Writer’s block rarely plagues me. I tend to write slowly, and some sentences take much longer than others, but actual blockages occur almost exclusively when I’m trying to think of a good title. Something concise, yet substantive; something nuanced, but not too vague; something original enough to be clever without being esoteric.
The existence of clickbait proves that this issue weighs much heavily on the minds of many Internet attention-seekers. In fairness, they might not claim to be writers, but still, the total dearth of subtlety, the shameless attention-seeking, and the sheer length of these “titles” prevents me from ever wanting to click on these links.
But maybe I’m being harsh. And hey, I’m all about building bridges. So instead of poking fun, I have a plan: Let’s harness the power of clickbait and apply it to great works of literature. After all, maybe the only thing stopping this generation from reading Tolstoy is his failure to create eye-catching, emotion-manipulating titles. Without further ado, then, I will start us off with ten New And Improved Classic Work Titles For The Internet Generation. (Scrambled at the bottom are the originals, complete with the boring old-fashioned titles).
- They’re Supposed To Be Playing Hide-And-Seek, But When One Of Them Discovers Another Dimension – WOW, I’m Speechless!
- She Marries The Wrong Guy. When She Finds Out What’s In His Will? That’s When Things Get REALLY Complicated.
- When He Met Another Anti-Government Ally, He Had No Idea This Would Happen. You Will Be SO Depressed.
- She Can’t Stand Him At First – But You Will COMPLETELY Fall For Him After You See What He Does For Her Family!
- They All Pile Into A Pickup Truck For A Road Trip. What Happens To Them Made Me Cry My Eyes Out.
- At First, His Companions Thinks He’s Useless – But Everything Changes When They Meet Some Giant Spiders!
- She Has An Affair, But That’s Just The Beginning – At The End She Completely LOSES IT!
- All He Wants Is A Nice Home In the English Countryside. What He Gets? An Obsessive Control-Freak Neighbor Bent On Revenge.
- Some Boys End Up On An Island With No Supervision. What Happens Next Will Destroy Your Faith In Humanity.
- It Starts Out Like Any Other Kids’ Story, But What She Falls In A Hole, Things Get TOTALLY Trippy!
This is just a start, of course, but I’m confident that titles such as these just may enable publishers to usher in a new Golden Age of literary refinement. Who’s with me?
Here are the original works; can you identify the clickbait titles they describe? Do you have any catchy suggestions for your favorite classics?