I heard a phrase today that really spoke to me. To paraphrase it: Readers seek understanding.
When I've taken one of my chapters, or stories, or poems to a critique group, I've found the most difficult part is when it seems that they don't 'understand' what I thought I said.
A hard experience it is to go back and read what I've written with an open mind and heart and see if they're correct. See if I have failed in making my reader understand what the scene is about, who the character really is, and why the plot is going or has gone in the direction it is.
I sometimes shudder at the thought. Yet, it is an awesome exercise in fulfilling the main tenet of why I'm writing: a story to be enjoyed, or learned from, or expand horizons. (Shees! Trying to find the spelling of tenet almost stopped me in my tracks!)
Hard work, but well worth it. I don't want to be preachy, heaven forbid, but I have learned to put aside my ego and how well I think I've done and re-read that story, look at it with a readers' eyes, and expound, change, and/or delete parts that confuse, misdirect, or hide bad writing. Don't I want a perfect story? Don't I want my readers to be engaged? Don't I want to have fun?
Life is scary.