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Old 06-07-2006, 11:02 PM   #1
Brynn
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The BLF Game

Perhaps you've heard of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. No?

The idea is to write with some talent - talent that has subtle shadows of genius even, but then somewhere along the way it goes terribly wrong until the stink of failure fills the room.

Early posts here betray a judging system, and someone can still arbitrarily decide to elect a winner if they feel like it, but appropriate pomposity and pretension is strongly encouraged.
Anyone interested can change the category suggestion for the next go-round. It is for inspiration purposes only, and not a requirement for posting if you are inspired without it, but do try it if you can.
The round will go until it can't go anymore. Then someone can change it.

The game is shamelessly stolen from this site:
http://www.bulwer-lytton.com/
The rules are childishly simple:

* One sentence only. You may submit as many entries as you wish.
* Sentences may be of any length. Pithiness encouraged. Commenting in the one-sentence style of BLF is welcome as well.
* All literary categories allowed, from "general" to detective, western, science fiction, romance, travel and so on, including “It was a dark and stormy night….”


Some stunning examples from the official 2005 BLFC winners:
http://www2.sjsu.edu/depts/english/2005.htm

In honor of Bulwer-Lytton, in this first round, sentences must begin with
”It was a dark and stormy night…”

Last edited by Brynn : 04-02-2008 at 11:34 PM. Reason: peeling and eating paint chips
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Old 06-08-2006, 12:59 AM   #2
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It was a dark and stormy night when Randy proposed to Gloria, with comma clouds likely to give rise to the anvil heads of cumulonimbus under continued low pressure and a dropping barometer, and expected precipitation between 10 and 20 mm forecast over the next twenty-four hours.
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Old 06-08-2006, 09:53 AM   #3
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it was a dark and stormy night and wilbur, in addition to suffering from low self esteem, a receding hairline and a little jiggely belly that had a habit of dancing slightly above his straining belt, having nothing better to do, stood amid the glow of his open fridge at exactly 3 minutes past midnight and contemplated its contents with a complacent grunt.
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Old 06-08-2006, 10:18 AM   #4
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It was a dark and stormy night when Mable decided to change her usual routine and have egg & chips for her Tuesday's dinner instead of steak. She felt a shiver of excitement run down her spine at this flouting of her own rules, "Wow, I'm really getting the hang of this spontaneity lark," she thought to herself.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:23 AM   #5
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It was a dark and stormy night, but that did not stop Leah from entering extraneous punctuation, nor from submitting an entry of more than one sentence despite clearly written rules.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:28 AM   #6
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it was a dark and stormy night when sir arthur macdinzdale would compose and submit the one and only entry in his entire lifetime that completely omitted boobs, hooters, female genitalia and the nolan sisters altogether.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:29 AM   #7
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It was a dark and stormy night when Leah was informed by Dinz that not only had she added unnecessary punctuation to her first entry of the BLF game but that she'd also broken the rules; thus rendering her attempt null and void.

Last edited by LeahDear : 06-08-2006 at 11:37 AM.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:53 AM   #8
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It was a dark and stormy night outside the lonely house, but the cold and rain was not felt by the naked zombie sex-alien Nolan Sisters as they converged, determined to have their evil way with hot lingerie model Zormix who waited inside, restless, sweating and vulnerable.



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Old 06-08-2006, 12:01 PM   #9
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it was a dark and stormy night when tiffany abandoned her long-cherished dream of becoming a scantily-clad lingerie model, prompted by the tragicomical reflection that greeted her in the hallway mirror.
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Old 06-08-2006, 03:53 PM   #10
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As the panicky coeds scrambled frantically from the fire exits of MacGonagle Hall and converged, naked and shivering, on the Quad, they came to the dreadful realization that, for them, it truly was a stark and dormy night.


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Old 06-08-2006, 08:20 PM   #11
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It was a dark and stormy night when we wrapped Dddrum in the worn carpet that had lain under his coffee table, while he, suspecting his fate, shouted "oh boy-foot bear with teaks of Chan", and "you can't have your kayak and heat it, too" and "the koala tea of Mercy is never strained" and "who needs anemonies with Franz like this" among hundreds of horrifying others, through the whole journey bumping down the stairs, thump in the trunk, quietly through the dim-lit streets, quickly across the swaying old bridge, and splash, gurgle "... dormy night!" into the swamp.
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Old 06-08-2006, 08:38 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinzdale
It was a dark and stormy night outside the lonely house, but the cold and rain was not felt by the naked zombie sex-alien Nolan Sisters as they converged, determined to have their evil way with hot lingerie model Zormix who waited inside, restless, sweating and vulnerable.
it was a dark and stormy night when the above sentence became auntie aubrey's favorite entry thus far.
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Old 06-08-2006, 11:24 PM   #13
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It was a dark and stormy night when the BLF Lit Critic entered the room like Theda Bara in a black nightgown and declared her decision to judge before being overwhelmed by entries, but she then bounced on her Urban Rebounder mini-trampoline while eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich before checking the Dictionary Game results in order to graciously give scramblers a chance to either compose/edit one more awful sentence or make a sandwich for themselves.
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Old 06-09-2006, 03:39 AM   #14
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Well now, that's plenty of time, I'd say.

Oddly enough for a "Dark and Stormy Night" round, there was only one entry in the Meteorology/Romance Genres, and Trisherina wins both categories handily for:

It was a dark and stormy night when Randy proposed to Gloria, with comma clouds likely to give rise to the anvil heads of cumulonimbus under continued low pressure and a dropping barometer, and expected precipitation between 10 and 20 mm forecast over the next twenty-four hours.

This an oustanding entry, a perfect kick-off to the game. It starts out dramatically enough, cleverly reeling me in, and then degenerates into mind-numbing "literally-my-dear"ness - leaving me satiated, not wanting to read any more for it is complete in itself - mark of a true BLF contender.

12" razormix follows with something reminiscent of A Conspiracy of Dunces with
"it was a dark and stormy night and wilbur, in addition to suffering from low self esteem, a receding hairline and a little jiggely belly that had a habit of dancing slightly above his straining belt, having nothing better to do, stood amid the glow of his open fridge at exactly 3 minutes past midnight and contemplated its contents with a complacent grunt."

Although the images are mundane/commonplace, it's written a little too well, unfortunately, and leaves me almost caring ever so slightly about what will happen next. What will he eat? Is his belt going to break?

Leah Dear follows suit with
"It was a dark and stormy night when Mable decided to change her usual routine and have egg & chips for her Tuesday's dinner instead of steak. She felt a shiver of excitement run down her spine at this flouting of her own rules, "Wow, I'm really getting the hang of this spontaneity lark," she thought to herself."

A problematic entry for reasons already pointedly pointed out, but I do like the fact that the heroine is breaking her own rules even as the author is breaking the rules of the game - but again, even that device is far too clever for our purposes, and it comes at the end of the piece instead of at the beginning, where we might have been lulled into a false sense of hope that the sentence(s) might actually be good.

Four major entries aping the judge's job by Dinzdale, 12", Leah Dear, and Auntie Aubrey in the 'Literary Criticism' category! Although none of them manage to even remotely try to emulate dear Bulwer-Lytton's aesthetics, 12" wins this category for making me laugh with her obvious but affectionate rejoinder:

"it was a dark and stormy night when sir arthur macdinzdale would compose and submit the one and only entry in his entire lifetime that completely omitted boobs, hooters, female genitalia and the nolan sisters altogether."

Dinzdale then predictably replied with an astoundingly terrible triple-category doozie, sweeping the Erotica/Sci-fi/Horror floor with honors:
"It was a dark and stormy night outside the lonely house, but the cold and rain was not felt by the naked zombie sex-alien Nolan Sisters as they converged, determined to have their evil way with hot lingerie model Zormix who waited inside, restless, sweating and vulnerable."
Again, though, it was still far too well-written to win the grand prize. A mixed metaphor might have put it over the top.

ddrumm vied with dinzdale in the College Erotica/Penthouse Forum category
with his perfectly awful
"As the panicky coeds scrambled frantically from the fire exits of MacGonagle Hall and converged, naked and shivering, on the Quad, they came to the dreadful realization that, for them, it truly was a stark and dormy night."
This was a worthy effort. And so short, too! By the time I got to the end, I was completely ready to read no more. However, although it is eye-rollingly fine with me to go to the website and steal the idea of punning on "dark and stormy night" (even though the official rules there discourage that sort of thing, hey, I'm not a facist), he is technically disqualified for not actually starting with "It was a dark and stormy night..." So close! Hang in there Triple D, this game was made for you!

Just when I thought it could get no worse, Marcus Bales comes along to win in the Murder Mystery Category by inflicting us with this:

"It was a dark and stormy night when we wrapped Dddrum in the worn carpet that had lain under his coffee table, while he, suspecting his fate, shouted "oh boy-foot bear with teaks of Chan", and "you can't have your kayak and heat it, too" and "the koala tea of Mercy is never strained" and "who needs anemonies with Franz like this" among hundreds of horrifying others, through the whole journey bumping down the stairs, thump in the trunk, quietly through the dim-lit streets, quickly across the swaying old bridge, and splash, gurgle "... dormy night!" into the swamp."

Sorry. Too long to be a grand prize winner, but it's a real stinker. Nice use of the first-person plural too, which would be really stupid to try to maintain in a full-length novel. He ties with Trish for Dishonorable Unmentionable.


The third time was the charm for 12"Razormix with her Grand Prize-Winning category-defying entry. This one met all the criteria - in spite of its brevity (which gets extra points) it's got it all in every cliche-driven theme - hope abandoned, tawdry sex, tragedy, comedy, profound reflections of lingerie in mirrors...it has visions of greatness all right. It stands up by itself, like too much merengue in the pie, and not enough lemon custard. 12" proved herself both prolific and derivative, as she was clearly inspired by Dinzdale's entry. By the time I got to the end of it, I'd lost all faith in the act of reading:

"it was a dark and stormy night when tiffany abandoned her long-cherished dream of becoming a scantily-clad lingerie model, prompted by the tragicomical reflection that greeted her in the hallway mirror."
Congratulations, and take it away, Footlong!

Last edited by Brynn : 06-09-2006 at 03:43 AM.
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Old 06-11-2006, 09:28 AM   #15
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thanks brynn

i won't be around for a while so please carry on...
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