purpleIs there such a thing as too many critiques?

A writing friend and I debated this issue earlier this week. She told me that if one critique partner doesn’t like something, she changes it, even if no one else agrees. Her opinion is that a critique group represents a microcosm of editors. She knows she can’t please everyone, but she tries to incorporate everyone’s suggestions.

My reaction was: yikes! With the wide range of opinions I sometimes receive, it would be impossible to address every critcism. I might wind up with a muddled mess of a manuscript.

My story cannot be all things to all people. We all have our own tastes, which dictates the books we choose to read, the titles we recommend to friends, and the stories we stop reading after Chapter I. If not all people agree on published books, you don’t have to wait for a concensus vote on a manuscript before considering it finished.

I only revise based on solo suggestions if the comment resonates with me. If someone points out something I was already doubting, then that’s the confirmation I need to fix it. A writing peer can highlight something I never thought of, but I immediately see the validity of their argument and make the change.

If a comment doesn’t make sense to me, I ask questions. I have to understand the reasons behind the criticism. And if it still doesn’t feel right, I leave it behind. If six people love something and only one hates it, I’m not going to strive to please that person, especially if I just don’t agree. Ultimately, I’m the author.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate all peer opinions and I do my best to incorporate suggestions that I think will work, especially when at least three people wave a caution flag. But just one person? I don’t feel bad about leaving it.
So how do you feel about this issue? Do you try to address every criticism in a revision? And at what point do critiques become counter-productive? How long do you go on seeking opinions, changing and revising? I want your feedback about feedback!