In praise of bad writing

A Toronto man is being rewarded for demonstrating how not to write a romance novel.

TORONTO — A Toronto man is being rewarded for demonstrating how not to write a romance novel.

Paul Chafe was a winner in the annual Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, organized by San Jose State University’s English department.

The school solicits the worst opening sentences for a novel in a number of categories, including adventure, children’s literature, fantasy fiction, historical fiction, science fiction and vile puns.

Chafe won the romance category for his long-winded entry: “Trent, I love you,” Fiona murmured, and her nostrils flared at the faint trace of her lover’s masculine scent, sending her heart racing and her mind dreaming of the life they would live together, alternating sumptuous world cruises with long, romantic interludes in the mansion on his private island, alone together except for the maids, the cook, the butler, and Dirk and Rafael, the hard-bodied pool boys.“

Jonathan Blay of Bedford, N.S., was the runner-up in the romance category for his entry: “She purred sensually, oozing allure that was resisted only by his realization as an entomologist that the protein dust on the couch from the filing of her crimson nails was now being devoured by dust mites in a clicking, ferocious, ecstatic frenzy.”

The overall winner was Molly Ringle of Seattle for: “For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity’s affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss — a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity’s mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world’s thirstiest gerbil.”

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