One of the most difficult parts of being a writer is learning to get the most out of criticism. I remember the first critique group I attended. I wanted them so badly to say how wonderful my rotten novel was. Of course, they had been at it longer than I and they had not intention of cutting me any slack. Every little insinuation that my writing was less than stellar stung… that first time.
Slowly, over the weeks and months to follow, I learned that they were not sadists… that they were actually looking at my writing for what it was and offering honest advice. And I also learned that much of the advice was valid.
The trick with critique groups and criticism in general is to learn to open yourself up to it, to analyze it, and to take from it what will really work for you and your writing and to forget the rest.
It’s your book or your piece of writing and you are in charge. Why not make it better by employing a suggestion you know will work and why not keep from making it worse by ignoring a suggestion that you know won’t work. Become the Decider and you’ll get much more out of your critique group.