Monday, June 9, 2014

Are Your Male Characters Boring? Learn from Kyousuke Motomi

"If my stories can touch you, make you laugh, forget unhappy things, or even give you that 'good job' feeling, then I'll be super, super happy!" - Kyousuke Motomi

Sometimes when creating a lead male character, especially for a shoujo style comic, it’s easy to take a look the story and think, “The main guy is cool and attracts all the girls but then, why is he still sooooo boring?”

If that’s a problem, it may be helpful to look at the stories of Kyousuke Motomi, the creator of Beast Master and Dengeki Daisy. If her graphic novels could talk about more than just the stories that are in them, this is probably what they would say:

Create Male Characters With Heart

Every girl in the area doesn’t have to be attracted to the main guy. They could even be terrified of him (like in Beast Master). It’s important for the male character, no matter how cool he may seem, to be a little vulnerable. Maybe even transparent at times.

Show his faults, insecurities and even fears. Write about the things that happened in his life that he doesn’t want to talk about.

And although shoujo is a genre that usually casts girls as the main characters and a guy as a love interest, don’t be afraid of switching things up a little. Let there be a main character that’s a girl, but then make the story all about the guy.

Let Your Characters Be Misunderstood

Misunderstandings are great for adding obsticles and conflict into the plot. Many times with romance stories, the only reason why the story keeps going is because the characters don’t communicate well. 

Like, a boy is suppose to meet a girl at the train station at a certain time (I know that is so over done, but it's a good example). On the way there he gets an emergency phone call and has to run to the hospital. However his phone is dead, so he can’t call the girl who’s waiting on him to let her know that the reason he’s late is because so-and-so got into an accident and whatever.

So two hours later she’s still at the station waiting for him, and she begins to think that he stood her up (although he didn’t), and she leaves. Then he shows up at the station later and she’s gone, and he knows he’s in trouble.

If they were able to communicate clearly, this wouldn’t have even been a problem. But then the story would have been so much shorter!

Also misunderstandings aren’t limited to being between two characters. Society as a whole could have problems understanding the main character. The main character can even fail to understand themselves.

Draw Beautifully

It’s no secret that Kyousuke Motomi does some lovely art. When working on a comic, take the time to make sure that the pictures tell the story well. 

By looking at the work of other writers and artists, it's not too hard to find the solutions to your own story writing and comic making problems.