Can You Write The World’s Worst Opening Line?

04/04/2012 11:31 AM |


Too often people are rewarded for being exceptional, for being good at things. That’s why every year people look forward to the Lyttle Lytton Contest, basically the Darwin Awards of literature, to reward the exceptionally bad. The decade-old contest searches annually for the “most atrocious opening line to a novel.” The passage can be original or quoted (as long as you name the source). The only requirement is that the entry is 25 words or less, and “brevity” is key.

Last year’s winner was this gem from Judy Dean: “The red hot sun rose in the cold blue sky.” Not cringing yet? Here’s my personal favorite from Aurelio Ramos: “When my homie pulled out his gat, the first thing I said was, ‘That is very tight!’”

You get the idea. (If not check out the winners and honorable mentions from every year on the contest’s website). If you want to try your luck, make sure to enter by April 15th. I’ve taken it upon myself to come up with a couple entries (one for each of the most popular genres). Here goes:

“She was a classy dame, the kind of dame that blew her nose with a handkerchief instead of a kleenex.”

“Captain Biff lit the Gafarian battlefields with his phaser, the ground covered in twisted tentacles and viscous green blood. They would rebel no more.”

“The dank, lingering smell of sweat and passion clung to the curtains of Jane’s bedroom as she rolled over to slide on her zumba pants.”

“Devawnda held the gun against Tyreke’s cheek. ‘From now on I work standing up, not on my back.’”

Douche (Not sure what else to call it):
“Jones had an icy stare that melted the heated tension in the interrogation room.”