Worst Paragraph Winners

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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

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

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

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

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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