Although this isn’t an article about how to plan comics or webcomics, I thought that I’d talk briefly about what to do after you’ve made your initial plan.
The thing to remember here is that comic plans aren’t set in stone, they’re supposed to be an easy way to try out ideas and as a way to avoid the problem of feeling uninspired halfway through making a comic. They’re a guideline, rather than an order.
As such, here are three very simple things that you can do to improve your comic plans:
1) See what can be condensed and/or added: During the rough planning stage, it can be very easy to make your comic plans slightly bloated.
So, looking over your plans before you make the comic is a perfect opportunity to see if any of the dialogue can be trimmed or if any panels can be merged. Since this will probably free up some extra space, you might also think of some extra stuff that you can add to your comic.
For example, whilst making a short webcomic mini series that will appear here at the beginning of May, I had space to add some extra humour to one of my comic updates because I condensed two panels into one – like this:
2) Caption panels: If your planned comic update is just a “talking head” comic (where two characters stand next to each other and talk for the entire comic), then it’s worth seeing if you can replace any of the dialogue panels in your plan with a caption panel.
A caption panel is a panel where one of the characters’ dialogue is placed in a caption, whilst the illustration below is of whatever they are talking about. Although it won’t work in literally every comic, it’s a classic way to break up the monotony of a “talking head” comic. An example can be seen in the second panel of this comic:
3) Give it time: Often, the best way to improve a plan is simply to leave it for a while and then return to it again before you make your comic.
If you start making your comic within a couple of hours of making your plan, then it probably won’t be any better than your plan was. In other words, plan out your comic updates a day or two before you actually make them.
If you allow yourself some thinking time (a day or two is best) between finishing your plan and starting your comic, then you’ll often come up with better ways of making your planned comics, alternative ideas for jokes etc…. for the simple reason that you’ve had more time to think about your comic.
Sorry for the ridiculously short article, but I hope it was useful 🙂