Wednesday, 9 July 2008

It was a dark and stormy contest : The Purple Prose Pro

You would be excused if you didn't know who Bulwer-Lytton was, well you would be excused here, because I, myself, only found out what it meant yesterday from Saaleha. Lord Lytton was a popular writer in his day and coined many phrases that we use today viz. the pen is mightier than the sword. None so recognised though as 'It was a dark and stormy night', a phrase so despised by the writing fraternity, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest was instantiated in it's 'honor'.

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC) is a tongue-in-cheek contest that takes place annually and is sponsored by the English Department of San José State University in San Jose, California. [Source:]

So I came up with the idea, with Saaleha, that we should have one of these contests in the blogs. God knows some of us write so terribly at times, so we have the material. The winner will get a special prize that can't be explained in terms of monetary value. Here are a few winners and entries from the 2007 contest to get your brain ticking.

Gerald began--but was interrupted by a piercing whistle which cost him ten percent of his hearing permanently, as it did everyone else in a ten-mile radius of the eruption, not that it mattered much because for them "permanently" meant the next ten minutes or so until buried by searing lava or suffocated by choking ash--to pee.

Jim Gleeson
Madison, WI


Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.

Dave McKenzie
Federal Way, WA


Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was Polartec 200 (thanks to gene splicing, a diet of force-fed petrochemical supplements, and regular dips in an advanced surface fusion polymer), which had the fortunate side effect of rendering it inedible, unlike that other Mary's organic lamb which misbehaved at school and wound up in a lovely Moroccan stew with dried apricots and couscous.

Julie Jensen
Lodi, CA


The tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife, not even a sharp knife, but a dull one from that set of cheap knives you received as a wedding gift in a faux wooden block; the one you told yourself you'd replace, but in the end, forgot about because your husband ran off with another man, that kind of knife.

Lisa Lindquist
Jackson, MI


There was a pregnant pause-- as pregnant as Judith had just told Darren she was (about seven and a half weeks along), which was why there was a pause in the first place.

Tracy Stapp
Santa Ana, CA


I was in a back alley in Fiji, fighting desperately and silently for my life, fighting desperately for oxygen, clawing at the calm and almost gentle pressure of the fabric held over my face by implacable, ebony thighs when I realized -- he was killing me softly with his sarong.

Karl Scott
Brisbane, Australia


Racing through space at unimaginable speeds, Capt. Dimwell could only imagine how fast his spaceship was going.

Gary Smith
Florissant, CO


You get the idea. There is only one rule: No plagiarism! All entries will be intensely Googled.

Rules Addendum: Basically your entry is allowed to be a paragraph of purple prose i.e. features exaggerated sentiment or extravagant and flowery language(Web definition). In the actual competition it has to be a sentence, preferably an intro sentence, but we don't need no stink'n rules, except the plagiarism one.

You may enter by comment or by email to me at or Saaleha at Entries will be judged by Saaleha and I. Good Luck!

Till next time in Waseem world.


The Organ Harvester said...

how the fuck? It's on like rhino horn (on your wedding night only)

Parasputin said...

i'm in there baby, like a rohypnol dealer with a cheap date

Parasputin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Parasputin said...

I have to say that in this contest, singleguy may have an unfair advantage. He is after all the epitome of blancmange blogging, light and fluffy with no substance.

The Organ Harvester said...


Parasputin said...

ok. here goes the opening salvo...

Their chance encounter was like a delicate sorbet, clearing his palate during the smorgasbord which was his morning surgery.

Muhammad said...

My contribution... made at the spur of the moment... here goes...

She stood in the doorway and immediately he knew it was her... it was she who had finished the last cherry-tobacco-infused creme brulee. He knew this because her cheeks were wet with tears. Lachrymallic betrayal. He waved his spoon at her scornfully and slowly whispered "Tsk, tsk, you greedy little bitch. Now how are we going to tempt that fat bastard into slumber after you ate his poisoned dessert?"

Muhammad said...

Glossary: Lachrymals are the glands which produce tears :)

bb_aisha said...

'most of us write so terribly' haha-nothing like honesty.

my writing skills have plummetted-so have my speaking skills. i no longer have anything original to say or write.

i'll give it a shot-when's the closing date? muhammed-love yours!

Parasputin said...

She was tired. Work pressure meant that she was not only burning the midnight oil, but in the little time she had left, she was drilling for it as well.

Waseem said...

love the entries, keep them coming in.

There is no closing date as such, I'll give it around a couple weeks.

Saaleha Bamjee-Mayet said...

I'm just commenting here for official administration purposes, so I can get follow up comments/entries sent to my inbox.

Some nice shades of purple so far.

Ta^KiLLa said...

Clearly not my cuppa tea..
Salz u shall agree..

Noorjehaan said...

i object to the bad press purple gets
also this was reeeeallly difficult so i expect extra points for trying:P

Harry’s heart was pounding and fluttering, flying like a butterfly, then stinging like a bee. How creepily complicated these emotions made his existence, how crazily callous were his thoughts and actions at this point. Yet no matter how much his heart sank to the underside of his sneakers and got entangled in the mud and the debris of the forest floor, there was always hope and a glimmer of light. In her eyes, always in her eyes, he would win this one for Ginny.

urgh-barf-cringe!! imagine HP was actually written like this.

Hehehe said...

John suddenly awoke from his deep slumber, like a computer awoken from standby. Alas the ups was dead and john lulled back as his heart beated to the beeps *beep* *beep* *beeeeeeep*

Waseem said...

Heres just couple tries of my own, not entries.

Wading through the sea of spam, Jack thought he finally found a recognisable name, someone from his past, finally ceasing their unspoken war of silence, alas it was but a forwarded mail.

He thrust his hands into his pocket, felt about amongst the notes and coins and muttered angrily, 'I aint feeling two grand.'

He awoke suddenly with a brainwave, which was like microwave only with brain.

M Junaid said...

Iqbal looked up fervently towards the sky. He dug in deep. Deeper and deeper he ventured. Prodding, poking. Baring his soul in public. The world stopped and stared. Its always a weird sight to see a man search for a contact lense that is lodged up his eye.

M Junaid said...

Writing atrociously comes naturally to me :). Hmmm one more

M Junaid said...

Dumbledore swept in without hesitation. His robes billowed in the wind. A quick wave of his wand and he apparated. Harry did hope he could've stayed for a longer spell.

M Junaid said...

I tried to be in keeping with the original parody- use of cliches etc. Will. Think of worse (better?) ones later

Parasputin said...

She was not a small woman, Monilia, and neither was her twin sister Candida. Instead of the words "smooth" and "creamy", "cottage" and "cheese" would be more appropriate when describing their ample thighs.

Anonymous said...

His eyes were automatically drawn towards her, like a blood covered man lying on the road after a car crash. His palms felt sweaty, his heart raced-the only other time he had felt this way was when his flatulence needed to be stifled. He opened his mouth to say Hi, but had forgotten about the Paan he had bit into an hour ago.

M Junaid said...

i vote for anon!

M Junaid said...

except now the person is fucked as we have no way of verifying who it was! Hope you e-mailed waseem simultaneously

in the words of slim shady - will the real anon please stand up?

M Junaid said...

Igthorn chugged the purple liquid in a single gulp, but instead of getting stronger all he did was bounce. Suddenly He realised why his mother used to sneak into the woods at night.

Noorjehaan said...

i think it's saaleha. in which case we change adjudicators. yeah for me anon would be first and muhammad second- good balance of cliche'dness and laughing at one's self (is there a word for that)

Saaleha Bamjee-Mayet said...

I wish I could take the credit, but I'm a bit broke with words at the moment.

Morena said...

Haha No freakin way!Anon was mine, I swear it- bloggers oath?

You guys dont know me, just came across this blog and found it awesome...Interestingly enough I decided to give this blogging thing a try :) How cool if I won tho :P