I'm getting my first short story published in a few weeks and have gone through a mutual friend to get it all properly edited for submission.
We did just a first run through and we disagreed on stuff like: certain sentences, couple of swear words and to be honest I had some HUGE grammar, conflicting events in the plot and syntax problems which they tidied up so I am grateful. Really I've learned a lot.
But this final/second run through has honestly rubbed me the wrong way.
They've insisted that I remove swearing (I've only sworn twice and have imho a valid narrative-related reason as to why) in the main narration and a couple of sentences that they feel 'doesn't work'.
The example sentence is "the elf walked with grace to the door". In both edits she's changed it to "the elf walked gracefully to the door". The reason why I chose "walked with grace" is because the rhythm sounds peppy, like the elf is hopping as you read the sentence. But apparently these choice of words it "suggests a deliberate action on the elf’s part, whereas “walked gracefully” implies that he is simply graceful in the way he moves naturally, without any conscious intent behind it". The sentence is supposed to highlight how the protagonists *notices* how elves walk with that nimble, light-of-foot gait. They even gave me the definition of an adverb in the comment tab.
But back to the swearing. You see the short story is set in a coastal city where the character works on the docks and hears all sorts of foul language. In scenes where the protagonist is hearing this, the third-person narration starts including swearing because I feel it kind of puts the reader there in that atmosphere. Also, there is dialogue with sailors swearing. I also felt that for the reader to see cuss words in dialogue and then have vanish for "hindquarters" and "rear-end" in narration would throw someone out of immersion. Could be just me though. Look – this all may sound dumb – but this is the story I want to tell.
That's my main thing and why I've come here – is this something editors are allowed to do? Again, first published story after just writing as a devoted hobby since I was a wee rosy cheeked lad. I don't know what an editor's job is beside what I though it was – editing.
Any advice on the matter is greatly appreciated. I don't want to be strong-armed into making concessions to the way I write just so I can get this published. Thanks for reading.