Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Constrained writing is a literary technique in which the writer is bound by some condition that forbids certain things or imposes a pattern.
Constraints are very common in poetry, which often requires the writer to use a particular verse form.
The most common constrained forms of writing are strict restrictions in vocabulary, e.g. Basic English, E-Prime, defining vocabulary for dictionaries, and other limited vocabularies for teaching English as a Second Language or to children. This is not generally what is meant by 'constrained writing' in the literary sense, which is motivated by more aesthetic concerns. For example:
- Lipogram, a letter (commonly e or o) is outlawed;
- Palindromes, such as the word "radar," read the same both ways;
- Alliteratives, in which every word must start with the same letter (or subset of letters; see Alphabetical Africa)
- Reverse-lipograms (each word must contain a particular letter);
- Aleatory (where the reader supplies a random input);
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