Home » Writing Stuff » More Worst Opening Sentences of All Time: Bulwer-Lytton Highlights

More Worst Opening Sentences of All Time: Bulwer-Lytton Highlights

Dear readers, I had *way* too much fun doing last week’s Worst Opening Sentences post. The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest sentences were just too hilarious to stop at just 2013, and I ended up spending the majority of the afternoon perusing the site for gems from previous years. And oh boy, did I find some “winners” on there!  Since I had such a good time looking through these, I’ve compiled another list of Bulwer-Lytton highlights from the 2010s that are sure to give you a good old fashioned laughter ab work out.

Grand Prize 2012

As he told her that he loved her she gazed into his eyes, wondering, as she noted the infestation of eyelash mites, the tiny deodicids burrowing into his follicles to eat the greasy sebum therein, each female laying up to 25 eggs in a single follicle, causing inflammation, whether the eyes are truly the windows of the soul; and, if so, his soul needed regrouting. ~Cathy Bryant

Dishonorable Mention: Crime (2012)

The smooth hand I was caressing felt as if it belonged to a Persian monk that had been rubbing moisturizing body oils on his fellow monks all day (but not in a gay way, come on, he’s a monk for God’s sake), when in all actuality the hand belonged to a body that I had just pulled out of the Potomac for forensic investigation. ~Kevin Bruemmer

Winner: Purple Prose (2012)

William, his senses roused by a warm fetid breeze, hoped it was an early spring’s equinoxal thaw causing rivers to swell like the blood-engorged gums of gingivitis, loosening winter’s plaque, exposing decay, and allowing the seasonal pot-pouris of Mother Nature’s morning breath to permeate the surrounding ether, but then he awoke to the unrelenting waves of his wife’s halitosis. ~Guy Foisy

Dishonorable Mention: Romance (2012)

Tucked in the dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver. ~Mark Wisnewski

Grand Prize (2011)

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories. ~Sue Fondrie

Winner: Adventure (2011)

From the limbs of ancient live oaks moccasins hung like fat black sausages – which are sometimes called boudin noir, black pudding or blood pudding, though why anyone would refer to a sausage as pudding is hard to understand and it is even more difficult to divine why a person would knowingly eat something made from dried blood in the first place – but be that as it may, our tale is of voodoo and foul murder, not disgusting food. ~Jack Barry

Winner: Crime (2011)

Wearily approaching the murder scene of Jeannie and Quentin Rose and needing to determine if this was the handiwork of the Scented Stranger – who had a twisted affinity for spraying his victims with his signature raspberry cologne – or that of a copycat, burnt-out insomniac detective Sonny Kirkland was sure of one thing: he’d have to stop and smell the Roses. ~Mark Wisnewski

Runner-Up: Romance (2011)

Deanna waited for him in a deliberate pose on the sailor-striped chaise lounge of the newly-remodeled Ramada, her bustier revealing the tops of her white breasts like eggs – eggs of the slightly undercooked, hard-boiled variety, showing a nascent jiggle with her apprehensive breath, eggs that were then peeled ever-so-carefully so as not to pierce the jellied, opaque albumen and unleash the longing, viscous yolk within – yes, she lay there, oblong and waiting to be deviled. ~Meredith K. Gray

Runner-Up: Western (2011)

Sunburned and lost, Jake tightened the noose around Randy’s diaper-white neck and growled, “Any last words, varmint?” to which Randy replied, “Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, Jake – that’s where all the fruit is!” which marked the first and last time Jake and the boys hired a life coach to lead one of their cattle drives. ~Lisa Kluber

Miscellaneous Dishonorable Mention (2011)

Awakened by a howling wind snapping branches against her new but poorly installed storm windows, Stella heard another sound she found puzzling so, grabbing her trusty Colt Python, she snuck stealthily downstairs to find an oddly-dressed gnome-like man methodically dropping breath mints onto her freshly-waxed kitchen floor. ~Ann Hammack

Grand Prize (2010)

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. ~Molly Ringle

Runner-Up: Historical Fiction (2010)

The band of pre-humans departed the cave in search of solace from the omnipresent dangers found there knowing that it meant survival of their kind, though they probably didn’t understand it intellectually since their brains were so small and undeveloped but fundamentally they understood that they didn’t like big animals that ate them. ~Mike Mayfield

Dishonorable Mention: Purple Prose (2010)

The Zinfandel poured pinkly from the bottle, like a stream of urine seven hours after eating a bowl of borscht. ~Alf Seegert

Winner: Western (2010)

He walked into the bar and bristled when all eyes fell upon him – perhaps because his build was so short and so wide, or maybe it was the odor that lingered about him from so many days and nights spent in the wilds, but i may just have been because no one had ever seen a porcupine in a bar before. ~Linda Boatright


2 thoughts on “More Worst Opening Sentences of All Time: Bulwer-Lytton Highlights

  1. Hi, I am honored that you liked both of my sentences. It took me a long time (like weeks) and I did a ton of rewrites to make each sentence as groan-worthy as possible. But it’s fun to work out the right side of my brain a bit. I can’t even imagine how hard it is to write professionally. Anyway, best of luck in your journey.

    • Aahh!!! I’m so happy you found this! I absolutely loved your sentences they made me laugh so much. And not just me, either; I showed them to a fellow writer while I was making this post and she was cracking up super hard too. Your hard work certainly paid off, you should keep submitting and/or posting them! And thank you kindly 🙂

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