View Full Version : Contest For Perspiring Writers
09-04-2001, 07:47 PM
This BBS is filled with a lot of GREAT people who really seem to enjoy creative writing and creative thinking.
Some of the posts are just tremendous and a number of them are really thought provoking.
I thought that perhaps some of you would be interested in this eccentric writing contest that fell into my lap during the course of a radio interview.
This particular contest seems like a lot of fun because of the free form involved.
The best part is that you don't have to worry if you think your writing stinks as this groups motto stipulates that;
"the "www" [in the URL] means Wretched
This years winning entry is HILARIOUS!
(I had to read it four times before the full and revolting horror of it all finally sank in)
2001 WINNER FOR THE BULWER-LYTTON FICTION CONTEST
"The sun oozed over the horizon, shoved aside darkness, crept along the green sward, and, with sickly fingers, pushed through the castle window, revealing the pillaged princess, hand at throat, crown asunder, gaping in frenzied horror at the sated, sodden amphibian lying beside her, disbelieving the magnitude of the frog's deception, screaming madly, "You lied!"
If you would like to join the rank and VILE click here;
<A HREF="http://www.bulwer-lytton.com" TARGET=_blank>
BULWER-LYTTON FICTION CONTEST</A>
[ September 06, 2001: Message edited by: Jessie ]
09-24-2001, 04:26 PM
WARNING...I AM BIASED. I'M LOOKING OUT FOR THE ASPIRING WRITER AND AM DETERMINED TO SQUELCH THE EGOCENTRIC CRITICS AT EVERY TURN!!!
This site, while at first blush seeming at least slightly amusing, stikes me as being potentially detrimental to actual aspiring writers. Scary as hell to some!
For one thing it seems to glorify the critic, who often times is the aspiring writer that never made it: the frustrated academic who finds revenge in mocking honest attempts (and accomplishments) by others.
Secondly, to add salt to the wounds created by mocking an actual dead man, the site has a sidebar link for "Dead White Guys." I don't care if a "creatively dead" white guy wrote the link; until we live in a world where it's okay to say "Dead Black Guys" or "Dead Asian Femininst Hermaphrodites," this is pretty pathetic.
Again, sites like this cater to the arrogant critics who never made it and decide that making fun of the work of others or themselves somehow is easier than actually generating their own work, making everything alright.
What happens is (and I know from the experience of a charming girl named Amanda Fisher who trashed my novel- here's where I'm biased) critics come out of the woodwork to castigate works that are at times long-winded, using multisyllabic words, etc. (remind you of a book?) All of a sudden if you write like Pynchon, Joyce, or Tolstoy, you are considered a "Bulwer Lyttonesque" abuser of the language. Look at the track records of these critics - they've usually done nothing substantial.
Some of the best literary works employ flowery language. Not everything needs to be simple, direct, concise.
For instance, I find the lengthy discourses in H.O.L. wonderful escapades of the mind.
Would you rather read Mark. D. or John Grisham? What about Jackie Collins?
Had Mark D. been hampered by critical morons that were biased against flowery language, he never would have accomplished what he did.
Can you tell how much I love the site?
God, where's your sense of humor, Brian?
I don't know, I just lot it at the moment, sorry.
09-24-2001, 09:48 PM
"Quand vous étiez un enfant était votre berceau basculé trop près du mur???
Peut-être une certaine " heure de qualité " avec la grenouille de la princesse éclairerait votre perspective... "
Brian, for goodness sakes, get some perspective.
EVERY author/artist/creative human being has to learn how to deal with goofy critics who just don't "get it".
I found Andreas article you mentioned in your rant and my question for you is WHY, WHY, WHY on earth would you care what she thinks???
She drug the Bulwer-Lytton name through the mud with her coarse diatribe, which was also wholely unfair to Snoopy.
That contest was created by Professor AND Author Scott Rice at San Jose State as a way to inspire his less than creatively inclined students.
"The badder the better makes for spicy batter, you might even invent a new cake"
It is supposed to be FUN.
How could you NOT laugh at that preposterous princess who seems to have inadvertently fu#ked a frog???
Allez maintenant manger quelques cuisses de grenouille et ont un bon rire!!! images/smiles/icon_razz.gif
[ September 25, 2001: Message edited by: Jessie ]
09-25-2001, 05:28 PM
You're right, Jessie. I stand corrected.
How could anyone argue with a pick me up like that interspersed with poetic French!
I have received quite flattering reviews which easily make up for crazy diatribes like the aforementioned.
I guess my point is that a potential danger of some writing contests and "let's have some fun making fun of types of writing" contests is that not all of us can roll with the punches of having that stuff turned against us. I've got tough skin. I had to develop it to deal with hundreds of rejection letters!
But I am surrounded by fragile egos - artistic types that would have been CRUSHED by the words of the mentioned critic. Because one of my fortes is taking a David versus Goliath angle to defend others in battles against certain entities (that sounds strangely Star Trekish) I love to get in the mix.
The site on Bulwer Lytton is intended to be humorous and it is; but that's to people like us who could probably make fun of our own writing and then move on. "Equal Opportunity Discriminators." I'll be the first to admit that much of my writing is "overwrought" if it's anything. BUT I'M PROUD OF THAT DAMNIT!
But I know people who are aspiring writers who have trouble getting in front of an audience to read their work. When there are sites that make fun of any kind of writing, while some of us are laughing, others are crying.
Even H.O.L. is panned by some critics. I would imagine that Mark D. is resilient and that with the way that chips have fallen, he is overall quite happy and ready to move forward. But how many would be able to say with complete confidence: I am ready to get started with a new project!
Maybe I just wanted a good debate!?!
Maybe I'm just tense from recent events and want to only bolster the strength of aspiring writers around me!
Please do not underestimate the ability you have (if in fact I've got the right person) to entertain and educate audiences. Many are incapable of that. If there was a site devoted to ridiculing your profession or the way that some people perform it, you'd have to admit that it would scare alot of people away.
Also, please address the fact that the author/professor seems to be making fun of an actual writer (deceased.) Am I missing something, there? Has the author/professor accomplished more than the person he ridicules? If the deceased story was factual, then it seems in very poor taste. I didn't really spend too much time on the site so I'm not really sure if the deceased in question was an actual person or if he was just made up. And trust me - I have a very dark sense of humor that can stomach a lot! But dragging a "dead white man" through the mire of critical hell baffles me. I find that to be of extremely poor taste. If I am missing some major element of parody or sarcasm here, then I'll be the first to say, I'm sorry, I was being an idiot!
While the site is funny and no one should take what I am saying that seriously - go decide for yourself - I just wanted to raise some points about the well founded, and needed, sensitivity of writers!
I hope you understand.
Your points are well taken!
09-25-2001, 07:33 PM
Yes there is an actual human being that inspired the contest that seems to have put the IRE in your contentious fIRE.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton was a writer of various books including the Last Days of Pompeii but his literary longevity would appear to owe a huge debt of gratitude to the beagle that hijacked and plagiarized the opening line in one of his books.
". The opening lines of his Paul Clifford (1830) have inspired a number of childish jokes, largely through the influence of Schultz’s Peanuts strip cartoon. The sentence runs: -
"It was a dark and stormy night and 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."
Snoopy is sweet, how can you still be so mad?
You said yourself that you did not look through much of the site so you "weren't sure."
If you don't look, HOW do you see???
La vision sélective est une voie triste de visualiser le monde.
"There was a young man from
where the critics barbs can be
So he shot for Nantucket
but the critics screamed
and now Pringles is renting his
[ September 25, 2001: Message edited by: Jessie ]
09-26-2001, 01:09 PM
The "IRE" in your "fIRE"...that's good!
From what I can tell the guy's been accused of misogyny, starting a cult, but far worse -using bombastic, convoluted language (God forbid).
His demagogic unparalleled reputation extends way beyond itself, to a galaxy of circumlocutive delight proving mystifying to mere mortals, zombified near catatonic automata reared on steady diets of overly stringent English rules on grammar, punctuation, syntax - turning the world's greatest language into a battlefield upon which a vicious war is raged in the name of ego and appropriate diction. God forbid America be given anything but clear, concise, precise data to assimilate into fragmentary codes deemed appropriate. Little nuggets of linear discursive morsels upon which to sink one's overly rarefied consciousness - in between episodes of Friends - never venturing into that uncharted, terribly incredible realm of multisyllabic, perplexing stream of consciousness trash. Arrogant, bombastic, titillating language has absolutely no proper place in our world. Give me rules or give me death. But whatever you do, don't try to expand the language. Tell me more professor about what it takes to be a perfectly conforming little polyester clad bureaucrat who knows what it is to spot arrogance in language but never the language of arrogance. You are so wise little professor man who can critique others but never accomplish yourself. Me, I'd rather listen to Snoopy!
The following - from the Bulwer-Lytton site -is interesting...
Several years ago I read most of B-L's novels when I was preparing the entries for a reference book entitled Dictionary of British Literary Characters. Pretentious, bombastic, snobbish and overblown? Yes indeed. But still a very interesting novelist who pioneered a number of new genres which others later developed with far more talent. I refer particularly to his crime genre of "Newgate Novels," of which Paul Clifford is one. I can recommend The Coming Race (1870)* one of his last and quite short. It is a variety of science-fiction novel in which the protagonist visits a society which exists under the earth and in which the women are larger, smarter and stronger than the men. Given B-L's views on women and treatment of his own wife, this is very interesting. His wife, Rosina, also published novels--most of then thinly disguised attacks on B-L himself--they were bitterly separated after about 10 years of marriage but lived to torment each other for several decades. . . . I must own to liking The Last of the Barons (about Warwick the Kingmaker). Also in Pelham, What Will He Do With It, and a few others B-L shows what the young men are doing when they are not in the drawing room with the ladies. A very interesting writer, but one who can really put off the reader.
--Barbara J. Dunlap, New York, New York
[Note: The Coming Race is more than a prototypal science fiction novel with elements of the occult. It is credited with inspiring a secret society inside Hitler's SS, a society of hyper-zealots convinced of their innate superiority and the inevitability of their world dominance. It was called the Vril Society, named after the power source that enables Lytton's subterranean people, the Ana (pronounced Arna) or Vril-ya, to operate and govern their world (a few children armed with vril-powered rods are said capable of exterminating a race of over 22 million threatening barbarians). Served by robots and able to fly on vril-powered wings, the vegetarian Vril-ya are--by their own reckoning--racially and culturally superior to everyone else on earth, above or below ground. It seems to be their destiny someday to emerge on the surface and subdue and perhaps exterminate the barbarians who live there (hence, the coming race). At one point, the narrator concludes (from linguistic evidence) that the Vril-ya are "descended from the same ancestors as the great Aryan family, from which in varied streams has flowed the dominant civilizations of the world ."
Ignoring the satire of its dystopian vision, the Nazis were conveniently selective in drawing from The Coming Race. The Vril-ya, for example, have banished ambition and greed as social motivators, and lead relatively inactive lives, leaving children to do all the work (which is never arduous, given their command of vril). Significantly, the Vril-ya have also banished social hierarchy, so their society is extremely democratic, no individual, regardless of wealth or position, having more prestige than another. In other words, the Vril-ya suffer no Fuhrers. On the down side, Vril-yan society has become so democratic, and distinctions of all kind have been so thoroughly eliminated, that its inhabitants are too indolent and under-stimulated to originate anything--ideas, inventions, even art. Lytton himself, by the way, at least in his earlier career, was extremely liberal in his social and political opinions, and in Parliament supported many major reforms. He would have been amused at the literal reading given his novel by the Nazis.
If you look for "Vril" on the various search engines, you will turn up some bizarre sites:
[Apparently, some UFO's are vril-powered and originate from the center of the earth In any event, there is a lesson to be drawn from all of this: Be careful what you make up, because someone might believe it.]
09-26-2001, 04:45 PM
Il semblerait que vous êtes devenus le critique même votre dédaignez.
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