This question might be irrelevant, but I am new to creative writing and wanted to know if anyone else had encountered it. Have any of you run into beta readers (or reviewers) who pan a story based on its content rather than the quality of the writing? I have parts of an MS that I have given several people to read. It is nowhere near ready for publication, but I needed to know if A) the storyline was interesting, and B) the writing was good enough to carry itself (if that makes any sense). Most of the people I showed seemed to like it (or even love it), but there were one or two who didn't, and I'm trying to figure out why. My MS has an intelligent but very rebellious female character who (admittedly) can be downright nasty. I knew while writing it that I was pushing the boundaries of her 'likeability', but I felt that a difficult nature was necessary in order to justify the events at the end. There is also a male character involved and a (sort of peripheral) developing romance. The problem came when I gave a few chapters to a man to read who thought that I should jump into the romance right away and focus more on the male character (even though the woman was the MC). He also felt that there was too much description in her case, and advocated a stream-of-consciousness approach that eliminated description altogether. He wanted the focus to be the romance--immediately---with a lot of sex---and he wanted the difficult female character to be minimized as much as possible. Now, I am very, very open to having my work criticized (even harshly), because I want it to be good. I know there are things I do not see that require other readers to bring them out, and while some of this person's comments were good (and I have taken them to heart), it seemed that his role should stop short at dictating plot. I was not sure, in other words, if his objections had more to do with a personal dislike of strong female characters. The second person who had objections is a retired teacher who felt that the female character was simply overbearing and disrespectful, particularly in a classroom scene where she 'mouths off' to a college professor. She made many other comments that I heartily agreed with---yet---other readers found the scene to be funny and pivotal to the story. I guess I just want to know how to separate the wheat from the chaff in these situations. Maybe there is no good answer. To what extent does a reviewer's personal views affect their analysis, and should I be trying to seek out people who are more likely to enjoy/understand it?? Sorry this is so long! And thanks.