As I’ve said here before, I’m a huge fan of workshopping. Sometimes however, it produces feedback that is unexpected and confusing. Everything said is legitimate. But the problem then is to weigh everything and consider what counts and what doesn’t hold enough water to create changes.
You’re never going to please everyone, but it is eye-opening to see how your work is read–not received, that’s a personal predilection for a style of writing or genre–really understood and read. That’s what’s telling. Sorting it all out has left me with a feeling that I’m just not doing it right. From a stance of total author control, I’ve jumped to a position of vague subtleties that are lost. Some interpretations of the story made me wonder if it had even been read. The answer, of course, is yes. Therefore, I’m back to the writing not being, well, I guess it would have to be "correctly" presented when grounded details are not reinforced and the picture is fuzzy. An alley that is mentioned several times, that is the entire and only setting, is fed back to you as a bridge underpass. A disoriented college student becomes a drug-using homeless person.
That’s poor writing. You can’t blame the reader, the burden is on the writer.
I think I just have to get away from it for a while. Overenthusiasm has clouded my vision.