Winners Of The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

This is again, a handout from my Creative Writing tute this Friday (the last one). I’m going to miss these little things I get given.

So the handout came with a URL, which I suppose is where all the info is from.

Anyway, this is the introduction, as it is on my handout:

Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The contest (hereafter referred to as the BLFC) was the brainchild (or Rosemary’s baby) of Professor Scott Rice, whose graduate school excavations unearthed the source of the line “It was a dark and stormy night.”

I won’t write it all up, but I will show you some of my favorites (I think they’re meant to be so ridiculous that they’re funny):

The countdown had stalled at T minus 69 seconds when Desiree, the first female ape to go up in space, winked at me slyly and pouted her thick, rubbery lips unmistakably – the first of many such advances during what would prove to be the longest, and most memorable, space voyage of my career. – Martha Simpson, Glastonbury, Connecticut (1985 winner)

The bone-chilling scream split the warm summer night in two, the first half being before the scream when it was fairly balmy and calm and pleasant for those who hadn’t heard the scream at all, but not calm or balmy or even very nice for those who did hear the scream, discounting the little period of time during the actual scream itself when your ears might have been hearing it but your brain wasn’t reacting yet to let you know. – Patricia E. Presutti, Lewiston, New York (1986 winner)

“Ace, watch your head!” hissed Wanda urgently, yet somehow provocatively, through red, full, sensuous lips, but he couldn’t you know, since nobody can actually watch more than part of his nose or a little cheek or lips of he really tries, but he appreciated her warning. – Janice Estey, Aspen, Colorado (1996 winner)

The moment he laid eyes on the lifeless body of the nude socialite sprawled across the bathroom floor, Detective Leary knew she had committed suicide by grasping the cap on the tamper-proof bottle, pushing down and twisting while she kept your thumb firmly pressed against the spot the arrow pointed to, until she hit the exact spot where the tab clicks into place, allowing her to remove the cap and swallow the entire contents of the bottle, thus ending her life. – Artie Kalemeris, Fairfax, Virginia (1997 winner)

They had but one last remaining night together, so they embraced each other as tight as that two-flavor entwined string cheese that is orange and yellowish-white, the orange probably being a bland Cheddar and the white…Mozzarella, although it could possibly be Provolone or just plain American, as it really doesn’t taste distinctly dissimilar from the orange, yet they would have you believe it does by coloring it differently.  -Mariann Simms, Wetumpka, Alabama (2003 winner)

So I tried my hand at my own “horrible” fiction starts:

The first time I met him he’d run at me with uncontainable joy, his silky golden locks bouncing on his teddy-bear-like body with the same enthusiasm as that of a fat man’s bosoms. His tongue smeared my cheek with the fury of a fully-paid carwash service, attempting to encase me wholly, to the last inch of my life, in his warm saliva. His breath was on my ear, toasty like a dog’s – which was fitting, was because he was indeed a compact little Maltese Cross.

I’m in my Day 1 of my 11 Days of Writing Hell. So far I’ve finished 1 essay, and I will attempt to redraft and finish off my entire short fiction piece, thus finishing 1/4 subjects, by dinner tonight.

Alex.

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One thought on “Winners Of The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest

  1. A truly excellent beginning to a novel. It shows promise. I particularly enjoyed the subtle twist at the end confirming the non-human nature of the “teddy-bear-like body” possessing…thing.

    HAHA thank you OJ, but I don’t intend to keep writing it. But dude, that dog was freaking adorable.

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