I just have the need to get my thoughts out on all this story crafting nonsense, and what I'm considering for the next thing I'm working on. We certainly have many of our own tastes and dislikes, and general quality of a subject will improve the creation in question. But even quality, isn't directly related to it's ultimate reception. People come across crappy creations all the time. But does that mean they aren't good?
Lets say you have an idea you want to get across to people. Before you worry about format and what you plan to include, is it the best conveyance of the idea? Let's take a look at some examples of manga, namely, scenes that are high in execution.
Manga is about conveying a progression of a story from a particular perspective across the time it takes to read though and enjoy the moment. If the time and pace of the manga or story isn't believable, people can never get immersed or want to engage with the world. There needs to be a balance of presentation and understanding, alongside time for the reader to understand what is going on.
So lets take a look at this page, from the manga Helck (which you should read, it's really good, but I can't say it is perfect. But super enjoyable! Also, spoiler warning):
Chapter 36 - Helck
Revelation scenes like this, are built up with worldbuilding throughout the story. The less expected the element of revelation, the more exciting and interesting it is. The pace of this page, is overall slow, and the spacing between each bubble and panel is big enough for people to understand there is some huge relevance behind the sword. Keeping it brief and expressive, slow and steady is important in scenes like these, and a good grasp must be held, and gets the reader to understand: "Hey, this thing has some big relevance for upcoming events!"
Of course, manga isn't built just on scenes like these, and need to have a balance of scenes that get a lot of information out through text and scenes that give a lot of time to connect with pictures and pacing.
A lot of text can easily alienate the viewer from reading a scene, but if it is well spaced, and well worded, people won't be even able to tell.
Lets take a look at this text panel from Hunter x Hunter, which has overall great paneling, and a moderately fast pace. (Though the art is inconsistent, it's easy to understand, which is important)
At a glance, the text is easy to receive, but it's density can easily drive away people from taking all the details in. This brings up the question of how many of these words actually matter to the plot, if the reader should even have to read it all? Compared to the majority of the manga, which has spaced text of no more than 15 words per bubble, taking in fewer lines in less dense formats allows people to take in the information without really thinking about it.
But is there a way for people to take in larger amounts of text more easily?
If we have a different format to perceive information in relation to the picture - text format. Most words are contained within bubbles, and in manga, sometimes is generally hard to follow who says what without knowing the conventions. (I made this mistake in OH MAN quite often, with bubbles being squashed everywhere to fit in tons of lines of text).
When people are confronted with many chapters to read in any subject medium, people will tend to want to read in the least amount of time as a result of the overwhelming amount of chapters ahead. But if you follow a weekly release, you may find yourself re reading chapters that send out a certain feeling, and read it slowly compared to starting a new release. This doesn't apply to everyone, but I know people that read very quickly through manga. Of course, if it's really good, it warrants a re read as you didn't know what you were getting into before. But if it's mediocre, you'd be glad you didn't spend a lot of time trying to read something that you wouldn't have understood in the first place. A fear of the second option and a desire for the first option is the reason why people try out almost every different manga, and read through it very quickly.
If I can get readers to read through something slowly, while still maintaining enjoyment, would be the most optimal form of execution in a work. However, since everyone is different, to devise a form that is best suited for everyone is a difficult task. A format I had in mind are here:
Richer Dialogue will be presented almost in a forum like style, while phrases in action oriented scenes will still be in bubbles. These will have a max limit of 15 words, while the dialogue will have 15+. Since scrolling will the major form of progression still, the use of vertical spacing will be utilized a lot more to direct pacing, instead of cramming every panel into a page by page format.
If any more formats come to mind I'll try and post them.
Thanks for reading!