1. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada

    L+e+i=p

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Thagryn-Sylrand, Jul 22, 2008.

    I don't know if anyone has heard of this before but I heard of it from a professor who teaches english students. Lucidity + Elegance + Individuality = Permanence. I will try to explain it to the best of my knowledge.

    The example he gave me for lucidity was "Mother died today. Or perhaps it was yesterday, I don’t know." - The Stranger by Albert Camus. That is the first line of the novel he Albert Camus wrote. The professor chose this because the message is very clear and easy to understand. If everything you wrote was lucid you would most likely capture the readers attention.

    Edit: I don't know what elegance is then.

    The last one is Individuality. It is pretty self explanatory but it is probably the hardest one to master. If you think about it, most stories these days have a recycled plot with changes of setting and characters (even the characters might be similar in personality).

    And what does this all mean? By permanence he basically means shelf life of a story you get published. Anyways take care and write on!
     
  2. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    Sorry, "Her hair was wet" may not be elegant in your eyes, but "Her hair was rainy" is a horrible sentence, a broken metaphor. Even if the second choice had been worded elegantly, that means nothing; eloquence(which is more specific), not elegance should be a writer's goal.
     
  3. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    describe eloquence, and yes i didn't choose rainy either but i can't think of anything else. How would you change this advice?
     
  4. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Eloquence consists of writing or speaking with precision and color. Often it means being able to select the one word in the language that conveys multiple dimensions of a thought simultaneously.

    She paused before the showroom window.

    She lingered before the showroom window.

    The second sentence describes the same interruption in motion, but hints at a motivation as well, that there is something there that makes her resist continuing on.
     
  5. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    Very good Cog...I envisioned my wife and you made my credit card tttremble! LOL
     
  6. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    thanks cogito
     
  7. TwinPanther13
    Offline

    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    407
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Dallas
    I will say that elegant is a proper use of terminology. An authorss use of vocabulary can be elegant in its eloquence as was cogito's example lets say that we knew something was going to happen in the showroom she wants to see.

    She lingered before the showroom window anticipating the coming attraction

    She lingered before the showroom window with anticipation for the coming attraction

    She lingered before the showroom window in anticipation of the coming attraction

    She lingered before the showroom window in anticipation of her hearts desire.

    the later sentence in my opinion is more elegant but a little over the top. but in my mind most elegant things are over the top
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Yes, to me, elegance can lure one to excesses. But I think the only way to go wrong with eloquence is if you are narrating from th eperspective of a rough-hewn character. But even there, eloquence would be selecting the best choice of words from that character's lexicon.
     
  9. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    So, I've simplified the equation from "L+I+E=P"
    To "E=P".

    Not too shabby, that.
     
  10. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    Lucidity and individuality are still important don't you think etan?
     
  11. Teele
    Offline

    Teele Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,330
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada
    Myself, I think both eloquence AND elegance are important in writing. Eloquence is the more specific aspect, and is something that is concretely obtainable. But even with eloquence, you can still tell a crappy story. It'll just be a crappy story that sounds nice. Elegance, though, is more than that; it's something that can't really be put in a textbook or English course, because its elusive. Its a goal that all writers aspire to.
    Lucidity, I don't know about. From the way you describe it, it suggests to me merely that we keep the human factors of the story intact. Not just the effects of emotions on our memories (as the example dictates) but all aspects of life.
    And finally, individuality is SO important. Any story must be made your own.
    There's my two bits. G'day all!
     
  12. tehuti88
    Offline

    tehuti88 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2008
    Messages:
    642
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Michigan
    All these things may be important, yes, but to actually have to stop and think about them during the writing process, I can't imagine how anyone would get something written that way. :/ Writing should be natural, not something where you say, "I must make this sentence elegant...and right here, I must infuse it with some individuality..." When a writer consciously thinks of these things, the story will probably end up coming out forced and false sounding...nowhere near elegant or lucid or anything. Just heavyhanded and pedantic.

    As well, what's considered elegant or individual or lucid varies so much among different people, there's no certain way to tell if a particular work will have permanence or not until many years have gone by. When I browse books online in the public domain, you wouldn't believe how many of them feature glowing reviews and endorsements from people saying stuff like, "This is a work that will live through the ages," yet the book is practically unknown today. It's an interesting theory, and has merit, but it seems that's all it ever could be, is a theory. Something intriguing to think about but ultimately unproveable (sic?).

    I think that, rather than setting out to write something that is elegant or lucid or individual, with the ultimate goal of it being permanent, a writer should just focus on writing it the best they can, personally. The work will probably reflect that effort.
     
  13. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    A writer should always write the best he or she can today. Building habits like L+E+I=P into your thought process helps make tomorrow's writng even better.

    You may have trouble thinking of the formula when you're throwing down a first draft. But you can measure your writing's effectiveness with it when you go back to revise it.

    Before long, it becomes second nature as you're writing it down the first time, so you find yourself thinking, that line was not as clear as it could be, or that word is a bit off, what's a better word to use there?
     
  14. Etan Isar
    Offline

    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2007
    Messages:
    1,183
    Likes Received:
    32
    I prefer the term "clarity", and it falls under "eloquence" to some extent.



    I think any sort of abstract formula like this is rather silly. It's something to get one thinking, but not necessarily something to be applied.
     
  15. JavaMan
    Offline

    JavaMan Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Likes Received:
    1
    I was very recently playing with the idea of some sort of formula myself, but I've given up on the idea of such a thing - for the most part. Today, I read a short artical on Poe's genius. Basically it said that Poe wrote so well because he was honest with the existential idea of his own utopia of beauty. The women he wrote about, for example were either his ideal woman or one of the many who died from turboculosis, etc.

    What I am saying is that I don't think there is a sort of concrete formula that will get successful results for any person who applies it properly. An artist has to determine, almost entirely, his/her own particular formula, method, or whatever which best expresses him/herself.
     
  16. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Very true. On the other hand, it's not a bad thing to keep a small set of fundamental principles in mind for a while. If they turn out to useful, you add that perpective to your repertoire. If not, you don't.

    Even though L+E+I=P is expressed as an equation, I think you do yourself an injustice if you dismiss it as a formula. It's hardly a cookie cutter approach, even if you overlook the I for Individuality.

    Be clear and precise in your writing, and develop your unique voice. That is not the least bit formulaic, in my opinion.
     
  17. Thagryn-Sylrand
    Offline

    Thagryn-Sylrand Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2008
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Saskatoon, SK, Canada
    The whole reason this is expressed like an equation is so it's easy to remember. I don't think it's a necessary for great writing I am just putting it out there because I think it has some valid points. I definitely didn't mean it to be strict writing rules but lucidity (or clarity) is good to check for if you don't want your reader to be confused by a mucky sentence. Ya I guess elegance wasn't the right word put it can help to some extent. And individuality is the most obvious. Just something to consider. Thanks you guys!
     

Share This Page