It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

Jokes

Bad Writing Contest held again this year

Same as every year, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for Bad Writing was held recently. The contest is named after British author Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, whose 1830 novel Paul Clifford begins with the often quoted opening line “It was a dark and stormy night.” Writers are asked to submit the worst possible opening sentences to imaginary novels.

The winner of 2011 was Sue Fondrie of Oshokosh, Wis, with this entry:
“Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.”

Runner-up Rodney Reed of Ooltewah, TN:
“As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this . . . and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words.”

John Doble of New York won in the historical fiction category:
“Napoleon’s ship tossed and turned as the emperor, listening while his generals squabbled as they always did, splashed the tepid waters in his bathtub.”

Mike Pedersen of North Berwick, Maine, for purple prose:
“As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.”

Mark Wisnewski of Flanders, NJ was the winner for Crime:
“Wearily approaching the murder scene of Jeannie and Quentin Rose and needing to determine if this was the handiwork of the Scented Strangler – who had a twisted affinity for spraying his victims with his signature raspberry cologne – or that of a copycat, burnt-out insomniac detective Sonny Kirkland was sure of one thing: he’d have to stop and smell the Roses.”

And the winner for Fantasy, Terri Daniel of Seattle, WA:
“Within the smoking ruins of Keister Castle, Princess Gwendolyn stared in horror at the limp form of the loyal Centaur who died defending her very honor; “You may force me to wed,” she cried at the leering and victorious Goblin King, “but you’ll never be half the man he was.”

Last but not least the winner for Romance, Ali Kawashima of Greensboro, NC:
“As the dark and mysterious stranger approached, Angela bit her lip anxiously, hoping with every nerve, cell, and fiber of her being that this would be the one man who would understand – who would take her away from all this – and who would not just squeeze her boob and make a loud honking noise, as all the others had.”

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