Monday 6 September 2010

Bad writing

While awaiting the (first) verdict on the exWIP, I have been wasting rather a lot of time, and I came across this, the winner of he Bulwer-Lytton (?) prize for bad writing. It it is by Molly Ringle, and describes a kiss. Here is a tantalising exerpt:

"...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."

Now, what I want to know is (a) how did that get past an(y) editor (Will most certainy wouldn't have put up with it)? and (b) if that kind of writing is publishable, how come some of our own worthy literary works have fallen by the wayside? I feel quite insulted. I will never be a great writer, but I hope I would be hard put to it to write such tosh (ok, I may sound a tad bitter, but the argument still stands).


  1. Sounds like something I could have written. Is it meant to be a comedy?

  2. Hee hee. I had to read it twice to picture the metaphor. It gave me a few things to think about though.
    1. Does anybody outside the world of cycling know what a bottle cage is? It's the bracket where you can clip your water bottle. Usually on the down tube.
    2. It would have to be a tall gerbil to reach the bottle spout. Maybe it could stand on the pedals.
    3. My wife is not allowed to touch my bike without express permission, let alone an African rodent.
    Thanks for repeating it here, Frances. Cheered me up.

  3. Oh come on, Aliya. You can do better than that. And no, I don't think it's supposed to be funny, but then again...?

    Keith - pet-owners know about bottle cages. They're a fiddle to fit, and the water in the bottle goes green quite quickly if you forget (or are too lazy) to wash it out. And this kind doesn't have anything to do with bicycles (or, come to that, kissing).

  4. Ooh, I see!
    Sorry (red face).
    Now it all makes sense.

  5. Perhaps Ricardo was a pet-lover? Pun intended... sadly...