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How do you make problems for a really good shoujo story?

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Post #540243
user avatar

1:24 pm, Mar 16 2012
Posts: 9

Whenever I try to make a shoujo story I run out of ideas for the drama really quickly. I'm never sure what kinds of characters I should make or what kinds of problems I should bring into the story. I never know if I should draw them out either. How do you decide on these things?

I want every chapter to be really interesting so people won't be able to stop reading, but I don't know how to do that... xD I'm sure some of you guys want to draw your own shoujo xD What do you think?

Post #540245
user avatar
jail bait

2:06 pm, Mar 16 2012
Posts: 1444

hmmmm.. how about the 'adopted daughter thats why she is unloved by her parents and bullied by her siblings story?' or the 'i finally found you my one true love and yet you have amnesia or i have amnesia for some reason story'? or maybe the switched identity? the poor girl should be the rich girl and the rich girl should be the rich girl and when the secrets out the rich girl will do everything in her power not to get it esposed so she wont have to live a life of poverty and of course shes a bitch and of course theres a love triangle.

thats all the story that i can think of that has a long resolving period and has the possibility to be dragged on so if you want lengthy, go for these. biggrin

oh please do click this!
The sweeter the apple, the higher the branch. The quieter the fart, the nastier the smell.
Post #540255
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An F to judge M!

3:37 pm, Mar 16 2012
Posts: 382

I'd say the biggest problem authors have, is that they tend to a introduce an external "problem" and make the "main character" react in a fashion that conforms to a common societal belief (IE react in a way that doesn't stray too far off what most think is "right"), instead of working that problem though an established structure of internal psychology.

The real issue being how to create that "internal psychology", and more importantly, how to maintain and shape it in a way that doesn't make the reader roll her/his eyes. I'm speaking somewhat abstractly, and probably not elaborating as well as I should, but that's the jist of what I think.

Cherelle Ashlee
Post #540257 - Reply to (#540245) by otakuness
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Shoujo Queen

3:43 pm, Mar 16 2012
Posts: 418

Quote from otakuness
or maybe the switched identity? the poor girl should be the rich girl and the rich girl should be the rich girl and when the secrets out the rich girl will do everything in her power not to get it esposed so she wont have to live a life of poverty and of course shes a bitch and of course theres a love triangle.

That sound something similar to the prince and the pauper smile well not the love triangle part, but you know what I mean eyes

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But if it makes you happy to win on the internet, have at it.

Screams from the haters, got a nice ring to it. I guess every superhero need her theme music...
Post #540270
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Site Admin

5:32 pm, Mar 16 2012
Posts: 2275

You'll need to approach the story as if it were an essay. You need a topic, a general idea of what your story is. After that, you need to create an initial thesis, what you want to happen by the end of the story, which you would then flush out by expanding your thesis to include a short description of your body paragraphs (major defining events within the story).

Now, before you start making long stories that would span volumes (if it were to be printed), you should focus on oneshots. To do this, I suggest you start reading MANY oneshots, not just shoujo but all demographics, to give you an idea of flow and structure. As you are reading the oneshots, you will want to make observations on what works and what doesn't. When it doesn't work, you need to figure out why it doesn't. Then, you need to figure out why something does work. Is it the drawings, the narrative, the characters, the plot, or anything else in the story that could aid or detract from the story.

Links that could help: (you could get lost here... but you will come out a better viewer and maybe even a writer)

So, first what do you want to write about... figure that out and go from there. You can't create conflict when you don't even know what you are writing. Basically, get out a piece of paper and start jotting things down on whatever comes to mind: people, places, things, actions, events, emotions, dialogue, or whatever.

"Officially, this machine doesn't exist, you didn't get it from me,
and I don't know you. Make sure it doesn't leave the building."
Post #540558
user avatar

1:31 am, Mar 18 2012
Posts: 9

Awesome! Thanks so much guys! REALLY helpful!! smile I've started writing out the general idea, its taking longer than I thought o_o'' But it's still fun :3

Post #540563
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Manga Eater

1:52 am, Mar 18 2012
Posts: 442

I don't want to make my own shoujo (but I always thought the idea of a webcomic would be fun; but I know I don't have the endurance to pull it off), but I write personal stores all the time just for fun. I'm surprised that I don't find this more of a problem for me. But I do have pacing issues.

Try to step back and look at your work as a whole, and as a third-person viewer (you might want to give yourself a break before this so that you don't have the plot as ingrained on your mind). Try not to take a bias viewpoint--is it interesting? Do you want to keep reading? Is it unique, different, or captivating? Are the characters realistic or consistent in their actions?
I don't know if that's at all helpful to you, but it helps me. Introducing conflict into the story doesn't have to be wild and exciting either, like the world suddenly discovers the moon's about to slip out of earth's gravitational pull and it's up to your character to save it--an antagonist could made out of a friend, in example. Simple, but effective if you do it right!

Anyway, good luck~ smile

Go to work, send your kids to school;
Follow fashion, act normal;
Walk on the pavement, watch T.V.;
Save for retirement, obey the law.
Repeat after me: I am free.
Post #540698
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A dignified

4:34 pm, Mar 18 2012
Posts: 507

Disabilities/injuries are always good (for plot richness).

"People don't change, they just give in."
Kubera is the best.
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Post #541114
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10:37 pm, Mar 20 2012
Posts: 449

As a reader I'll just suggest to try not to cram in a bunch of common and overused romantic drama cliches.

Like this:
Sue is oblivious, pure, clumsy, and cute. Joe likes to tease her and never leaves her alone. Bob is sweet to her and he is her "prince." She "loves" him. Joe gets angry when he sees her w/ other guys and tries to mess things up w/ her and Bob. Suddenly he pins her to the wall and kisses her! Eventually she hooks up guessed it Joe! Turns out he is a tsundere! Later on random (childhood friend, co-worker, new student, take your pick) dude Jake shows up and flirts w/ her alot. He likes her and always has ever since they were kids/he met her/etc! One day he kisses her and Joe sees this and misunderstands! He is angry at her now and avoiding her! Omg who will she choose?! Also Joe's ex has her feeling insecure and she wants Joe back! What will happen to the couple?!

^ I would definitely avoid doing that sort of story. Or at least avoid doing a story that relies on any of this to keep going.

Post #541116
user avatar
Anger Avoidant

10:58 pm, Mar 20 2012
Posts: 479

how about an immortal who has watched many of her boyfriends die of old age and secluded herself cause she doesn't want to feel the pain anymore but eventually meets another immortal and like many shoujo stories, ends with (literally) eternal love.

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Post #541117

11:14 pm, Mar 20 2012
Posts: 259

I don't really want to go off giving you story lines, since I think that ruins potential mangaka's creativity. :/
Just go around reading a lot of good shoujo manga and a lot of bad shoujo manga. [ie look at the ratings here on MU]

I suggest reading a bunch of extremely high rated and good shoujo manga first. While reading it, think about why it's so good. How is the plot structured so it's good? Did the mangaka use foreshadowing? Is the story complex? How complex is it? What makes the characters interesting? Are there any character developments? How do the characters act out the story in a way that makes the manga interesting? Is there anything that can be improved for this manga?
After reading a plethora of good shoujo manga, switch to extremely bad shoujo manga. Think about why it's rated so badly. What's wrong with the plot? What's the manga missing that good shoujo manga have? What's wrong with the characters? What is lacking in the characters? How can this be improved?

I also suggest looking at the comments area of the series information. You can pick up a lot from there. And look out for reviews too. Good reviews usually give a lot of information about why the manga is good or bad. In order to make a good manga in general, you need to do a lot of research first to find out what people usually like and don't like, then structure your story.

Post #541131
user avatar

1:24 am, Mar 21 2012
Posts: 764

Wanna make it really fu@@ed up?

She gets raped at the middle of the manga, his boyfriend beat so much the guy who did it that he send him to a coma, now the guy is in jail, 'cos the guy who raped her happen to be the son of a police man, and the girl is pregnant, she wants to have an abortion but at the same time she is of the believe that it's killing his baby, who has no fault at the matter, the guy only want for her to be happy, meanwhile he is studying laws in jail, one day some guy who he befriended tell him of his crazy escape plan, but he want to take no part of it.
Suddenly a one of the prisoners tell the main guy that he have a message for him from an old friend...
guess who is out of the coma and wants to take revenge on him by beating his girlfriend?

Now main guy needs to escape from jail before it's too late, but the plan needs for him to kill a guard... is it ok to kill someone for love or to save someone else? if he tell the guards about the girl, would they help them or would it be even worst due to his enemy's father influence?

did i went over board?

sorry, i'm like that every time i start writing

laugh laugh

btw, i'm now thinking about the ending...

did that help you at all?



The guard he needs to kill is the brother of the guy who raped his girlfriend, he has been treating him like shit because of what mg did to his brother, but deep inside he is actually a nice guy and not only that but if he were to figure out what his brother want to do he would probably stop him... but mg don't know this and his resolve seem to be made, what the shit, is he really gonna escape like that?...

Last edited by BlackOrion at 1:37 am, Mar 21

Post #541166
user avatar
An F to judge M!

6:30 am, Mar 21 2012
Posts: 382

Uh... yeah, BlackOrion, but where will he get rubber pants his size?


Post #541168

7:15 am, Mar 21 2012
Posts: 170

Get them jobs.

Kinda hard to hard to stay true with your love when your work hours conflict in the first place.

Post #541195
user avatar

1:34 pm, Mar 21 2012
Posts: 75

i dont really wanna give you any plot ideas cuz im writing one myself (lol ^^) but i think that if you make it a romance fantasy then theres a lot of potential for non cliche drama or maybe give little LITTLE hints from the beginning that the mc has some secret power or something, but i defiantly suggest that you take a look at it after youve written a oneshot and ask yourself, "is it cliche, does it have potential, are the characters good" cuz u need good characters and room for development to make a good story, and you must have noticed that all the really cliched mangas usually stop serializing after like 20 chapters, its cuz theyre not interesting and everyone knows how it will turn out

hope i helped ^^

"I don't know everything, I'm just really good at explaining the past, so it seems like I know everything"
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