The Time a Writer Can Put into One Sentence.
In "Love, Sex, and Understanding the Universe," - which is written in first person from the character Jim's perspective - Jim mentions, in one sentence, what a particular sexual situation he had was like. I wrote that sentence and kept writing. When rereading what I wrote that day, the sentence struck me as lacking. I rewrote it. Later, in an edit, I realized I still didn't like the way it sounded and rewrote it again. This time I struggled some but left another not great sentence in it's place. In another edit - in which I specifically was working on all the places where I let myself be lazy in the writing - I struggled some more. This time I wasn't going to let myself off the hook. I put it aside after several attempts, to rework the next day. That day I had a talk with Jim (my fictional character) out-loud as I was driving to the store. I said, "I'm not getting this. Something is wrong. Somehow I don't really have a feel for what that was like for you. You have to open up to me Jim; you have to tell me what you two did that night." I was a bit shocked by what he revealed, understood his reluctance to tell me, but finally got the sentence to my satisfaction. I don't tell the readers what Jim told me, just conveyed the sentiment that summed up the experience for him. It wasn't even an important part of the book - other than every sentence is an important part of the book.