My absolute favorite contest has just announced their 2012 winners!!!
That’s right, this years crop of entries to The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (Where “WWW” means “Wretched Writers Welcome” ) have been judged and found appropriately wanting.
For those who may not know, Bulwer-Lytton produced the lines:
“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” as well as the infamous “unwashed masses”.
To say that his novels were turgid and overwritten would be an understatement.
Every year authors submit their worst possible (possibly) opening paragraphs – and winners in various categories are chosen.
Here are two of my favorites from this years crop:
“Professor Lemieux had anticipated that his latest paper would be received with skepticism within the small, fractious circle of professional cosmologists, few of whom were prepared to accept his hypothesis that our universe had been created in a marijuana-induced industrial accident by insectoid aliens; nevertheless, he was stung when Hawking airily dismissed it as the Bug Bong Theory. — Alan Follett, Hercules, CA”
“They still talk about that fateful afternoon in Abilene, when Dancing Dan DuPre moonwalked through the doors of Fat Suzy’s saloon, made a passable reverse-turn, pirouetted twice followed by a double box-step, somersaulted onto the bar, drew his twin silver-plated Colt-45s and put twelve bullets through the eyes of the McLuskey sextuplets, on account of them varmints burning down his ranch and lynching his prize steer. — Ted Downes, Cardiff, U.K.”