From author Adrienne deWolfe via Writing Novels That Sell:
One of the toughest lessons you will ever learn as an aspiring author is how to recognize personal prejudice or worse, “Urban Myths,” during a story critique.
Not all story critics are created equal. Aspiring authors and published authors are both guilty of spouting horror stories about the tactics of book editors and literary agents. Many of these manuscript readers are merely passing on rumors about the book business that should have been squelched at the source.
. . . .
#1. “This idea has been written before.”
No idea is new. Even Shakespeare was stealing ideas from Celtic Bards. (Romeo and Juliette, for example, is strikingly similar to the legend of Tristan and Isolde.) Keep in mind that some readers of commercial fiction actually want to immerse themselves in the same archetypal story over and over again. For this reason, the Western, the Thriller, and the Romance novel still thrive.
#2. “Editors hate prologues.”
While an occasional book editor may be anti-prologue, hundreds of novels containing prologues get published each year, and they sell as well as books without prologues. Scoundrel for Hire and Always Her Hero, my fourth and fifth published Romance novels, respectively, both opened with prologues. Both novels also won awards — and they were nominated for these awards by book editors. I promise you, well-written prologues don’t prevent novels from selling.
. . . .
#5. “I don’t like the word scarlet. Why can’t you just say what you mean and use red?”
This example represents any suggestion in which a literary crusader wants to argue word-choice to death. Give it a break! Scarlet is a perfectly acceptable word in the English language. So are crimson, ruby, Titian, and vermilion.
Unless an adjective, adverb or verb is used to the point of overkill, or in a manner which is inconsistent with the character’s personality, the tone of earlier passages, or the era in which the story is set, the literary crusader is wasting everyone’s time.
Link to the rest at Writing Novels That Sell