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Quick disclaimer, I am in no way trying to reestablish, reinterpret, contradict, or otherwise tamper with the set rules of the Masters of Animanga collaborative project. What follows are tips and suggestions geared towards etiquette and contribution to be followed or ignored at the readers' discretion. Any offense is unintended.
Avoid extended casts, work with limited characters. This gives you the opportunity to develop personalities, establish believable characters, and write smoother dialogue.
While it's given that this is a collaborative effort, it may be more productive for only one person to design the dialogue of one specific character. This will prevent arbitrary changes in perspective and experiences from each character. That being said, "role-playing" contributors should avoid making any plot-driven contributions
Avoid master villains. By adding master villains, you complicate a plot designed to be resolved within a few chapters. Instead, add a master goal that is hindered by conflicts.
With respect to the previous tip, employ the 3 arc method. Each arc will center around an internal problem amongst the primary characters, an external conflict with a villain or villainous organisation, and a resolution of both the internal and external conflict at the arc's closure.
Keep in mind that the best way to draw the reader into the story is by having them make an emotional connection with either the villain or the hero's response to the villain. This means that having fewer villains are favorable. These villains should either be dutiful antagonists, tragic characters, or entirely hateful and pathetic creatures. Battles with villains should be dominated by dialogue explaining their motivations, reasons defeating them may be "more difficult than expected," and deepening character. It can also serve as plot devices to further the conflict of the plot. Boom, boom, bam, dead is a strict no-no. Overpowered ANYBODY is a no-no. Strong characters that seem insurmountable at first are encouraged, but only if their weaknesses are subtle yet logical.
The 3-arc method should also feature increasing difficulty. The first arc should focus on easy villains, the second on difficult villains, and the third on final villains, villains whose defeat brings closure to the plot, although not necessarily the storyline.
Learn from archetypes. As a short-lived collaboration of unfamiliar artists, there is little time to focus on creating Kafka-level works. Therefore, character archetypes may be your best friend. Now, if someone makes an easy to work with contribution that can make characters depart from their mold, then that is wonderful.
No one should hold all the cards. No contributor can be permitted to make a significant plot development without indication from previous posts made by different contributors. To achieve this, contributors should INDICATE their ideas but only allow others to interpret them. For instance, any new primary character should be introduced progressively within the same scene. Example:
- Contributor 1 - A boy appears on the pier
- Contributor 2 - He looks like [description]
- Contributor 3 - He is doing [action]
- Contributor 4 - He is doing [action] because [reason]
- Contributor 1 - His name is €
This being said, contributors must not make possessive attachments to characters they introduce (or more appropriately, imply) because once they are introduced into the public sphere, they are no longer yours but the community's. So no posts like "WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY CHARACTER!?"
Every chapter needs a plot. That means each chapter must have an exposition, conflict, rising action, climax, falling action, and conclusion (in an arc, the conclusion must lead into the next chapter in the arc)
Don't bore readers.
According to what I have heard, the next Master of Animanga story is a samurai piece. The samurai are an ancient and treasured tradition of Japan, perhaps the best known figures of their honorable heritage. Remembering that the piece will also be illustrated by a Japanese artist, bone up on legitimate knowledge of the samurai! It would be beyond unacceptable if we disrespected the ancient samurai and we would make fools of ourselves if we were ignorant as to the customs of the samurai class. Learn! Then write!
Avoid the mixing of dissimilar or otherwise incompatible elements