Here’s another thing I hate about critique groups. Critics who want to change things just because. If you’re in a group, you’ve seen it. The critic places her hand on her chest and sighs. “I don’t like this sentence. If it were me, I would have worded it this way: blah blah.”
The writer nods without speaking, granting respect to a comment that deserves none.
In my view, you’d better not come at me with a suggested word change unless you’re packing justification – and “I would like it better if you said…” isn’t a justification. Justifications are based in current practice, conventions, wisdom, guidelines and rules. Yes, I know, rules are made to be broken, etc. Spare me.
When you’re new to this biz, it’s better just to follow the rules until you know how to break them with power and grace.
Here’s an example of a better critique: The tag, “he barked,” should be changed to “he said.” Why? Because convention holds that your dialogue should be powerful enough to convey the emotion of the speaker. If it isn’t, and you feel you need to change “said” to “barked”, your dialogue may be anemic. If it IS strong enough, “barked” is going to sound histrionic.
Now, THAT’S a justification (she sniffed).