Funny Deliberately Terrible Bad First Paragraphs of Novels Contest

Some of the funniest bad opening paragraphs of would be novels.The Bulwer-Lytton literary parody contest is a yearly contest that seeks to find the worst deliberately terrible opening paragraphs to novels. It was named after Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), who originated the phrases “the pen is mightier than the sword,” and “pursuit of the almighty dollar.” He also opened a novel in 1830 with those now famous words that Snoopy plagiarized for years, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Here are some of the best worst bad novel beginning paragraph entries in the 2006 contest.

Detective Bart Lasiter was in his office studying the light from his one small window falling on his super burrito when the door swung open to reveal a woman whose body said you’ve had your last burrito for a while, whose face said angels did exist, and whose eyes said she could make you dig your own grave and lick the shovel clean.

Jim Guigli
Carmichael, CA

Christy, lounging in the gondola which slipped smoothly through the enveloping mist had her first inkling that something was afoot as she heard pattering hooves below (for our story is not in Venice but Switzerland with its Provolone and Toblerone) and craning her not unlovely neck she narrowed her eyes at the dozen tiny reindeer, pelting madly down the goat trail.

Irene Buttuls
Lytton, B.C

She looked at her hands and saw the desiccated skin hanging in Shar-Pei wrinkles, confetti-like freckles, and those dry, dry cuticles–even her “Fatale Crimson” nail color had faded in the relentless sun to the color of old sirloin–and she vowed if she ever got out of the Sahara alive, she’d never buy polish on sale at Walgreen’s again.

Christin Keck
Kent, OH

It was a day, like any other day, in that Linus got up, faced the sunrise, used his inhaler, applied that special cream between his toes, wrote a quick note and put it in a bottle, and wished he’d been stranded on the island with something other than 40 cases each of inhalers, decorative bottles, and special toe cream.

Chris Harget
Campbell, CA

The cold, cynical wind molested the auburn tresses of the fair damsel clinging to the steel of the rail trestle, from which vantage point she could see that it was a long way down to where she would land if she fell, which, given the velocity she would attain and the unfriendly pavement leering up at her, added to soft tissue’s low tolerance for sudden impacts, would be a very bad thing.

Pat Hricko
Nicholson, PA

Gripping his six-shot Colt Python with 8-inch barrel and Royal Blue finish, and tightening the straps on his Paratec Speed 2000 parachute, Jake leaped from the left aft hatchway of the tumbling, green-and-silver, twin-engined Embraer Lineage 1000, which had seating for nineteen passengers.

Johnathan Munroe
Halifax, NS

Todd languished there, neck deep in the pumpkin-hued Amargosa Desert sand like a long forgotten cupcake in an Easy Bake Oven gone hellishly amok, and it finally made sense . . . “ooohhhh, DEATH Valley.”

Jeffrey Barnes
Atlanta, Georgia

It was a dreary Monday in September when Constable Lightspeed came across the rotting corpse that resembled one of those zombies from Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” except that it was lying down and not performing the electric slide.

Derek Fisher
Ottawa, ON

Dawkins leaned against the building to avoid both the November wind and his prey and quietly congratulated himself for selecting his calf-length, double-breasted trench coat in a 60 cotton/40 poly left-hand twill weave with its wool felt collar, snug fitting belt with gun-metal fittings, reinforced buttons and inverted back pleat for repelling thugs and inclement weather.

Bill Raftery
Glen Rock, NJ

“Christmas Eve fell upon the piazza, and the pealing, the tintinnabulous pealing, (perhaps not a pealing but an incessant tinkling, albeit an appealing incessant tinkling) of the street performers reached my ears, masking the shot, which would have rung out had not the tintinnabulations raised such an incessant tinkling that the sound died as dead as the musician who fell like Christmas Eve at my feet – his bell having been rung.”

Ben Ross
Lexington, NC

Detective Otto Slugbert liked to compare himself to a legendary chess master, but his arch-enemy Bert Boswell often sneered that at best he resembled a merely average player of Mille Bornes (r) or Tri-Ominoes (r).

Mary Hickey
Kirkersville, OH

Page topic: terrible, really bad books and novel writing: deliberately funny bad first paragraphs of novels contest winners.

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