those are excellent questions
i have been thinking about this because i am now in the second, really really trying this time stage of sending out query letters in hopes of finding some crazy agent who will represent me. and i was thinking: how much editing would i accept to my book.
and my answer is this: a pretty damn much, i think. i mean, i'm pretty humble. i like the way a lot of my words go together and stuff, and i think i've got some things to say, but i dont know much about literary criticism (is there even any anymore?) and i sure would welcome some changes if it meant that my novel would be more appealing to people. i dont want to write something that 3 people read and rub up against themselves in the shower. i mean, that's flattering as hell, but i want something that lots of people will read, so i can into their heads. i figure, older, more experienced writers can demand fewer and fewer revisions to their work not only because they have the clout, but also because they have the knowledge. i want to be that guy. the guy who's 50 and is telling his publisher how it's gonna be.
and i'll play the game. i dont mind that. i used to be in sales and in the media. i can play along.
i would never change the messages of the things that i say. i guess that would be the line. and i certainly wouldnt accept revisions that amounted to rewrites ... i would still want it to be my work that was accepted, not the editors'.