Thursday, July 1, 2010

Worst First Line Bulwer-Lytton Contest
"Where WWW means 'Wretched Writers Welcome' "

San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982, for creating the opening sentence to the worst possible novel. The contest has gone from 3 entries the first year to over 10,000 now, international attention, and expanded to several categories.

Here are some of the worst of the worst; check out the website for all the winners and runners-up (if you can do so without ripping out your eyes at such exorbitant prose).

2010 Winner
Molly Ringle: For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil.

Tom Wallace: Through the verdant plains of North Umbria walked Waylon Ogglethorpe and, as he walked, the clouds whispered his name, the birds of the air sang his praises, and the beasts of the fields from smallest to greatest said, "There goes the most noble among men" -- in other words, a typical stroll for a schizophrenic ventriloquist with delusions of grandeur.

Adventure Runner-Up
Greg Homer: When Hru-Kar, the alpha-ranking male of the silver-backed gorilla tribe finished unleashing simian hell on Lt. Cavendish, the once handsome young soldier from Her Majesty’s 47th Regiment resembled nothing so much as a crumpled up piece of khaki-colored construction paper that had been dipped in La Victoria chunky salsa.

Detective Winner
Steve Lynch: She walked into my office wearing a body that would make a man write bad checks, but in this paperless age you would first have to obtain her ABA Routing Transit Number and Account Number and then disable your own Overdraft Protection in order to do so.

Romance Winner
Paul Chafe: "Trent, I love you," Fiona murmered, and her nostrils flared at the faint trace of her lover's masculine scent, sending her heart racing and her mind dreaming of the life they would live together, alternating sumptuous world cruises with long, romantic interludes in the mansion on his private island, alone together except for the maids, the cook, the butler, and Dirk and Rafael, the hard-bodied pool boys.

Western Winner
Linda Boatright: He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him -- perhaps because his build was so short and so wide, or maybe it was the odor that lingered about him from so many days and nights spent in the wilds, but it may just have been because no one had ever seen a porcupine in a bar before.


Lesley Speller said...

I know I'm kinda weird, but I'd totally read a book that started with that runner up line. LMAO

anny cook said...

I love the last one. It's perfect.

BLproject said...

I've started a blog devoted to writing Bulwer-Lytton sentences. I'm going to write first sentences for a year and work with blog followers on crafting the best worst first sentences.