Absolute Write’s July Blog Chain: Write the worst possible first line of a book or story

For July’s blog chain, the members at Absolute Write chose to have their own version of the the Mini Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.  This means that participants must try to write the worst possible first line of a book or story in the spirit of “It was a dark and stormy night…”  Bulwer-Lytton.  In this case, ‘worse’ is subjective, but florid and ridiculous purple prose is probably closest to the spirit of the thing. Here is a page of examples if you need ’em.

So, here is my debacle.  Believe it or not, I actually wrote this many years ago when my novel was in its infancy.  Thank heavens I’ve grown as a writer since then.

A bitter wind navigated southward over the dismal highlands of the North Country, sailing briskly across the fertile landscape while dark, billowing clouds sheathed the sickle moon; a thickly woven mist wormed its milky flesh over the moorlands, and high atop the wooded summit, the resplendent Gyllen Castle, with its delicate ivory spires and majestic towers, materialized within the fog as a formidable apparition, its hundreds of arched stone eyes staring out onto the pitch-black lands below.

Also stop by the websites of others who are participating in the chain.

dolores haze
Ralph Pines
Diana Rajchel)
Alpha Echo


14 thoughts on “Absolute Write’s July Blog Chain: Write the worst possible first line of a book or story

  1. You know, if you took some of the purple out of that sentence and split it into three sentences, they’d make a pretty nice start to a story, I think! +)

    Ah, the Bulwer-Lytton contests. Sometime I should try that. Of course, being that bad, bad enough to win, would take some real skill.


    1. why thank you, David. Funny, at the time I wrote it I thought it was the best thing since sliced bread! LOL!!! Gotta love that purple prose. Thanks for dropping by and commenting.


  2. I felt like the wind trying to navigate this sentence! 😉
    Gotta love looking back at your old writing and going OMG WHAT WAS I THINKING. I do this all the time. in fact… might have to check out some of my high-school-era novels for this prompt… hehe.


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