Monday, June 2, 2014

Not Half Bad… Really Bad

Here at the Mind’s Elbow, I spend a lot of time worrying over words and fretting over phrases.

Not today…

For I've got less than a month to create the worst sentence of my life!

Why don’t you join me?

Admit it, you've always dreamed of entering a contest that rewarded bad writing for a change.

Well, dream no more.

All you need is one agonizingly long, painfully poorly-written sentence by June 30th.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, put on by the San Jose State University English Department, has been going strong since 1982.

Their website describes it as a whimsical literary competition challenging entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels.

For inspiration, look no further than the contest’s namesake.

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is the guy who penned this famous line back in 1830 —
“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.”

If you have a headache right now, you are not alone.

So, get your wretched writing game on and check out last year’s winners here.

By the way, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton is also credited with this famous line —

“The pen is mightier than the sword!”

And with killer sentences like his…

I don’t doubt it one bit.

PROMPT: Hmmm… It was a shark and stormy night… Yep — Sharknado: The Literary Edition.

Write (poorly) on!

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