Why is “It was a dark and stormy night..” not a good opening?
The phrase in question is derided everywhere. Wikipedia calls it infamous and purple prose, the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest references it (google 'worst opening sentence'), but I've always been puzzled as to just what exactly is wrong with it.
Purple prose on Wikipedia is prose that is so "extravagant, ornate, or flowery as to break the flow and draw attention to itself". I don't think the sentence really qualifies on any of those three grounds.
It was used in Snoopy a fair bit, and I originally thought it was either from the cartoon, or because of the cartoon, but it seems to have been the source of derision since it first written, so I remain confused.