Cleverness Has an Expiration Date

Great post from Jae at Lit and Scribbles, if you missed it earlier in the week.
I started reading Frankenstein a while ago and thought, “Wow, you can’t get away with that kind of exposition these days” before I gave up completely because I found it boring. Classics are classics for a reason, and they have great value; that doesn’t mean that because something has worked in the past (whether that’s 100 or 5 years ago), we can or should try to emulate it. Yes, Mary Shelley got away with starting with letters that had nothing to do with monsters. That doesn’t mean you should try it with a modern audience that has a thousand other (more compelling) books in your genre to choose from. Know why the old things work, and try something new.

(Yes, I know I just revealed something horrible about myself as a reader and as a person. I don’t have the attention span for many of the classics. I don’t need a book to start with explosions, and John Steinbeck can hook me with pages and pages of descriptions… but a lot of the old writing and the old gimmicks don’t grab me, and I have a lot of other books to read)

*runs and hides in the closet before the Classics Zealots can start hurling heavy, dusty volumes*

Lit and Scribbles with Jae

I’ve been watching a lot of stuff on Hulu lately (especially FMA, thanks a lot Gloria!), so I see way more commercials than I have in a long time—especially since I gave up cable.

I’ve noticed an interesting movement between two competitors, namely Geico and Progressive. They want your money, folks, and they don’t mind bombarding us with ads in the process. Let’s face it, now Hulu is a good chunk of their age range.

Now before you start to *yawn* and click to another page, understand there’s a lesson about cleverness here. And that lesson is, cleverness always has an expiration date. It just may last a little longer for some things than others.


I don’t even remember the days of Progressive before Flo. According to Wikipedia, she started making her appearance in 2008—and she’s still here 5 years later folks. (Though some are speculating she may…

View original post 739 more words

About Kate Sparkes

Kate Sparkes was born in Hamilton, Ontario, but now resides in Newfoundland, where she tries not to talk too much about the dragons she sees in the fog. She lives with five cats, two dogs, and just the right amount of humans. USA Today bestselling author of the Bound Trilogy (mature YA Fantasy), Into Elurien, and Vines and Vices. Writing dark, decadent, and deadly Urban Fantasy as Tanith Frost. View all posts by Kate Sparkes

3 responses to “Cleverness Has an Expiration Date

  • Green Embers

    You know funny enough.. I consider Frankenstein one of the easier classics to read, lol. But I agree with the premise, classics can be quite boring. Dickens is particularly hard for me to read, but he is intentionally wordy. Someone told me that he actually got paid by the word, I haven’t verified that or not so don’t know the veracity but judging by his books I believe it, lol.

  • Christi

    What worked in writing 150 years ago won’t work today, certainly. However, those authors opened doors for us that may not have been opened otherwise. Just like any other industry, the written word builds on and generally improves on what has come before. Great post!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Anastasia Writes

politics, engineering, parenting, relevant things over coffee.

Beth Camp

Writer of historical fiction and teller of tales . . .


An Aspiring Author's Adventure

TBN Media

Life, writing, books, dragons- not necessarily in that order. Home of USA Today bestselling Fantasy author Kate Sparkes.

Allie Potts Writes

Author, Writer, & Inventor of Worlds

Ultimately Useless Stories

If I don't write to empty my mind, I go mad. ~Lord Byron

The Wordy Rose

"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing." - Benjamin Franklin

Shan Jeniah's Lovely Chaos

Finding Yessings and Blessings in Lifes Messings!

Little Rittwolf's Book Blog

I thought having my own blog would help me....Squirrel!....stay more focused. I could be wrong.

The Sword of Air

Stunning new multitouch iBook by breakthrough author R.J Madigan


Read it! 📖 Spark it! ✨

Benjamin Wallace Books

Books written by Benjamin Wallace

Denise D. Young

Wild Magic. Wild Stories. Wild Souls.

chestnut book blog

Read. Recommend. Revel.

B E L I E V E 🦋Life is Never Fair

I gather strength from life’s storms -Jonathan L Huie

LGBT Book Reviews, Cover Reveals & More! We are a group designed to help promote and review LGBT et al books. We were created out of seeing a need and wanted to have that need filled. We pride ourseles of having opinionated reviews that are unique and helpful to the author. Welcome to a world of the best LGBT et al books out there!

Dionne Lister | USA Today Bestselling Author

I love sharing my stories, but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night.

Avid Reviews

Fantasy and Sci-Fi Reviews For Both Self-Published and Traditionally Published Books

Author Jen Wylie's Blog

Welcome to my mind... Blog for fantasty author Jen Wylie

%d bloggers like this: