Monday, January 28, 2008

Doncha Love Really Awful Writing?

Sometimes, it takes a lot of talent to writer really bad prose.

Here are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer-Lytton contest (run by
the English Dept. of San Jose State University), wherein one writes only the
first line of a bad novel:

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the
echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished
oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed
with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small
straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along
the East wall: 'Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.'"

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was
about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon to become the
woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eeking
out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often

3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent
remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the
word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of
death - in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the
greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,
revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in
frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving
the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, 'You lied!"


Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Actually, I'm not sure #6 is going to STAY fictional. I've already heard "news of the weird" items about some Baby Boomers marrying themselves because "Nobody could possibly Love Me as much as I Do."

Might want to keep that in mind for ISIG3.

Unicycle Max said...

I went to art school to study writing, and in my into to fiction class, someone handed in the first chapter of their novella to workshop.
The first line?
"The shined through my light blue curtains"

Anonymous said...

#4 and #2 actually kind of work for me.

Of course, I'm assuming that the rest of the story is intentionally comedic.