The One-Shot needs a simple story with as few characters as possible. The best way to start out is to have a Protagonists and an Antagonist to get started. This is where the artwork side comes in because we’ll need visually striking characters. That’s not enough to do thumbnails of your pages just yet, we need a situation or problem for these characters to be in. We also need a setting as well. One-Shots can be in any genre, but if we’re going to do fantasy or science fiction setting, we need to make it something that can be easily identified by the reader. We can’t waste any pages explaining the world to the reader. Even if we had a huge world already created, we don’t want to waste the precious space we have.
Once we have characters we need to a plot. And if you want to be original, forget about it. Just about every story has been told in some form or another. So we’re going to be stepping on some feet in this category. However the best way to counter this is to know what has been told and mix it up. George Polti’s 36 Dramatic Situations covers a wide range of plots that have been explored throughout the centeries. We can use those to get inspiration, or add a few together to come up with something somewhat original. Either way we can’t beat our heads over it, we need a plot and we need one now.
Another way to find a plot is to ask ourselves what we want to draw. We might want to draw a space battle, hand to hand combat, or a raunchy sex scene. This is where balancing both writing and drawing will help us. If we’re stuck on writing, draw something up. If we’re stuck on drawing, write something out. We need to use both mediums to get us through this process one way or another. And relying on just one won’t cut it. But before we decide on what we want to do, we need to learn about the 5 Sections of our story that will make up our One-Shot. These will also help us through this critical step.
The 5 Story Sections
- Introduction / Inciting Incident
- Complications / Problem
- Dealing with Problem / Find a Solution
- Solution Enforced / Climax
- Ending / Resolution
This is what our One-Shot will consist of and we’ll go into more detail with each category. Once we have a better understanding of each section we can properly thumbnail our One-Shot in proportion. Now we have 16 pages and 5 story sections. We need to break up those 16 pages to fit our story sections into. So let’s begin at the most obvious place to start. The Climax and Ending ( you thought I was going to say Introduction didn‘t you )
This is an esential read. Also be sure to check out Scott's website to explore other ideas and exercises. Like the 24 hour comic.
Even if you prefer manga, this book is old school. It's full of the basics to get the ball rolling.
Even more old school. This is a must have book to learn how to create Sequential Art. Even the pros use this book.
There are a ton of How to Draw Manga Books, but this one is the complete package. It covers everything one will need to know to get started. Highly recommended.