Sent three manuscripts back to their authors so far this month; had three more come back in. Considering I'm supposed to be holidays, more than I really want to deal with. Did enjoy editing the last three manuscripts, though, all of which were by professional, full-time authors. It is a pleasure dealing with professionals because when you say "this has to go" (and explain why) they say, "okay, right, how about this instead?"
In contrast, many beginning writers / grad student argue back and try to explain why I don't understand their 'vision', that their mom and fiancee thought it was really good the way it was, and that making the revisions I'm suggesting would take, you know, a lot of work. For example, guy a while back wanted to self-publish a collection of short stories, and when I pointed out flaws in about half the stories, he explained that I had obviously missed the point of the story. Okay, in one case that was even true -- but if I miss the point, is that because I'm dense, or because he hadn't written the story clearly enough to get the point across? (I am, of course, inclined to the latter interpretation.) He also pointed out that all the stories in the collection had been previously published, so obviously those editors had loved those stories. Okay, well and good, and its true that all the stories showed talent and promise. But getting published in ezines and small press lit mags is not the same as getting paid for your stories, so if you actually want to sell books (to someone other than your Mom and fiancee) you have to up your game. The only people reading ezines are other aspiring authors; if you want to reach actual readers, have to move up to the next level. Stories good enough for non-paying markets may not be good enough for paying markets; for every hundred writers getting published in Ezine Monthly, there is only one making a sale to a pro market. Helping authors move from 'good enough to get published" to "good enough to get paid' is what development editors do.