Dear Critique Partner:
In regards to recent criticism of your work, remember this:
when we give a piece of our story to someone to read - we expect them to see the whole. It's like building a house and giving someone a single piece of lumber. “Here, see the house I'm building.” SOME CAN SEE IT AND SOME CAN’T.
This step is as necessary to me as breathing. I need to give you single boards as I create them. AND I expect you to be a visionary and say, “Why yes. I see.” (EVEN if you don't!) I need you to see how special the piece of lumber is that I'm using and to see that eventually I'll add more pieces to make the whole.
Choose people to read your work who like the kind of stories you write. Then, they'll appreciate the pieces. There are as many kinds of stories as there are houses to live in. If you give a brick ranch to someone who only appreciates a high rise he'll have a hard time fitting himself into what you are offering.
Don’t rebuild your story until it's built. This is where I fall short. I try to restructure in the middle of structuring. I’M TRYING TO CHANGE THE WAY I WORK.
DO talk to other "builders" and let them see your structure and let them make comments but keep in mind what each particular builder builds and pick and choose what he offers making sure that what you take is helpful to your story.
I have people who can't read my work until it's finished because they can't see at all what I'm intending - although they may like the finished piece.
Others can be with me from start to finish. They are the visionaries. They like single paragraphs of my work.
DON’T take every piece of advice you get and nail it onto your structure - otherwise just as in house building you will have boards nailed every which way and end up with a structure that would not pass inspection.
Take heart, friend. You're doing wonderful work. You've done wonderful work in the past. Take what you can from each reader - you're the builder and you have to decide what you can use and what you can't - and build that sucker.
PS I'm great at giving advice. Not so good at taking it.