bad writing and rewards

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Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2002 6:01 am
Location: Crawfordville/Florida

bad writing and rewards

Postby Larem » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:47 pm

this is taken from "Uncle John's Bathroom Reader, Wonderful World of Odd" I found it just too awesome not to pass on.

A few years ago we discovered the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The object: to compose the worste opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The competition was created in the early 1980's by a literary professor named Scott Rice. Here are some of our favorite entries from the last few years.

But First....

The sentence that started it all, from the 1830 novel "Paul Clifford" by English author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton:

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.

Now settle in for some modern-day longwindedness.........

It was a dark and stormy night-actually not all that dark, but more dusky or maybe cloudy, and to say "stormy" may be overstating things at bit, although the sidewalks were still wettish and smelled of ozone, and, truth be told, characterizing the time as night is a stretch as it was more in the late, late afternoon because I think Oprah was still on.
-Gregory Snider, MD, Lexington, KY, 2004 runner-up

Jack planted the magic beans and in one night a giant beanstalk grew all the way from the earth up to the clouds-which sounds like a lie, but it can be done with genetic engineering, and although a few people are against eating gene-engineered foods like those beans it's a high-paying career to think about for when you grow up.
-Frances Grimble, San Francisco, CA, 2004 Children's Lit Winner

On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet-paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and everytime you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained.
-Rephah Berg, Oakland, CA, 2002 winner

And Finally.....
A few of our BRI writers decided to try their hand at a horrible sentence.

The weary foot soldier peered out from his squalid foxhole and saw them: a plethora of attacking aliens advancing toward him-or maybe it was a "myriad" of aliens, he thought, pondering the quantitative value of plethoras versus myriads, to and fro, until, sadly, he was instantly vaporized by what his fellow soldiers (who'd barely escaped themselves) would later describe as "a sh*tload of aliens."
-Jay Newman

He couldn't sleep so he did what he always did when he couldn't sleep-he thought about riding a unicorn, like the one he'd dreamt about as a child, the dream which he wasn't totally convinced was a dream, but in actuality was a reality-then he awoke and realized he wasn't really sleeping, but was dreaming about wanting to sleep; he thought it all terribly ironic, until, he noticed, there at the foot of his bed, was the ghost of John Quincy Adams.
-Brian Boone

Staring intently across the office through the bleak October twilight, Matt eyed the empty orange-juice container that he'd "decorated" with a Sharpie to look like a jack-o-lantern face, silently hating the fact that his lame co-workers had actually entered it in the demeaning office pumpkin-decorating contest, but also secretly p*ssed off that they hadn't won and hadn't even gotten honorable mention for "Most Economical."
-G. Javna

Though it sickened her to think that, once again, the old men would ogle her generous hips under the voluminous corduroy skirt, and desire her supple skin, aromatic with Yardley oatmeal soap that you could only find at a Rexall pharmacy, she steeled herself, tightening her moist lips like two tiles in a badly built shower, and pushed through the door of the stamp-collector's shop.
-Amy Miller

And now for those of you whom found this rather enjoyable, rejoice, for the contest is held every year, and anyone can enter it! I have not looked too far into it, as I myself am extremely lazy, well not that lazy, except when it comes to writing, or rather scribbling things with a pencil, although my wrists do tend to get sore after several minutes of vigorous typing-that's not to say I haven't put the notion of entering completely out of mind, rather it is there, just lacking can visit the offical website for the contest, at: do believe that's it. If not, just do a google search for bulwer-lytton fiction contest, it's the top entry.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did!

"When you close your eyes, is it hell that you see?" Ghost, Ginger Snaps 2

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