Friday, January 25, 2013

Worst Beginning Ever

For this week's Friday Scene, I'm participating in the Word Master Challenge. I have 300 or fewer words to write the worst novel opening ever. Excellent. First, let's examine what makes a bad opening page.
  • Too much back-story (any on the first page is too much)
  • Too much description
  • Beginning with the character waking up
  • Dialogue without context
  • Too many characters
  • Having the character's physical description given like they're looking at themselves when they aren't, and they are gorgeous in every way. (This one is a pet peeve of mine that isn't as recognized as these other problems)
The list goes on. Other things are more nit-picky, though, and I have limited space to violate all the rules.

When she opened her eyes, she saw the light streaming in through her window like a beacon in the dusk, glittering gold motes floating and twirling in the air. She blinked her lush, black eyelashes, which were almost an inch long and so full they looked like a butterfly wing, down over her mist-colored eyes. She sat up, spilling her yard-long, black hair across her pale shoulder, and pulled her blue, silk, knee-length nightgown straight.

The glorious light reminded her of a time gone past that she missed horribly...


“He won't like that,” Jess said, frowning.

“Too bad.”

“We could try it at night,” Nuts suggested, then blushed as everyone looked at him.

“Hey,” said Sonya, “that's not a bad idea.”


Victoria smiled lazily at the memory. They'd been so young, then, with so much left to learn...

She got up out of bed, going about her day like it was any other day. She ate a breakfast of oatmeal and bananas, with a tall glass of orange juice. Eating healthy was vital with her condition, it balanced out all the bad. Then she took a brisk, short walk, just enough to get her blood pumping, but not enough to tire her unnecessarily. She gazed lovingly at the trees on her walk. They stood out crisply against the sky, all manners of green—emerald, lime green, grass green, jade, pine green, gray-green, and mint. Their bark looked like gnarled knuckles that had been raked apart by thousands of claws, peeling in places and clumped in others.

Little did she know, this day was not like any other she'd had before.

Wasn't my beginning truly awful? Don't worry, I won't take this any further. What writing mistakes really grate your nerves?


  1. Hahahahaha very well written terrible opening. You even had me cringing through most of it. Well done!

    Will be back again to judge your entry against the others. Thanks for entering!


  2. Boring! Well polished at least :) I think this is truly the best worst beginning I've read yet.

    I should have thought of that omni physical description on my own excerpt, then she would not have had to look in the mirror.


  3. Hahaha, that is definitely not good. Nicely done, though!

  4. Great job! I love the laboured descriptions and that list of different shades of green was the icing on the cake. I did quite like the "gnarled knuckles", actually, but on the whole... awful!

    1. I like "gnarled knuckles" as well, but the point isn't that any few words is bad, it's that when you put it all together it's what I like to call "word vomit" (but other people call it "purple prose"). :)

  5. With an ominous line to end the yawning. Very nicely, er, badly done. =) I think this has all the makings of a text book "no-no."