Looking for an artist and critiques

Do you have a story for a manga you'd like to share or talk about? Then this is the place to be.

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MrFate
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Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by MrFate » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:02 pm

Hello, everyone. This is my first time writing a story for a manga, so I'm sure there are tons of advice you can give me to improve my skills. With that being said, I have two related story ideas, and depending on which one is more suitable, I would like to partner with an artist to create it. Before I pitch each idea, I will give you the setting and the context since both stories take place at the same time.

Context:These stories take place in an alternate world in which global catastrophe has reached humanity sooner than expected. The global economy is officially dissolved, and most countries are left to fend for themselves. However, the United States has decided to keep Japan afloat at the expense of Japan's autonomy. Now it is 2012, and Americans have created a new elite in their country consisting of diplomats, politicians, and still ultra-rich businessmen. As a result, Japanese culture is on the verge of extinction. Most Japanese children speak fluent English thanks to a branch of Japanese-English Academies aimed to promote integration between Japanese and American kids. Fringe groups and reactionaries are gaining in influence by playing on the local's fears of a complete takeover of their way of life.

Setting:Both stories take place in Osaka, the new American hub (Tokyo is left for the figurehead Japanese government).

Okay, here are the two stories:

Annalise
Genres: Slice of life, psychological, surrealist

Premise: The story follows an average, depressed high-school student named Tenma and his two friends, Yuumi and Kazuki. They are tired of their mundane lives, but Tenma is the most discontent of them all. Tenma wants a change, and almost like fate, change arrives when he becomes involved in the antics of a seemingly omniscient and dangerous American girl named Annalise. She seems to be an evil mastermind whose sole purpose is to create chaos and psychologically destroy Tenma's perspective on life and existence. However, can you trust your judgements? As the story unfolds, reality and fiction blend into a surrealist collage of symbols and metaphors that can only end in tragedy.

Style: The story's style is dark, satirical and methodical. Each arc will explore a different aspect of Tenma's views. For instance, the "Rainbow Arc" will show Tenma mature as his views on morality and judgment evolve through his encounters with Annalise (as symbolized by Tenma's color blindness). Also, I imagine the art work to be realistic at first, but experimental and odd as the story unfolds.


Right now, I have the rough draft for chapter 1 and part of chapter 2. However, I may rewrite it because I think it's too wordy. Here's a sample:

(Tenma goes to confront Annalise after seeing her steal a cell phone from the class president)

--Tenma tries follow quietly only to have a gush of wind slam the door shut behind him--
Annalise: Hey, kid.
Narrator: Kid? *The Narrator is Tenma's thoughts
Annalise: Wait...I know who you are. You're that quiet colorblind kid, Tenma. (she turns around with cell phone in hand) Is there any particular reason why you're following me?
Tenma: I saw what you did. Naturally, I had to do something about it.
Narrator: Wow, I'm sounding cool for once.
Annalise: (giggle) I doubt you're here because you care about the class president. You want to blackmail me. How noble of you.
Tenma: A patronizing thief? It's one thing to be poor and desperate, but another to be privileged and immoral. Is that the president's cell phone?
Annalise: Immoral...me? (shriek of laughter) You have an interesting view on morality, Tenma. Which is worse: stalking or stealing?
Tenma: I'm the one asking the questions. Why did you steal her phone?
Annalise: The same reason you followed me. You just couldn't help yourself. (sneers)
Tenma: I'm nothing like you.
Annalise: You will be soon enough. But first, let me teach you a little lesson.
--Suddenly, she lunges for him and throws his body against the loosened guard rail. She then picks Tenma up with one hand so that they're now face to face --
Annalise: What's to prevent me from getting rid of you right now?
--Tenma's feet are dangling. He is squirming, avoiding the scary downward view--
Annalise: If you really cared about justice, you would told the class president herself what you had seen.
Tenma: As if she'd believe me.
Annalise: Fair enough. But, you wanted to use this opportunity to further your own vision. That being, that you're the poor, misunderstood, good guy and I'm the privileged bad guy. You don't care about context, do you? You see, you aren't just color blind...you actually believe that the world is black and white. If only you could see that the world isn't black, white, or even gray, it's an icy blue.
--A chill runs up Tenma's spine and for a split second, he can see Annalise's frosty blue eyes. He tries to reach for his eyes, but Annalise forcibly drops him on the ground and slides the cell phone midway between them. He crawls and touches the phone only for Annalise to snatch it back. She laughs--
Annalise: I bet your hands are freezing in this weather. You should really wear gloves. Now your fingerprints are all over this stolen phone, so ahead and tell the president what you've witnessed.
Narrator: (finally realizes) She was wearing gloves the whole time!
Annalise: Remember, it's my word against yours. Sayonara, Tenma.
--Annalise heads back inside while the sun is beginning to set in the horizon.--

------------------------------------
Persephone
Genres: Action, sci-fi, psychological
Premise: An eccentric group of dropouts become vigilantes sworn to protect Osaka from corruption and violence in the midst of a global catastrophe. They strive to challenge the current establishment and restore power to the locals through systematic attacks on so-called enemies of freedom. This group is called the Young Anarchists Club.

Styles: I want this to feel like a video-game with specialty characters and missions. Most scenes will take place at night, giving the story a mysterious and thrilling mood.

Characters:
(none of them have names yet)
1. Artillery expert- Small girl with a giant bow (also packs fire-power)
2. Computer and robotics expert- Shy, geeky girl with an army of artificial insects for surveillance and espionage
3. Coordinator and swordsman- lean guy with an array of swords and slashing weapons; he micro-manages operations
4. Social engineer- the suave con-man; he infiltrates places with his looks and charm
5. Martial-arts expert- Tom-boy with fists of fury; she has ninja-like skills

Hades (their leader)- unknown identity; has access to resources and people in high places-- occasionally referred to as Phoenix since that is the group's symbol

Personally, I like the first story (since I worked it first and it's more psychological), but I feel like the second story, once I work on it more, will be more suitable for a manga. There are also more avenues I can take with the second idea while exploring the legitimacy of their ideals and actions. Oh, and both stories are related by a hidden "twist", and I could make it so that each story completes the other, so to speak.

Anyway, tell me what you think. Which story do you prefer to see as a manga? Also, if you're an artist and you're interested in working with me, let me know asap! I will probably update on a weekly basis.
Last edited by MrFate on Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Ceta
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Re: Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by Ceta » Thu Jul 26, 2012 1:33 am

Out of curiosity, why did you choose Osaka as the setting for both stories?

MrFate
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Re: Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by MrFate » Fri Jul 27, 2012 6:06 pm

I have a friend who lives in Osaka,which is why I decided to choose it. I've never been there though, so that could be a problem. I'm willing to change the setting to improve authenticity, if necessary. However, the reason why both stories have the same setting was because I wanted to have one place to build multiple stories and sub-plots from. I wanted to create my own "world" in which all of my stories take place. Then, as I kept working on the second story, I realized that both stories should be connected by a secret twist, and that only works if they have the same setting.

I had imagined the last chapter of Annalsie to show the city turning into chaos and revolts through the eyes of Tenma (who has succumbed to Annalise's delusions and sees the chaos as a large-scale fantasy war). He then sees her killed just as they tried to escape the bloodshed on the streets, but just as he goes to recover her body, a crowd blocks his path. The last frame would show a blonde American girl ascend into the night sky, and Tenma finds that Annalise's body has disappeared.

With that being said, the second story (which I've now named Persephone) is more about revolutions than it is about character interactions and philosophical banter. This story takes place at the same time as Annalise, and ends when the Young Anarchists Club (that's what the vigilantes are called) also see a blonde American girl ascend into the night sky. This last scene ends when one of the members says, "Persephone's finally leaving the underworld" and with another saying, "Our phoenix" (the symbol of their club and ideals).

Now, this is the twist. In order for it to work, I need the people who read Annalise to doubt their interpretations of the last chapter (for instance, I want them to question if Annalise is still alive, if she was a real person or just a figment of Tenma's imagination, etc). Then, when they read Persephone, they will begin to understand the events which lead to the revolts, and ultimately, Annalise's downfall. This is when I imply that the mysterious leader of the Young Anarchists Club may be Annalise. However, I will leave enough clues in both stories for readers to realize that Annalise has a twin sister named Persephone, and that Persephone is the real leader of the Young Anarchists Club. (she will never appear directly in the story, and to make things more symbolic, her name represents her dark past into the "underworld" and how her club was her method to rise above it all) This makes the story tragic because Persephone accidentally kills her own sister, and Persephone, not Annalise, is the person everyone sees rise into the night sky.

So, to summarize, each story answers what the other one doesn't, and what connects them is the existence of a secret twin (truly making them "twin" stories lol). The surrealism and philosophy is meant to promote different interpretations of the ending while acting as a misdirection for an otherwise simple explanation to what happened.

What do you think? Should I just make up a Japanese city instead? Also, is this plot too complicated for a manga?

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Ceta
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Re: Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by Ceta » Sun Jul 29, 2012 3:24 am

One of the main problems with relying on someone you know via the internet is that they tend to disappear when you need them the most. That said, you should really try to rely on yourself for your story, but I believe that you should write based on what you know. Setting the story in a place that you have been and have really familiarized yourself with will help you immensely with keeping things as accurate as possible and allowing you to figure out how to use locations to the fullest. This also brings up a second problem: Lost in translation. Your friend can tell you all sorts of things about Osaka, but what your friend tells you and what you perceive it to be may not be one in the same.

Another problem is the art. Artists on boards like this one typically come from an English-speaking country who most likely have never had the experience of going to Japan. Drawing all the things that would be necessary to set the story in Japan would likely be incredibly difficult without the proper reference photos, knowledge on locations, etc. Looking all that up will take time and, ultimately, may end up causing the artist to drop out of the project or may cause you to lose interest, depending on who is the one doing all the research.


Anyway, I'll cut things off here since I need to head out. I'll write more on what I think of the stories as soon as I can.

MrFate
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Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2012 8:06 pm

Re: Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by MrFate » Sun Jul 29, 2012 7:20 pm

Thanks for the reply! I honestly appreciate you taking the time to help me.

I agree with what you've said about the setting, and unfortunately, that creates a big dilemma for my story. If I make the story take place in an American city, then I'll have to change the entire context of the story. I can try to rewrite it so that the basic plot still stands, and hopefully it'll be just as strong as the original.

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Ceta
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Re: Looking for an artist and critiques

Post by Ceta » Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:14 pm

Although it may be a bit of a struggle to rework things at first, if you work hard and persist the end result may end up much better than the previous version. In addition, you may come up with things that will make the story more interesting that you may not have come up with before. Sadly, as much as I wish I could, I really can't guarantee anything since it's all up to you to make things happen. I do hope things go smoothly for you, though; I know how hard it can be to overhaul a story.

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