Having spent my evening with eight complete strangers in a basement in central London (which sounds oh so promisingly seedy but in realty so very boring) getting my first chapter dissected, I have come to the conclusion that if I keep getting feedback on every version I write, I will never ever finish this novel.
There must be a time when you say, "alright, it's not perfect and it will need more work here and there" but then you just get on with it.
The points made by the eight strangers were all valid and a few of them where things I have been thinking myself. (Note someone counted the usage of "fuck" and thought 11 "fucks" in 5678 words were just a few too many. Buddy, that's nothing - Eliza swears a lot; what can I do?) And of course there was a lot of amazing critique as well - my descriptions, use of language, the irony, humor, pathos, the way it transports the reader to a place and makes them feel and engage - with both places and the characters, the clever way of weaving my threads so delicately and never losing them. Someone even compared Jack to a Murakami character!
But although I will go back to the seedy basement in the near future to return the favor, I don't think I will submit more until I'm done. Isn't that what you have editors for (editoR in my case as I've sacked two; not told them yet - they are just too unreliable when it comes to follow through - snacka går ju men snacka så det går...) to read the thing as a whole and then pick out all the things that you have to change (usually most of the novel)?
Feedback is always good but when it means you will never get to the end, then I think it might be best to just push through. And in the mean time just show it to the people who think your writing is as beautiful as the aurora borealis. After all, getting your fragile writers ego boosted on a regular basis doesn't hurt, right?
P.S. As I've sacked my American editor I need a new one - should you fancy reading my most fantastic novel in the near future please apply within.