Saturday, May 26, 2007

Those Incredible Opening Lines

Any of you ever enter the Bulwer-Lytton contest for worst opening lines? Or will you perhaps not tell me if you did? Well, I freely admit that I have done so, not once, not twice, but three times. I never even got honorably mentioned, and am not sure whether to be relieved or aggrieved. Below, in order of my least favorite to most favorite, are my three entries, appropriately numbered. Now, tell me, how could these not have brought fame to my name?

1. Humankind’s return to the moon ended in a tortured scream of rending metal as the descending spaceship plunged off course and slammed a new crater into the lunar surface, sending up a cloud of dust that drifted slowly downwind.

2. For the very first time in her short, trailer-park life, Gemini Darling was very pleased that her nose looked like a truffle, for she knew how very very much Lord Jackson Smythe adored chocolate.

3. Life had begun kicking Ernie Blaize in the nuts back before his testicles even descended into his scrotum, and when the blizzard wrapped itself around his car like a used condom, and the snow began splatting against his window like infected snot, Ernie knew that life was about to get really bad.

But what is this number four, you ask? Maybe it’s my next year’s entry. Or maybe it’s just the beginning of a new novel, which I am sure will be my best.

4. The interval lay cold and lightlessly forbidding within the context of the evening's activities, which were of the extended variety of lifestyles that characterizes the loss of habitat in subordinate species, which occurs mainly in the Tropics of Capricorn where Micronesia is extant and the people sometimes have blue eyes and build funny little statues that are not like the pot-bellied figurines of the Olmec, probably because the interstellar intelligences that contacted them were not of the same continuum and maybe not even from the same movie.


Susan Miller said...

You are suprisingly talented at creating a bad opening line. Maybe we can come up with one of those little blogger trophies for you to display.

JR's Thumbprints said...

You would've surely got my vote for #3, which is just plain awful.

Bernita said...

I think you progressed in brilliance with each successive attempt.
The last one is gawd-awful, truly.

Donnetta said...

Gemini Darling??? How about worst character names!

Always good and humbling to be able to laugh at ourselves.

Good--uh--interesting work there!


Lana Gramlich said...

They're all so wonderfully bad they hurt my brain. Thanks for sharing.

Erik Donald France said...

Belated happy birthday to Mr. Bulwer-Lytton ;)

In Detroit, it is a dark and stormy afternoon.

RK Sterling said...

Call me weird, but I sort of liked numbers 2 and 3. They were deliciously and humorously bad - heck, #2 could have even been the start of a Larry McMurtry dive into the Regency era. :) See, you're just too good to be bad.

Although, #4 did make my eyes cross.

Hell Satin.

Lucas Pederson said...

#3, I thought, was interesting, perhaps not great, but interesting. It was also funny. #4, wow, yeah, that one's a little tiresome.

Stil. #3 sticks to me for some reason. Wierd, huh?

Sphinx Ink said...

What I am seeing, Charles, is that your entries have gotten better--er, worse--every year. That shows that writing bad openers doesn't naturally to you; you've been learning to do it better--er, worse--every year!

the walking man said...

In the office I entered to sign in the clerk behind the desk was eating a hoagie, she ate with her mouth open and food spit out as she told me it was lunch time; the fried onion on my vest left me two options, give it back to her or eat it, I ate it because it was lunch time in the methadone clinic.