People always ask me, what's the toughest part of writing a book. My usual answer, "The part where I have to sit down and do it," isn't quite true. There are sections where my fingers fly, where I'm simply transcribing the moving pictures in my head. These are often action scenes, and many times they're so sharply-drawn, they require very little editing.
And then there are those other parts, the parts where I struggle for each word and end up rewriting the scene a minimum of four times, adding layer after layer like watercolor paints. For me, the toughest of all are the love scenes, probably because self-consciousness arm-wrestles with my muse. I worry about purple prose. I fret over anatomical impossibilities (or at least unlikelihoods) and the difficulty of making this union between these two characters fresh and unique when the act I'm describing is as old as, well, sexual reproduction. Then I think about my mother-in-law, who's sure to scold me once the book comes out. And everybody knows, sex and shrewish m-i-l commentary don't mix!
Finally, after a Herculean struggle that takes many times longer than any other section of the book, I'm finished. And mightily relieved.
So am I alone? If there are other writers out there, which part of a manuscript do you find the toughest?