Saturday, October 30, 2010

1.7 Introduction / Inciting Incident

I seem to be all over the place, but it’s just the same process as drawing a person. That initial sketch is always moving, not staying in one spot so we can get an idea of what it will look like head to toe before we add any detail. That’s what we’re doing here. Moving around the entire One-Shot to get an idea of what the finished product might be. We started with the Climax and Ending, but they need to be tied into the Introduction/Inciting Incident. This is what will make our One-Shot feel complete. By connecting the end of the book with the beginning, we will leave the reader satisfied. Even if it’s not a good story, at least there will be a connection that the reader will identify with. And above all else, it won’t feel amateurish.

Introduction doesn’t mean Character Introduction. It means the Introduction to the story, and one way to start off a One-Shot is with an Inciting Incident. This could be anything that will fit any genre. Some ideas off the top of my head. People taken hostage, a girl breaks up with her boyfriend, a guy has his car stolen, a student gets an F on a test. Anything will work, but we need to start off with a bang.

It also has to fit with the Climax and Ending. Say our Climax is “ the boy gets the girl“. Well that would fit an Introduction that starts with “ a girl breaking up with her boyfriend“. “A terrorist is killed and hostages are safe” would fit the Introduction of “ people taken hostage“. The two need to be in tandem with each other so in the end the story makes sense. We also need to get the ball rolling fast to keep the reader interested right away.

Another way of doing this is to start with the Antagonist, and introduce the Protagonist in the next section. Either way it has to be exciting. Something has to grab the reader on the first page otherwise they won’t make it to the next one. And I’ve read a lot of comic books like that. I think I even made some like that as well. ( okay I made a lot of them )
We also need to reserve pages for this section as well. And the best way to start out is short and sweet like the whole One-Shot will be. So the first 3 pages will be our Introduction/Inciting Incident. More than enough to get started. Our PPP gives us a max of 24 panels to work with here. We’ll probably have the first page as Splash Page since that’s traditionally used to grab the readers attention. Nudity also works, but let’s keep it clean…for now.

Earlier I mentioned the Pagination Areas and how they will help us properly place our scenes. The only exception to that rule of scene limits is the first 3 pages and the last page. Since we need a solid Introduction and that first page will most likely be a Splash Page, we’ll extend that scene to be a total of 3 pages. Now we could go further and have it last up to page 5, but that doesn’t leave us enough room for the middle of our One-Shot. And that space will be crucial to not only getting our Protagonist to the Climax, but also to give the reader some insight on who the Protagonist is, how the situation is being dealt with, and anything else that will flesh out the story.

In short, our Introduction should be short. We need those next 8 pages leading up to the Climax to tell our story, so let’s move on to that.

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.

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