Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Tale Weaver Prompt #10 : be a bad writer

Can you outdo Edward George Bulwer-Lytton? The introductory sentence words to his 1830 novel, Paul Clifford, is considered to be the worst beginning to a novel since Gutenberg developed the European printing press:

It was a dark and stormy night, the rain fell in torrents except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. (58 words)

There is a yearly Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest that challenges entrants to create a sentence as

bad as It was dark and stormy night . . .” in one of the following genres:

kids lit



historical fiction

purple prose



vile puns


To weave your tale this week, choose a genre, and write an atrocious opening sentence.

If you want, you can follow-up this sentence with flash fiction (100 to 150 words).

If you are feeling flashier, by all means, continue your story.

Bulwer-Lytton’s was 58 words long – extra challenge: write your atrocious sentence with 58 or more words.

Have fun with this. Write that sentence that been hanging around with you since grade school.

If your sentence is atrocious enough, you might consider entering it in the contest.

Please TAG your post: Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie and Tale Weaver. Add your link to the MLMM image mr.linky. In case the tale weaver gremlins are at work, please link back to this post, as well.

About taleweavering

"I think I made you up inside my head.” Sylvia Plath

19 comments on “Tale Weaver Prompt #10 : be a bad writer

  1. thotpurge
    April 23, 2015

    Atrocious opening sentence: Historical Fiction: 77 words:
    “The day he was so brutally assassinated, King Qualzigor was on his first visit to the house of his twenty-third concubine, the dusky, inimitable beauty he had won on the roll of a die, in a straightforward match with his vile enemy, the Prince of Arwanzak, whose daughter he had brought home on his precious white horse, riding through the forbidding desert for seventeen days, through sandstorms and pitiless heat, not touching her alabaster skin, even once.”

    • phylor
      April 23, 2015

      Congratulations! That is a truly bad opening sentence and weighs in at 77 words. Thanks so much for participating.
      When I checked to see if the prompt had posted, I was so pleased to read your contribution.

      • thotpurge
        April 23, 2015

        LOL.. much fun, thank you 🙂

    • mindlovemisery
      April 23, 2015

      That is a mouthful but it reminds me of Hawthorne at least how I remember him from school (which could be inaccurate given my memory). Man could go on for ten pages about a simple wooden door. A run-on sentence is a good way to go because they are hard to follow.

      • thotpurge
        April 23, 2015

        I agree with “hard to follow”… because now the second sentence (to follow that one) has to be longer than 77 words 🙂 Worth trying… 1500 words on “door” !!!

      • mindlovemisery
        April 23, 2015

        If you could write 1500 words on a door it would be impressive. Even though I don’t find doors that fascinating usually lol

    • julespaige
      April 23, 2015

      Very nice.

  2. mindlovemisery
    April 23, 2015

    It was one of those days, which is to say, that everything that could go wrong had gone wrong. 😛

  3. phylor
    April 23, 2015

    Thotpurge: I’ll let you get away with a 58 word sentence and you don’t have to mention doors, now windows . . . 🙂

    • thotpurge
      April 23, 2015

      LOL… nice try!! I have all these pictures of magnificent doors I took during a recent trip…so who knows, inspiration may come knocking 🙂

  4. phylor
    April 23, 2015

    mlm: sorry it was one of those days!
    In keeping with the theme: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. . .
    Hope things improve!

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  6. julespaige
    April 23, 2015

    I’m not sure if I’ll get to post before my grands arrive…
    but I’ve got a dozy waiting in the wings… over 100 words!
    They are here…

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    • phylor
      April 23, 2015

      Loved the film noir feel! Bad writing — funny that it is a compliment!

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