Writing Secret #1
What do I mean by that? I mean that when half the critique group LOVES your story and the other half HATES it, this is not cause for despair. It is, in fact, cause for rejoicing. It means your story found its target audience. It is resonating with readers. It has touched people deeply enough that they will grab their friends by the shirt collars and insist on telling them about it.
Yes, it would be nice if every reader was part of your target audience. But that does not happen very often, and a story that wins a cadre of adoring fans is far, far preferable to one that everyone agrees is mediocre.
Do not worry about the people who hated your story. Listen to their comments, use them if you can, but focus most on the feedback from the people who adored it. These are the people who sensed the beating heart of the story. These are the people who can form it into what it was meant to become.
Your stories exist for the people who love them. Everyone else is bonus coins.