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Sunday, July 17, 2011

The WORST opener in the history of writing

This is my entry for the Absolute Write blog chain for July. This month's prompt: the Mini Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. The Mini Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest means trying to write the worst possible first line of a book or story in the spirit of Edward "It was a dark and stormy night..." Bulwer-Lytton. "Worst" in this case is subjective, but florid and ridiculous purple prose is probably closest to the spirit of the thing. Here is mine:
It was an unusually well told dark and extremely out of the ordinary stormy, because thunder groaned in the abyss like a mad man, night, and by night the vultures cried yelps of pleas for the melancholy in the air had built up and just wouldn't vaporize.

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  1. I pity the poor vultures trapped in this sentence. Nice job.

  2. Thanks! It was tougher than I thought coming up with something bad...But then it was just random...hehehe.

  3. Yelping vultures? Someone please vaporize me. This is a truly awful opening line.

  4. I missed the vultures on the first pass. Crikey that is one swarm of a storm-thingy! :D

  5. What, you mean I shouldn't do this? :)

  6. I love the first bit... "It was an unusually well told dark and extremely out of the ordinary storm" Absolutely hilarious.

    Though honestly, I've never understood why people think "It was a dark and stormy night" is a bad opening. It's totally effective for me, conjuring up a very vivid image.

  7. LOL. unusually well-told. Nice ;) also "cried yelps of pleas" was perfectly convoluted and wordy! hehe

  8. Interesting callback to the original at the beginning there, but I think the muddled syntax, which suggests that thunderstorms are caused by vultures, is the real gem.

  9. All those commas. Classic. I laughed at "It was an unusually well told dark and extremely out of the ordinary stormy..."

  10. Thanks guys! Really glad you liked it :D

  11. Run on much description. Despite that, I actually liked it.

  12. Now THAT'S a Bulwer-Lytton sentence! Horrible, awful, overly florid...well done!

  13. It's funny -- I posted about that contest today. And I have to say, your opener is just as bad as the woman's who won the contest this year. Nice job!

  14. You have a fabulous blog! I want to award you with one of my homemade awards: Powerful Woman Writer Award for all the hard work you do!

    Go to and pick up your award.