What is the Role of a Writer for a Manga?
The writer is responsible for the story content and structure. As such, his or her role can be key for the success of a manga.
Why do some manga have both an artists and a writer?
If some mangaka are able to manage both the writing and drawing parts of their manga, many artists will pair with a writer, and vice versa.
There are two main reasons for that:
- Writing is a competence in itself, like drawing, and not everyone is able to master both of them. Good writing requires the mastery of different storytelling techniques, in addition to imagination. This is the reason why many artists will seek for a writer to pair with, and writers seek for an artist.
- In addition to being a specific competence, storytelling also requires time and efforts. Many mangaka will therefore have difficulties managing in parallel the writing and drawing parts of their manga. Being a duo therefore removes part of the workload from the mangaka. In addition, this allows each member to focus on what they prefer: writing and drawing.
What do writers do?
The first activity a writer will perform or contribute to or the realisation of a manga is to find ideas and plots for manga stories.
Then, the writer will build the outline of the story. The objective of the outline is to get a global overview of the main stages of the story, from start to finish. In addition, he will also work on the character design by giving characters a past and a personality to fit the story.
Then the writer will prepare the scripts for the next episodes ahead of time. In a professional setup, the writer will generally have 1 or 2 episodes in advance compared to the episode being drawn. The editor will review the episodes which might have to be updated several times before a good result is achieved. In addition the writer will include the feedback of the readers to ensure readers satisfaction, and durability for the manga series.
In the process, the writer will use storytelling techniques to create tension and expectation in the story, and hook the readers. He/she will work on the pace of the story, creating climax, suspense, emotions… to make it as exciting as possible.
Where can I find a writer?
If you are willing to make a manga and looking for a writer you have different options:
- You can look or ask on forums such as Reddit’s r/Mangamakers or on Discord’s Manga Studio for instance.
- You can also look for stories you like on writing sites (New Yorker, East of the Web…) and contact the authors to see if they would be willing to work with you.
Do not hesitate to comment or ask questions.