Friday, July 02, 2010

2010 "dark and stormy night" contest winner announced

The winner of the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (for bad opening sentences) is up on their website. There's no way within the constraints of fair use to quote something so short, so go to their website. Spoiler alert: It does involve a thirsty gerbil.

However, I can quote the sentence by the master who was widely hailed as the writer of the worst opening sentence in English fiction.
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.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton not only opened his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, with these immortal words but inspired renowned beagle writer Snoopy and the contest as well.

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