it's only a 5 page essay

The scale

Moving on to the next point: biting off more than you can chew

I’m sure I’m not the first one to tell you your first comic should’t be too long. And okay, there’re people who manage to make it through just fine. But look at it this way.

Long comic probably means it’s the project of your dream, the one you wanna conquer the world with. Now, answer me honestly: do you expect your first try in comicmaking to turn out perfect? Do you want your work of passion to be ruined by the natural failures of baby’s first steps? I don’t think so.

Even if the quality of the comic isn’t going to be damaged drastically, there’re also updating problems. There’s such thing as overestimating your own abilities. Stuff usually ends up taking twice as long than you planned, because you don’t account for all the times you’re inevitably gonna fail doing something for the first time.

Put that dreamy comic aside. Make up a test project, some short story. No, really, a SHORT story. 10 pages maybe. Writing short stories may be hard, I know it was (and still kinda is) for me, but that’s where you learn it, the one and only:


You know how there’re tons of distracting info piling up in the class books, but once you write down the most important excerpts from it, the material suddenly becomes easier to understand?

Or maybe when you have to write an essay to read in class, and you cut 30 pages of great material down to 5, because nobody wants to listen to more than that?

Yeah, same thing here. And it’s a real art on its own.

Honestly, I had some huge-ass speech balloons, but at least they took up so much space I was forced to cut useless lines down drastically.

More insignificant action/dialogs = more time and effort for you to draw & more time and effort for the reader to get through. And don’t we just love filler anime episodes?

So, you ask, should I cut out all the jokes and little interactions that don’t move the plot forward? Leave only the dry base of exposition? Ha ha, don’t do that, actually. I shit you not, BBR got so long I literally had to cut down most of the action to just “AND THEN THEY ATTACKED THEM!.. aaaand then they didn’t, back to talking”.

Common sense is the best judge most of the time. Does this conversation bring anything new to the table? Do we learn more about the characters through it? Is it important to learn (connected to the plot or character motivation)? Is the time we spent on it worth the information we learned?

Brevity isn’t just about the plot, it’s also about the characters. Do you really need all those 50000 OCs for your story? Are they gonna do anything significant, or are they just there to show off their cool design and die on the next page? Or be a pointless baggage throughout the whole story?

Sure, you can design tons of the background characters. But that’s what they’re gonna be - background characters. Main characters should truly be important to the reader, since we’re stuck with following them. They may be dear to you, as they’re your precious babies, but you gotta convince us to care about them, and that’s not easy to do.

You may end up with tons of shallow characters, whose only “identities” are “he likes playing banjo”. That’s not a trait of identity though, that’s just an interest, a dessert for the dinner. Give that trait to another character, who has an actual personality. 

Besides, if your favourite character tropes are very easy to spot, lots of characters = lots of rehashing. You may just end up with 5 identical tsundere assholes, 10 cute shy girls, 8 silly comic reliefs, 3 vain antagonists and 5 emos, probably without even realizing that until someone points out.

melaninordie  asked:

my school is presenting me with a book of my choice and i was thinking of choosing 'we should all be feminists' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but how long is the book? is it a short book or is it longer bc i haven't seen a hard copy of it before? hopefully it's longer as the price is only £5 so it sounds like it's a short book but idk :)

It’s an essay so it is “only” 53 pages long. Short for a book, long for an essay!

My one suggestion is that the value of a book isn’t always tied to the number of pages. Sometimes a single quote can change your life or help you understand the world much better. Like this quote:

“Some people ask: “Why the word feminist? Why not just say you are a believer in human rights, or something like that?” Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general - but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. It would be a way of pretending that it was not women who have, for centuries, been excluded. It would be a way of denying that the problem of gender targets women.”

If you are looking to get the most information possible out of the book you get, then it would make sense to choose something else. But from a value perspective you can’t go wrong with We Should All Be Feminists!