One of the best, and worst, things about writing is it's all subjective. I can absolutely love something that you hate and vice versa. Because all of it is based on opinions, it can also be really harsh.
I received several beta comments back over the past few days. One in particular was basically devastating. As of thus far, I've been hearing really good things about my current WIP. People tended to really enjoy reading it which was making me feel very comfortable. I feel like I've learned a lot with my last two novels and this one feels right. I know there are things I need to change, I understand that, but the way this reader attacked my novel was just cruel.
I mean, attacked it, ripped it to shreds... the works. Even before I knew how to beta read, I would have never presumed to tell a writer how their characters are suppose to act, how dialog is supposed to be and how the plot should be. Sure, I'd give suggests but in the nicest, most helpful way I could. I'd never go in with the intention to really hurt someone and it seems like this reader did that to me.
I'm not saying some things weren't helpful. I'm just saying that the majority of things this reader said were hurtful and plain mean. It's hard for me to understand why someone would want to hurt anyone that way but they did hurt me... and I have a thick skin. I've dealt with know-it-alls, book snobs and writers who thought they were God's Gift to the Literary World. But this reader hurt me.
This isn't about pity. I'm just writing to say that sometimes that's just the breaks. Sometimes, no matter what you do someone is not going to be happy and that's life. Recognize what you can gain from it, shove the crap aside, tell that reader thanks and you'll consider what they've had to say and keep on keeping on. You and your novel can only benefit from the experience.