Monday, July 6, 2009

A Dark and Stormy Blog Post

"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)

San Jose State University announced the winners of its annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

To the uninitiated out there, Bulwer-Lytton is a generally well-respected writer, but he also dropped the bombshell opening sentence posted above that Snoopy stole for years.

So, SJSU hosts a contest each year to match--nay, surpass!--Bulwer-Lytton in writing so much while saying so little.

While the winner is certainly worthy, we here at Teacher's Brunch HQ in firework-hungover Auburn Hills, MI, prefer the runner-up because, well, it has a monkey.

We also got to thinking what a fun activity this would be for creative writing classes, or any classes, really. The trick is to make it a "good, real" sentence, while still qualifying for the contest.

We also also got to thinking about the basics of the contest, exhorting overwrought, cliche-ridden writing by writers who don't know when to quit while

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