We at L.C. struggle to write well, so the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is a bit of an anomaly. It challenges writers to construct the opening line to a novel that is terrible.
The contest takes its name from Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who in 1830 penned Paul Clifford. This is how it began:
“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.”
We love this contest, and want to win it.
For years we've thought about it. But the problem was, we'd write a first sentence and think "Hmm, that's not bad at all!"
If we liked attempts to write poorly, what did that mean? So we never entered, terrified to either win or lose.
But the time has come. We will win The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Or if not, will fail spectacularly.