Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April's famous deadline

April 15th is rolling around & that is a major deadline in this house. That's right, it is the final submission date for the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest. Never heard of it, you say? Well fear not, you still have time find out what it is, complete your original entry & get it submitted.

There are so many things to love about Bulwer-Lytton & his writing, but I think what I like best is how sure we are that he was a bad writer. I recently found a quiz that brought home that point to me again; although to be fair I am not the biggest Charles Dickens fan walking the planet either (It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. Bite me.).

Writing pulp fiction is harder than you think. I have been trying to write a romance novel since C****** was 11 years old. Somehow there is always a donkey (I do not mean a euphemism for jack ass I mean an actual donkey) & he ends up getting most of my attention. I have tried pretending the romantic nemesis is a donkey, but it just does not translate.

& so, in the spirit, or maybe not, of Edward Bulwer-Lytton & maybe or maybe not the contest that bears his name, I am giving you the opening lines to a few very good books (truly) books that could themselves have been candidates:

...But I should tell you that, come the apple festival of Transfiguration Day, when the sky begins to change from summer to autumn, it is the usual thing for our town to be overrun by an absolute plague of cicadas, so that by night, much as you might wish to sleep, you never can, what with that interminable trilling on all sides, and the stars hanging low over your head, and especially with the moon dangling just above the bell towers, for all the world like one of our renowned "smetana: apples, the kind the local merchants supply to the royal court and even take to shows in Europe.

The education bestowed on Flora Poste by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolunged; and when they died within a few weeks of one another during the annual epidemic of the influenza or Spanish plague which occured in her twentieth year, she was discovered to possess every art and grace save that of earning her own living.

I hope you will be ready to own publicly, whenever you shall be called to it, that by your great and frequent urgency you prevailed on me to publish a very loose and uncorrect account of my travels; with direction to hire some young gentlemen of either uiversity to put them in order, and correct the style, as my cousin Dampier did by my advice, in his book calld A Voyage Around the World.

1 comment:

  1. I was a runner up one year in the B-LFC, but somehow i have lost my entry through the years and can't remember how it went.

    Yes, it was that forgettable.