Woman wins annual bad sentence-writing award. Can you come up with a, uh, worserer one than hers is?

Author Molly Ringle has won the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, in which writers compete to pen the worst opening sentence to an imaginary novel. The contest is named after Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who began his 1830 novel Paul Clifford with the phrase, “It was a dark and stormy night.”

Ringle’s winning line, meanwhile, reads:

For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.

That is pretty grim. But I have a suspicion someone out there in Popwatch readerland can top that. Come on, give it your best shot — or, rather, your worst.


Comments (37 total) Add your comment
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  • Hardy

    What is the first line of Twilight? That probably should win.

    • a person

      i agree because its something about how she never considered how she’d die

    • @Hardy

      Lol. Here it is:

      “I’d never given much thought to how I would die-though I’d had reason enough in the last few months-but even if I had, I would not have imagined it like this.”

      • Hardy


      • darclyte

        That’s really the actual first line to Twilight? Wow, if so, then Fail.

  • FOOM

    that could definitely open the next nicholas sparks novel.

    • mary q contrary


  • TheIgnorer

    To anyone else, Meegan and Gaylords first sexual encounter may have looked more like a miniature wookie seizing atop a frightened woman and would have inaccurately conveyed the genuine eagerness she felt as his love dragon ravaged her firey cave.

    • mary q contrary

      is there an award for most uncomfortable visual-inducing sentence?

  • tug

    “His guts oozed nice – like a melted malted”

  • Kim

    Everyone dies.

  • fisher

    “Before Matthew enjoyed devouring gummi bears so much, he enjoyed slashing women’s throats; he found both activities sated his many twisted appetites.”

    • Madd

      So Matthew is like Kelly then? Is it sunny even when it’s raining?

  • Madd

    Bob was angry-ish at Tulip but she was his lover lady and she smelt like oranges and she had nice hair and she was like a precious doll and he was like, “So how can I be mad at her?’ and she looked at him with her eyes which were like the pool he just had built in his backyard an she was like “You are like my dragon of love” and then they skipped away together.
    Not bad enough for you?

  • Major

    “I declare a bum war…”

  • Monty

    “The first time that Maria got crabs was no more or less uncomfortable than the time I was tied to a chair and forced to listen to Bobcat Goldthwait read the entire Twilight series while the Hot Tub scene from “About Schmidt” played on a constant loop.

    • Ellie

      Best worst sentence ever.

  • Kevin

    Immortality! Take it! It’s yours! I think that’s the worst line….but then it’s in the middle of a movie and it’s really 3 sentences!

  • bing

    Meanwhile, back in a rear a the trailer park, Pearsal was busy slicn’ his weiner with a rusty knife so’s he could fill it with ketchup n’ sour cream.

  • Liz Lemon

    Tom was a quiet, but outspoken, shy, but outgoing, tall, but also kind of short, caring, but cold-hearted, energetic and yet reserved-man, who lived alone in a shack by the Shankintine Seashore.

  • Alafair Burke

    Harlow felt oddly detached from the sight of her own fat, rumbling inside the lipo hose like tapioca and cherry slurpee, as she wondered if her newly flat abdomen might bring Trevor back home.

    • Madd


    • Liz Lemon


    • CarlC


      • Alafair Burke

        Thanks for the comments. It was fun. (And to be clear, my actual published novels have much better first sentences!)

  • Mrs. Frisby

    What’s wrong with “a dark and stormy night?” It worked for Snoopy!

    • MurMaz

      I think Charles Shultz was using that line ironically, since it was known as a bad opening line way back then.

    • SoCalEm

      “It was a dark and stormy night” was really only the beginning of the sentence; the entire thing is “”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.”

  • Lyn

    First line of “Eat, Pray, Love, Puke”: “It wasn’t enough that dimwitted female readers grew damp with shared desire as I drowned my sorrows by feasting on pasta in Italy (though never gaining weight), acquiring piety in India (though never shedding my self-obsession), and copulating in the South Pacific (with a rich guy who adored me) — now my story’s a major motion picture starring Julia Roberts!

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