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- Unintentional comedy: someone says (or, in this case, writes)
something ridiculous, and we laugh at that person.
- Intentional comedy: someone says or writes something ridiculous, and
we realize from context, or from our knowledge of the person, or just from
things like vocal cues, that the ridiculousness was on purpose, and we
laugh with that person.
- Intentional unintentional comedy: an entry is ridiculous, yet plausible enough that we can laugh at the imaginary author who wasn't trying to be funny, while simultaneously laughing with the real author who was clever enough to invent that imaginary author.
It's easy to see why the first concept on that list was considered more radio-friendly than the last. And, yeah, I'm also aware that many Lyttle Lytton readers find the esoteric nature of the contest's central task more irritating than interesting — many entries don't make it onto the page of winners because no one could possibly have written those sentences unintentionally, a consideration of no concern to people who just want to read a bunch of funny stuff. On the flip side, plausibility is not a concern in the Found division: we generally know that the author was attempting to be serious, and the sheer shock value of that knowledge makes entries like this honorable mention seem funnier:
Her spirit was as strong as the titanium sheathing her graphene-coral bones.
vN: The First Machine Dynasty by Madeline Ashby
Drug lord Pablo Escobars hippo died the same way he did, hunted down and shot by the authorities for posing a danger to the public.
Birth defects affect us all, but particularly families with children who have birth defects.
Ive fallen prey to the vicissitudes of limerence periodically since I felt the first pangs of adolescence.
deleted review of Meat Is Murder on rateyourmusic.com
Suddenly Alex had had enough. Then why dont you go and ---- yourself. He spat out the swear word.
Scorpia Rising by Anthony Horowitz
Here's one for the "…whut?" files:
It was that time again. The time where all the horses used to show off to their gods.
Obama chuckled. You mean the Chaos Emeralds?
@fanfiction_txt on Twitter, 2013.0430
So, let's go straight from side contest winner to main contest winner! The winner of the 2014 Lyttle Lytton Contest is:
Together, we will beat them all, she whispered, caressing the circlet-girt fontanelles of her #royalbaby.
Four runners-up this year; if the above entry is summa cum laude, the following are magna cum laude:
As we gazed into each others eyes, Colin moved the front bits of my hair off my face and put them with my other hair.
As the abandoned temple crumbled, Professor Winston cried, Utilize your rope!
All humans work at The Factory, which is run by robots and it makes more robots.
Harold S. Grimbly
It was 1995 the year the soccer teams came, kicking their balls, to town.
Well, this is passing strange, thought Shakespeare as he saw the dead body of the lady in Stratford-upon-Avon, and methinks it dost bear investigating.
Many entries do fall into genre categories; here are a couple of others we can file under mystery (and I notice that all three of these are structured very similarly!):
This sure is a bad murder, quietly thought Detective Gaius Hanssen as he was investigating a hell of a crime at the Colosseum in Ancient Rome.
The Crime Lads have done it again, I realized grimly, surveying my dead wife.
Romance is always popular as well:
As he stared into her fiery alabaster eyes, the wealthy Earl Roderick realized that Lady Serena was not like the other Regency-era noblewomen he had known.
In any case, most who submit entries in this genre skip the courtship and start off their imaginary novels with the hot stuff:
I gently began to fuck Tracey, and as the fucking continued we swept down and across the floor like midnight dancers.
Darla lay aside her man, yowling cat noises in the glow of their grownup lovedance.
Their passionate love took flight as an explosion of sprawling limbs and content genitalia.
I couldnt believe what I heard as I read the words in her note which, like daggers, sliced up all my feels.
Phils tears fell softly, carried down his face by the gravity of her unfairness.
No one could love a dark-pastd vampire like me.
One last entry from the romance department, this one neither euphoric nor traumatized, but philosophical:
Nils awoke, contemplating the things of love.
Dave, sitting there, thought to himself quietly about all the different things in the world.
What next? How about sports?
The man with black skin took the big rubber ball and jumped and put it into the basket with a metal rim on a board.
No! raged the swimmer, his opponent streaking by to touch the wall like a dolphin, No.
Our next genre is travel:
Ah, the first time I set eyes on Asia… a whole new world of rich descriptions and evocative atmospheres was unveiled before my eyes.
New York in the 80s: money was tight, but homies were tighter.
Some entries don't fall into standard publishing genres but do constitute part of one tradition or another among Lyttle Lytton entries. There's the ever-popular Sad Sack Sue/Stu:
The mean loudmouths at Orangedale High just didnt understand Timmy, who only wanted to stay quiet and read and appreciate nature.
Stepping into the trinket shop, the musty air inhaled by Glendas lungs went unnoticed, distracted by the air of wonder inhaled by her eyes.
Dark. Cold. Vast. Shards, falling. Shapelessness. Formlessness. A wheeling, as of stars. Yes: you are inside my cerebral cortex, suckling on my thoughts.
Welcome to WikiPlot, the free novel that anyone can edit! LOL JOHN LIKED POO
The rain loudly hits the sidewalk like bacon sizzles in a skillet, thinks Jake as he holds his coat collar closed, wishing he could trade the bitter cold for that meaty heat.
Casie did not enjoy the preference dreams, like lemon – red pepper – onion; she much preferred the simple dreams, like orange – orange.
So that's it! As always, let me say that there were many fine entries in addition to those above, and on a different day the list of winners might have looked a little different. Thanks to all who entered, and to those who stopped by to read the results. I hope you enjoyed them at least as much as Casie enjoyed orange – orange. (And I am probably going to spend most of the time until the next contest trying to figure out what on earth that could possibly mean.)