|YMMV • Radar • Quotes • (Funny • Heartwarming • Awesome) • Fridge • Characters • Fanfic Recs • Nightmare Fuel • Shout Out • Plot • Tear Jerker • Headscratchers • Trivia • WMG • Recap • Ho Yay • Image Links • Memes • Haiku • Laconic|
A yearly competition run by Adam Cadre since 2001 where people compete to submit the opening sentence to the "worst of all possible novels"- that is, the most atrocious opening line to a novel they can think of. The contest is a derivative of the annual Bulwer-Lytton contest, which has the same purpose; Cadre started Lyttle Lytton when entries in the original contest started getting too unwieldy for his taste (a Lyttle Lytton entry must be at most 33 words). The contest website is here.
Though the crux of the contest is thinking of bad opening lines for novels, other challenges are offered from time to time- for example, writing a bad opening line of a play, or writing a bad ending line. A recurring alternate challenge is to submit bad opening lines found in actual published fiction (the "found" challenge).
Tropes exhibited by the contest or entries:
The general, one might have said, had a sly, sneering-smile expression upon his face.—Sara Barrett
The mega beasts were united by only one thing: their size.—What Killed The Mega Beasts?, a Discovery Channel documentary, as quoted in the "found" challenge
- Department of Redundancy Department: A lot of entries run off of this, going by the (correct) assumption that needless rambling is likely to make any decent writer or reader pluck their eyes out.
John, surfing, said to his mother, surfing beside him, "How do you like surfing?"—Eric Davis, 2005 winner
Dora liked to explore.—Nicole Dickison
"Tune your ear to the frequency of despair, and cross-reference by the longitude and latitude of a heart in agony."—The Amazing Spider Man #544, as quoted in the 2008 contest "found" challenge
He was marooned in the jaws of a human minefield, and with every step the noose grew tighter.—Sports columnist Jerry Izenberg in the New Jersey Star Ledger as quoted in the "found" challenge
- Show Dont Tell: Since this is fundamental advice for good writing, it inevitably gets abused in this contest.
Turning, I mentally digested all of what you, the reader, are about to find out heartbreakingly.—Top Changwatchai, 2001 winner
- Sophisticated As Hell: Register shifts are a recurring theme:
The evil Intergalactic Emperor surveyed the destruction he wrought. "Booyah!" he cried with glee. "I'm in ur base! I'm killing all ur mans!"—James Wall
- Stylistic Suck: The whole point of the contest.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Used to great effect.
Sing, O Muse, of Tiffany's wrath on Triple Coupon Day.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. Steeling himself for battle, Fyandor, the oldest and bravest of the lamps, proclaimed, "Nay, foul wind, this will not be the night of our extinguishment!"
Dr. Metzger turned to greet his new patient, blithely unaware he would soon become a member of a secret brotherhood as old as urology itself.
To stand tall, to humbly crawl; to laugh, to cry; to puke bitterly, to suck on come what may — here follows my turbulent infancy.
—Winner of the "find the most horrible follow-up sentence to the proverbial It was a dark and stormy night... sentence" contest of 2003, Entry not signed