Worst Paragraph


	The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest is a literary competition for the
	first paragraph of the worst novel ever written. There is an annual
	general prize and prizes by category. The results are witty and quite
	funny. Here's a couple of examples from the 1997 contest:



		      Grand Prize Winner
	The moment he laid eyes on the lifeless body of the nude socialite
	sprawled across the bathroom floor, Detective Leary knew she had
	committed suicide by grasping the cap on the tamper-proof bottle,
	pushing down and twisting while she kept her thumb firmly pressed
	against the spot the arrow pointed to, until she hit the exact spot
	where the tab clicks into place, allowing her to remove the cap and
	swallow he entire contents of the bottle, thus ending her life.
	        -- Artie Kalemeris, Fairfax, VA

		Winner: Fantasy
	Prince Oryza's determined, handsome countenance was reflected
	in the gleaming, polished steel of his sword, Gowayoff, as he hewed
	valiantly at the armored sides of the dragon, which could only be
	pierced by gleaming, polished steel and not the regular kind of steel,
	which doesn't gleam as much, and isn't polished quite as well, but
	does a pretty good job against your smaller dragons.
	     --J. N. Pechota, Dulzura, CA

     		Western
	No one in Cisco City dared to question Jake Lattimer about the
	disappearance of neighbor Jones's hogs, not only because Jake
	was the best sheriff the town had ever seen, but also because his was
	the only dental parlor in the territory where a man could buy himself
	a decent set of slightly-used false teeth.
            - Mary Clare, Austin, TX

       		Adventure
	It was, presumably, Dr. Livingstone who emerged into the clearing from
	the dense rain forest beyond, although it was difficult to tell for
	certain just WHO it was beneath the layers of leeches clinging to his
	limbs, the spiders covering the surface of his sun helmet, the bounty
	of bugs on his body, and the multitude of mites crawling on everything
	from his Mont Blanc pen to his machete though, as he had recently
	employed the latter in hacking his way through the jungle while he had
	long abandoned his diary, the pen was somewhat mitier than the sword.
	        --Jan Wolitzky, Madison, NJ

               	Purple Prose
	"This is the end," Alfalfa sobbed, clutching at her heaving bosom and
	pausing only occasionally to scratch her itching left armpit while her
	sapphire eyes, brimming with salty tears, turned helplessly towards
	the gibbous moon that hung in the brooding sky like a tobacco-stained
	nail paring.
	         --Niki Wessels, Centurion, South Africa

            	Detective
	With the last rays of sunshine silhouetting her slim form, and the
	still-smoking pistol clutched in her trembling right hand, Cora knelt
	beside the body at her feet, only to be brought up short by the sudden
	awareness of that unmistakable creeping-insect-like feeling of a run
	ripping up the back of her left stocking.
	        --Marcia E. Brown, Austin, TX

           	Science Fiction
	Captain Richard Probe stood toe-to-claw with the female alien on
	the bridge of his star ship as she aimed her laser gun at his navel,
	knowing full well as his eye-level gaze surveyed her three breasts,
	that in order to save his crew he needed to overcome the stirrings of
	his manhood, which was soon made easier by the realization that indeed
	his pants were only getting tighter because her laser was
	shrink-wrapping his uniform.
	        --Maggie Moris, Woodbury, MN

            	Romance
	Veronica had had little experience of treachery when she first arrived
	in Paris, so when Jean-Luc left her in the Rive Gauche with only a Bic
	and a bock and a broken clock she was somewhat surprised.
	      --Juliette Hughes, Northcote, Victoria, Australia







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