Keeping critiques in perspective

A guy from the critique group came back with his take on the chapter plan and he still didn't like it. But it's mostly good news. Most of what he didn't like fell into one of three categories. First was that he didn't believe characters would do certain things when I said they would, a problem of motivation.

Here's the thing with that; I read The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan, ostensibly a comment on the paranoia of our times but also a thriller of sorts. In it, a woman accused of being a terrorist goes on the run and hides from police. It makes for an effective thrill but the problem I had was that I didn't believe a word of it. It was a case of mistaken identity and I can't believe and intelligent woman would try to hide even while knowing she's done nothing wrong. She's even in the police station to give herself up when a scuffle breaks out, and she runs away and decides to keep hiding.

Anyway, if Flanagan's a best selling author with motivation that flimsy, I've got no problems. The motivations make sense to me because I know the characters. Nobody else has read the book, only a chapter plan – which is the second thing he didn't like. A lot of nuance is left out in the chapter plan, and he's asking about stuff I know is in there.

He also says a couple of times that stuff he didn't like from the first time is still in it, and that actually made me feel glad. A lot of this has been getting other people to identify stuff that needs changing, but it's also been about being certain of what I want to stay, and when he mentioned some things he still didn't like, it didn't faze me because I was so certain about them.