My writing group is publishing a short story collection and I’m excited to have one of my pieces in it. Unfortunately, not everyone else is. Something about the style of my post-zombie-apocalypse short story just struck a few of our beta readers badly. One even said she hated it. Hated it! It scared her off from reading the rest of the collection.
That, if I am being truthful, hurt a little bit. That was some serious language being used. But you know what? I like the piece. Others like the piece. One reader said she loved it and that the final lines gave her cold shivers. So I’m not alone in my loyalty to the piece.
Here’s the thing: people who liked it gave me great and productive notes that I took into account as I re-wrote and re-re-wrote the story BUT people who didn’t like it couldn’t seem to provide notes on how to improve it. They just hated it and gave me a grammatical line note somewhere and shrugged me off as a lost cause.
Remember: there’s a difference between someone being critical of your work and someone critiquing your work. One is helpful, the other is not. Listen to critiques. Let criticism pass you by.
Clearly, on my case, this was a matter of stylistic preference. My story is divisive among readers. That’s fine. I wasn’t looking to please everyone; I was telling a story. I made it the best I could with help from others but some people don’t and never will like it.
I can live with that.