Blogger: Wendy Lawton
One of the things you may not know about me is that I won the infamous Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest in 1999 for the worst first line in children’s literature.
My line read:
The greedy schoolbus crept through the streets devouring clumps of children until its belly groaned with surfeit, then lumbered back to the schoolhouse where it obligingly regurgitated its meal onto the grounds.
Yep. It was appropriately awful. My sentence was featured in newspapers across the country from The Boston Globe to our local papers. I even got a call from the booking agent at the Jay Leno show. They saw that I won in the children’s category and pictured a precocious child writer to go head to head with Mr. Leno. Not exactly. But it was a wild week.
We often talk about great first sentences in fiction but I think it’s fun to toy with the reverse and come up with the worst sentence you can think of to open a book.
Here’s what we will do. In the comments section share your masterpieces– the worst first sentence you can create. *Keep it clean* It can be any genre from westerns to fantasy to romance to suspense, but let us know the genre. Enter as many times as you like. In the Bulwer-Lytton one man once submitted over 3000 entires.
I’ll have my team read over all the entries– I won’t comment– and next week I’ll share the winners in several categories, telling why each was especially awful. Besides your brush with renown, each winner will receive a gift basket of books and goodies. (And don’t forget: once you’ve created your masterpiece you can enter it into the Bulwer-Lytton contest yourself.)
So, let the fun begin. . .
Forget the best first sentence in a novel. Let’s have the worst. Click to Tweet
Enter your worst first line for a novel to win fame and prizes. Click to Tweet