Remember this sentence?
"William couldn't believe how much clearer his sinuses felt after the Resurrection."
What about this one?
"The group of scientists collecting data on the movement of the tectonic plates concluded at last that shift happens."
Written respectively by Ryan Alleman and Jana Rogers, they were two of our faves from last year's annual Deseret News Bad Writing Contest.
I'm trotting them out again to announce this year's competition, and also because they make me so happy.
Before we get started, however, I want to give longtime Deseret News reader Sharon Kamerath a big shout-out for handing us the idea to do this a billion years ago.
Thank you, doll. You're the best.
As many of you will remember, our contest is modeled after the (in)famous Bulwer-Lytton contest (www.bulwer-lytton.com) created by professor Scott Rice of San Jose State University in honor of that master of florid Victorian prose, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, best remembered today for his matchless opening sentence, "It was a dark and stormy night."
Your task is to write something Bulwer-Lytton would be (non-ironically) pleased to call his own or perhaps even plagiarize — the best opening sentence to the Worst Novel Never Written.
Take a look at the national Bulwer-Lytton 2010 winner by Molly Ringle of Seattle, Wash.
"For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil."
Good times, people. Good times.
OK, sit up and take notes, because here are the rules.
1. Your sentence must be original.
2. Your sentence must be just that — a single sentence. Using semi-colons and colons is fine (and you should be proud of yourself for knowing how to use them properly!) but there must be just one period.
At the end.
Please note that long, long, looooooong sentences can be daunting to our judges.
3. You may submit more than one sentence.
4. Your sentence can be rooted in any genre: romance, horror, children's fiction, mystery, western, historical, sci-fi or fantasy.
5. Don't forget the "talking unicorn" category — a special favorite of my friend, Anne Holman.
6. Also, don't forget the "Dark and Stormy" category.
7. Your entry/entries must be received by Sunday, Oct. 17.
8. Please e-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
No snail mail this time.
The D-news' offices are in transit and I'M SO AFRAID YOUR LETTER WILL GET LOST, AND IF THAT HAPPENS, THEN WHAT IS EVEN THE POINT OF GOING ON?
If our judges really, really like your sentence, we will print it (along with your name!) in the paper.
I wish we could offer you more in the way of prizes — book deals, movie deals, an awesome paranormal romance with the vampire/ werewolf/ zombie/ fallen angel/ fairy/ mer-person of your choice.
Instead you'll have to settle for our undying respect.
The game is afoot!