As a writer, you need to remember that there is a huge difference between the story in your head, and the words you put on paper or screen that attempt to recreate that story in your reader's mind.
Your story is exciting, wonderful, life-changing, but when you try to put it into words, something seems to get lost in translation, right?
The purpose of a writers workshop is to help you, as a writer, improve your manuscript (the words on the paper or the screen that are your attempt to convey your story).
When people comment on your manuscript, they are telling you things about how well it conveys your story.
When you respond to their comments by trying to explain or by arguing, you are not making the best use of the information your critiquers have given you. The best use of that information is not to say anything to anyone about their comments. The best use is to figure out if there are any changes you can make to your manuscript that will improve it, based on the comments your critiquers have made in their feedback.
If your critiquers ask you questions about your manuscript, don't respond by answering the questions. Go to your manuscript and figure out why your critiquers felt they had to ask those questions.
Do not argue with or explain to your critiquers. If you don't understand their feedback, go ahead and ask questions yourself. If you need help figuring out how to fix something, ask for help. But any other response is very poor use of the feedback you have been given. And your critiquers will be less inclined to bother giving you feedback next time.
If you don't believe me, go read a whole topic on the subject.
[ January 23, 2012, 01:19 PM: Message edited by: Kathleen Dalton Woodbury ]
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