First off, choosing a theme for your manga - what is the genre of your manga? Is it a ghost story? or sci-fi/action tale? is it suppose to be humorous? What is the message you're trying to convey? What do you wish to bring to your readers? What moral value you have in mind? Or is it solely for the sake of exciting, fun reading experience?
Plot (Story Flow/Main Events):
Planning out the plot (story flow or main events) of your manga is important to serve as a wire frame for your work, this is to ensure that you don't run out of your theme and drag your story into another dimension. You can carefully decide and select the events that you want to include in your manga, making your work more organized. But of course, you can always add in new ideas or turning points into your manga in later stage.
A plot can be simply written out in point form, keep the sentence short and comprehensible for you (duh~). For an example, let's look at a story, say Little Red Riding Hood, the plot can be written out as such:
- Little Red Riding Hood is visiting her grandmother who's living in another village
- She's courted by a wolf along the way
- The wolf ran and reached the grandma's house before Little Red Riding Hood
- The wolf ate the old lady, he put on her dress and lying on the bed, waiting for Little Red Riding Hood's arrival
- Little Red Riding Hood arrived and was being tricked by the wolf
- Wolf ready to eat Little Red Riding Hood, a woodcutter passed by and rushed in for rescue
- The end
Now you have your story, you have your plot, then what is a manga without the characters? Well, some artists created their characters before the story and vice versa, it doesn't matter though.
So, what kind of character you want for you manga? Think of the characteristic, the age, the behavior. Write them out on a piece of paper then create a character base on the list.
A character creation sample
Might not be important for some but this sure helps me a lot.
This process helps you to sort out the number of frames or panels you want to distribute in a page of your manga, how you want to place your panels, the size of your frames so on and forth. It is good for keeping track on important panels, discarding the unnecessary one and keep the story within the page limit provided.