Inspiration has struck and you want to start your new series right away! We’ve all been there and know this feeling all too well. However, creating a new webcomic or webnovel on a whim often doesn’t lead to long term success. Many series are published over months or years, so any plot holes, problems with art, or struggles with time management you’re not worried about today may become issues later. These issues can cause frustration and lead you to abandon your series. Here are some tips that can help you be well-prepared for what’s to come as you build an amazing, successful novel or comic!
Write a rough story outline
While some creators like to have a detailed script for their stories before starting, many others like to develop the story as they go. However, having a basic idea of your whole story from beginning to end can help you solve issues before you encounter them in the middle of production and write yourself into a corner. Write a simple bulletin list of the story’s plot. Important: Don’t skip over scenes that you don’t know how to solve. Find a solution for them now and don’t hesitate to take your story in a completely different direction than you originally thought!
Create Character Sheets or descriptions
Your main characters are at the center of everything you create moving forward, so you need to give them a lot of attention. Don’t only think about their name and their age, but also their likes and dislikes, their flaws, how they were raised, how they speak, and their place in the world they’re living in. Many readers love a diverse cast, so it can also be helpful to decide on race, sexuality and gender for your main characters! The more you know about them, the better!
If you’re an artist, create a character sheet that shows your character’s full body. You can also add helpful details like various outfits, facial expressions, weapons, and coloring guides.
Credit: Character sheets and size chart by Koolaid-Girl - Living when Dead
Always remember: your main characters are going to be one of the main reasons your readers will follow your story. Because of that, we recommend that main characters are written to be likable and relatable, especially if you’re just starting out in your writing career.
Keep it simple!!
Giving your character a fancy accent or a coat with an ornamental trim is very tempting when first starting out. Once you’re in the middle of producing your series, with deadlines looming over your head, these details can suddenly turn into a true nightmare.
Especially for artists, be aware that every line you draw will have to be repeated hundreds or thousands of times. Be mindful of every detail you add to each character and only add accessories like rings, tattoos, or fancy clothing when it is important to the story or the character’s development.
Think about time management
Maybe summer break just started or you took an extended vacation and have a ton of extra time on your hands. Perfect time to start a new webcomic or webnovel, right? Well, maybe. School or work will start again and all this extra time you once had is suddenly gone again.
Creating a successful series long-term means being realistic with the workload that a series will add to your life and knowing how much time will you have available for it. If you worry that your normal daily responsibilities will suffer, consider working on a short story that can be completed during your break. If you work long hours, maybe you’ll be able to carve out some hours on weekends to write or draw. You could also work with a slower upload schedule or make a buffer!
MAKE A BUFFER!!
If you ever ask a more experienced creator about the one thing they wished they had done differently before starting their series, this will likely be in their top three. Buffers are episodes that are ready for publishing but aren’t yet released to the public. Large buffers help you keep a consistent upload schedule even when you’re sick or simply didn’t have time to work on your series.
When it comes to buffers, the bigger the better. Creating multiple chapters ahead of time will protect you from stress and delays in the future. You can even use our scheduling feature to upload and schedule your episodes ahead of time!
If all of these recommendations seem daunting and scary, don’t worry. Many have started on this platform ignoring all rules possible and still managed to create an engaging series beloved by many readers. Good preparation can help you create an amazing story, but you can find your own road to success on Tapas! If you have more questions along the way, join our active Forum Community and learn from some of the best!