All of our webcomics were roleplays first. I like interacting with other people’s characters and generating ideas that way.
Once I have an idea I go at it really technical. I’m an outliner and this is what works for me.
I’m going to work through the plot of book I’m editing (because I need to get it done any ways). I free wrote it and now want to plot it like I would my typical webcomic.
Step 1: Character Chart
I really like working with Dan Wells’ Seven Point Structure. I do this for each of the separate character arches. I start by making a chart listing all of the character arches I want to flesh out. I organize them in order of importance.
Knowing the amount of full arches also helps me with the scope of a project. I don’t write all the characters just the ones I think will be important.
Step 2: Needs and Wants
The first section I fill out is the needs and wants. This is where I determine what a character’s story is about.
A want is a concrete goal that the character achieves by the end of a story.
A need is what the character must achieve in order to get their want.
Notice in the case of Saxon’s mom that her arch isn’t a productive one, however she still gets what she wants. I use this in the case of tragedy and villains.
Step 3: Resolution
Next I move into the resolution. The resolution is easy because it is the need and want fulfilled.
Step 4: Intro
After that you move into the intro which is the opposite of the resolution.
Step 4: Midpoint
The middle is the most tricky part for me. There is tons to learn about midpoints, but they are basically where your character shifts from reaction to action. The midpoint is also where your character gains the tools to reach their resolution.
Step 5: Plot turn 1
Plot turn one is usually a call to action. Something happens to the character which forces them on their road to change.
Step 6: Plot turn 2
Plot turn 2 is where the character gains the last piece of information they need in order to complete their arch.
Step 7: The Pinches
The last step is the pinches. These are sections that put pressure on characters to change. This moves characters to the midpoint or plot turn 2. These are things that really force a character to change.
And that’s that!
I try to be as specific as can while filling these out. It gives me a road map of all the important scenes I need in a story. Don’t be afraid to deviate from your set path. Nothing is gold the first time and editing is more than half the battle.
:) I hope this helps!
Thanks for the question <3