Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, [1803–1873) was a popular Victorian writer, perhaps best remembered today for his florid, over-blown style. He was the author who penned the infamous opening sentence-
“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.”
He is immortalized by the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which contestants vie to supply atrocious first sentences to imaginary novels. The following entries have appeared on the internet and are not actually contest entries, but they certainly capture the spirit of the whole thing!
So, we are proud to present-
(Not Really) the Bulwer-Lytton Contest Winners-
10) As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break wind in the sound chamber he would never hear the end of it.
9) Just beyond the Narrows the river widens.
8) With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned, unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that defied description.
7) Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept along the east wall: Andre creep... Andre creep... Andre creep.
6) Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism, was about to give his body and soul to a back-alley sex-change surgeon to become the woman he loved.
5) Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her from eking out a living at a local pet store.
4) Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do.
3) Like an overripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor.
2) Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the meaning of the word fear, a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies.
AND THE WINNER IS...
1) The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, she screamed madly, "You lied!"