One of the interesting things that I noticed when I was making a webcomic mini series that will appear here in mid-late March was the fact that I’d planned several more webcomics than I actually made.
Before I go any further, I should probably warn you that this article may contain some SPOILERS for that series.
In many cases, this was because I wasn’t satisfied with a planned webcomic update and decided to try planning a new one. This, incidentally, is one of the major advantage of planning a comic before you make it – since you can see whether or not a comic works before you actually start putting lots of effort into making it. Even so, this will probably lead to you abandoning the occasional planned comic.
But, in one case, I actually had to cut a comic from the series (thankfully, when it was still in the planning stage) for the simple reason that I’d miscounted – and the series would be longer than I’d expected it to be if I included this comic. Here’s the plan of the cut comic:
Since I was making this upcoming mini series during a heatwave last year, I knew that I couldn’t spend too long on it. Although the weather had been fairly good when I started the mini series, the temperatures quickly soared and I suddenly realised that – if I stood a chance of finishing this mini series whilst I had any enthusiasm/energy left- I’d have to be very strict about it’s length.
So, when I discovered that my plans were longer than I thought, I was able to cut this comic without too much trouble. So, planning more comics than you actually make means that you have a lot more room to shorten (or possibly even expand) your webcomic depending on the surrounding circumstances.
Another advantage of planning more comics than you make is that it can help with writer’s block too. If you plan lots of comics when you’re inspired, then you can always either use some of your old plans (if you can’t think of any better ones), or – even if your unused plans are unfinished – you can plunder them for any jokes, story elements etc.. that you can use as the basis for a new comic.
Finally, one cool thing about having unused comic plans is that you’ll get to learn a lot more about your comic than you actually show anyone. By filling in some background details, it’ll help you to feel more immersed in the comic that you’re making. As long as the story in your comic doesn’t rely on something that your audience won’t see (because it’s in an unused plan), then this can actually improve your comic.
Plus, of course, you can also intrigue your audience by giving them a glimpse at some of the parts that never made it into your final comic, like I did earlier in this article.
Sorry for the short article (I also prepared it during said heatwave last summer), but I hope it was useful 🙂