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Creating Home-made Manga: Giving Your Story Direction

Updated on April 25, 2011
Nothing is complete when starting out. Everything begins as a sketch.
Nothing is complete when starting out. Everything begins as a sketch.

In my previous hub I gave some suggestions on brainstorming ideas for creating manga. Now it's time to start putting those ideas together to make a story. Every story, written or in the form of a manga or graphic novel, needs a purpose. A purpose gives substance to a story. There are two areas it's helpful to consider when trying to figure out what direction you want your manga to go. Take the time to think about the theme and the goal. They sound the same, but actually, they're different.


Theme is the major point that you're trying to get across to readers. It's the deeper motivating force and gives the story a purpose. A simple theme is good vs. evil. Using Mascara, the current manga that I'm working on, as an example, it has the theme of how appearances can be deceiving. Having a central theme is important, because it's the theme that will keep the story on topic. Every element, event, and character should in some way, reinforce the theme .

Having a theme gives a story momentum. But the worst thing to have is a story with nowhere to go. That's where having a goal comes in.

Setting A Goal

The goal is the finishing point. It is the final accomplishment of the story. If your theme is good vs. evil, the goal could be that good will prevail. Or that evil will. The theme of the story pushes towards a goal. And at the end when good wins, that's when readers will fully understand the overall purpose of your story.

Even if a story is meant for pure entertainment, if it's missing a theme and goal, it leads nowhere. So having these elements in mind from the beginning is important.

Also the theme and the goal has a huge impact on the type of characters that appear in your story. Next will be some tips on creating characters for a homemade manga, and some brief drawing tips for visual character design as well. Fun stuff!


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    • Harmonic7 profile image

      Harmonic7 5 years ago

      This is helpful information! Thanks!