Last night I saw a poster on PINTEREST: “It was a dark and stormy night.” Then this morning I saw that Robin Helm had put it up on her Facebook page as well.
There is a rumor that my father’s adopted family is descended from Edward Bulwer-Lytton the creator of the phrase. For some time now it’s been used as a good example of bad writing. (Remember, my father was adopted.)
Anyway, click over to the BULWER-LYTTON WRITING CONTEST site to read some very funny, and very bad opening lines. Here’s one of this year’s Dishonorable Mentions from the romance category: “Tucked in a dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver.” The author, Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ, must be proud!
In hunting up the above website, I found mention of a game called, It was a Dark and Stormy Night. The blurb says, “It Was a Dark & Stormy Night – A Game of First Lines for People Who Love to Read.” I think that says it all.
Even if it’s only on paper, am I really related to Bulwer-Lytton? I hope not. In addition to writing an iconic first line that is simultaneously cheesy and kind of interesting, he wrote cheap, Victorian erotica. I aspire to more. My journey to greatness launched 12 years ago with glomming onto a classic author’s characters and making them my own. This bit of literary larceny is now cruising along with a stint of prolonged writer’s block. I think next will come some sort of mental breakdown followed by a triumphal recovery. Everyone loves an underdog overcoming the odds.
Ah, the literary whorl.
Have a good Tuesday.
Take care–Susan Kaye