Top Narrative Story Quotes

Browse top 66 famous quotes and sayings about Narrative Story by most favorite authors.

Favorite Narrative Story Quotes

1. "Novels institutionalize the ruse of eros. It becomes a narrative texture of sustained incongruence, emotional and cognitive. It permits the reader to stand in triangular relation to the characters in the story and reach into the text after the objects of their desire, sharing their longing but also detached from it, seeing their view of reality but also its mistakenness. It is almost like being in love."
Author: Anne Carson
2. "The Hmong have a phrase, hais cuaj txub kaum txub, which means "to speak of all kinds of things." It is often used at the beginning of an oral narrative as a way of reminding the listeners that the world is full of things that may not seem to be connected but actually are; that no event occurs in isolation; that you can miss a lot by sticking to the point; and that the storyteller is likely to be rather long-winded."
Author: Anne Fadiman
3. "Writers imagine that they cull stories from the world. I'm beginning to believe that vanity makes them think so. That it's actually the other way around. Stories cull writers from the world. Stories reveal themselves to us. The public narrative, the private narrative - they colonize us. They commission us. They insist on being told. Fiction and nonfiction are only different techniques of story telling. For reasons that I don't fully understand, fiction dances out of me, and nonfiction is wrenched out by the aching, broken world I wake up to every morning."
Author: Arundhati Roy
4. "All the gossip and craziness becomes a kind of sustained narrative which, in turn, can become history. It's scary."
Author: Barbara Kruger
5. "What was true of an ancient community of Christian believers struggling with a powerful and appealing philosophy is also true for Christians in a postmodern context. Arguments that deconstruct the regimes of truth at work in the late modern culture of global capitalism are indispensable. So also is a deeper understanding of the counterideological force of the biblical tradition. But such arguments are no guarantee that the biblical metanarrative will not be co-opted for ideological purposes of violent exclusion, nor do arguments prove the truth of the gospel. Only the nonideological, embracing, forgiving and shalom-filled life of a dynamic Christian community formed by the story of Jesus will prove the gospel to be true and render the idolatrous alternatives fundamentally implausible."
Author: Brian J. Walsh
6. "I like narrative storytelling as being part of a tradition, a folk tradition."
Author: Bruce Springsteen
7. "As the unmusical listener wants only the Tune, so the unliterary reader wants only the Event. The one ignores nearly all the sounds the orchestra is actually making; he wants to hum the tune. The other ignores nearly all that the words before him are doing; he wants to know what happened next.He reads only narrative because only there will he find an Event. He is deaf to the aural side of what he reads because rhythm and melody do not help him to discover who married (rescued, robbed, raped, or murdered) whom. He likes 'strip' narratives and almost wordless films because in them nothing stands between him and the Event. And he likes speed because a very swift story is all events."
Author: C.S. Lewis
8. "A circular plot structure, often seen in adventure novels and quest fantasies, is a narrative devise involving setting, character, and theme. Typically a protagonist ventures from home (or the starting place of the story), goes on a journey, often a dangerous one in which many challenges are overcome, and then returns home a changed person. The plot is usually chronological, with the events occurring in a setting that becomes a circle. By returning the character to the place where he started, the author can emphasize the character's growth or change while also highlighting the theme of the story."
Author: Carl M. Tomlinson
9. "In Russian fairy tales, the narrative flows a little differently. In those stories, you won't find a tale for Cinderella, one for Snow White, one for Rapunzel. Instead, a peculiar cast of characters recurs over and over, in nearly every story, performing different acts and suffering different sorrows, but remaining the same. Ivan the Fool. Yelena the Bright. Baba Yaga. Vasilisa the Brave. Koschei the Deathless."
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
10. "The minister paused in his narrative. At that moment there came a tremendous blast of wind which shook the windows of the manse, and burst open the hall door, and caused the candles to flicker and the fire to go roaring up the chimney. It is not too much to say that, what with the uncanny story, and the howling storm, we all felt that creeping sort of uneasiness which so often seems like the touch of something from another world - a hand stretched across the boundary-line of time and eternity, the coldness and mystery of which make the stoutest heart tremble. ("Sandy The Tinker")"
Author: Charlotte Riddell
11. "After all, it was only a story,' I said, determined to prove her wrong. 'All manner of terrible things may happen in a story. They may be startling at the time, but it passes. One gets caught up in the narrative, but the dangers aren't real, are they? Things happen in any way the storyteller chooses. It is all just made up."
Author: Chris Priestley
12. "Living "in" a story, being part of a narrative, is much more satisfying than living without one. I don't always know what narrative it is, because I'm living my life and not always reflecting on it, but as I edit these pages I am aware that I have an urge to see my sometimes random wandering as having a plot, a purpose guided by some underlying story."
Author: David Byrne
13. "My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader. I was always told to write for the average reader in my newspaper life. The average reader, as they meant it, was some suburban white subscriber with two-point-whatever kids and three-point-whatever cars and a dog and a cat and lawn furniture. He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden. Fuck him. Fuck him to hell."
Author: David Simon
14. "There was a terminal narrative. It was a story until it stopped being a story and until then they kept wanting to know. Give up... Surrender your need for the detail; there is only one way this is going to end."
Author: Emily Perkins
15. "As has already been noted, fantastic literature developed at precisely the moment when genuine belief in the supernatural was on the wane, and when the sources provided by folklore could safely be used as literary material. It is almost a necessity, for the writer as well as for the reader of fantastic literature, that he or she should not believe in the literal truth of the beings and objects described, although the preferred mode of literary expression is a naive realism. Authors of fantastic literature are, with a few exceptions, not out to convert, but to set down a narrative story endowed with the consistency and conviction of inner reality only during the time of the reading: a game, sometimes a highly serious game, with anxiety and fright, horror and terror."
Author: Franz Rottensteiner
16. "I think that narrative, fiction filmmaking is the culmination of several art forms: theater, art history, architecture. Whereas doc filmmaking is more pure cinema, like cinema verite is film in its purest form."
Author: George Hickenlooper
17. "The best stories proceed from a mysterious truth-seeking impulse that narrative has when revised extensively; they are complex and baffling and ambiguous; they tend to make us slower to act, rather than quicker. They make us more humble, cause us to empathize with people we don't know, because they help us imagine these people, and when we imagine them—if the storytelling is good enough—we imagine them as being, essentially, like us. If the story is poor, or has an agenda, if it comes out of a paucity of imagination or is rushed, we imagine those other people as essentially unlike us: unknowable, inscrutable, incontrovertible."
Author: George Saunders
18. "The historical fact is that cinema was constituted as such by becoming narrative, by presenting a story, and by rejecting its other possible directions. The approximation which follows is that, from that point, the sequences of images and even each image, a single shot, are assimilated to propositions or rather oral utterances [...]."
Author: Gilles Deleuze
19. "Life is never static. Despite catastrophic tragedies, life has persisted in evolving new varieties of unimaginable forms. I find comfort in the narrative of evolutionary history."
Author: Greg Graffin
20. "Certainly as an actor, half of your work is not going to end up on the screen anyway, because in the editorial process, they need to cut to the other actor in the scene. Very often, your best work ends up on the cutting room floor, because it just doesn't work with the overall narrative drive of the story."
Author: Hart Bochner
21. "Rachel Resnick's story of love lost and love sought cracks open the timeworn addiction narrative to release something raw, probing, brave, and redemptive. The courage it took to write this story is challenged only by the courage it must have taken to live it. I sit in awe of such unflinching honesty. LOVE JUNKIE is memoir at its very best."
Author: Hope Edelman
22. "The narrative compression of storytelling, especially in the movies, beguiles us with happy endings into forgetting that sustained stress is corrosive of feeling. It's the great deadener. Those moments of joyful release from terror are not so easily had."
Author: Ian McEwan
23. "Narratives are the primary way in which we make sense of our lives, as opposed to, for example schema,cognition, beliefs, constructs. Definition of narrative include the important element of giving meaning to events and experiences over time by connecting them as a developing, continuing story."
Author: Jacqui Stedmon
24. "...a fundamental rule of journalism, which is to tell a story and stick to it. The narratives of journalism (significantly called "stories"), like those of mythology and folklore, derive their power from their firm, undeviating sympathies and antipathies. Cinderella must remain good and the stepsisters bad. "Second stepsister not so bad after all" is not a good story."
Author: Janet Malcolm
25. "That's the big difference between [the BookWorld] and [the RealWorld]," said Plum. "When things happen after a randomly pointless event, all that follows is simply unintended consequences, not a coherent narrative thrust that propels the story forward."I rolled the idea of unintended consequences around in my head. "Nope, I said finally, "you've got me on that one.""It confuses me, too," admitted Plum, "but that's the RealWorld for you. A brutal and beautiful place, run for the most part on passion, fads, incentives, and mathematics. A lot of mathematics."
Author: Jasper Fforde
26. "There it is; the light across the water. Your story. Mine. His. It has to be seen to be believed. And it has to be heard. In the endless babble of narrative, in spite of the daily noise, the story waits to be heard.Some people say that the best stories have no words. They weren't brought up to Lighthousekeeping. It is true that words drop away, and that the important things are often left unsaid. The important things are learned in faces, in gestures, not in our locked tongues. The true things are too big or too small, or in any case is always the wrong size to fit in the template called language."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
27. "Reading yourself as a fiction as well as a fact is the only way to keep the narrative open - the only way to stop the story from running away under its own momentum, often towards an ending no one wants."
Author: Jeanette Winterson
28. "A continuing narrative throughout Australia's history that says it is better to build up than to tear down - this is the continuing mission of Labor."
Author: Kevin Rudd
29. "It was a war about fear, he thought, not figures on the ground. It was a war of narrative, a story of a war, and it grew in the telling."
Author: Lavie Tidhar
30. "I'm unsure why one trifling incident this afternoon has moved me to write to you. But since we've been separated, I may most miss coming home to deliver the narrative curiosities of my day, the way a cat might lay mice at your feet: the small, humble offerings that couples proffer after foraging in separate backyards. Were you still installed in my kitchen, slathering crunchy peanut butter on Branola though it was almost time for dinner, I'd no sooner have put down the bags, one leaking a clear vicious drool, than this little story would come tumbling out, even before I chided that we're having pasta tonight so would you please not eat that whole sandwich."
Author: Lionel Shriver
31. "This time it was the sentence opening the last part of a story I had worked on for months: a sentence as is often worked off paper first. The pace of narrative and interest in character do not readily help the writer's hand to set down a sentence of that order. For though characters must take things in their own stride – somewhere in his story the writer cannot hold back this sentence that judges them. He wants it unobtrusive to his pace and the characters that caused him to write. The difficulty is to judge without seeming to be there, with a finality in the words that will make them casual and part of the story itself, except perhaps to another age."
Author: Louis Zukofsky
32. "Debt . . . . that peculiar nexus where money, narrative or story, and religious belief intersect, often with explosive force."
Author: Margaret Atwood
33. "But most critically, sweet, never try to change the narrative structure of someone else's story, though you will certainly be tempted to, as you watch those poor souls in school, in life, heading unwittingly down dangerous tangents, fatal digressions from which they will unlikely be able to emerge. Resist the temptation. Spend your energies on your story. Reworking it. Making it better."
Author: Marisha Pessl
34. "As the years progress and we experience more and more, the mini-narratives that make up our lives are distorted, corrupted, so that every one of us is left with a false history, a self-created fiction about the live we have led. pg 163"
Author: Michelle Richmond
35. "Unix is not so much a product as it is a painstakingly compiled oral history of the hacker subculture. It is our Gilgamesh epic: a living body of narrative that many people know by heart, and tell over and over again—making their own personal embellishments whenever it strikes their fancy. The bad embellishments are shouted down, the good ones picked up by others, polished, improved, and, over time, incorporated into the story. […] Thus Unix has slowly accreted around a simple kernel and acquired a kind of complexity and asymmetry about it that is organic, like the roots of a tree, or the branchings of a coronary artery. Understanding it is more like anatomy than physics."
Author: Neal Stephenson
36. "Writing a balanced, beautiful novel, where plot and character and setting and pacing and narrative structure and imagery and, above all, story work in harmony and true proportion, is fucking *hard*." --Nicola Griffith,www.strangehorizons.com/2003/20030929..."
Author: Nicola Griffith
37. "Narrative identity takes part in the story's movement, in the dialectic between order and disorder."
Author: Paul Ricoeur
38. "Truth may be stranger than fiction on a plot and narrative basis, but fiction can investigate tone in a way that things based on a true story can't."
Author: Ray McKinnon
39. "[In mountaineering, if] we look for private experience rather than public history, even getting to the top becomes an optional narrative rather than the main point, and those who only wander in high places become part of the story."
Author: Rebecca Solnit
40. "Reading may be the last secretive behavior that is neither pathological or prosecutable. It is certainly the last refuge from the real-time epidemic. For the stream of a narrative overflows the banks of the real. Story strips its reader, holding her in a place time can't reach. A book's power lies in its ability to erase us, to expand or contract without limit, to circle inside itself without beginning or end, to defy our imaginary timetables and lay us bare to a more basic ticking. The pages we read are a nowhen, unfolding far outside the public arena. As long as we remain in them, now reveals itself to be the baldest of inventions."
Author: Richard Powers
41. "There is in this valley a beating heart. It is always and ever there. And when I am gone, it will beat for you and when you are gone, it will beat for your children and theirs, forever. Forever. Until there is no water, no air, no green in the spring or gold in the autumn, no stars in the sky or wind from the north. And when you cannot speak, it will speak for you. When you cannot see, it will be your eyes. When you cannot remember, it will be your memory. It will never forget you. And when you cannot be faithful, it will save a place for your return. This is a gift to you. It cannot be taken away. It is yours forever. It is the narrative of this world, and the scrapbook of your own small life, and, when you are gone into ash and darkness and the grave, it will tell your story."
Author: Robert Goolrick
42. "The witch-hunt narrative is a really popular story that goes like this: Lots of people were falsely convicted of child sexual abuse in the 1980s and early 1990s. And they were all victims of a witch-hunt. It just doesn't happen to line up with the facts when you actually look at the cases themselves in detail. But it's a really popular narrative — I think it's absolutely fair to say that's the conventional wisdom. It's what most people now think is the uncontested truth, and those cases had no basis in fact. And what 15 years of painstaking trial court research (says) is that that's not a very fair description of those cases, and in fact many of those cases had substantial evidence of abuse. The witch-hunt narrative is that these were all gross injustices to the defendant. In fact, what it looks like in retrospect is the injustices were much more often to children."
Author: Ross Cheit
43. "Liberated from Saturn, from the order that for years had kept us in line, our narrative organized and mindful of the conventions of story. Now the order had been upset, lost in a melee of voices that for years wanted their freedom."
Author: Salvador Plascencia
44. "Anatomy of a MovementSenator Bill Bradley defines a movement as having three elements: (1) A narrative that tells a story about who we are and the future we're trying to build. (2) A connection between and among the leader and the tribe. (3) Something to do - the fewer limits the better. Too often organizations fail to do anything but the third."
Author: Seth Godin
45. "There's a long history of anthropomorphic animals in Japanese literature. The so-called 'funny animal scrolls' were the first narratives in Japanese history, and the heroes of many folk tales have animals as their companions."
Author: Stan Sakai
46. "The feminist story, she reminded me, is a counternarrative, a narrative of disobedience, a chronicle of battle, nto of surrender. Women who do not fit the mold are too often maneuvered, manipulated, and mangled into some culturally safe archetype. The makers of history transformed perpetua intoa cold, unfeeling mother - a villan of sorts. But who is to say that becoming a mother didn't also push Perpetua to become a martyr, didn't cause her to passionatley uphold her religious ideals because she wanted to offer her son the greatest gift she could - an ideal? Maybe, in the end, Perpetua's maternal instincts were precisely what gave her the strength to confront the burliest Roman gladiator and the to lie down with dignity?"
Author: Stephanie Staal
47. "The ending shouldn't determine the meaning of anything, a story or a life. Logically, I don't think it can--didn't Heidegger say something to that effect? That the meaning of all our moments cannot be contingent upon an end-point over which we have no control? That if we are happy right now, that means something, even if we die tomorrow? Narrative integrity is overrated. I don't need to know that the story of my life has a happy ending to enjoy it. A good thing, too, because I hear all the characters die in the end."
Author: Stevenson Alexa
48. "One of the most moving narratives of modern history is the story of how men and women languishing under various forms of oppression came to acquire, often at great personal cost, the sort of technical knowledge necessary for them to understand their own condition more deeply, and so acquire some of the theoretical armoury essential to change it. ... There is no reason why literary critics should not turn to autobiography or anecdotalism, or simply slice up their texts and deliver them to their publishers in a cardboard box, if they are not so politically placed as to need emancipatory knowledge."
Author: Terry Eagleton
49. "Even the pictures I was doing at college - a little narrative based on a butterfly catcher, or a chimney sweep - the images were always telling stories. They were all scenarios and moods which I storyboarded and worked through - it's exactly what I do now."
Author: Tim Walker
50. "...the video-game form is incompatible with traditional concepts of narrative progression. Stories are about time passing and narrative progression. Games are about challenge, which frustrates the passing of time and impedes narrative progression. The story force wants to go forward and the "friction force" of challenge tries to hold story back. This is the conflict at the heart of the narrative game, one that game designers have thus far imperfectly addressed by making story the reward of a successfully met challenge."
Author: Tom Bissell

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And then-The lights are on.My first reaction is the lack of one. I'm too stunned. One second later, though, I hit the deck, pulling at the blankets below me and shielding my eyes."
Author: Alecia Whitaker

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