I recently read a post (http://tinyurl.com/pgt5gd8) by C.S. Lakin about cleverness in writing. Left me thinking, which I like to think is a positive response after spending fifteen minutes reading. This is more or less my response to that; I urge you to go and read it for yourself.
I personally don’t consider myself a clever writer and as far as I know, people who read me don’t think so either. The examples provided by Lakin illustrate his point very well, though; memorable lines hook us, keep us reading, and just might bring us back to the same book for a reread. I can attest to this, as many can I’m sure, as I’ve read a number of NewYorkTimes Bestsellers that left me wondering :”How did this sell at all?” Sometimes there are books that have a good idea, but are written poorly.
The only bit of text I can think of that was about something I really didn’t enjoy, but was unarguably written well (and cleverly at times) was Lolita. But I walked away from that one with a bad taste in my mouth as well.
I would ask of you, dear readers, whether or not you think clever writing l can excuse a bad story? Or the other way around, can a good story excuse poor writing quality?
As for me, I think both can. They just usually don’t.