I do believe that every writer can benefit from a good editor. I really do think that writers should accept criticism and consider how it can help them improve their work. I do not, however, think that a writer must act on every suggestion made by an editor.In Starmag today, columnist and children's author Daphne Lee shares her experience about working with an editor who saw things rather differently from her:
I think it’s so important that an editor understands what the author wants to say and how he wants to say it. If your story is about baking an apple pie, it won’t do if your editor thinks it’s about how people get fat by eating too much dessert. ... An editor, a good one anyway, should help bring out the best in an author and help him make the most of his story. It’s the author’s story, not the editor’s.My (albeit) limited experience of editing has shown me that there is indeed a back-off point. You cannot push too strongly against the author's will, although you must of course make your feelings about the text known and there should exist an atmosphere of mutual respect.
At the end of the day it is the author's name on the cover and he/she must stand by their book long after your role in its production is forgotten.
(I had to self-indulgently sneak in this lovely picture of meself with Daphne (looking tiny!) which I nicked from her blog!)