Few opening lines are as infamous as Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s much maligned sentence. Even if you’ve never heard of him nor his novel, you’ve read his parodied phrase. It embodies bad writing.
“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.”
It’s so bad that there is now a contest with his name on it: The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest
I wrote and submitted an entry, but I can’t show you because it can’t be published, but let me tell you … writing bad sh!t is good fun! I giggled hysterically whilst reading the brilliantly bad purple prose from past winners and dishonourable mentions, shared below.
Or this one!
How about this little shop of children’s gags?
Horrific horror writing? They have that too!
and last but not least:
I love you like salt hugs a canker sore; it’s for my own good, which was better than playing with the blister pinned to the tip of my tongue from when you bit it last night.
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