Everything has a formula: finding square roots, closing sales calls, creating nice-smelling shampoo. And I don’t mean to burst any bubbles here, but so does writing. Web page: headline, subhead, 200 to 300 words of body copy. Sales letter: greeting, introductory paragraph, features and benefits, call to action, closing. Script for a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie: Read on …
The below essay is from my friend and brilliant fellow copywriter, Monica Taylor, who sick and couch-ridden around the holidays, spent an entire week doing nothing but watching Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies.
I love this essay. Thanks, Monica.
What I learned from the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movies. A week of them.
By Monica Taylor
1. If you are a hard-nosed, flinty career woman, you need to go to a small town in Washington/Vermont/Connecticut, where …
2. You will be trying to report on a news story/get to your wedding/call your editor when …
3. Fate intervenes in the shape of a man who wears a Carhartt/L.L.Bean/denim jacket and is a
- Sad widower/trucker/secretly an artist
- Sad widower/writer/secretly a trucker
- Sad single dad with an abnormally normal 12-year-old daughter
- An angel
4. You will not like this man. You will have words. You will end up having to share a hotel room/train car/theatre seats/truck cab against your will. Oh, and he hates you, too.
5. There will be a huge misunderstanding, where you will look like a jerk, he looks like a liar, your friends in NYC will beg you to come back to your career, and you will go.
6. Everything good lives in that little town in Washington/Vermont/Connecticut, and everything bad lives in NYC.
7. The people in these small towns (seaside, usually) are charmingly odd, but not mentally ill. Children wear woolen newsboy caps. There is always a gazebo.
8. Having a career is a very, very, very bad thing. Especially if you are a woman. It makes you flinty and miserable. To be happy, you have to live in the small town and go to the gazebo.
9. The fated men are sure and quiet, and they fall in love first. They do not have commitment issues. The women have big commitment issues. They run away at least two to three times before the end of the movie.
10. If the fated man is not an angel, Peter Falk is the angel. And he will bring you together.
11. If there is no angel, there has to be some other magic. A ghost, a star, a coincidence of epic size. Good, big magic. No magic, no movie.
I learned a lot.