Write Tight? Or Write Crisp?

So, there I was, reading calmkate’s response to today’s Daily Prompt, Crisp, and, as is my wont, pondering ways to submit an outside-the-box response of my own. That led to a headache which made me stop thinking and make some tea (Stash brand Licorice Spice, BTW). Two tea bag tea, too (yeah, I know, but I drink tea out of a huge coffee mug).

Writing tight means chucking unnecessary words that bog the reader down (and make him want to burn down the writer’s house), and writing in a concise, spartan way. Not “Spartan” as in words fighting each other to death with lead pencils for page space, but spartan, as in sparse. Like Hemingway without the girth. Like me without the nonsense ๐Ÿ™‚

Writing tight is generally accepted as THE sign of a good writer, next to having a good story, an actual plot, living characters, sparkling dialogue, and a marketing plan. Writing tight is difficult for people who ramble…like me. That’s okay, though, in the first twelve drafts. By the thirteenth draft the writer should have a) begun a new career, or b) cut out the clutter, disarray, and drivel.

But, you know what: I don’t like writing tight. No – really. I’d rather write crisp. It’s more descriptive, and heck, it sounds cool, way more cool than writing tight.
“Writing crisp.” Ahhh, relaxing, cool, romantic. “Writing tight.” Nasally, harsh, disturbing.

“Crisp,” (did you hear the angels, too?). Crisp brings to mind cool Autumn nights and coziness as I bundle up and stroll along with my head back gazing at the stars. (Crisp also describes those cold winter days when your nostrils freeze as you inhale – but that’s another topic.)

Crisp is how I describe writing that sparkles, from dialogue to description to story to the end. Few unnecessary words, dialogue that sparkles the way it does when you connect with that special person, and a story that flows so well that the reader doesn’t mind going to work on only thirty minutes of sleep.

Writing tight? That’s like saying “Your writing is anal-retentive.”

Don’t be a tight writer; write crisp.

Note to self: Change the title of your writing posts!

(sorrykate ๐Ÿ™‚

10 thoughts on “Write Tight? Or Write Crisp?

    1. Will Pennington

      Haha Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ A case can be made that they are two different things, but I like to think of Crisp as including tight writing. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s writing was crisp and tight. I would choose to emulate his writing, if anybody’s.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. Kris

    Agreed. Crisp words are fresh air to read. Tight words make me think I need a size larger dictionary. I do not like being squished, with words and sentences so bound they lose their flavor. I want to savor words, feel their syllables on my tongue, enjoy their sensation while I read. Like your words–they are good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. calmkate

    lol … you cracked me up Will .. I used less than 40 words, you exceeded that by ???? and I don’t write tight … maybe short and sharp? and certainly crisp, appreciate your humour ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

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