5 TIPS For Creating GREAT PROTAGONISTS In Comics & Manga

5 TIPS For Creating GREAT PROTAGONISTS In Comics & Manga

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[Music] how's it going everyone welcome back to monitor comics the channel where we create comics and manga in today's video we'll be discussing how to create interesting protagonists for your comics manga and webtoon projects but first let's hear a word from today's sponsor this video is brought to you by skillshare skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of inspiring classes for creators with skillshare you can explore new skills deepen your creative passion and get lost in creativity right now i am taking a class called character design from first idea to
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final illustration by jazza in this course i learned about character design fundamentals the professional character design process and how to present my final designs i have begun incorporating many of jaws tips into my own work i even used jaws triangle of design process to create these character sheets for my published saturday am comic series change the world with the skillshare premium membership you'll gain unlimited access to thousands of video lessons and class projects classes can range from illustration animation creative writing freelancing and much much more there are
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can explore your creativity do something today that you couldn't do yesterday with short classes designed for real life thank you again skillshare for sponsoring this video and continuing to help the creative community and now let's get back to the video starting things off i want to define what a protagonist is a protagonist is the leading character in a story the word protagonist comes from the greek language and translates to chief actor the one who plays the first part it's a common misconception to use the term main character and protagonist interchangeably in actuality the two terms are slightly different
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while there can be many main characters there's only one protagonist the protagonist serves as the catalyst to move your story forward typically your protagonist's goals align with your overall story's goals the plot of your story moves forward based on the protagonist's decisions and actions another misconception is that protagonists are synonymous with quote unquote good guys this is not always the case sometimes protagonists lack moral integrity fall into the anti-hero category the easiest way to think about a protagonist is to think of them as the point of view
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character readers follow the protagonists and their interactions throughout your story there are three main types of protagonists one the hero a heroic protagonist is the traditional quote-unquote good guy of the story they try to embody strong morals and make the right decision for themselves and for the other characters think of protagonists like goku naruto and deku 2. the anti-hero some protagonists stray from the traditional hero trope these characters are called anti-heroes and they can either be unlikely or
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unwilling heroes in some cases these characters may even be villains even when anti-heroes are villains they are protagonists it's important to note that anti-heroes are not synonymous with antagonists antagonists are characters who work against the protagonists of the story when an unlikable unwilling or villainous protagonist is treated as the main character in a story they are still considered the story's protagonist think of characters like light yagami lelouch v britannia and spike spiegel 3. a false protagonist
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sometimes a writer sets stories up with one character as the protagonist only to switch focus at one point in the story this is often done by killing the false protagonist this is done in order to jar or disorientate the reader think of a situation like danganronpa v3 where the player character is killed off in the very first execution only to reveal that the side character shuichi would be the true protagonist now that we know the role of the protagonist let's jump into my five tips for writing great protagonists for your comics manga and webtoon projects tip number one avoid extremes when a
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protagonist is extremely moral or extremely immoral it might be hard for your reader to relate to them allow your protagonist to have a mix of traits in order to make them feel more human by creating a morally grey character your character will appear more realistic we don't always make the morally right choices all of the time your characters in your story should reflect that humility think of a protagonist like naruto uzumaki from the naruto franchise naruto may be one of the most forgiving and overly friendly protagonists in all manga naruto is quick to try and talk down the series villains multiple times
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he attempts to forgive dangerous criminals and space aliens who literally tried to destroy the moon naruto's extreme idealism makes him very hard to relate to on the flip side a morally unjust character like lelouch v brittania is equally unrelatable lelouch has a vindictive and fascist outlook on the world he's an aristocrat with a privileged upbringing and despite this he's still a repulsive human being while this is the point of leilucia's character it's incredibly hard to relate to a character who cares so little about the other characters in the story while naruto and code geass are very successful pieces of art we
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can't ignore the shortcomings of the protagonists luckily there are many other aspects from both series that make up for the protagonist's lack of relatability if you would like to learn more about character relatability i have a whole video covering that topic i'll link it in the top right hand youtube card right now tip number two is going to be avoid overpowered or underwhelming protagonists an overpowered protagonist can often leave readers feeling that the stakes of the story's central conflict aren't high enough in other words readers will think that your protagonist is not risking anything and has nothing to lose
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if your story has no stakes it's not all that interesting to read think of any isakai protagonist like ins from overlord for two seasons we've never seen this character break a sweat he always defeats any enemy that stands in his way even when he is involved in a literal war he wipes out the enemy's army quickly this setup becomes stale after the first few battles because the plot no longer has any real stakes this is emphasized when the story tries so hard to make you care about the plot but falls short when we know nothing is really going to happen how can we care about a character when all they do is defeat every enemy with
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unexplained power ups and magical spells that they had in their back pocket on the flip side a protagonist that is too weak or helpless might leave readers feeling frustrated think of a series like the legend of korra in the legend of korra the protagonist cora catches more l's than i can count even when you think she's gonna do something super cool she either nearly dies or gets her butt kicked at a certain point you start to just get annoyed and the sad part is it doesn't really improve in the show's four seasons cora is only able to defeat the main antagonist through plot convenience or other characters doing the work for her tip 3 is going to be let your reader get
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to know your protagonist before the story is set in motion writers are often told to get the inciting incident out there as quickly as possible the inciting incident disrupts our protagonist's ordinary world and calls them to adventure writers sometimes feel pressured to kick the main conflict and storyline into gear before losing the audience at the first few pages often though writers make the mistake of introducing the catalyst too earlier not giving the protagonist enough screen time before the story is set in emotion this tends to result in an immediate disconnect from the character because the audience is not given enough of a window to learn
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about the character in their ordinary world before conflict arises establishing a clear sense of your character's quote-unquote normal life allows the reader to understand what this character wants out of life how they view the world and how they behave before they're faced with whatever obstacle your story throws at them by having that foundation your readers will have more time to relate and connect with your protagonist from the very start think of a series like the promised neverland in the first episode we are shown the children's everyday lives of the gracefield home orphanage we are briefly introduced to different characters and shown what a normal date the orphanage looks like
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the inciting incident that sets the story into motion isn't revealed until the very end of the first episode this decision was smart because it served as a plot twist a plot twist is an unexpected development in a story by depicting the character's everyday lives we were given a clear reference point for how things were about to change moving forward tip 4 is going to be let us know how your protagonist feels about their situation in real life when someone tells you an emotionally charged story you express empathy maybe the events in your friend's story make your friend exceptionally angry frustrated thrilled or humiliated
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whatever emotion your friend is experiencing you will tend to mirror these feelings because you care about your friend even if the story does not directly involve you writers should aim to achieve the same exact emotional connection between their characters and their audience if the viewer doesn't know how the protagonist feels about whatever situation they're dealing with it's much harder for us to emotionally engage with their struggle the trick is to communicate those feelings without resorting to on-the-nose dialogue remember to show and not tell if your character is the type to not openly express how they are feeling other characters should be able to showcase how the reader should be
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feeling about a certain situation tip number five is going to be avoid making your protagonist passive a passive character is a character who is strictly reactive a passive character may roll with the punches whenever their everyday life changes from the events of your story a great protagonist should be proactive take charge make a plan and attack a problem with their skills and supporting cast some questions you can ask yourself in order to avoid creating a passive character include does your protagonists face their problems with a joke does your protagonist enlist the help of
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their cast of friends does your protagonists solve their issues with their own power does your protagonists solve their problem by acknowledging that the situation is not their fault keep in mind what fuels your character that way you will always have a way to move forward not only that it will give your reader a reason to root for your protagonist think of passive protagonists like orecki from hyouka hachiman from snafu haruka from free and odinashi from angel beats what all these protagonists have in common is they roll rolled the punches throughout their perspective series
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instead of trying to take their lives into their own hands they simply go along with whatever other characters tell them to do instead of trying to make any real change they simply react to the conflicts being thrown at them and allow other characters to make decisions for them great protagonists come from relatability and impact the reader by appealing to what we like to think about ourselves a likable protagonist engages with the reader and can serve as a window into a strange world that's going to do it for this video i hope you were able to get some value out of it if you enjoyed this video i hope you can like the video and subscribe to the
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channel if you haven't already leave a comment down below telling us about your favorite protagonist from any anime manga comic novel or movie remember all of my social media links can be found down in the description below if you want to watch me create manga live then be sure to check out some of my upcoming live streams in case you missed one you can always rewatch them using the live stream thoughts playlist my published manga change the world will be debuting in saturday m's new branch saturday afternoon this september as always keep creating
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everyone i'll see you on the next one [Music] you

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