There’s always a level of stuff that one writer refuses to change on aesthetic and stylistic grounds, and that’s fine. I appreciate that. The things that you shouldn’t be refusing to change are things like correcting spelling mistakes and things that aren’t grammatical … and story inconsistencies/illogicalities/the stuff that just doesn’t make sense (why is the main character wearing a watermelon helmet in act one, but then switches to a fedora in act two?). That stuf isn’t messing with your creativity, it’s making the story the best it can be.
I suspect some people just suck at going through and implementing edits. So, a couple of hints, although I suspect I’m repeating myself:
1. If you’re the editor, mark up the manuscript with an obvious coloured pen – I know a red pen looks like a frustrated school teacher, but hey! It gets noticed.
2. If you are the writer, have an obvious coloured pen of a different and contrasting hue – when you make an edit on your electronic copy, then tick it off the hard copy in your bright shiny pen.
3. Make a list of things that may be large things that need to be changed in several places in the story: does someone’s eye colour change 3 or 4 times? Then note where those changes need to be made – make a master list! Then tick things off when it’s done.
4. In case the listing of things to fix makes you feel a bit depressed and queasy, then also write at the top of your list a couple of good points that have been made about the story. It makes you realise you don’t entirely suck as a writer.
5. Please work out how to use Word properly and become familiar with the track changes feature.
6. And always, repeat always, click the SAVE button after you’ve made the changes.
7. And don’t constantly use the word ‘things’ when your brain is too tired to think up other words.