The SDMB Bulwer-Lytton game

In this game, we try to write the worst opening sentence of a novel. This game is inspired by the Bulwer-Lytton contest:

Basically, we’re trying to write the worst opening sentence (not sentences; one sentence only) to a novel. Past examples are at the link above, if you want to see what we’re aiming for.

I propose that we use categories, each open for a few days or so. These categories might be “science-fiction,” “action-adventure,” “romantic comedy,” “western,” “horror,” or pretty much any much any novel genre that you think might work. One category might be “Open,” which is fine, and one you might use when you cannot think of anything else.

The winner is the judge, and chooses what he or she believes to be the worst entry. That winner selects the next category. Ready? Here we go:


Jingles the cat sniffed his toys, and wandered over to his food dish, which was full, but not as much as Jingles liked it, nor was his water bowl as full as Jingles liked it, but his plaintive meows fell on deaf ears while his owner, Jerry Cromwell, was trying to complete a stock trade online.


When Harry felt the rumbling in his guts, he thought of the mayonnaise he had had for breakfast and knew instantly that the evening would become a rough ride.


Ruprecht wept inwardly in thralls of self-abomination, cursing his blighted existence and denying even the possibility of a benign superior power who could care about the fate of an individual person in a world so corrupt, even as he sold Mrs. Kennickady a seventh life insurance policy.

I rather like @Prof.Pepperwinkle 's effort, so post a category, Professor, and we’ll try again.

Very well.

“Gothic Horror”

Elspeth trembled as she knelt beside the velvet curtains (deep, almost blood red, but not quite incarnadine, more sliding into maroon perhaps, maybe even mauve, and flecked with faux gold dots) that led into the Conservatory where Lord Chester angrily, impatiently, yea, even maniacally awaited her simpering fawning presence.

The count strode purposefully into the great hall, among the heraldic emblems and ancient tapestries, before the great stone fireplace, whose mantel was surmounted by ceremonial arms, as he mused to himself, “Why the hell did I walk into this room?”

Chestington Manor loomed over the estate, much like a mountain might loom over a village, or a tall man might loom over a shorter one; and on this dark and stormy night, with thunderclaps and lightning flashes, took on even more sinister connotations, given its peaked arches, multiple chimneys, and one window that had any light inside it; and it was by that window, lit only by an oil lamp, that Giles sat, writing a billet-doux to Penelope, his betrothed.

That round goeth to:


Pick a category, will you?

Prithee, let me pick a category and then not both enter and judge the contest. How about science fiction?

Ehon Bul-Tarnakh-Aulf of the Ninth Kivox transpollited the redistorated mallachine to the Inner Moon of Poultravion, all the while whispling a singh of sadgepot, which caused him to crudge.

Not in play: I’m going to be out of town for a week or so; sorry to cut off the teeming flood of entrants so early. Prof. Pepperwinkle is the winner – duh! – and I hope some other participants will get in on this.

It’s an honor just to be nominated.

Let’s go with


Johnny looked around the saloon, with its wood trim, its elegant prostitutes upstairs luring the customers, the poker players at their table, the rinky-dink piano player playing hits of the day, such as they were, and wondered, “When does the next stagecoach leave this beat-up town for Kansas City?”

All right, Spoons! You’ve beaten all the competition. :grinning:

Your turn.

We need to get more competition, but as long as we’re having fun. Okay, let’s try …


Berenice, dazzling in the window in her low-cut evening gown that bespoke of trysts in the moonlight 'neath the swaying arbor of jasmine-scented groves beside a delightedly babbling brook, farted.

Entranced by her luscous thighs the color of pouched cod, her boosums heaving like water baloons rubbing against each other like lovers in the heights of pasion, and her eyes which sparkled like diamonds on the fourth of july, he said those wonderful heartfelt words that would spark the torrid romance that would change their lives and the fate of the world forever “If I said you had a beautiful body would you hold it against me?”

I think this one has to go to @Buck_Godot . An excellent entry! Okay, Buck, it’s your turn to select a category, and do the judging.

OK, Action Thriller (e.g. Tom Clancy)

Jack “Jet” MacMacamac smiled at his reflection in the mirror as he holstered his stealth TJ-99 revolver right beside his pocket flamethrower – it was a normal mission with only a 3% chance he’d survive, but he wasn’t worried, no, not Jet Macamac, he never sweated the little stuff, no, not Jet Macamac, he only sweated in the sauna, the way real men are supposed to sweat, real men like Jet Macamacamacamac, even now walking through the doorway to certain doom and smiling.