Saturday, January 28, 2006

Constrained writing

Constrained writing is like confining yourself to a very specific box which can, ironically, be freeing since it forces you out of the familiar boxes you may generally be writing in. I've posted several prompts based on constrained writing: lipograms (forbidding certain letters), anti-lippograms (requiring certain letters), drabble (100 word story). (Click on the Constrained writing category to the right to see them.)

Constrained.org is "a community site for short stories that adhere to various literary constraints, ranging from the well-known (anagrams, acrostics, palindromes) to the obscure and arbitrary". They put up a new constraint each week.

You can see a Random Story from a random challenge. They also have a page listing their current Constraint Challenges. Here's a sample of what may be over a hundred of them. (I wish the page had full descriptions, but each challenge links to a full description.):
  • Lipogram (thirteen stories) (Your lipogrammatic submissions should avoid a symbol that I will playfully signal by noting that it...)
  • The extreme opposite (seven stories) (Compose stories wherein every verb, adjective etc. possesses the letter 'e'.)
  • Fossil record (nine stories) (No formal constraints this time (although you may, of course, devise your own). Instead your stories...)
  • Monosyllabic stories (fifteen stories) (Your task, should you choose it, is to weave taut yarns in which each word is but one voiced part.)
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