No matter who you are in this world, anyone who’s ever picked up a comic, manga, or webtoon, has always dreamt of writing their own story. Yet a few make that leap to realize that dream for whatever reason! I am one of them. After years of spending my day, daydreaming of stories, picturing fights in my head as I listen to various music, and seeing the shift in our culture to a direction that I was not in favor of. That’s why I decided to give it a try and began writing and publishing my own manga/webcomic hybrid called Red Rapture.
Let’s start from the beginning.
So, why did I start writing my own manga/webtoon? Well, the short story is: if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself!
Long version, I wanted to see if I could do it. I wanted to see the types of characters I tend to enjoy reading growing up. I want to ask questions and explore ideas that I’ve always pondered. And of course, I wanted to see cool shit happen the way I would like it. I’m always creating stories in my head, but one started sticking to my head and eventually, I felt it was time to bring it to life. I’m in a peculiar situation in my life and that gave me the opportunity to pursue this passion.
Saying all of that was easy, putting the pen down on the paper was another story. After giving it a shot myself, I can say that the experience is nerve-wracking and overwhelming, to say the least. You are essentially a god, creating your own universe, and you have to know everything about your world. You are responsible for the characters, the lore, the worldbuilding, the power system (if any), the plot, everything. No longer are you the reader, and that experience is different.
Stories, when done correctly can greatly shift a person’s perspective in life, and that is something I have often admired about them. They can take you to a world grander than our own and fill you with a sense of adventure and infinite possibilities. And when you come back to reality, you bring a piece of it with you to share with the world. You could build a legacy that would span decades.
Red Rapture is a manga webcomic that follows a young boy named Negusa. He ponders daily a simple question, “Would God bless humanity, just to watch it suffer”? That’s what the story of Red Rapture is about, what would happen if, during a certain part of human history, humanity suddenly developed powers almost akin to gods, how would society react? That’s what I wanted to explore. Negusa, the main character becomes driven later on in the story to uncover the truth of the gift. Along the way, he’ll learn how the gift has shaped the world and the consequences that came from it. What would that do to the psyche of those who are blessed? What about those that are not? It’s an interesting dynamic that I feel is worth exploring. Nevertheless, I don’t want to give too much away so I’ll stop there. If that has piqued your interest, go ahead and check it out here.
Aside from my passion to write stories, the real world itself influenced me to start this journey. Certain culture shifts made me realize that the only way to build a legacy and shift the narrative is to take 100% control of your own image. I came to realize that this unhealthy dependency for others to tell certain stories was a fruitless effort, and that initiative was needed. And when those stories are claimed to be told on those behalfs, they are devoid of passion and in my opinion, do more harm than good. I know there are people like me who are hungry for a particular type of story to be told, and my starvation led to me picking up the pen to feed that hunger. And once that hunger has been fed, I’ll rest knowing that my future generation won’t be starving the way I did.
That’s why I chose to make Red Rapture free to read! I want as many eyes on it as possible, as much of that hunger to be quenched as possible. I know what I’m saying is weird but if you’re spending more of your time on manga and webtoon, then you should be able to understand. This is a great learning experience for me as a person and as a writer. That’s why I decided to begin this journey of writing my own manga webcomic.
So what did I do to begin my journey?
Research and I mean A LOT OF RESEARCH! A never-ending quest for knowledge! I had to learn everything from scratch. Trust me when I say this, reading a lot of comics or manga is a great start but you’ll need to learn the principle of writing. Truth be told, you gotta study other works of fiction, read books from writers that have come before, study the aspects of your favorite manga/comic and ask yourself “What makes this work so well? Essentially, you’d need to look at manga from the greats writers (again for most of us) and begin analyzing them from a different perspective.
The next work is prep time. Hate to break it to you my friends, but for most of us, the “writing as we go” agenda just ain’t gonna cut it! Have a simple timeline, a goal for your character, and any additional character lined up to help guide you to your destination. I can’t tell you how much that has helped guide me in my own work. You can always make adjustments, and trust me you will. You need to be open to that. So long as it stays consistent with the lore you have created, if something doesn’t work, don’t force it, rework it.
After that is to give the details, more details. Yes, the city, the forest, the food, the culture, all of it, even the fly (I’m exaggerating but you get the point), you gotta be able to give them all some backstory and lore. Anything you add to your story has to serve some type of purpose. Keeping that in mind will help you avoid making up stuff along the way. Keep an eye out for dialogue too, they can make and break a story. You want the world to tell its own story without you having to explain it to the readers.
When it comes to art, yeah I’m no artist but that did not stop me. If you have the means, find and hire an artist. We live in a time that with enough dedication you can make anything possible. you just gotta have a plan and faith. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Honestly, I’m learning all of this myself so I figured writing this out will help me remember and is something to come back to when I feel lost. Let me know what you think about all this in the comments below, and if you’re writing your own stories, share them with me!