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Quotations on Story, Stories Quotations

StoryScience.com  30+ speakers 
World’s 1st Conference on the Art, Science & Application of Story,

September 26-29, 2002,  Palm Springs, CA     

If you want to take the next step after a story structure workshop, attend StoryCon, where you'll hear the advanced ideas of dozens of experts on story creation.

 

31 of  60+ quotes from Rob Kall's personal quotation database. Doing a talk, presentation, book or chapter and need special topics? Call for very reasonable prices on a special quotation search. If you use a quote from here, please acknowledge the source and the help in the appropriate section of your  book.

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Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999

"This first stage of the mythological journey--which we have designated the "call to adventure" --signifies that destiny has summoned the hero and transferred his spiritual center of gravity from within the pale of his society to a zone unknown."
Joseph Campbell, The Hero With A Thousand Faces

''When you are up then you must know that you are up! You enjoy the view and are stimulated by it. Also the end must feel as though it is an end.''
Victor Von Karajan
 
I asked Ring Lardner the other day how he writes his short stories, and he said he wrote a few widely separated words or phrases on a piece of paper and then went back and filled in the spaces.
Harold Ross
 
The universe is made of stories, not atoms.
Muriel Rukeyser
 
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity
Gilda Radner
 
"Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act." --Truman Capote
"All the best stories are but one story in reality--the story of escape. It is the only thing which interests us all and at all times, how to escape." --A.C. Benson
 
"Those times of depression tell you that it’s either time to get out of the story your in and move into a new story, or that you’re in the right story but there’s some piece of it you are not living out." (Carol S. Pearson)
 
It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story."
Native American saying
The history of life is a tale of decimation and later stabilization of few surviving anatomies, not a story of steady expansion and progress.
Gould, Stephen Jay, Bully for Brontosaurus. Reflections in Natural History. New York (W.W. Norton), 1991, 243
 
I will tell you something about stories, (he said)
They aren't just entertainment.
Don't be fooled.
They are all we have, you see,
All we have to fight off
illness and death
-- Leslie Marmon Silko
 
Everyone is necessarily the hero of his own life story.
JOHN BARTH
 
In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.
WALTER CRONKITE
 
It is frequently the tragedy of the great artist, as it is of the great scientist, that he frightens the ordinary man. If he is more than a popular story-teller it may take humanity a generation to absorb and grow accustomed to the new geography with which the scientist or artist presents us. Even then, perhaps only the more imaginative and literate may accept him. Subconsciously the genius is feared as an image breaker; frequently he does not accept the opinions of the mass, or man's opinion of himself.
Loren Eiseley, The Mind as Nature
 
The great thing is to last and get your work done, and see and hear and understand and write when there is something that you know and not before and not too damn much afterwards.
Ernest Hemingway
 
Art can only be truly Art by presenting an adequate outward symbol of some fact in the interior life.
Margaret Fuller (1810-1850) U.S. critic, social reformer, writer
 
It has taken me years of struggle, hard work and research to learn to make one simple gesture, and I know enough about the art of writing to realize that it would take as many years of concentrated effort to write one simple, beautiful sentence.
Isadora Duncan
 
Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be.
It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
Anaias Nin
The source of all clichés is the writer does not know the setting he’s created-- they write the same old shit-- Why? Because they do not know the world of their story.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
When you do enough research, the story almost writes itself. Lines of development spring loose and you’ll have choices galore.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
Ninety percent of what we create is not our best work.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
The dirty secret of art is you don’t have to show people your bad writing. ,,,That’s what we have the delete key for.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
You cannot ask the question which is more important, plot or character, because they are the same thing.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
True, clear or deep character is expressed by the way a character makes choices under pressure in pursuit of desire. How the character chooses under pressure is the only way to know the truth of the character.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
Discovery of the underlying true character is a delight (for the audience.).
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
The function of story is to provide conflict and pressure so character can reveal through choices, deep character.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
The protagonist is the emotional door they (the audience) go through to get into the movie.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
The audience expects storytelling to take art and life to the limit --the depth and breadth of human experience.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
All of nature is basically conservative-- it doesn’t exert any energy or take any risks if it doesn’t have to. Ninety nine percent of the time in life this approach works. Never! Never! in story. in story, the effect of taking that minimal conservative action leads to forces of antagonism which thwart their desire.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
The substance of writing is the gap--the splitting open of reality from what the character thinks will happen and what really does open.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
 
Screenwriting is the only original art form in a film.
Robert McKee, at his Story Structure Workshop, 1999
This batch of quotes on story and stories was inspired by my attending an extraordinary workshop on Story Structure with Robert McKee. Check out his website at :http://www.mckeestory.com/
Or Get his book from Amazon.com
If you write stories, finding McKee is like finding a treasure trove.
StoryScience.com  30+ speakers 
World’s 1st Conference on the Art, Science & Application of Story,

September 26-29, 2002,  Palm Springs, CA     

If you want to take the next step after a story structure workshop, attend StoryCon, where you'll hear the advanced ideas of dozens of experts on story creation.

 

 

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