Hello, readers! I’m Rachael Wing, the copywriter and “Instagram guru” at Bethany House (right). Amy Green is currently travelling the world and living her lifelong dream of searching for elves and Hobbits, so I’m taking over the blog this week!
If you grab a Bethany House book and flip to the back, you will find the recommended titles—or as we call them, the back-of-book ads (BOBs for short). As the company’s copywriter, one of my main responsibilities is to write those short descriptions. I take what has been written by the authors and editorial department for the books’ short summaries (which appears on Amazon and other retail sites), and have to summarize that in 360 characters or less . . . including spaces. Counting the fiction titles only, I write approximately 20 of these every four months—but counting our nonfiction divisions, I spend over a week writing approximately 60 of these—so as you can imagine, there is always writer’s block involved, and they don’t always turn out poetically.
Inspired by the old Twitter trend #DescribeAFilmPlotBadly and my personal work struggles, I decided to intentionally write terrible short synopses about some of my favorite classic stories to give you an idea of how my first drafts usually turn out—and hopefully a good laugh!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen: Broody uptown boy falls for feisty downtown girl, and his knack for throwing money at problems softens his terrible manners.
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare: Family drama! Slacking servants! Two teenagers are great at falling in love but terrible at coordinating death plans.
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo: Police officer with the greatest thirst for vengeance and the worst tracking abilities hunts the same criminal for years. Also includes a very detailed description of the French sewer system.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: A lonely monster with thrifted body and a murder complex is desperate for the perfect girl.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: Boy-next-door loves his neighbors so much that he ends up settling for the worst sister.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens: Old lady cannot properly handle her breakup, so she keeps her grudges. And her moldy wedding cake.
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss: Children are taught about peer pressure through a strange creature who learns why it’s important to accept odd food from annoying strangers.
The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien: A group of diverse dudes decide to cash in on a jewelry return in exchange for the fate of the world.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: The classic case of falling in love with your boss, who “forgets” to tell you about his crazy wife in the attic.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery: The uplifting story of a girl who poisons her best friend, can’t dye hair, and has questionable fashion sense.
How would you describe some of your favorite classic tales?