For a number of years, I've been listening to writing podcasts where other writers would criticize The Hunger Games and the scene often referred to as "Prim's goat."
Last year, my oldest daughter, who was thirteen at the time, read the book and I made a comment about the scene to her. I was under the impression this scene of Prim's goat was an entire chapter and stuck out like a sore thumb. She frowned and told me she couldn't even remember that scene. So she looked it up. She eventually found it, shrugged, and asked, "And? What's wrong with it?"
I didn't know.
Recently, I listened to the entire Hunger Games trilogy on audiobook. When I got to the scene where Katniss talked about Prim's goat . . . I was disappointed that other writers would take it to heart with such vileness. In audio form, it was not even five minutes--in page form, um, maybe 2-3 pages tops.
What the hell! I thought the scene was perfect and fit in the story nicely.
The worst critics seem to be, in fact, other writers. We are taught to write in a certain way and to do things in a certain way, and when other stories fly in the face of it, writers (not all, mind you, but they are vocal) get their panties up in a bunch.
Honestly, I think they're jealous of others' success when theirs isn't as . . . successful.
I am probably the least panty buncher of them all. It doesn't take much to entertain me--yes, I was a cheap date during my "dating" years (thank God I don't have to deal with that crap now, as I've been married almost nineteen years). This past weekend, I rented the new Ghostbusters movie from the library--yes, the one that got all the negative reviews from die hard Ghostbusters fans. Guess what? I loved it. Oh, sure, there were spots that I criticized and thought they could've done a better job or if they didn't work at being clever, but by and large it was a good movie. My youngest daughter, who is ten, laughed all the way through it.
If you have a beta readers, it may be best for them NOT to be a writer. Not to say that writers can't offer tips on your story, but find someone who loves to read. You may be surprised at what you'll hear. Aside from my writers' group, none of my beta readers are writers. All are avid readers, and do a wonderful job of pointing out any mistakes I make.