Short Stories Quotes

Quotes tagged as "short-stories" (showing 1-30 of 356)
Lorrie Moore
“A short story is a love affair, a novel is a marriage. A short story is a photograph; a novel is a film.”
Lorrie Moore

David Sedaris
“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.”
David Sedaris

Edgar Allan Poe
“A short story must have a single mood and every sentence must build towards it.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Clark Zlotchew
“Fiction has been maligned for centuries as being "false," "untrue," yet good fiction provides more truth about the world, about life, and even about the reader, than can be found in non-fiction.”
Clark Zlotchew

Christopher Hitchens
“I once spoke to someone who had survived the genocide in Rwanda, and she said to me that there was now nobody left on the face of the earth, either friend or relative, who knew who she was. No one who remembered her girlhood and her early mischief and family lore; no sibling or boon companion who could tease her about that first romance; no lover or pal with whom to reminisce. All her birthdays, exam results, illnesses, friendships, kinships—gone. She went on living, but with a tabula rasa as her diary and calendar and notebook. I think of this every time I hear of the callow ambition to 'make a new start' or to be 'born again': Do those who talk this way truly wish for the slate to be wiped? Genocide means not just mass killing, to the level of extermination, but mass obliteration to the verge of extinction. You wish to have one more reflection on what it is to have been made the object of a 'clean' sweep? Try Vladimir Nabokov's microcosmic miniature story 'Signs and Symbols,' which is about angst and misery in general but also succeeds in placing it in what might be termed a starkly individual perspective. The album of the distraught family contains a faded study of Aunt Rosa, a fussy, angular, wild-eyed old lady, who had lived in a tremulous world of bad news, bankruptcies, train accidents, cancerous growths—until the Germans put her to death, together with all the people she had worried about.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Ray Bradbury
“Write a short story every week. It's not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.”
Ray Bradbury

Andre Dubus
“I love short stories because I believe they are the way we live. They are what our friends tell us, in their pain and joy, their passion and rage, their yearning and their cry against injustice.”
Andre Dubus

Neil Gaiman
“Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams. They are journeys you can make to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner.”
Neil Gaiman

Junot Díaz
“We all dream dreams of unity, of purity; we all dream that there's an authoritative voice out there that will explain things, including ourselves. If it wasn't for our longing for these things, I doubt the novel or the short story would exist in its current form. I'm not going to say much more on the topic. Just remember: In dictatorships, only one person is really allowed to speak. And when I write a book or a story, I too am the only one speaking, no matter how I hide behind my characters.”
Junot Díaz

“Kids believe in Santa; adults believe in childhood.”
Cate Kennedy, Dark Roots: Stories

Jorge Luis Borges
“One day or one night—between my days and nights, what difference can there be?—I dreamed that there was a grain of sand on the floor of my cell. Unconcerned, I went back to sleep; I dreamed that I woke up and there were two grains of sand. Again I slept; I dreamed that now there were three. Thus the grains of sand multiplied, little by little, until they filled the cell and I was dying beneath that hemisphere of sand. I realized that I was dreaming; with a vast effort I woke myself. But waking up was useless—I was suffocated by the countless sand. Someone said to me:

You have wakened not out of sleep, but into a prior dream, and that dream lies within another, and so on, to infinity, which is the number of the grains of sand. The path that you are to take is endless, and you will die before you have truly awakened.

I felt lost. The sand crushed my mouth, but I cried out: I cannot be killed by sand that I dream —nor is there any such thing as a dream within a dream.

— Jorge Luis Borges, The Writing of the God”
Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories

John Cheever
“For me a page of good prose is where one hears the rain. A page of good prose is when one hears the noise of battle.... A page of good prose seems to me the most serious dialogue that well-informed and intelligent men and women carry on today in their endeavor to make sure that the fires of this planet burn peaceably.”
John Cheever

Salman Rushdie
“Only the foolish, blinded by language's conventions, think of fire as red or gold. Fire is blue at it's melancholy rim, green in it's envious heart. It may burn white, or even, in it's greatest rages, black.”
Salman Rushdie

Eudora Welty
“Any room in our house at any time in the day was there to read in or to be read to.”
Eudora Welty

Haruki Murakami
“A short story I have written long ago would barge into my house in the middle of the night, shake me awake and shout, 'Hey,this is no time for sleeping! You can't forget me, there's still more to write!' Impelled by that voice, I would find myself writing a novel. In this sense, too, my short stories and novels connect inside me in a very natural, organic way.”
Haruki Murakami

Paolo Bacigalupi
“Short fiction seems more targeted - hand grenades of ideas, if you will. When they work, they hit, they explode, and you never forget them. Long fiction feels more like atmosphere: it's a lot smokier and less defined.”
Paolo Bacigalupi

Clark Zlotchew
“When they reached their ship, Ed gazed out at the bay. It was black. The sky was black, but the bay was even blacker. It was a slick, oily blackness that glowed and reflected the moonlight like a black jewel. Ed saw the tiny specks of light around the edges of the bay where he knew ships must be docked, and at different points within the bay where vessels would be anchored. The lights were pale and sickly yellow when compared with the bright blue-white sparkle of the stars overhead, but the stars glinted hard as diamonds, cold as ice. Pg. 26.”
Clark Zlotchew, Once Upon a Decade: Tales of the Fifties

“I watch people sometimes, wonder how they can walk around with the weight of what they know.”
Cate Kennedy, Dark Roots: Stories

Flannery O'Connor
“So many people can now write competent stories that the short story is in danger of dying of competence.”
Flannery O'Connor

Santosh Avvannavar
“The weakness of a man is the strength of a woman”
Santosh Avvannavar

Edgar Allan Poe
“A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”
Edgar Allan Poe

Haruki Murakami
“My short stories are like soft shadows I have set out in the world, faint footprints I have left. I remember exactly where I set down each and every one of them, and how I felt when I did. Short stories are like guideposts to my heart...”
Haruki Murakami

Barbara DaCosta
“On the Writing Process:

"When in doubt, take it out.,”
Barbara DaCosta, Resort to Murder

Jonathan Carroll
“A short story is a sprint, a novel is a marathon. Sprinters have seconds to get from here to there and then they are finished. Marathoners have to carefully pace themselves so that they don't run out of energy (or in the case of the novelist-- ideas) because they have so far to run. To mix the metaphor, writing a short story is like having a short intense affair, whereas writing a novel is like a long rich marriage.”
Jonathan Carroll

Graham Greene
“With a novel, which takes perhaps years to write, the author is not the same man he was at the end of the book as he was at the beginning. It is not only that his characters have developed--he has developed with them, and this nearly always gives a sense of roughness to the work: a novel can seldom have the sense of perfection which you find in Chekhov's story, The Lady with the Dog.
Graham Greene

Michel Faber
“Of course I know that the twins are only words on a page, and I'm certainly not the sort of writer who talks to his characters or harbours any illusions about the creative process. But at the same time, I think it's juvenile and arrogant when literary writers compulsively remind their readers that the characters aren't real. People know that already. The challenge is to make an intelligent reader suspend disbelief, to seduce them into the reality of a narrative.”
Michel Faber

David Donaghe
“What we are about to have here is a holy water smack down!”
David Donaghe

Haidji
“Love does not choose belief, place, time, situations, or race. love happens between two souls.”
Haidji, Harables: Short Stories 1

Richard Finney
“She knew breaking up with Ethan was going to be a full-time job because being in a relationship with him had also been a full-time job.”
Richard Finney, Kicky-Wicky

Gabrielle chuckled, her dark eyes twinkling. “So he’s been after you, has he? Poor Etta,
“Gabrielle chuckled, her dark eyes twinkling. “So he’s been after you, has he? Poor Etta, pursued by a sun priest offering to pleasure—”

“Every nook and cranny,” Marietta interrupted dryly and Gabrielle tipped her head back with a throaty laugh.”
Michelle O'Leary, The Lover's Gift Regained

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