Monday night I went to my first ever critique session. It was with a local (and by local I mean, within twenty miles of my house) group that meets every month at a Barnes and Noble. The group (from what I gathered) is a small one, but seem very dedicated. We went through the expected motions, each of us reading a sample of another author's manuscript (everyone else were teen/ya authors). I enjoyed seeing everyone's particular writing style, and appreciated the tact most members had when offering changes. I got the hang of it pretty quick, and enjoyed myself.
What was even better was when I received feedback on my PB story. It was positive, with a few suggestions on how to tighten up the word choice. Great feedback. I mean, I was confident my story was good, but I'm biased, right? I'm even more confident now and can't wait to get more into the dummy book.
p.s.- Have any of you ever participated in a critique group with a member who was so defensive and over-explanatory, that they missed the point of the (very) helpful and sound advice being offered them? Isn't it frustrating?