View Full Version : The Top Ten First Lines

28th Oct 2004, 06:33
Not sure how many times this has been here already, but I'm sure someone will tell us:

For you lovers of good writing, these are the 10 winners of this year's
Bulwer-Lytton contest ~ AKA Dark and Stormy Night Contest ~ (run by the
English Department of San Jose State University), wherein one writes
only the first line of a bad novel

10) "As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he were ever to break

wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it."

9) "Just beyond the Narrows, the river widens."

8) "With a curvaceous figure that Venus would have envied, a tanned,

unblemished oval face framed with lustrous thick brown hair, deep

azure-blue eyes fringed with long black lashes, perfect teeth that vied

for competition, and a small straight nose, Marilee had a beauty that

defied description."

7) "Andre, a simple peasant, had only one thing on his mind as he crept

6) "Stanislaus Smedley, a man always on the cutting edge of narcissism,

was about to give his body and soul to a back alley sex-change surgeon

to become the woman he loved."

5) "Although Sarah had an abnormal fear of mice, it did not keep her

from eeking out a living at a local pet store."

4) "Stanley looked quite bored and somewhat detached, but then penguins often do."

3) "Like an over-ripe beefsteak tomato rimmed with cottage cheese, the

corpulent remains of Santa Claus lay dead on the hotel floor."

2) "Mike Hardware was the kind of private eye who didn't know the

meaning of the word 'fear'; a man who could laugh in the face of danger and spit in

the eye of death -- in short, a moron with suicidal tendencies."


1) "The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along

the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window,

revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping

in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her,

disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly,

"You lied!" .

28th Oct 2004, 07:01
2004 Awards (http://www2.sjsu.edu/depts/english/2004.htm)