Today, I had my first story critiqued by the writers group I joined two weeks ago. "The one about the angel." God, it was exactly what I needed! A lot of the criticism mirrored some of the general feedback I'd get when I'd submit it: "Good prose/writing, nice concept, but..." They gave me a lot to think about, and one or two things I hadn't even considered.
Because of the length limits, I only brought in the first 2/3 of the story, picking a place that was somewhat of a cliffhanger. I figured that if I did my job right, they'd be interested in the end. Despite some of the problems they pointed out, most of the group--the ones present, despite Fathers Day--did want to know what happened next, which was pretty gratifying.