Thursday, November 12, 2009

Wrestling the Plot monster, change of plans and Meet the Cudas

My interview schedule is getting pushed back slightly. I now hope to interview the other four members of my killer critique group, The Cudas. So far I've interviewed the wonderful Lindsay Eland, last month. (Don't forget to pre-order Lindsay's new book, out in December, Scones and Sensibility.) Linds is known as the "nice Cuda", though through years of exposure to we sharp-toothed fishies, she has certainly added an edge to her critiques!

Next Cuda on tap is Dhonielle Clayton, aka, "The Baby Cuda" or sometimes dubbed "The Baby Genius". Dhonielle is the writer all other writers might be tempted to hate: She landed a big-time agent on HER FIRST QUERY. Yep. But if you read her brilliant writing, you'd know why. And you wouldn't hate her either. You'd love her and beg to read more. And beg her to PLEASE WRITE MORE.

That being said, expect to hear from this fascinating lady very soon. (maybe later today).

So far, we are skimming the upper levels of the Cuda shark tank. But as the weeks go by, we are going to be doing some deep sea diving and meet the fiercer, bottom swimming Cudas. I'll introduce them as they surface. Oh..I guess I should fess up. As the founder of the Cudas, I'm one of them. Mama Cuda they call me, but don't let that kindly name fool you. My critiques are also on the savage side. Of course my graphic design students at Bronx Community College are not the least surprised about this, I'm just as demanding when it comes to art.

But don't get we Cudas wrong. It's all about one thing. Excellence. Our commitment to each other is fearsome; our only goal to help each other reach our fullest potential. And that is a beautiful thing—to know that you will get an honest appraisal of your work, even though it may leave a few teeth marks.

So far, with two contracted authors and most Cudas signed with an agent, you might say our tough approach is working. (yeah, and it's also working at BCC—hey guys!!!)

Now about that plot monster.

The plot of my WIP has grown extra arms. I'm afraid if I don't lop some off (you know, as Stephen King says—kill those darlings) they will strangle my entire book. And the Cudas might have to go on a feeding frenzy. They are a very hungry group. I'd like to avoid becoming their next meal if I can.

I am well-known for my convoluted plots. So wish me luck as I interview my characters as well today and try to make sense of their motives. Hopefully it will dawn on them that they NEED the plot to work if they want to see the light of day.

Wish me luck!


  1. Luck, luck, luck! =) Your critique group sounds amazing. You are so lucky to have such a great group.

  2. You can lop those arms off, Lisa. I just know it!

  3. Thanks, Carolyn. Stay tuned and the Cudas will soon speak for themselves.

    Elana, I'm adding more arms. Maybe they'll have an arm wrestle to decide who gets to be part of the plot.