It Was a Dark and Stormy Night by Scott RiceUsually slow progress means no enjoyment, but not in this case! It is impossible to read these gems quickly - admittedly partly because they could get a bit samey!
Published in 1984 a couple entries would be considered racist now.
But I did laugh out loud at least half a dozen times!
Some random samples;
As the ancient Japanese warlord samurized the situation, he could lop off the mans head but that act of pique would only make the man smaller in his eyes.
Stephen M Dobbs California
She was in tropical heat
Richard Lowe Delaware
A cowboy should know his horse, but it seemed to the podners at the Triple Q Ranch that Vernon McChew had gotten too close.
Beloved Remington California
Beloved Remington is indeed a Bulmer-Lytton name!
Admittedly I have chosen both random & short and some of the best entries in this well known competition for as the back cover says the most atrocious opening sentences to a hypothetical lousy novel. are both long & florid. But if you can find a copy of this (as I did) for 50 cents in your local charity shop,it is well worth the money! :D
Dark and Stormy Night : 2 Hour Haunting Thunderstorm Sound
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night…
American academic Sue Fondrie's disturbing description of thoughts like mutilated sparrows has been declared the worst sentence of the year. Fondrie, a professor at the University of Wisconsin, beat an impressive display of terrible writing to win the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest, named in honour of Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton's novel Paul Clifford and its much-quoted opening, "It was a dark and stormy night". Entrants to the prize are duly challenged to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The academic's submission to the prize , "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", makes her its 29th winner. Fondrie's sentence is the shortest winner in the prize's history, "proving that bad writing need not be prolix, or even very wordy", said organisers. Bulwer-Lytton's own sentence, "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", takes the opposite approach, running to 59 words. Fondrie later wrote on Twitter that despite her sentence's subject, she is "in no way anti-alternative energy".