Bad Novel Beginnings


Special to bookworms --

Bulwer Lytton contest These are the 10 winners of this year's Bulwer
Lytton contest (run by the English Dept. of San Jose State University),
wherein one writes only the first line of a bad novel.

10) (Censored)

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) (Censored)

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) (Censored)

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.


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, screaming madly,
"You lied!"