Foreign Friday: Thoughts About Serials 2, Maturation

Isn’t it amazing to look back at your earlier works (mine start around age 12) and see just how much you’ve improved? I like to think that every new manuscript I start is better than the last, a better plot, better settings, better character development, better dialogue, better word choices, etc. I like to think I’ve matured. Have you ever read a novel by an author who’se been out for a while, and then go back and read their first published work? It’s usually not as well written. My goal in writing, to quote Naruto, is “Stronger than yesterday!”

This maturation of the author can really be seen in manga serials, especially in longer series. The easiest to spot are the changes made to the artwork. For example, the artwork in the first volume of Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya is different than later volumes, like so:


The beginning is rougher, with sharper angles, while the later are more rounded, as if the characters have become more complete. Of course, she is also depicting the aging of the characters, as the series spans over a year. This art maturation is a good way to literally “see” how much the artist has improved, and the characters developed over the course of a series. Another good example is in Naruto, which now spans 60 volumes here in the U.S.

Come authors! Let us prove, even if just to ourselves, that we mature with every step!

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