Creating a webtoon is an incredible and satisfying experience but requires a tough mentality. Indeed, it's a real challenge, and the best way to face a challenge is to prepare for it, just like you prepare for an exam to pass it 🤷♀️.
So if your decision is made, and you're ready to embark on this amazing experience, here are 10 things to know that will help you prepare yourself.
- 1 - Creating a webtoon is a marathon
- 2 - Readers prefer colorful graphics
- 3 - Publication is weekly
- 4 - Webtoons are similar to TV series
- 5 - Reading is vertical
- 6 - Your first episodes must grab the readers
- 7 - Readers prefer longer episodes
- 8 - Use the space you have to draw
- 9 - You can interact with readers
- 10 - Depression and sadness will often seek you out
1 - Creating a webtoon is a marathon
Creating a webtoon is not a sprint, it's a marathon. This means that it requires endurance and patience. You probably guessed it, but making your series won't be completed in a month or two.
It all depends on your goals, but if you're publishing one episode per week, that's four episodes per month (approximately).
In the same month, you must also add the preparation of your episodes: the storyboard, inking, coloring, and lettering before publishing your episode, and then immediately move on to preparing your second episode, and so on.
It will be challenging to keep up with this pace in the long run. Hence, the marathon and endurance.
Just like a marathon requires months of training, creating a webtoon requires months or even years of preparation. For example, having the story ready, not necessarily entirely, but enough to have some leeway and having several storyboards in advance to save time during the creation week.
The goal of this preparation is to be able to maintain regularity without risking burnout and losing readers' attention. So, make sure to plan and be consistent with your updates. Remember, slow and steady wins the race!
2 - Readers prefer colorful graphics
One of the most significant features of webtoons is undoubtedly their colorful graphics. Therefore, readers are used to and prefer webtoons in color.
You must pay attention to this element if your goal is to have an audience; color is crucial in a reader's choice to read your series. Your story can be incredible, but if the first images don't grab the reader, they will never know your story is fantastic.
If you're not into colors that much, you can also go for basic colors without shadows with a few effects, or if you want to try to go into details, in that case, have fun 😂. But remember that colorful graphics can make a big difference in attracting and retaining readers.
So, take the time to experiment with different color schemes and find what works best for your webtoon. You might be surprised by how much color can enhance your storytelling and captivate your audience.
3 - Publication is weekly
When it comes to webtoons, the publication is usually weekly. Of course, this isn't an absolute rule; you must understand that your publication must be regular so that your audience knows when to return.
The weekly publication is the most frequent among creators. It leaves enough time (more or less) for creators to prepare for the next episodes, and the period is long enough to increase the reader's desire and not too long to discourage them.
However, you can publish as you please, once a month, every five days, it's really up to you. Don't put too much pressure if you think you can't keep up the pace.
It's more a matter of organization, planning, and preparation. Make sure to have a schedule and stick to it. This way, your readers will know when to expect new episodes, and you'll be able to create a regular and engaged audience.
4 - Webtoons are similar to TV series
Webtoons are like TV series in many ways. Like TV shows, webtoons have regularly released episodes, and readers follow the story passionately.
That's why you should leave room for character development, story development, and potential relationships when writing your story. Let the reader ask questions, make hypotheses, and experience the story as your characters grow.
Not all elements of your story need to be fully defined at the beginning of the reading. Instead, the reader should be there when the information is created and not just when it is given.
For example, during a rescue, Character A blushes when Character D carries her. No one expected it. Now let's see if this information will be addressed or not.
So, make sure to plan out your story with a long-term vision. Leave room for surprises, twists, and character development. This way, your readers will stay engaged and excited about your webtoon for the long haul.
5 - Reading is vertical
Webtoons are unique in that they are read vertically. This is because the format is adapted to scrolling on the phone. As a result, you need to consider this factor when drawing and placing your panels and text.
It's essential to ensure your panels and text flow smoothly in the vertical format. Consider the placement of your panels and how they'll look when stacked on top of each other. It's also a good idea to use transitions between panels to guide the reader's eye and make sure they don't get lost.
Vertical reading also means less space for each panel, so use that space wisely. Make each panel count and focus on conveying the story and emotions efficiently.
By keeping the vertical format in mind while creating your webtoon, you'll ensure that your story flows smoothly and is easy for readers to follow.
6 - Your first episodes must grab the readers
The first few episodes of your webtoon are crucial as they set the tone for the rest of the series. Only the first episodes are free on some platforms, so they must be intriguing enough to trigger readers' curiosity to read the rest.
Your first episodes should contain the overall stakes of your story and why you are telling it. Take advantage of these episodes to showcase your best graphics. This way, you can attract readers with the story and the artwork.
In addition to the first episode, you can create a prologue to summarize your story in one episode, like a trailer. This is a great way to give readers a taste of what's to come and entice them to read more.
Remember, the first few episodes are your chance to make a strong impression and capture your audience's attention. So, make sure to put your best foot forward and make those first few episodes count!
7 - Readers prefer longer episodes
When it comes to webtoon episodes, readers typically prefer longer ones. However, the word "long" can be vague regarding webtoons.
When we talk about an episode's length, we refer to the number of panels. This number depends on what you will tell in one episode, whether you have much or little to say.
Webtoon episodes should have approximately 40 to 50 panels, but this can vary depending on the genre of your webtoon. For example, romance, action, and adventure webtoons have longer episodes, while comedy and slice-of-life webtoons can have shorter ones.
Remember that the length of your episodes should be consistent throughout your series. This consistency will help your readers know what to expect and make it easier for you to plan out and create your episodes.
Ultimately, the length of your episodes will depend on your story and what you want to convey in each episode. Just make sure to find a balance between making your episodes long enough to satisfy your readers and short enough to keep them engaged and wanting more.
8 - Use the space you have to draw
The vertical format of webtoons offers the advantage of having an almost infinite scrolling sheet, allowing for larger graphics that occupy more space.
Use the space you have to draw to create beautiful, dynamic panels that showcase your artistic skills. Take advantage of the vertical space by using large images and interesting angles. Use the space to make your webtoon stand out and grab readers' attention 😉
9 - You can interact with readers
One of the unique aspects of webtoons is that you can interact with your readers directly. Many platforms allow you to have a comment section at the end of your episodes, giving readers a chance to share their thoughts and feedback.
While receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, it's essential to remember that it's all part of the creative process. Use negative comments constructively and focus on improving your work. Remember that you're creating for yourself and what you love doing, so don't let negative comments discourage you.
Positive feedback can be incredibly motivating, so engage with your readers and thank them for their support. Respond to comments and build a relationship with your readers. It can be an excellent way to make a loyal fan base and keep them engaged with your work.
Engaging with your readers is an excellent way to build a community around your webtoon and make your readers feel involved in the creative process. Feel free to interact with your audience and use their feedback to improve your work 😊
10 - Depression and sadness will often seek you out
It's quite sad to say, but many creators have been depressed or have suffered from depression. The creative process can be lonely, and the pressure to create can be overwhelming.
When you start creating your webtoon, it's essential not to put too much pressure on yourself. Remember that creating a webtoon is a marathon, not a sprint. Take your time, and don't worry if you're not regular in your publishing schedule or have a creative block.
Your health is more important than anything else, including your webtoon. Even your future readers will know that. So never forget that you're not a robot 🤖, and need rest and companionship.
It's okay to take breaks and step away from your work to focus on your mental and emotional well-being. If you're struggling with depression or anxiety, don't hesitate to ask for help. Talking to friends, family, or a mental health professional can make a significant difference in your well-being and your ability to create.
Remember that creating a webtoon should be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience. Don't let the pressure to make take away from that experience. Take care of yourself, and your creativity will follow.