Thursday, August 14, 2008

A Dark and Stormy Contest

This is always a funny story that causes me to wince. If you've not heard of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, check out their Website. They have a good sense of humor.

For those who don't know already, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton wrote what is widely regarded as the WORST opening sentence to a novel in the English language. It's not simply bad that it starts "It was a dark and stormy night," but the opening pales in comparsion to what follows:

It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents — except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.

Anyway, this year's "honorees" for the worst opening sentence of includes this wondershot: "Theirs was a New York love, a checkered taxi ride burning rubber, and like the city their passion was open 24/7, steam rising from their bodies like slick streets exhaling warm, moist, white breath through manhole covers stamped 'Forged by DeLaney Bros., Piscataway, N.J.' "

I wonder if the Washington writer who won also submitted his purple prose to the bad sex writing contest. If you go there, wear protection.

I realize these people are purposely writing this poorly, but it still makes me ill.


Zod said...

Funny...But that first sentence can be difficult. The trick is to lead into the next sentence, and then to the next. Traffic jambs can occur in chequered cabs.

Matt Sinclair said...

You said it, Zod!

Zod said...


It is the truth.

A bloke ought to know what he's talking about before he stumbles about.

"WO7B" and "Tale of the Outlander" are two books that speak of old truths. Check them out on-line or Google "WO7B". You'll find me.

Keep writing;
O.B. Wright

Matt Sinclair said...

Thanks. You too.

Matt Sinclair said...
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