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The Museum of Vestigial Desire


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Before we have a story, before our story has a graph, it will need to have a skeleton. A skeleton describes the material of the story in the form of a meta-description. This meta-description is possible to tweak without the sentiment and emotional investment that the characters demand. Much before the story even becomes intertwined in situations, characters and the colours and smell of life in general, it is a blueprint. Narrative are seeds of stories, sometimes they succeed in germinating and developing fully and sometimes not. Narratives which do manage to develop and grow, have a distinct blueprint. Where does this come from? How does blueprint enter the narrative?

Blueprints have an autonomous existence. They kind of float around. When they sense a vulnerable narrative, they hijack it. Blueprints are known by many names, we are not going to list them here. But whichever name you call them by, they have been around for a very long time. They pick up various elements from their environment. They pick up elements which over time have either become so common and recurrent that stories cannot be imagined without them. Like the beginning. All stories start somewhere. At least, that much is a given.

Once a story starts, it might never end. And if a story never ends, its middle cannot be determined. Only the beginning is a part of the blueprint. Then it has other elements.

Blueprints are not singular entities. They are like genetic material. They mix and interlope and form hybrids and hold the potential to form infinite combinations. Stories of all kinds can be told. Stories can be good as well as bad, it does not matter. It matters that sometimes the narrator of the story does not listen very well to the needs of the underlying blueprint and does not serve its needs fully. Stories might have fallouts with their blueprints and be unfinished entities that do not really make sense. It is not the designated job of stories to make sense. It is alright if they do not make sense sometimes and fail. We do not care. We care about the blueprint. And the failure of the story is not the failure of the blueprint. The failure of the story is because of the failure to listen and respond to the blueprint in which ever hybrid form it exists in the particular case.

These failed stories cannot be wished away. They cannot be done away with. One way or another, when least expected, stories will fail. Stories fail because of the loss of sync with their intrinsic blueprint. How stories fail is by failing to work. Their work is to deliver themselves without any break in the experience, without any chance to get distracted and get consumed by something else. Stories need to be monogamous and benevolent, else they can be dismissed as mere fragments. All the coherence can be discarded, content dismissed like noise.

Blueprints are formed by emotions, the mechanisms that the characters employ to deal with the emotions and the narrative associations that justify the choice of the mechanisms. Knowing the blueprints is not definitive knowledge that can unlock some secret answers to life, social situations are puzzles framed by history, it is never going to be possible to resolve them fully. Perspectives can be partially switched, that’s all.

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