I absolutely love the Bulwar-Lytton Fiction Contest.
That’s the contest where people submit their absolutely worst opening line for a novel, and the worst gets crowned the grand prize winner.
It’s named after the guy who wrote the book that started “It was a dark and stormy night.” Of course, something that simple won’t win these days. You really have to embellish and create visceral imagery.
The winning line this year?
“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.” — Sue Fondrie
This totally makes me laugh when I read it. It’s just so… so bad!
There are different category winners too (historic fiction, purple prose, etc). But the one above was the overall winner.
Every time I read about this contest (and then read the winners and honourable mentions), I always think “I could do this. I should totally try to enter next year!”
Unfortunately, bad writing is easy. Truly awful writing is much more difficult than you would think.
Perhaps I should start crafting a sentence now– you know, to get a jump on things. Part of me wants to use one of those omnipresent, pathetic, gay-romance novels as a template.
Have you read some of those homo-harlequins? Shit, they can be absolutely terrible!
I’ve read one or two books of that nature. They were dreadful, indeed.