Basic Essence(XBasic) Made Simple

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Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 11:43 am

Post Thu Oct 07, 2010 10:25 pm

Basic Essence(XBasic) Made Simple

Hi there,
  Even with the copious attempts to explain Essence Mapping adequately, people still have a hard time understanding. I'm going to try to explain the basic concept of Essence Mapping in the simplest terms possible in hopes that anyone can come away from this post with a satisfactory understanding.
  The first thing everyone wants to know: "What is an essence map?"
My simplest definition that says everything you need to know:
An essence map is basically an outline of poetic/artistic descriptions of the very nature of a thing as you perceive it.
The basic principles behind this concept:
Every thing, person, idea, emotion, place, etc. has a core nature or "essence"
Every person on the planet has their own unique perspective. Thus no two people perceive anything exactly the same way, including essences.
Essence maps are an attempt to convey the unique impression you have of something's essence.
Are you with me so far?

  Now let's move on to how to read an essence map.
The main goal of an essence map is to organize the different impressions you have of a thing in as neatly a manner as possible.
In order to do this there are different levels that we use to classify an impression, much like the different levels of an outline. We call these levels Attributes. The basic Attributes are:
 Aspect - a general overall part or feature of a thing. For a person these would be features such as body, mind, spirit, soul. For a non-person you look for broad categories that other attributes can be grouped into.
  Class - this is a certain quality or feature of one of the Aspects. Let's go back to the example of a person and look at the Aspect of the Body. Some of the Classes you could have include a specific part of the body (many like to focus on the face) as well as certain qualities of the body such as motion, posture, etc.
   Characteristic - a more focused feature or quality of a Class into which the different impressions can be grouped.
     Element - an artistic impression, usually a metaphor describing the Characteristic. Usually there are multiple elements for each Characteristic.
In the end it will look something like this
Aspect {
 Class [
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)]
Class [
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)]}
I'll probably come back later and do a separate post on the arrangement (commonly called Syntax) of an essence map. Though Lady Rwebhu Kidh has also done an excellent explanation of this here. The last thing you need to know is that any Attribute can be placed directly beneath any Attribute of the same or larger level. So you could have Elements directly under an Aspect, but you couldn't have an Aspect under a Class or under a Characteristic.
***In English I just said that any smaller level/group can be directly underneath any larger level/group (unlike in your standard outline). Thus you could have an individual impression directly under a broad category or feature, but you can't have a broad category under a quality of a category or one of its smaller features.
This means an Essence Map can look something like this:
Aspect {
 < element >
 Class [
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)]
 Characteristic (
  < element >
  < element >)
 Class [
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)
  Characteristic (
   < element >
    < element >)]}
In a standard outline the above would like this:
I.
 a)
 A.
  1.
   a)
   b)
 1.
  a)
  b)
 B.
  1.
   a)
   b)
  2.
   a)
   b)
Wouldn't work on a standard outline, but for an Essence Map it's perfectly allowed. This is always the hardest part to explain understandably, but if you take a look at a few Essence Maps, you'll see what I'm talking about. If you keep the idea of an Essence Map being an outline in your head as you read one, you should be able to make sense of it fairly quickly.
  Now how to make an Essence Map. Basically, if you understood the past two parts then you understand all that you need to in order to make an essence map.
*Choose your subject. It can honestly be ANYTHING. The only reason I used the example of a person was because many people on here seem to find Essence Maps very handy for describing their characters and I wanted you to have a fighting chance at understanding most of the maps on here (except for mine that is ;) ). So pick your subject, then think of the first impressions that enter your mind when you think about this subject.
*Next, look at the impressions you've come up with and decide what Attribute of the subject each impression relates to. Start with a broad category than narrow your focus.
 For instance. Let's say I want to make an Essence Map of my impression of a hawk. My impressions are Freedom like a leaf blowing on the wind, Eyes that pierce your soul, and Wings beating like ocean waves.
All of my impressions deal with a hawk's body, so that would be the broad category I start with as my first Aspect. Two of my impressions deal with how the hawk moves and one deals with its eyes which are on it's head, so motion would be one of my Classes and Head would be another. Now Leaf on the wind deals with the freedom of the hawk's movement so Freedom would be a Characteristic under Motion. While ocean waves deals with how the wings move so I'll put Wings as a Characteristic (Technically I could put Wings as my Class and Motions as my Characteristic under it, but I decided not to for this example). Whereas the Characteristic under Head would be Eyes. So my map would look something like this:
Body{
 Motion[
  Freedom(
   <a leaf on the wind>)
  Wings(
   <the rise and fall of ocean waves>)]
 Head[
  Eyes(
   <a needle through the soul>)]}
Make sense? Hope this helps.

In Christ,
Jordan
Coinnigh beo an solas a bhíonn i do chroí

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Post Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:41 pm

Re: Basic Essence(XBasic) Made Simple

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