• A.r. Rutter

Issue 02: March 2021

To start mostly so I don't forget, here are my plans for the blog newsletter versus the email newsletter:


  • posts on the 1st of the month

  • general life updates

  • writing progress

  • wip Vibes/editing directions


  • sent to subscribers quarterly

  • book highlights (something I'm reading then or in the past)

  • short story submissions/status

  • summaries from the monthly newsletters w/highlights, updates, or more in-depth info

In short, I want to be more open about...the process of writing? If I can't give you new words when I want to, then at least I'll be able to talk about what I have written. Like behind the scenes energy.


My BuyMeACoffee is fully set up now; memberships are $5 a month and get you access to unedited chapters of my WIPs, plus access to the members-only section in my Discord server. Or you can use it as a tip jar and get some character art and playlists etc, just like on Patreon.

On the 26th, I made the first three chapters of Blood Cult Boogie free for the public to read.

Chapter One✨ Chapter Two✨

Chapter Three✨

They're not edited thoroughly at all, but they're cleaned up and I did make some changes. But they're there for anyone who's curious about my writing!

SpringRush & Dark Academia

I am in theory doing #SpringRush on Twitter (my accountability thread with four moodboards), so in honor of describing it as 🚬 neon-noir & ☕ fantasy dark academia, I have a few notes on the direction I'm taking the Blood Draft 2.0 edits.

Dark Academia is basically English Majors Gone Bad; it draws on Gothic architecture and classic literature and seems to focus on the humanities. Which is ironic because there's usually a murder or some kind of mystery to solve. It focuses on knowledge, including knowledge of the self/self-discovery, and references or draws influence from mythology.

Wiki credits The Secret History by Donna Tartt as the first novel to popularize the concept of "dark academia," but If We Were Villains by M. L. Rio was my introduction to it.

It already lends itself well to dark forests, seclusion, and witchy energy, so merging it with neo(n)-noir (think Drive, Bad Times at the El Royale, and Blade Runner) makes sense. Blood Cult Boogie is leaning a little more towards the gothic horror in some ways, but what's gothic horror without some ghosts and ghouls tbh.

Green Draft (2013) vs Blood Draft (Now)

I asked for suggestions in my Discord server for what kind of information they wanted to see beyond genre discussion, and Woo asked for a breakdown of the biggest changes from the first draft to now.

Green Draft

  • The System controls metahumans & registers powers

  • Metas that don't register w/The System are subject to arrest & collaring (which can cut off their powers permanently)

  • Romy is heroing independently & called in to join the newest team in Keystone City (Team Seven) under The System's guidance -- so are Lian, Milo, Tamer, and Oliver

  • Romy and friends find out The System has been lying about its transparency to the civvie governments; they claim to be working for the betterment and to keep metas safe etc. But it's a lie? (I don't remember the details bc I didn't write them probs)

  • Team Seven is sent out to find Criminal Villains but the criminals tell them GUESS WHAT, NERDS. YOU'RE NARCS AND YOU'RE HUNTING US DOWN JUST BC WE DIDN'T REGISTER WITH BIG BROTHER!!

  • Team Seven is like wtf that's a lie don't lie. But It Wasn't A Lie

  • Stakes? Don't know them. What are they. Just kidding, There Are Too Many

  • Political thriller? I'm smart enough to write that for sure. I know how governments work.

  • Romy didn't use contractions 😬

  • No one knew each other before they met in a board room w/job offers from their new fancy PR handler who was def. based on Patrick Bateman

  • There was no OT3????

Overall, the Green Draft was too ambitious; I wanted it to be a clever commentary on politics and the government without knowing enough about either. I wanted to bring the Justice League cartoons and comic book saturation and action together. But it just kind of...fell directly on its face. Many times.

Still, I have pieces of scenes that have made their way into the current draft now. (Maybe I'll discuss which ones in another newsletter/mini blog!)

Blood Draft

  • Neon-noir & Dark Academia

  • Focused on smaller stakes: one girl Romy knows is dead, so she wrangles her friends into joining her to solve the crime; even as the stakes technically grow, Romy is still focused on One Dead Girl's Murder

  • Leaning more into comics, ironically; magic, aliens, demons, old gods? They exist in the world now. (At least in theory. Not always on the page.)

  • The Watchtower regulates metas heroing; heroing without a license is illegal, and The Watchtower is basically a body working along civvie authorities to specially deal with metas. Not sinister. Just vibin.

  • Will focus on the mystery/pursuit of knowledge and finding justice for one (1) girl's murder, even through the growing stakes and digging up deeper problems plaguing the village

  • Dreamy/Gritty writing style tradeoffs as Certain Events Happen

  • People know each other before they get together!! They're friends!

  • Betrayal!

  • Secrets!

  • Murder!

Without getting too much into spoiler territory for anyone who wants to read the chapters on Buy Me A Coffee, Blood Cult Boogie is a dark fantasy adult novel, whereas Team Seven was originally (in theory) a young adult superhero novel. Blood Cult Boogie is embracing the gothic horror/spooky vibes that I've been enjoying much more lately, but I think the cohesive genres -- especially dark academia -- will help to bring the plot and vibes together even better during the revisions.

The major goal for the revision process will be to figure out details of the journal, pace the clue finding better, and weave in the new understanding of the genres. I want there to be a bigger focus on the journal and its Secrets. Overall, it just needs more details and a tighter timeline. The changes to the later plot will come naturally. In theory. Hopefully.


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