Saturday, October 29, 2011

A well-crafted sentence

I somehow missed the 2011 winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest this year when they were announced in July.  I guess that is what happens when you don't spend copious amounts of time on the internet trying to avoid work.

(However looking back in the archives, I have only mentioned this contest once....in 2007.  So, perhaps I have some catching up to do).

I actually really liked the winner and runner-up this year.  (Although I think I prefer the runner-up sentence a bit more.)  I have also included some others which I thought were particularly clever.

I keep thinking that I should attempt a blog post prior to the contest deadline to see if I (and any of my readers) can come up with some worthy entries.  However, that requires some sort of forethought and my fore-thinking abilities have been somewhat shoddy of late. 

Winner:

Cheryl’s mind turned like the vanes of a wind-powered turbine, chopping her sparrow-like thoughts into bloody pieces that fell onto a growing pile of forgotten memories.

Runner Up:

As I stood among the ransacked ruin that had been my home, surveying the aftermath of the senseless horrors and atrocities that had been perpetrated on my family and everything I hold dear, I swore to myself that no matter where I had to go, no matter what I had to do or endure, I would find the man who did this . . . and when I did, when I did, oh, there would be words.

Others: 

Wearily approaching the murder scene of Jeannie and Quentin Rose and needing to determine if this was the handiwork of the Scented Strangler--who had a twisted affinity for spraying his victims with his signature raspberry cologne--or that of a copycat, burnt-out insomniac detective Sonny Kirkland was sure of one thing: he’d have to stop and smell the Roses.

As his small boat scudded before a brisk breeze under a sapphire sky dappled with cerulean clouds with indigo bases, through cobalt seas that deepened to navy nearer the boat and faded to azure at the horizon, Ian was at a loss as to why he felt blue.

No one walked down Bleak Street at night—not where hobgoblins hobnobbed, skeletons skulked, vampires vamped, and the dumpster behind the Chinese buffet smelled like zombies.

All the signs, both actual and imagined, made it immensely clear there was trouble ahead for Marlene and, yet, her childlike sense of hope that maybe he was “the one” kept her foot on the accelerator pedal of life even when she came to the “bridge out” warning hand written in Magic Marker on Myron’s Polident cup. 

The grisly scene before him was like nothing Detective Smith had ever seen before, but there were millions and millions of things he had never seen before, and he couldn't help but wonder which of them it was. 

Carmela's knees buckled and she (a responsible consumer) collapsed down onto the sidewalk, as  her environmentally green grocery bag bounced -- spewing forth organic mixed  lettuces, crispy  eco-friendly cucumbers,  juicy natural cherry tomatoes,  home-grown herbs  -- while  in perfect synchronization, a recyclable plastic bottle burst open, spraying droplets of Lite-Italian dressing upon the freshly tossed salad.  

1 comment:

Carol said...

I think I have to agree with you...I like the runner-up more. The winner is a well-thought out extended metaphor, but the runner-up is tremendously funny. All that build up to "oh, there would be words."

I'd never seen this contest, so thanks for sharing!

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