A novelist is an artist in words and sees the world through his own experiences.–real, imagined, or virtual, happening to others. As with any art, the artist pleases himself first, letting the creative juices flow and producing an original story complete and comprehensible in his mind. A thing of beauty.
An editor analyzes this work from the viewpoint of a reader, much as an art or music critic beholds a painting or listens to a symphony. What pleases the artist may not find an audience with the public. Occasionally, the artist goes on to establish himself and finds his own audience, but almost always, some corrections are made, in technique, content, or presentation.
How does she satisfy the expectations of the reader but retain her creativity? I believe it is an iterative process between what she wants to say and how she says it. If the sole purpose of the novel is entertainment, she might believe that how she says it is paramount, as in writing humor. But no one wants to hear the same jokes over and over.
As he rewrites and edits, his message, story, and presentation will be clearer, until he arrives at the closest he can achieve toward his Picasso or Beethoven. It won’t guarantee a best seller, especially in this era of e-books and sensationalist literature, but the author will be able to go on knowing he has a grasp of the realities of writing creatively.