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.
When she sashayed across the room, her breasts swayed like two house trailers passing on a windy bridge.
Getting the performance rating of highly successful, although clearly nothing to be ashamed of, left Blevins somewhat oddly dissatisfied, like when you realize, upon having the triage nurses greet your ambulance, that your underwear, as far as you can determine, is in pretty decent condition, but you’ll, nonetheless, never pull through the surgery.
The goose waddled slowly, heavily, across the road, exactly the way my mother-in-law would if she were a goose.
Kathy, who had bound her breasts and cropped her hair, and lied about her gender to join a monastery of Jesuits in northern Kentucky, until she was discovered one night in the shower, winced as the dentist pulled her tooth.
A Lodgepole Pine grew straight and tall in front of his cabin, sort of like a lodgepole, only with branches.
Stephen E. Moore
Withdrawing his hand from her knee, the English professor stormed, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is the sort of nonsense up with which I will not put,” although she had merely looked at his hand and asked, “What are you doing that for?” in a sentence intended to end the proposition.
Carl C. Partlow
Frank took one look at Tina’s moderately shapely legs, her adequate waist, her decent bosom, and her not-unattractive face, and said to himself “Well, hello Miss You’ll-Do-Until-Something-Better-Comes-Along!”
Yet again Imelda was exacerbated, or at least she assumed she was, as she was never sure exactly what the term meant though when she felt bloated and crampy as she was now, she was pretty sure she was, exacerbated that is.
“Please Jeffrey, don’t tell him this time” a beautiful woman, with eyes like cobalt fire, implored of me as she staggered obviously a bit tipsy, if not completely obliterated, out of the Wagon Wheel Tavern and onto West Fourth Street and blinking twice from the afternoon sun managed to slink past me and into the arms of a fellow who I’m guessing was Jeffrey.
Spokane Valley, WA
Ah, yes, it was a beautiful face with skin smoother than pumice and breath fresher than a twenty-five-day-old tuna sandwich stored for safe keeping in a Wichita schoolgirl’s lunchbox, and I found myself beset, nay, overcome, with twin urges: to ravish her there and then on the cash register, or to slough off the skin of my calloused feet on the stubble of her chin.
Kaleen, Canberra, Australia
Houses dotted the landscape in the small village where Hans lived . . . somewhat resembling a Monet painting . . . although he wasn’t really the father of pointillism . . . but since it did directly offshoot FROM impressionism, it would still be appropriate; plus, the fact his name was Hans, made it seem all the more in keeping with the overall theme.
The day was like any other, except that this was a Wednesday so it was really only like 1/7th of the other days.
New Albany, IN
Her romance ended, not a quick separation but like the gradually fading white dot on one of those old black-and-white vacuum tube TVs when it’s turned off; and she was glad, because she felt uneasy in his arms and required as many adjustments to the “horizontal hold” and “vertical hold” as when she would stay up late watching scary shows like “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits” long ago.
Her moans and sighs stoked the fire of his libido more, engineers to the red-hot locomotive of his lust.
Auckland, New Zealand
Maybe it was because he was feeling dizzy after the four litres of crème de menthe he’d drunk, or perhaps it was because the day had started with his slippers exploding completely unexpectedly as he ate his cornflakes, but, as Anthony looked behind him for the fortieth time, walking home from the bar, he could have sworn he was being followed by a large silver-backed gorilla.
Gripping the handle of the knife carefully, Vanessa made a nervous incision in the body on the table, wondering vaguely if she was anywhere near the heart as the surgeon, her work-experience supervisor, flicked vaguely through the latest “Who magazine” that was placed over the head of the patient, and in taking a deep drag of her filtered 16-milligram noticed that, if the Oscars were anything to go by, orange was back in again.
I saw her from across the room and knew I had to meet her, not because of her ample bosom, or her full lips, or her beautiful creamy skin, or the way her hair was twisted into a nice tight bun, or the buttoned-up blouse that begged to be torn off her body, or the skirt that was perhaps a size too small, but because she was my kid’s teacher and I was here for the parent-teacher conference.
Her eyelashes fluttered like the windshield wipers of an eighteen-wheeler on the Ohio Turnpike when the weary-eyed driver is trying to have at least some vision in a heavy August rainstorm that is like an Appaloosa urinating on solid asphalt.
Hardly a day passed without poor Matilda looking back on her life and ruing that fateful day she decided that to cut her toenails with her father’s scythe to make up that extra four minutes she had wasted listening to “Muskrat Love” by the Captain & Tennille.
Page topic: terrible novel writing: deliberately funny bad opening paragraphs of novels contest winners.