Revising is like doing the Cha-Cha


One step forward, one step back, step to the side and cha, cha, cha. Add a new sentences, delete a sentence, rewrite another and cha, cha, cha. It’s never ending! It’s a good thing I like to cha-cha.

deleteSeriously though, rewriting is like dieting. You move along nicely then hit a plateau before you move again. In writing, you move along page after page nicely, and then boom you hit the plateau. No matter how much you write, you also delete huge chunks of writing. You never get off the page because it still isn’t right. Then magically you start making progress again.
I’d love to write another simile for you but I really, really, really want to get to the next page!

Do you have a good simile or metaphor for revising?

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Updated: November 23, 2016 — 11:39 am


  1. I love this! I'm very much a “rhythm” writer so I like thinking of writing as the cha-cha. Great post.

  2. Revision for me is like running up an escalator that's going in the opposite direction. More often than not I delete words and go back than I add words and move forward. It's hard work, but once I reach the top it's totally worth it. Plus it's kinda fun 🙂

    Though I think I like your cha-cha metaphor more 🙂

  3. No I don't, but I like the cha-cha idea. Makes me think of the movie Real Genius.

  4. How about gardening? You plant the seeds with the first draft, then have to nourish, cultivate, weed, prune and finally, the harvest!

  5. the dieting one made the most sense to me

  6. I like the cha-cha one. Not the dieting one so much, because I don't like doing that. Don't have one of my own 🙁

  7. I thought Jan Morrison had an EXCELLENT one yesterday: it's like having a tangled mess of a silver chain and you have to massage and loosen pieces before you can get at the real knots, but when the knots are out, finally the whole thing will lay smooth.

  8. I like to think I'm weaving. When I pull out a thread everything scrunches up and I need to smooth it out. When I add something, it needs pulled through the right spots and extra bits clipped off, etc.

  9. Revising is like a drill boring into my brain matter, only instead of blood flowing, it's ink? Haha, I guess not–that's not very inspiring.

    Can you tell that revising isn't something I enjoy? But at the same time the work is always worth the effort. 🙂

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  10. I like the cha-cha description of revising. 🙂

  11. That's great, I'll have to make sure my friend who hates revising see this. Maybe she likes the cha cha more.

  12. Revising would mean I am in the midst of editing or writing a book, which I am not, and as a result, am not terribly envious of you!
    (Good luck! Just keep revising and eventually you'll be a book signing, and I'll be in line!)

  13. For me, revising is like an annoying puzzle I have to solve. I love the first draft when you can just write away!

    I often wish I had company for solving revision problems. But, alas, one writes a novel alone.

    Anyway good luck with yours!

  14. Revising is like shopping in the store of your dreams. You have to get through racks and racks of stuff you think you like, but maybe don't, try them on, toss them, try them on again, until you find the thing that is just perfect.

  15. I like Lydia's metaphor. All I can say is thank heavens I have a computer, or else I'd have killed a few acres of trees by now.

  16. Seriously funny, cha, cha, cha. I'm in the middle of edits and my character, (thank God it wasn't me), twisted her ankle. LOL.
    If you're interested, I posted on giveaways and contest today including my first ever contest.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  17. If you think of a name anytime over the weekend you can come by and tell me.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  18. It's amazing how sometimes I can revise an entire chapter and it goes so smoothly, no problems at all. Then I come to a single sentence that can take hours to tweek. So frustrating!

  19. This is so true. Its quite a shuffle going forward and backwards. My metaphor: Revising is like trying a new bottle of wine. Sometimes its delicious and worth the price, other times you pay $25 for what tastes like a $2 bottle. For the record, I've just opened a terrific tasting of 2007 Clos du Bois on sale for $12. Me very happy!

  20. Loved this! With me is like walking in a crazy maze.Sometimes I know where to go, and I do it fast (Like revising 5 pages in 10 minutes) but then I strike a wall and I keep there for hours trying to figure out how to move it (Yes, that hard!. The wall can be a paragraph, concept, behaviour or even a tiny sentence. Gaaaahhh!!!!
    Great, great post!

  21. Hilary Melton-Butcher said…
    Hi .. not really .. but got your Afternoon Tea book today ..

    Have a break, have a cup of tea .. and listen with …

    Sounds good to me .. enjoy yourself .. Hilary

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