I do remember Shane's comparison, now that you mention it. And the venipede's body is described to be in terrible decaying shape, just like Gwyneth's (in her opinion, her body's in terrible shape, anyway - I find it interesting how you incorporate several different people's judgment on her appearance), which heavily implies that the venipede's not quite that lucky, along with, you know, her being used to eating garbage. XD I guess it's just that the venipede's not particularly able to speak for herself as to how she got in the position she's in, whereas we get tons of details about Gwyneth's life revealed in each chapter. So the two of them being alike can be overshadowed by other themes, at least for me. Anddd for what it's worth, though, I agree that venipede was the best choice out of those three, heh.
Yeah, that's a good way of handling critique. I try to look at critique that way myself now, since I'm usually in the mindset of "if someone says I'm wrong, I must be wrong" when it comes to critique about important parts of my fic. LaON's rewrite was actually, uh, inspired by (I use that term loosely) a reviewer who criticized nearly everything about the fic. I took it to heart even though that reviewer just wasn't a fan of the genre LaON falls under, and even though all of their reviews, for any fic, are pretty negative.
Heh, I'm glad character-driven works have some audience, then! I guess it makes sense that plot-driven stuff is more common if people use reading/writing as a sort of escape from reality. Character-driven stories generally have a greater basis in reality, whereas with plot-driven works, you can veer away from reality as much as you want, especially with the fantasy/science fiction genres.