Longtime readers of PFO will know that I have a fondness for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, which invites people to submit the worst imaginable first line to a novel.
It honors the “dark and stormy” first line of Edward George Bulwer-Lytton’s novel, Paul Clifford, published in 1830. This year’s prize winner is a doozie:
She strutted into my office wearing a dress that clung to her like Saran Wrap to a sloppily butchered pork knuckle, bone and sinew jutting and lurching asymmetrically beneath its folds, the tightness exaggerating the granularity of the suet and causing what little palatable meat there was to sweat, its transparency the thief of imagination. (Chris Wieloch, Brookfield, WI)
It takes real talent to write this badly. I am so envious.