Many folks—especially writers—love reading these deliberately bad opening lines. I first presented this post in 2013.
I suppose I’m fascinated, if not obsessed, with the bad opening lines that have been submitted to the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest over the past thirty years. What the heck, they are so entertaining. Here are some more award-winning gems from the past. Enjoy!
His knowing brown eyes held her gaze for a seeming eternity, his powerful arms clasped her slim body in an irresistible embrace, and from his broad, hairy chest a primal smell of “male” tantalized her nostrils; “Looks like another long night in the ape house” thought veterinarian Abigail Brown as she gingerly reached for the constipated gorilla’s suppository.
The Prince looked down at the motionless form of Sleeping Beauty, wondering how her supple lips would feel against his own and contemplating whether or not an Altoid was strong enough to stand up against the kind of morning breath only a hundred year’s nap could create.
Mac was the crustiest ex-LAPD homicide detective with three ex-wives, two mortgages, a greedy daughter wasting time at college, a gay son playing acid-blues punk in some Sacramento dive, and a liver that had been bitch slapped by cheap vodka so many times it looked like a bag of yellow fat, who ever walked into my floral and gift shop.
Had Dorothy known Duncan was a psychopath who would seduce, then brutally murder her, and that her best friend Dana, a forensic pathologist would investigate her death and also fall in love with him, but be saved just in time by Dwayne, her much maligned colleague, perhaps she wouldn’t have bought him that Screwdriver.
I’d stumbled onto solving my first murder case, having found myself the only eyewitness, yet no matter how frantically I pleaded with John Law that the perp was right in front of them and the very dame they’d been grilling – the sultry but devious Miss Kitwinkle, who played the grieving patsy the way a concert pianist player plays a piano – the cops just kept smiling and stuffing crackers in my beak.
The sun rose over the horizon like a great big radioactive baby’s head with a bad sunburn but then again it might just have been that Lisa was always cranky this early in the morning.
T’asha lay in bed musing at the slight wrinkles in the down comforter which like waves in a gently wind-blown semi-calm sea heaved gently as she moved her legs under the cover and alternately wiggled her toes, causing a rogue ripple to course across the bed and die against the shore of the pillow.
Anton was attracted to Angela like a moth to a flame – not just any moth, but one of the giant silk moths of the genus Hyalophora, perhaps Hyalophora euryalus, whose great red-brown wings with white basal and postmedian lines flap almost languorously until one ignites in the flame, fanning the conflagration to ever greater heights until burning down to the hirsute thorax and abdomen, the fat-laden contents of which provide a satisfying sizzle to end the agony.
“Bring a bottle of wine and wear something uncomplicated – I’m in no mood for a struggle tonight,” rolled from Jean-Pierre’s lips like a bowling ball shooting up the return ramp, only to slow itself abruptly at the top before ka-whonking! into the balls already lined up there like all the lines she had heard before, and Sylvia knew at last that all the good ones were not married, gay, or in Mexican prisons.