When I was shopping ALL I EVER WANTED around to agents, I got very helpful feedback from one particular agent. Among other things, she pointed out that although my writing is descriptive, I very rarely engage the sense of smell. I read through the manuscript and noticed she was right. I describe things visually, perhaps to excess, but I am very disinclined to ever describe how something smells. If I describe the way a guy smells in a first draft, I will usually use a vague descriptive phrase such as "his clean masculine smell." (Hey, at least he doesn't smell dirty. Or feminine:-). I am a very visual person, and I can see a story in my head quite clearly as I write it, but apparently I don't *smell* the story in my head.
But forewarned is forearmed. When I started revising STRANGER, I checked, and noticed that sure enough I was neglecting the sense of smell again. So I went through the book and patched up that particular problem by inserting small descriptions here and there. But it makes me wonder... what other obvious weaknesses are there in my writing that I don't know about? What am I missing? Everyone has blind spots. It helps that I have an in-house critique partner, but for all I know his blind spots are the same as mine-- after all, he's used to my writing, and he doesn't read romance otherwise.
This is one positive aspect of bad reviews and rejection letters... if you read them carefully, and without anger, they will frequently point out to you where the weaknesses in your writing are!