I love stories.
If you’ve known me for long, you’ve probably seen me say that before – over and over again. And it’s true. I believe stories are powerful, and that they can influence people strongly, for good and bad.
That’s one huge reason that I love telling stories and being an author. Getting to spread hope and truth through books is a blessing, and I hope to continue for a very long time.
Right now, I’m in an in-between space in my writing. I just published Cabin Girl and am trying to give myself a creative break for a little bit before I dive whole-heartedly into the next book. I’ve found I need that time between big projects to let my mind and body get refreshed and ready to tackle the next thing.
Part of that creative break is taking in as much motivation and material as I can. Refilling my well, so to speak. I’ve been reading a lot more books, my husband and I have been watching a few well-done movies that I’ve been meaning to get to, I’ve been putting together playlists and Pinterest boards for my next story (visual and auditory inspiration!), and I’m generally just getting excited about stories all over again.
That includes reading blog posts and other materials about writing from other authors. To me, reading their experiences and advice is extremely motivating. If they can do it, so can I, right? God willing, of course. So today, I thought I’d take a minute to share fifteen of my favorite quotes about telling stories.
I hope that if you’re in a similar place in your writing journey, where you’re seeking new inspiration, that these quotes help get you excited to write again! And I’d love to know how you inspire yourself to write!
1. “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
~ Brandon Sanderson
2. “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.”
~ Robert McKee
3. “Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world. Think about how many times a day you use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.”
~ Edward Miller
4. “Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others.”
~ Peter Forbes
5. “Tell the story that’s been growing in your heart, the characters you can’t keep out of your head, the tale story that speaks to you, that pops into your head during your daily commute, that wakes you up in the morning.”
~ Jennifer Weiner
6. “I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.”
~ Stephen King
7. “Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”
~ Neil Gaiman
8. “There’s always room for a story that can transport people to another place.”
~ J. K. Rowling
9. “Someone needs to tell those tales. When the battles are fought and won and lost, when the pirates find their treasures and the dragons eat their foes for breakfast with a nice cup of Lapsang souchong, someone needs to tell their bits of overlapping narrative. There’s magic in that. It’s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict. From the mundane to the profound. You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them and who knows what they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.“
~ Erin Morgenstern
10. “A good story should make you laugh, and a moment later break your heart.”
~ Chuck Palahniuk
11. “We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.”
~ Neil Gaiman
12. “Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”
~ Madeleine L’Engle
13. “People think that stories are shaped by people. In fact, it’s the other way around.”
~ Terry Pratchett
14. “Create those things where human protagonists relate to us, where the stakes and conflict grip us, and where the emotions move us. Craft those simple things, those glorious things, those things so often forgotten but so desperately needed. There’s no hidden or corporate meaning behind the word ‘story.’ We know what they are. And we need to start telling them.”
~ Jay Acunzo
15. “I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.”
~ Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings
Did any of these quotes speak to you today? Go ahead and let me know your favorites in the comments, as well as if there is a certain topic you’d like to see more quotes about. While you’re there, I’d love to hear some of your favorite quotes about stories!
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
1. I shared more of my quote collection in many previous posts, which you can find here.