Welcome to the web’s most comprehensive site of quotations by women. 44,539 quotations are searchable by topic, by author's name, or by keyword. Many of them appear in no other collection. And new ones are added continually.

See All TOPICS Available:
See All AUTHORS Available:

Search by Topic:

  • topic cats
  • topic books
  • topic moon

Find quotations by TOPIC (coffee, love, dogs)
or search alphabetically below.

Search by Last Name:

  • Quotes by Zora Neale Hurston
  • Quotes by Louisa May Alcott
  • Quotes by Chingling Soong

Find quotations by the AUTHOR´S LAST NAME
or alphabetically below.

Search by Keyword:

  • keyword fishing
  • keyword twilight
  • keyword Australie

Stories

  • It's difficult to write a really good short story because it must be a complete and finished reflection of life with only a few words to use as tools. There isn't time for bad writing in a short story.

  • There is no agony like bearing an untold story inside you.

  • What is important is the story. Because when we are all dust and teeth and kicked-up bits of skin — when we're dancing with our own skeletons — our words might be all that's left of us.

  • The story — from Rumplestiltskin to War and Peace — is one of the basic tools invented by the human mind, for the purpose of gaining understanding. There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.

    • Ursula K. Le Guin,
    • "Prophets and Mirrors: Science Fiction As a Way of Seeing," Living Light ()
  • Stories ought not to be just little bits of fantasy that are used to wile away an idle hour; from the beginning of the human race stories have been used — by priests, by bards, by medicine men — as magic instruments of healing, of teaching, as a means of helping people come to terms with the fact that they continually have to face insoluble problems and unbearable realities.


  • Notice: Trying to get property 'post_title' of non-object in /var/www/quotationsbywomen.com/classes/Hansonian/Qbw/Qbw.php on line 833

    Notice: Trying to get property 'post_title' of non-object in /var/www/quotationsbywomen.com/classes/Hansonian/Qbw/Qbw.php on line 841
  • A lie hides the truth, a story tries to find it ...

  • History is what scholars and conquerors say happened; story is what it was like to live on the ground.

  • Story is life seen through the honey jar, slightly distorted by personal experience, perception, inclination, and fancy. ... The fish gets a little bigger, the storm gets a little wilder, the love gets a little stronger ...

  • Story is the mother of us all, for we become who we say we are.

  • A poem (surely someone has said this before) is a one-night stand, a short story a love affair, and a novel a marriage.

  • ... what storyteller is adequate to her story? The story carries us along, bottles on the tide, each with our secret mesage and the fervent hope that it does not turn out to be blank.

  • For girls and women, storytelling has a double and triple importance. Because the stories of our lives have been marginalized and ignored by history, and often dismissed and treated as 'gossip' within our own cultures and families, female human beings are more likely to be discouraged from telling our stories and from listening to each other with seriousness.

    • Gloria Steinem,
    • introduction, in Bonnie Watkins and Nina Rothchild, eds., In the Company of Women ()
  • The dogma is that that dogma is a mistake.

  • ... my story, as Mama would have said, was a short horse and soon curried.

  • ... there are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they had never happened before ...

  • ... every good story ... must leave in the mind of the sensitive reader an intangible residuum of pleasure; a cadence, a quality of voice that is exclusively the writer's own, individual, unique.

    • Willa Cather,
    • preface, The Best Short Stories of Sarah Orne Jewett ()
  • The only story that seems worth writing is a cry, a shot, a scream. A story should break the reader's heart.

    • Susan Sontag,
    • 1973, in David Rieff, ed., As Consciousness is Harnessed to Flesh ()
  • Behind every myth lies a truth; beyond every legend is reality, as radiant (sometimes as chilling) as the story itself.

  • Story involves action. Action towards an end not to be foreseen (by the reader) but also towards an end which, having been reached, must be seen to have been from the start inevitable.

    • Elizabeth Bowen,
    • "Notes on Writing a Novel" (1945), Pictures and Conversations ()
  • It is not a bad thing in a tale that you understand only half of it.

  • The divine art is the story.

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • "The Cardinal's First Tale," Last Tales ()
  • ... within our whole universe the story only has the authority to answer that cry of heart of its characters, that one cry of heart of each of them: 'Who am I?'

    • Isak Dinesen,
    • "The Cardinal's First Tale," Last Tales ()
  • All sorrows can be borne if you put them into a story or tell a story about them.

  • A lie hides the truth, a story tries to find it ...

  • To be human is to be in a story.

  • Ideas will not save us, he thought. Not right or wrong, nor peace or retribution. Our stories are all we have. The only thing that can ever save us is to learn each other's stories. From beginning to end.

  • For every life we know, we are expanded. There is no forgiveness without stories. There is no dignity. There is no way to speak in other tongues but that.

  • The difference between writing a story and simply relating past events is that a story, in order to be acceptable, must have shape and meaning. It is the old idea that art is the bringing of order out of chaos ...

  • A good story is alive, ever changing and growing as it meets each listener or reader in a spirited and unique encounter, while the moralistic tale is not only dead on arrival, it's already been embalmed. It's safer that way. When a lively story goes dancing out to meet the imagination of a child, the teller loses control over meaning. The child gets to decide what the story means.

  • The short story ... is the most democratic of all the arts; anyone may tell a story, and if it is an absorbing one someone will listen.

  • Always in a house of death, Virgie was thinking, all the stories come evident, show forth from the person, become a part of the public domain. Not the dead's story, but the living's.

  • I learned from the age of two or three that any room in our house, at any time of day, was there to read in, or to be read to. My mother read to me. She'd read to me in the big bedroom in the mornings, when we were in her rocker together, which ticked in rhythm as we rocked, as though we had a cricket accompanying the story. She'd read to me in the dining room on winter afternoons in front of the coal fire, with our cuckoo clock ending the story with 'Cuckoo,' and at night when I'd got in my own bed. I must have given her no peace. Sometimes she read to me in the kitchen while she sat churning, and the churning sobbed along with any story.

  • Humanity has this need to hear stories because they connect us with other people, they teach us about our own feelings. We feel less lonely when we see other people going through the same things, even if they're fictional characters.

    • Isabel Allende,
    • in Patt Morrison, "A Life of Letters," Los Angeles Times ()
  • ... stories are the one sure way I know to touch the heart and change the world.

  • Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving. Why does anybody tell a story? It does indeed have something to do with faith, faith that the universe has meaning, that our little human lives are not irrelevant, that what we choose or say or do matters, matters cosmically.

  • To me and my kind life itself is a story and we have to tell it in stories — that is the way it falls.

  • The universe is made of stories, / not of atoms.

  • A story has to have muscle as well as meaning, and the meaning has to be in the muscle.

  • You ought to be able to discover something from your stories. If you don't, probably nobody else will.

    • Flannery O'Connor,
    • "The Nature and Aim of Fiction," in Sally and Robert Fitzgerald, ed., Mystery and Manners ()
  • I find that most people know what a story is until they sit down to write one.

  • For a story to be told, it must be told properly, and to tell a story properly, it must be told with respect.

  • It isn't enough to have had an interesting or hilarious or tragic life. Art isn't anecdote. It's the consciousness we bring to bear on our lives. For what happened in the story to transcend the limits of the personal, it must be driven by the engine of what the story means.

  • A child's own story is a dream, but a good story is a dream that is true for more than one child.

  • The fact, and the intuition or logic about the fact, are severe coordinates in fiction. In the short story they must cross with hair-line precision.

    • Louise Bogan,
    • "Flowering Judas" (1930), Selected Criticism ()
  • No work of literature is the product of only one or two conscious ideas. A story is mysteriously dense of meaning.

  • For a short-story writer, a story is the combination of what the writer supposed the story would likely be about — plus what actually turned up in the course of writing.

  • The more original a short-story writer, the odder looking the assortment of things he or she puts together for a story.

  • Stories come to us as wraiths requiring precise embodiments.

  • How our story has been divided up among the truth-telling professions! Religion, philosophy, history, poetry, compete with each other for our ears; and science competes with all together. And for each we have a different set of ears. But, though we hear much, what we are told is as nothing: none of it gives us ourselves, rather each story-kind steals us to make its reality of us.

  • We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

  • ... power consists to a large extent in deciding what stories will be told ...

  • ... these are the stories that never, never die, that are carried like seed into a new country, are told to you and me and make in us new and lasting strengths.

  • The great novels draw you in entirely, it seems, so that while you are reading them you forget you ever had another life. But the great short stories, in my experience, keep you balanced in mid-air, suspended somewhere between the world you normally inhabit and the world briefly illuminated by the author. You see them both at once and you feel them both at once: The emotions generated in you by the story carry over instantly and applicably to the life outside the book. This is why the best short stories can afford to be inconclusive. You, the reader, complete them by joining them back to your life — a life that, because it too is inconclusive, enables you to recognize the truth of the fictional pattern.

  • There is a place where the human enters dream and myth, and becomes a part of it, or maybe it is the other way around when the story grows from the body and spirit of humankind. In any case, we are a story, each of us, a bundle of stories, some as false as phantom islands but believed in nevertheless. Some might be true.

  • You don't have anything / if you don't have the stories.

  • ... the ancient people perceived the world and themselves within that world as part of an ancient continuous story composed of innumerable bundles of other stories.

  • The story was the important thing and little changes here and there were really part of the story. There were even stories about the different versions of stories and how they imagined the differing versions came to be.

  • A story is an end in itself. It is not written to teach, sell, explain or destroy anything. It is not written even to entertain. It is written as a man is born — an organic whole, dictated only by its own laws and its own necessity — an end in itself, not a means to an end.

    • Ayn Rand,
    • 1944, in Michael S. Berliner, ed., Letters of Ayn Rand ()
  • Once Upon a Time, / Once Upon a Time! / Everything that happened, happened / Once Upon a Time!

  • Fairy tales are the stories a culture tells us about ourselves.

    • Grace Farrell,
    • afterword (1996), in Lillie Devereux Blake, Fettered for Life ()
  • There are mythic patterns under all of our lives. Each one of us, often unbeknownst to ourselves, is engaged in a drama of soul that is not reserved only for gods, heroes, and saints. Story is one bridge between the human realm and the divine.

  • A story is like building a chapel; a novel is a cathedral ...

  • A story is told as much by silence as by speech.

  • The difference between mad people and sane people ... is that sane people have variety when they talk-story. Mad people have only one story that they talk over and over.

  • Better the stories we tell ourselves / than the story we've been told.

    • Zara Houshmand,
    • "Home Stories," in Persis M. Karim, ed., Let Me Tell You Where I've Been ()
  • ... anecdotes, / The poor man's history.

  • Power is the ability not just to tell the story of another person, but to make it the definitive story of that person.

  • The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.

  • Facts bring us to knowledge, but stories lead to wisdom.

  • There isn't a story written that isn't about blood and money. People and their relationship to each other is the blood, the family. And how they live, the money of it.

    • Grace Paley,
    • in Harriet Shapiro, "Grace Paley: 'Art Is on the Side of the Underdog'," Ms. ()
  • I don't always, or even usually, read stories from beginning to end. I start anywhere and proceed in either direction. A story is not like a road to follow, it's more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while.

    • Alice Munro,
    • introduction, Selected Stories, 1969-1994 ()
  • Writing the short story is essentially an act of grace. It's not a matter of will so much as trust. I try to let the story do some of the work for me. It knows what it wants to do, say, be. I try not to stand in its way.

  • I love the short story for being round, suggestive, insinuating, microcosmic. The story has both the inconvenience and the fascination of new beginnings.

    • Luisa Valenzuela,
    • in Janet Sternburg, ed., The Writer on Her Work, vol. 2 ()
  • Ours was a storytelling family even in pleasing times, and in those days my parents looked on words as our sustenance, rich in their flavor and wholesome for the soul.

  • I love to tell the story.

  • Tell me the old, old story.

  • Stories are medicine.

  • The story is a piece of work. The novel is a way of life.

  • Each time I told my story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain.

  • Stories operate like dreams; both veil what is to be uncovered; neither is capable of the cover-up.

    • Lore Segal,
    • "Our Dream of the Good God," in Christina Buchmann and Celina Spiegel, eds., Out of the Garden ()
  • Now the purpose of her stories had changed. She spun them to discover their meaning. In the telling, she found, you reached a point where you could not go back, where — as the stories changed — it transformed you, too.

  • ... the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don't deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don't surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover's skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don't. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won't. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn't. And yet you want to know again. That is their mystery and their magic.

  • The reason we make a long story short is so that we can tell another.

  • She devoured stories with rapacious greed, ranks of black marks on white, sorting themselves into mountains and trees, stars, moons and sun, dragons, dwarfs, and forests containing wolves, foxes and the dark.

  • Story is a sacred visualization, a way of echoing experience.

  • The people who have control of your stories, control of your voice, also have control of your destiny, your culture.

    • Lenore Keeshig-Tobias,
    • in Hartmut Lutz, ed., Contemporary Challenges: Conversations With Canadian Native Authors ()
  • It is significant that people who refuse to tell their children fairytales do not fear that the children will believe in princes and princesses, but that they will believe in witches and bogeys.

  • All one needs to write a story is one feeling and four walls.

    • Doris Betts,
    • in Marion Dane Bauer, A Writer's Story ()
  • Stories are compasses and architecture; we navigate by them, we build our sanctuaries and our prisons out of them, and to be without a story is to be lost in the vastness of a world that spreads in all directions like arctic tundra or sea ice.

  • Stories can start revolutions.

  • Everything's a story. You are a story — I am a story.