Bad Writing Contest

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.

The annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which honors particularly bad opening sentences, has concluded. Recall that the prize is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who opened his 1830 novel Paul Clifford thusly:

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.

This year’s winner is a Molly Ringle of Seattle for this gem:

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.

The runner-up was Tom Wallace of Columbia, SC for:

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.

Nice. Recall that Bulwer-Lytton was trying to write well and the contestants here are intentionally trying to do the opposite.

via IHE

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Quick Takes
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. sam says:

    “Recall that Bulwer-Lytton was trying to write well and the contestants here are intentionally trying to do the opposite.”

    See, Naked Came the Stranger: “Some of the chapters had to be heavily edited, because they were originally too well written.” Probably make a fortune today, too.

  2. sam says:

    sigh. link