Thursday, July 02, 2009

It was a dark and stormy night...

If you've never heard of the Bulwer-Lytton contest, its a competition wherein folks submit a single sentence. The sentence is intended to be the start of a novel. A particularly bad novel that does not exist (yet).

I only remember this contest every few years, but I suggest perusing .


If the contest does not give an aspiring writer a moment of pause when they look upon their own prose, they either lack the self-awareness and insight into their own work enough to be a writer or they have an unhealthy level of self-confidence.

Two of my favorites:

Darnell knew he was getting hung out to dry when the D.A. made him come clean by airing other people's dirty laundry; the plea deal was a new wrinkle and there were still issues to iron out, but he hoped it would all come out in the wash - otherwise he had folded like a cheap suit for nothing.

Lynn Lamousin
Baton Rouge, LA

No man is an island, so they say, although the small crustaceans and the bird which sat impassively on Dirk Manhope's chest as he floated lazily in the pool would probably disagree.

Glen Robins
Brighton, East Sussex, U.K.

That second one sounds terribly likely in modern fiction.

Tip o' the hat to Unloveable.


J.S. said...

Uh, I'm not sure what this says about me as a reader, but I would read a book that started with the second quote. Does no one else find that extremely funny?

The League said...

I think the conceit is that these books are supposed to be serious.

mcsteans said...

Dirk Manhope?