Although it has nothing to do with writing, that quote reminded me of how a lot of writers react to critique. Tell them anything other than “submit it,” and they get their hackles up. Maybe they can tolerate a few minor changes, but nothing big.
If this describes you, then you do not want to be in my critique group — not that everyone is looking to pick you apart. In fact, I’ve been told that I’m the biggest pain simply because I have no qualms about pointing out structural problems. To make it even more fun, often I have no idea how to fix it. I’ll just know that the pacing is slow, the character motivations aren’t big enough or I don’t feel the setting. Fixing it is, after all, the writer’s problem.
Some critique groups have the rule that you aren’t allowed to defend yourself. Just sit there and take it. Then go home with it and think it over.
That’s not how things work in my group. We discuss things, not necessarily defending ourselves but explaining what we were trying to do and why we did something a certain way. That makes me think that this is why our group works so well. In discussing it, we often figure out why something doesn’t feel right and several different ways to fix it.
While this is hugely helpful, there was something else that helped me even more at our last meeting. Recently, they told me what was working in my story. I am doing a re-write from the ground up. Because my antagonist is all new, much of the original plot doesn’t work. This is a whole new book and I’m having a heck of a time wrapping my brain around it. Find out more about how my group helped me out by reading my post, What Every Writer Needs, at the Muffin.