The Alphabet Sufficiency

I was a little bit surprised, to be honest, when my writing tips (such as they are) resulted in the rapid creation of the Alphabet Supremacy, a year long writing project, for which Jonathan Lange and Bice Dibley will each write around 30000 words:

Here’s how it’s going to work:

  • Week 1, jml picks a word starting with ‘A’, we both write something
  • Week 2, Bice picks an ‘A’, we both write something
  • Repeat 24 more times, skipping ‘X’ because no one likes xylophones and because we want Christmas off

I was also frankly jealous because I love extended written conversations (even as loose a conversation as this). But I also wasn’t invited to play, dammit, and in any case a year-long commitment is not the thing for me right now. If the amount of personal change and variability of energy levels I experienced in 2012 continues I will be living in a leper colony on the Moon by December 2013.

However, Martin Pool has kindly agreed to a modified version, which I call the Alphabet Sufficiency. The fundamental idea is the same: once a week, one of us nominates a topic for a pre-chosen letter, and both of us write 600+ words on that topic, and then the other chooses a topic the following week. However, given the whole Moon situation, it will be a six week project, not a year-long one. We have therefore modified the rules as follows:

  • six letters have been chosen by an arcane and complicated process (see end of post), those letters being K, M, A, V, F and I (note that while X was not selected, it was eligible)
  • letters won’t repeat for two weeks: Mary will choose the K, A and F topics and Martin the M, V and I topics, but both authors will write a post for each of the six topics
  • words already chosen by the Alphabet Supremacy up to that point are not allowed as topics, although with some good faith allowance for race conditions (and as a humble copycat project, we impose no restrictions on the Alphabet Supremacy re-using our topics)
  • the first post is due before Thursday February 14 midnight Sydney time (as in 0000, so the midnight between Wednesday and Thursday!), and then weekly thereafter for 6 weeks

The ‘k’ word will be ‘kin’.

$ python
>>> import random, string
>>> random.sample(string.ascii_lowercase, 6)
['k', 'm', 'a', 'v', 'f', 'i']

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