I've been working on a new short story for a while now. It's a very literary exploration of a girl's grief over losing her partner. Nothing particularly new in the plot as such, but I've had fun with the language and creating changing moods through flashbacks. My critique group have been having a field day with this particular piece. Some have loathed it, some have loved it, some have told me there is no story arc or character growth, and others have liked that the arc and growth is so small as to be almost invisible.
For a while I was really upset that no one liked it, thought maybe I'd written something truly awful, but as the opinions stacked up, I realized something important: if my story was sparking so much debate, so many conversations about what literary fiction is and isn't, then it's struck a chord somewhere. And as a writer, isn't that all we're trying to do?
So while I don't think the story is 100% where I want it to be yet, I'm not giving up on it. If all those different people can have all those conflicting opinions, I think I might have something quite special on my hands.
Then again, I've been wrong before...