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How much editing is expected in a revision?

I’m wondering what writers have considered to be an acceptable amount of edits in a revision request. I was asked to write a chapter for a client, provided extensive notes, and quickly completed the chapter that was requested. I fulfilled word count and hit the plot points that were asked be included.

For a revision, the client provided a very extensive list of edits requested, from style to word choice to plot choices that were not included in the notes. I understand if I write with inconsistencies or other issues that I should revise those. But, how much editing that includes style and minor plot details and dialogue should I give? I’m worried that this gig is taking more time from than I would like, but I don’t want to leave a client unhappy.

I’m not a writer but I think it’s up to you how much you want to do. A client might be taking advantage of you unless you have very firm boundaries about what you will and won’t do in a revision. If it feels excessive then it is and it will be up to you to explain your limits for revisions and ask for extra payment as this seems to be way too much to ask for in a revision.

Excellent detailed polite but very firm communication on your part will resolve this problem.


Depends, some buyers can be so unreasonable. Best to work through it, try to appease them / make them happy unless its’getting completely ridiculous.

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hi… what I believe that a seller should not treat the buyers like a customer. A buyer should be treated like your family because of theirs orders you get to earn something. I am not a buyer but I provide my buyers unlimited revisions until they are satisfied with my service because having good terms with the buyer is more important than spoiling your goodwill over some time taking revisions. Again its just my opinion :slight_smile:

I feel like if the buyer didn’t specify in the initial notes then it’s their fault. Personally I would do the edits if they were minor, but maybe gently remind them that they didn’t specify this in the beginning if the edits are getting too excessive.

But then again, it’s pretty dependent on how comfortable you are personally doing revisions, and to what length you’d be prepared to go to keep your customers happy.

I don’t quite agree with archinerd’s point that you should treat a buyer like a customer. Should you really be chumming it up with someone you’re working for? It’s best to maintain a cordial enough relationship that you don’t feel bad turning down the buyer.

Again, not applicable to everyone. If the buyer demands that you keep putting time into a project that you completed according to their own initial requirements, then I think you should definitely know when to walk away. If you treat them like friends or family it can be hard to turn them down when they’re making unreasonable demands.

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well when i wrote as metaphorically to treat a buyer like your family. I didn’t mean to reply your buyer saying: ‘YO WHATSUP BRO’ :smiley:
Well theres noting bad to do good to them who does not do good to you. And yes I agree with you it vary person to person

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Why not treat your buyer like a professional?
If I wanted to volunteer my services, I would go to an orphanage (or, more likely, a dog shelter).
Fiverr exists for buyers to exchange a product (cold, hard cash) for a service (whatever you’re selling on here). While I value people taking a chance on me and trusting me to complete their project, I’m still a business professional. You should be, as well.


From experience, the only buyers who ask for extensive revisions on my writing gigs are non-native English speakers. Either this or they are buyers who have slipped through my ‘absolute nightmare to work with’ filter who expect something like a fully referenced academic dissertation for $5.

My most ridiculous revision request ever regarded a summary of a psychological study which I had to complete for a client on another platform. The summary centered on a 1950’s study into inspiration in which your standard mad scientist drilled holes into someone’s head and electrocuted different parts of that person’s brain in order to bring about inspiration and insight. I then had to compare this study to a much more recent one (which yielded better results and where noninvasive brain imaging was used alongside a study participant squeezing a ball and being asked insightful questions.

In short, I concluded that the latter study was a more sensible way to further investigate insight and inspiration in contemporary psychology. The student commissioning me, however, disagreed and so I had to rewrite the entire article in such a way which came to the opposite conclusion.

Of course, I knew that the student had likely got their wires crossed and sure enough, they left me a 1-star review when their summary didn’t get them the academic mark which they were looking for.

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I ended up on this post after a customer hinted to the fact that they wanted to start from scratch with a completely different project than the one they had first submitted. To break the stalemate, I wrote down a generic description of what a revision should be. Feel free to use it whenever you find yourself in a similar situation.

Revisions are meant as a mean to request modifications to an existing project, but the main assignment remains the one you specified when you first submitted the order.

There’s some thinking behind that: I like to believe that we’re all honest and transparent people, but that’s proven to rarely be true over the internet. If you accept to scrap your previous work and start anew, nothing stops the other person from using both drafts. You might end up giving them two viable deliveries for the price of one.

As someone before me said, “if we wanted to volunteer our services, we would visit a dog shelter”!

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Some small revisions are part of the deal, but if the buyer states that there ate large parts needing revision, then they haven’t explained what they want very well in the first place.