The first livestream for The First Draft happened yesterday, where we started planning out a rough idea of the story.  Lots of audience participation and going back and forth on ideas.  I’ve included both a tidied-up version of the notes I took during the livestream as well as a copy of the original notes.  There’s also a replay of the livestream for anyone who wants to watch it.

Next Livestream will be today at 3pm BST (i.e. UK time) where we’ll be delving into worldbuilding for this story.  It was a ton of fun, so be sure to join if you can.

Livestream Notes (Tidied Up)


The series is called The First Draft because this relates to the fact that we’ll be livestream a first draft of the story and then posting it.  But it would be good if this relates to the story as well.  This begs the question:  why are they drafted and why are they first? 

The initial idea is for it to be a fantasy story about a bunch of conscripts after something comes through a portal and destroys the world’s defenses 

Each episode will be published on the website as part of an ongoing serial.  We can expect 500-2000 words per episode.  Episodes are likely to be weekly, although to start off there might be one each weekday for the first 2 weeks to kick the series off.  Each episode really needs to cover a complete scene. 

Because this is not a commercial project that needs to be easily amrketed, there’s the option to go heavily cross-genre with it. 

Because it’s possible for me to write myself into a corner, having multiple protagonists gives the option to switch viewpoint / kill off characters. 

We will start with 3 planning sessions.  1 on plot (this one), 1 on worldbuilding and 1 on characters 

It needs to be set up a bit like a pilot for a TV Series.  It needs to set things up but not lock it down too much so there are lots of options as to the direction. 

Just as a TV series has a story arc each episode with an over-arching story for the entire seasons, so we can expect mini-arcs over a number of episodes. 


What has happened? 

Years ago, an advanced civilisation set up a colony on a planet.  They use wormhole technology to travel great distances with temporarily tears holes in the fabric of space.  One of these tears opened a portal to another realm filled with demonic / alien creatures.  They nearly wiped out the entire civilisation, have to destroy their FTL capability and as such the colony forgot about their heritage over thousands of years.  This might be a mix of traditional medieval fantasy and (because we can do less-commercial ideas) a weird western (To be decided in the Worldbuilding section).   

An archaeologist finds the remains of the wormhole technology and brings it to the colony’s (now pseudo fantasy civilisation) aristocrats.  They find it can open holes in space to other realms, and use this to send their troops through to steal riches and natural resources.  It also gives people strange magical abilities. 

A strange man turns up, who is part of the old advanced civilisation and has knowledge the colony does not.  He warns them not to open portals but they expel him from the city to the farms and continue to open portals.  As a result, the army goes into a realm where the big bad is waiting.  They wipe them out and our big bad streams through. 

The big bad might be conscripting people themselves (their own first draft), but there needs to be a steep price to pay. 

The Aristocrats lock up the cities and abandon their villagers.  The strange man recruits the local villagers (The First draft) to help defend the villagers.  He needs them to go through the latest portal and destroy it.  They do this but in doing so, the portal closes behind them, leaving them stuck in a new world 

They need to find a way back, save their world and put an end to the big bad. 


Livestream Notes (Original)


  • The name 
    • Draft = conscripts 
    • Why are they first? 
    • Fantasy story about a bunch of conscripts after something comes through a portal and destroys the land’s defenses 
  • Format 
    • Self-publishing (on website) 
    • On going serial 
    • Multiple protagonists 
    • 500 – 2000 words per week / scene.  Quite self-contained 
    • Cross-genre 
  • Cadence 
    • Weekday planning sessions:  Plot  / Worldbuilding / Characters 
    • Initial weekday run for 2 weeks 
    • weekly 
  • Ongoing – pants instead plotted 
    • Setup like a TV Series 
      • Great pilot 
      • Mini-arc (episode) with overarching arc. 
        • Mini-arc are multiple weeks  


What has happened? 

  • Something bad has appeared 
    • Heroes need to improve the situation  
  • Needs a bigger issue 
  • Tear in the universe 
    • The world is fantasy 
    • The is enemy is Sci-Fi 


  • Soldiers of the realm have gone to fight big bad but wiped out. 
    • Greater stakes than death 
    • Big bad is heading towards villages 
    • Aristocracy force villagers to fight 
    • Class system 
    • Conflict – aristocrats need the food from the farms.  Farmers / villagers need to protect themselves 
    • No fighting skills other than fighting off giants from farm 
    • Bob’s suggestion – read up on chevauchee raids 
    • Some hidden power (not magic) 
  • Join up with 3rd faction.  Go into one portal and some big bad follows.  Destroy the drive…. and get trapped. 


  • Gain access some power.  Archeology 
    • This power opens portals.  Send soldiers in to rob riches 
    • 3rd faction warns they are tampering with the flux capacitor 
    • Aristocrats ignore open portal to the big bad. 

The Big Bad 

  • Alien / demonic 
  • Evolved from old 3rd faction? 
  • Different realm 
  • Culture causes them to believe that it’s OK to do to others what is happening to them. 
  • Walking Dead.   Aliens can use science to take over / utlise their captives 
  • Intelligent 
  • What is it that they want? 
    • Magic is SciFi 
    • Conscripts….. for their intergalactic war  (DON’T BE BORG) 
    • Why this world? 

3rd faction 

  • Those fighting the aliens but not from fantasy world.  Fantasy world used to be colony of 3rd faction. 
  • Reason 3rd faction faction died was because their warp drive opened portal to alien realm and it wiped out 3rd faction to close portal. 
  • Warn aristocrats 
  • Ignored 
  • Portal open, bad guys stream in.  Kill all the soldiers 
  • 3rd faction recruits villagers  – THE FIRST DRAFT 
  • Aliens will use warp drive to open portals to other realms.  Need to be stopped. 


  • Weird Western Fantasy 
  • Instead of Attack on titans where one central hub with ringed walls…. lots of towns with surrounding infrastructure 
  • Multiple portals? 
  • Magic is creating by science leaking into fantasy world from portals.  Unexpected consequence 
  • Portals lead to different worlds  – Minecraft biomes 


Livestream Video