Constrained writing

Constrained writing is a literary technique in which the writer is bound by some condition that forbids certain things or imposes a pattern.

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:

The Oulipo group is a gathering of writers who use such techniques. The Outrapo group use theatrical constraints.

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