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This is the repository for 2018's collaborative NaNoLiPo project.
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This is the repository for 2018's collaborative NaNoLiPo project.

What is Oulipo?

Oulipo stands for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle. It's an approach to creative writing in which you seek inspiration in formal constraints. One of the most famous published works written in oulipo is Georges Perec's La Disparition, a novel that does not contain a single instance of the letter "e".

I've been a fan of constrained writing for years, but only got seriously into it when I joined Mouse Reeve's, a Mastodon instance that follows Georges Perec's constraint, which means it's impossible to post anything containing an e on the instance.

More recent prior art includes the Found Poetry Review's NaPoMo project in 2014, which had participants write poems following oulipotic constraints and using linguistic material found in a daily newspaper.

How does NaNoLiPo work?

The project runs throughout November of 2018. There is a prompt for each day, except that the prompt isn't a prompt, but a constraint. You can participate by writing something inspired by each day's prompt and posting your work as an issue in this repository. Feel free to also/instead post your results on social media, adding the hashtag du jour to make it easy to find your writing!

Who wins?

Everybody wins. The original NaNoWriMo has you write 50,000 words; NaNoGenMo has you generate 50,000 words; in NaNoLiPo, the length of your text is not of interest. The only thing that matters is that you are happy with your finished writing that follows the rules of the day.

If you're feeling extra creative, you can combine your NaNoLiPo efforts with another NaNo, for instance by creating a program that generates a text for each prompt, instead of writing the text yourself.

The Prompts

  • Nov. 1: #avoidlipo -- Your text may not contain any "e"s.
  • Nov. 2: #monosyllablipo -- All words in your text must consist of exactly one syllable.
  • Nov. 3: #punchcardlipo -- Each sentence in your text must contain exactly 80 characters.
  • Nov. 4: #tautogramlipo -- All words in your text must begin with the same letter. You can choose the letter.
  • Nov. 5: #vomitlipo -- In your text, the order of consonant phonemes in each word must follow the place of articulation; start with phonemes articulated at the back of the mouth, end with phonemes articulated at the front. For instance, "good" starts at the velum and ends at the alveolar ridge. You can follow the table in this article from right to left.
  • Nov. 6: #mirrorlipo -- You may only use letters that have at least one axis of symmetry.
  • Nov. 7: #interleaflipo -- Reading every other word in your text must still yield a full, valid text.
  • Nov. 8: #recyclipo -- The same set of letters must appear in each sentence of your text.
  • Nov. 9: #quintilipo -- All words in your text must contain at least 5 letters.
  • Nov. 10: #vowelringlipo -- The order in which the vowels a, e, i, o, u appear (across words) must stay the same throughout the text. You can pick the order of your vowels.
  • Nov. 11: #monotonelipo -- All words in your text must have the same length.
  • Nov. 12: #frankensteinlipo -- Your text must contain the verbs from another, published text, in the order of appearance, but the substantives of yet another, published text, in the order of appearance; e.g., the verbs from Pride and Prejudice, but the nouns of The Hobbit. Words that are not verbs or nouns can be inserted freely.
  • Nov. 13: #aphasialipo -- Your text may not contain any meaningful substantives; in case you want to use a substantive, you must use a placeholder such as "thing", "stuff", or "whatchamacallit".
  • Nov. 14: #upgolipo -- You may only use the ten hundred most used words in English.
  • Nov. 15: #piphilolipo -- Your text must contain words whose length corresponds to the digits of pi, in order.
  • Nov. 16: #dashakumaracharitalipo -- Your text may not contain any labial consonants ([m], [p], [b], [f], [v]).
  • Nov. 17: #panphonlipo -- Write a text that contains each phoneme of English once. The shorter your text is, the better.
  • Nov. 18: #emojlipo -- You may only use substantives if there is an emoji for them. Write the emoji instead of the word.
  • Nov. 19: #acrostilipo -- The beginning letters of the words in your text must spell out another text, word, or phrase.
  • Nov. 20: #abstractlipo -- You may not use any concrete nouns; all substantives you use must refer to abstract concepts.
  • Nov. 21: #hapaxlipo -- Pick a published text and determine its hapax legomena. Your own text may only consist of the original text's hapaxes.
  • Nov. 22: #rhopalipo -- Each word in your text must be longer than the previous word by one syllable.
  • Nov. 23: #epanodoslipo -- The second sentence of your text must repeat one word from the first sentence. The next sentence must repeat that word and an additional word from the second sentence. Continue as long as you like.
  • Nov. 24: #selfsustainlipo -- You may only use letters and characters that occur in your own full name and title.
  • Nov. 25: #dactylipo -- Your entire text must consist of a row of dactyls.
  • Nov. 26: #eprimelipo -- Your text may contain absolutely no forms of the verb "to be", neither as a full verb nor as an auxiliary verb.
  • Nov. 27: #snpvplipo -- Your entire text must consist of sentences of the form S -> NP VP, that is, sentences must conform to the structure of sentences like "John walks" or "John loves Mary".
  • Nov. 28: #anglipo -- Your text may only contain words of Anglo-Saxon origin.
  • Nov. 29: #ouroborolipo -- Each sentence in your text must end with the same word with which it begins.
  • Nov. 30: #traindenullepartlipo -- Your text may not contain any verbs.
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