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Announcing Hubpages' First "Dark and Stormy Night" Contest
“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." -- Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, Paul Clifford (1830)
- Bad Writing Is #1 -- It was a dark and stormy night
Today we look at the best of world-class bad writing -- winners of the Bulwer-Lytton contest. (AKA the "dark and stormy night" contest.)
It is my great pleasure to host the first hubpages’ ‘Dark and Stormy Night’ contest. Hurrah!
Celebrating the best of the worst in writing, the dark and stormy night contest is open to all. Consider this a challenge to those creative minds out there; show us what you can do. Stretch that imagination, study that thesaurus, flex those fingers and prepare to dazzle us with tortured metaphors, abused adjectives and profound wordiness.
Imagine if you will, the worst possible novel: horrendously overwritten, dramatically descriptive, pretentious, wordy in the extreme, something only a pompous windbag could pen. Now, compose a suitable opening line (remembering the first rule of writing – one wants to grab the reader’s attention right from the start.)
The link to the right will take you to the world-wide 'Dark and Stormy Night contest' (Bulwer-Lytton contest) and this year's best entries.
Now, the talented, creative minds here at Hubpages will hold our very own festival of bad writing. All of you writers out there -- prepare your worst.
For inspirational purposes: 2009 "Dark and Stormy Night" world wide contest winner
" The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the greensward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, "You lied!"
Here are the rules:
- Write the best possible opening for the worst possible novel. (Must be original – no borrowing.)
- Write one sentence only. (More than one sentence will be disqualified.)
- Past your entry in the entries box below.
- Accepting entries until June 15.
- Multiple entries allowed.
- The hubpages team have volunteered to select their ten favorites as finalists.
- The ten finals will be posted here on this hub and you, the readers will select the winning entry.
The winner will receive:
- This exquisite virtual trophy. (Shown to the right, delivered by email upon judges decision.)
- The winning entry will be entered in the next world-wide Bulwer-Lytton Contest in later 2010.
- Absolutely nothing of any value – no cars, no cash, no trips to exotic places – nothing, nada, zip. (This is for the glory and honor of the title “Hubpages Dark and Stormy Night Contest Champion (2010)" only).
HOW TO ENTER
ENTRIES GO IN THE FIRST COMMENT SECTION, COMMENTS ONLY IN THE SECOND -- SO DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO THE END OF EVERYTHING AND PASTE YOUR ENTRY. THE TWO SECTIONS ARE DIVIDED BY 2 PHOTOS WITH SOME WONDERFUL AND INTERESTING INFORMATION BETWEEN (THAT EVERYONE SHOULD READ.) SO REMEMBER:
CONTEST ENTRIES -- AFTER THE TEXT OF THE ARTICLE BUT BEFORE THE PHOTOGRAPHS AND INTERESTING INFORMATION (AND THERE'S LOTS OF ENTRIES SO SCROLL AWAY.)
COMMENTS -- ANYTHING YOU HAVE TO SAY THAT IS NOT AN ENTRY AFTER THE TWO PHOTOS AND INTERESTING INFORMATION.
Later date: A link to the ten finalists
- Announcing: Dark and Stormy Night -- Finalists
Here at last are the ten finalists as picked by the Hubpages team. Now it is up to you, the readers to cast your votes and select the winner.
At an even later date: And the winner is....
- Hubpages Dark and Stormy Night Contest -- And the Winner is....
Today's the day -- the winner of the Hubpages First Annual Dark and Stormy Night Contest (and the winner of the coveted virtual trophy) is .....
Just a nice space to seperate entries and comments: Entries above and Comments below.
Let's use this space, originally set up to help people find the right box for entries versus comments, to learn a new and interesting fact (after all we'd hate to waste a perfectly good space.)
When people ask what you learned today ....
Be sure to tell them about Manure...
An interesting fact
Manure: In the 16th and 17th centuries, everything had to be transported by ship and it was also before the invention of commercial fertilizers, so large shipments of manure were quite common.
It was shipped dry, because in dry form it weighed a lot less than when wet, but once water (at sea) hit it, not only did it become heavier, but the process of fermentation began again, of which a by product is methane gas of course. As the stuff was stored below decks in bundles you can see what could (and did) happen. Methane began to build up below decks and the first time someone came below at night with a lantern, BOOOOM!
Several ships were destroyed in this manner before it was determined just what was happening. After that, the bundles of manure were always stamped with the instruction 'Stow high in transit' on them, which meant for the sailors to stow it high enough off the lower decks so that any water that came into the hold would not touch this volatile cargo and start the production of methane.
Thus evolved the term 'S.H.I.T.', (Stow High In Transit) which has come down through the centuries and is in use to this very day.
You probably did not know the true history of this word.
Neither did I.
I had always thought it was a computer term.