So I was inspired this week by the recent Bulwer-Lytton prize for bad writing, which went to the brutally mangled metaphor, “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.”
Wow. Tough to beat. But here’s my challenge: let’s try. American academic Sue Fondrie’s disturbing description of thoughts like mutilated sparrows has been declared the worst sentence of the year.
I think we can top it. This was the shortest sentence to ever win the prize, so extra points will be conferred for brevity.
I’ve certainly had some humdingers in my day, most of which were thankfully edited out of the finished product. But imagine what would transpire if you really let loose?
Some other examples, presented for your enjoyment:
Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two other sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.
His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.
She caught your eye like one of those pointy hook latches that used to dangle from screen doors and would fly up whenever you banged the door open again.
The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.
Her hair glistened in the rain like nose hair after a sneeze.
Her eyes were like two brown circles with big black dots in the center.
He was as tall as a six-foot-three-inch tree.
And here’s my submission:
“He wept, and the tears fell like a thousand tiny lemmings leaping from the precipice into a black void.”
Do you have a truly awful metaphor lurking in the depths of your cranial cavity like a really bad thing hiding in a very dark place, yearning for the light of day? Have at it…similes are also welcome.