It Was a Dark and Stormy Contest

Edward George Bulwer-Lytton

In 1830, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton (an English politician, poet, playwright, and novelist) penned the infamous opening line, “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.”

These words are widely regarded as the prime example of a bad opening line. I’m not sure why that is so. I am no literary scholar, but I am sure I have read worse. Dickens’ opening lines for A Christmas Carol come to mind.

Nonetheless, the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest since 1982. This is a whimsical competition that challenges entrants to pen the worst opening sentences  for a novel their imaginations can conjure.  Well, I suppose it’s all good fun till somebody loses an eye. Continue reading “It Was a Dark and Stormy Contest”

Amulet is Now Unleashed!

Congratulations to friend and author Nancy Lee Parish! She  shared the news that her long-awaited debut novel is now released and available at Smashwords and Amazon!

“Amulet” is the first in her “DragonBlade” series. She describes the book as an adventure with fantasy elements, most of which she says are not typical in epic fantasies. As Nancy explains it, “I use a wide variety of characters, everything from a stoic inventor/wizard to a burly, gruff, yet kindhearted, axe – wielding farmer who has a soft spot for baby dragons, and just about everything in between. There’s even a mini dachshund who fancies himself fearless and adored by all the ladies. Mixed into the ‘lightness’ are those who live with regret and heartache, and those who would build a better world.”