Why do I have to revise according to an editor’s suggestions? My work is written exactly how I want it. How do I know an editor’s criticism is valid?

Beginning Writer’s Answer Book edited by Jane Friedman

Writers who are new to the business sometimes consider an editor’s requests for revision a personal affront, when in reality the editor is only trying to get the best possible manuscript for her market. Editors know what works for their audience, and have the experience and expertise necessary to objectively criticize work. If you don’t want to revise your manuscript to the editor’s style or suggestions—and you could be right—you can always withdraw the work, if it comes to that. But there’s a good chance you will never get your work published if you don’t learn to take constructive criticism from editors.

Authors who have been in the game a long time and have published dozens of books are typically the most open to revision suggestions. Some beginners find this fact paradoxical, but it isn’t once you consider that seasoned authors have attained a level of professionalism and experience that’s taught them to respect the editor’s eye.

Both magazine and book editors are eager to help you achieve your best efforts. If there are occasional misunderstandings along the way, the writer should not overlook the editor’s essential goodwill toward her work.

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