ground. This week we’ll be diving into the writing aspect of making mistakes and how a creator can correct them.
Before you start
There are steps you can take to avoid making mistakes later on down the line and it starts with your outline. It’s tempting to jump in and strike whilst the inspiration iron is hot, however by taking the time to get your ideas straight, you’ll be able to manipulate the pace of the drama/action in your comic, any future exposition and identify potential wriggle room narratively speaking. An outline can be as simple as a series of dot point, post-it notes or scribbles on a page. Get all the ideas out first, order them and then begin your comic. It’s a great reference tool for when you’re stuck too. Keep referring back to it and, if need be, make any changes. Remember, an outline can change as you explore your ideas. It’s main purpose is to remind you of what you’d like to see along the way.
Script a scene/chapter/issue
When you go to create a new chapter of your comic, it’s good practice to write a script. Not only will this assist with pacing, it will give you an idea of where cuts can be made to dialog or the outline itself. A script also allows you to pick up on any potential plot holes that might otherwise be missed. Although these steps may seem boring, they can help you maintain motivation during creative lulls as the work has already been done in terms of generating ideas.
Plot hole discovered!
Panic! There’s a plot hole! It’s dragging your entire comic universe into its orbit of entropy! It’s the end of the world! Or is it? Fixing a plot hole is a whole topic in of itself (hmm there’s an idea for another article!) but it’s not the end of the world. Plot holes cover everything from characters acting inconsistently to green cadets with barely any training taking out the big bad. When you come across an inconsistency like this, think back to where you could add more, realistic, context. A good rule of thumb is set-up, reminder and payoff. Set-up the character’s change through small actions or dialog, remind the audience of the set-up then have it pay off in some way. Keeping a list of all the things you’ve set up can be a good way of tracking reminders and pay-offs that need to be foreshadowed in the future.
Ask for feedback
If you’re feeling stuck with your feedback, reach out to people you trust to have a look at your work and make suggestions. This could be friends, family or a webcomic community such as this. Be prepared to hear some hard truths. If you’re feeling like something is wrong they’re probably going to find it. Remember they are the plumber looking for a leak so let them help you fix it.
Have you ever made a mistake when writing your comic? How did you fix it? 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, Aug. 27, 2021
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