Closed Challenges

It Was A Dark And Stormy Night

Challenge Details

The Bulwer-Lytton annual fiction contest is one of the funniest writing contests around.

Since 1982 the English Department at San Jose State University has sponsored the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, a whimsical literary competition that challenges entrants to compose the opening sentence to the worst of all possible novels. The contest ... was the brainchild (or Rosemary's baby) of Professor Scott Rice, whose graduate school excavations unearthed the source of the line "It was a dark and stormy night." Sentenced to write a seminar paper on a minor Victorian novelist, he chose the man with the funny hyphenated name, Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, who was best known for perpetrating The Last Days of Pompeii, Eugene Aram, Rienzi, The Caxtons, The Coming Race, and--not least--Paul Clifford, whose famous opener has been plagiarized repeatedly by the cartoon beagle Snoopy.

Bulwer-Lytton Site

The contest has a sub-set for sci-fi/fantasy opening lines, but they don't really capture that je ne sais quoi (perhaps, the je ne wanna say quoi) of Tolkien fanfic.

So, here's the challenge:

Write the single best opening line for the worst fanfic story ever. One sentence. In that sentence shall be everything you need (and do not wish) to know about the story. Sentences that are both perfect and perfectly terrifying glimpses into the tale that comes afterwards.

Challenge closes May 15, 2004.

Entries with Stories

The following authors have entered a story in the Challenge.

acacea - First Meetings and Other First Lines
General Audience
Last Updated: 04 Jun 04
For the "It was a dark and stormy night" challenge - Opening lines to make the most tolerant of readers cringe.
Ainu Laire - Joys of Crossovers, The
General Audience
Last Updated: 27 Apr 04
Entry for 'It was a dark and stormy night' challenge. The joys of bad-ficness...
Alawa - Taste of Things to Come, The
General Audience
Last Updated: 20 Mar 04
It is a truth universally acknowledged that the aspiring fanfic writer must learn to grab the reader's attention from the very first line.
Cold Like Fire - Darkness of the Dark Land, The
General Audience
Last Updated: 04 Jun 04
Written for the "It was a Dark and Stormy Night" challenge. One word: HORRIBLE.
Dwimordene - On Dragons
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 14 May 04
Bilbo learns something new about dragons. I learn that it is harder to write badfic than it looks.
Ëarmírë - Blunted Barbs
General Audience
Last Updated: 17 Mar 04
Badficness.
Elana - Birds and the Bees and Other Atrocities, The
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 23 Mar 04
For the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" Challenge. You have been warned.
Elena Tiriel - ET's Famous First Lines
General Audience
Last Updated: 13 Feb 07
Written for the "It was a dark and stormy night" challenge, these are the opening lines of stories that you never want to read... Chapter 1, "Chance Meeting" is apropos to the Anti-Valentine's Day Quickie (challenge)....
Elvenesse - Horror Amassed
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 27 Jan 05
I'm probably bad at writing bad opening sentences, I don't know if that's even possible, so here's my contribution to the 'It Was a Dark and Story Night Challenge'.
Erin's Daughter - Alas for the written word
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 16 Mar 04
Assorted nonsense from someone who is supposed to be doing something useful
Forodwaith - First Lines Rejected... with Great Force
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 17 Mar 04
Entries for the Dark & Stormy Night challenge. Suitably awful, I hope.
Jedishampoo - Purple Proses
General Audience
Last Updated: 15 Mar 04
My answers to the "It was a dark and stormy night" challenge. I'm sure I've been guilty of something like these before; it comes with the territory of the stuff I write. I think two is more than plenty.
lindelea - It Was A Dark and Stormy Night
General Audience
Last Updated: 18 Mar 04
Midnight musings for the "Dark and Stormy Night" challenge
LOTR lover - As you know, Elrond...
General Audience
Last Updated: 16 Mar 04
For the "Dark and Stormy Night" challenge.
M. Sebasky - Some Nuzguls Just Need Killin'.
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 18 Mar 04
For the Worst opening line of the Worst Fanfic EVAH challenge. A few of the worst I can imagine. Well, not true. I can imagine worse. In fact, I think I've read worse but I was most likely drunk at the time.
Nerdanel - Borrowed First Lines
General Audience
Last Updated: 30 Mar 04
When authors are really uncreative, they borrow best lines from great authors. My apologies to the great authors, deceased or living, whose wonderful first lines I am destroying. For the "It Was a Dark and Stormy Night" challenge.
Ranger1 - Slash Unread
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 17 Jan 12

For the "It was a dark and stormy night." challenge. All rated for adults. This is your last warning.

Sphinx - Ai, Eru. Run!
General Audience
Last Updated: 18 Mar 04
One-line badfic.

Run, o brave ones!!!
Tehta - Stories Spawned by Sauron
Adult Audience
Last Updated: 29 Mar 04
My possible entries for the 'worst first lines' challenge. Warnings for: OOCness, bad writing, immature handling of adult matter, and general stupidity.
Vulgarweed - Frodo's Forsaken Flight
General Audience
Last Updated: 17 Jan 12

For the "Dark and Stormy Night" challenge. Now with more selections!

Werecat - Song of Huneleluya
General Audience
Last Updated: 16 Mar 04
An opening line for the "Dark and stormy night" challenge.
XNemesis - Not Quite a Dark and Stormy Night
General Audience
Last Updated: 30 May 04
For the "It was a dark and stormy night" challenge. Read if you are brave enough to handle the badfic-ness of it!

Placeholders

The following authors have entered a placeholder in the Challenge.

Viv
Entry Date: 14 Mar 04

In Challenges

Challenge Info

Open Date: March 14, 2004

Closed: June 10, 2004

Challenge Topic: Humor

Entries: 26

Originator: Anglachel

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