Best 281 quotes in «short story quotes» category

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

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    I prefer short stories, but publishers would, of course, rather that writers produce novels, since novels are still more commercially viable.

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    I'm very happy - if I can do even a little bit of work to get the short story out more, I'm thrilled.

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    In short stories it is better to say not enough than to say too much, because, because--I don't know why.

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

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    My favorite short-story writer is John Cheever

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    The great thing about a short story is that it doesn't have to trawl through someone's whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.

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    Short stories are fiction's R & D department, and failed or less-than-conclusive experiments are not just to be expected but to be hoped for.

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    Absently, Quinn reached for the sheet to replace it over the aged mirror, but the back of his hand brushed against the cold surface and a strange shiver ran up his arm and down his spine. ~ "The Mirror

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    With short stories, the story-teller must have a story to tell, not merely some sweet prose to take out for a walk

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    A gossip spread a rumor, and became notorious from the deed. The gossip then started a fire beyond their control, and when it spread, the gossip spread the word around, but people just ran away. The gossip died in the fire they started, longing for warmth they could not find or keep when they did. And no one spread the word, about the gossips' death.

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    A feeling, for which I have no name, has taken possession of my soul.

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    And I feel certain that you will, because I've come to take it away. I'm from the furniture shop, and the bed isn't paid for.

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    A mermaid who somehow shared this woman’s face and name had betrayed him once. But this was not the same woman. And he was not the same man.

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    ...And on my fourth morning in Naples, I woke up alone. There was a note on the table with the breakfast that Cinzia had quietly prepared for me. It read, "It could never be. But that's why it will always be - perfectly divine. Cinzia" City Solipsism: A Short Story

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    And just as I'm about to lay on the Yi-Wang-Smooth, I see Lay #1 and Lay #3 show up to our table and take the two empty seats nearby. From: "My Worst Valentine's Day.Ever: a Short Story

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    And that’s all magic was: displacement.

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    An intense longing builds inside me, and I fight the urge to propel myself forward and grab her into my arms.

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    And yet it was also true that the tumor could not be removed by our doctor, and as a result of that a strange medication had been given him that enabled my brother to become even more of an enigma than he was before, and as a result of that there came to exist not only the machine and the inertia that came with it, but a change of perspective among the townsfolk that was a result of their interactions with the various phases of my brother. And so it was that when the flood began to rear its terrible head, not only was there the inertia that we all had to deal with, but a sense of the sublime that we had begun to feel for the waters which had roared upon the horizon.

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    [Anger] gave him the soul to keep fighting no matter how many times the world seemed bent on destroying him. He may be a broken young man, but he would never be a defeated one

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    A novel is just a story that hasn't yet discovered a way to be brief.

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    Another family crisis: The rabbit goes blind.

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    Anyway, I think Florence and I noticed each other before the local train screeched to a halt at the 110th Street station, because as I boarded it felt as though we were supposed to step into the same car, and hold onto the same moist metal bar. My wishful hunch now seems confirmed by the way she's reading her Time magazine article next to me.

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    Any moment now, I thought, he was going to wake up. Any moment.

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    Apalah gunanya impian bila tidak diwujudkan?

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    A perfect society needs no rulers," they said. "Knowledge and authority ought to be held in common. In order to imagine a new existence, we must free ourselves from the structures of both our failed government and the unjustifiable hegemony of the wasp nests. Hear what you can hear and learn what you can learn while we remain among them. But be ready.

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    A prickle of awareness made the hairs at the back of his neck stand. A deep chill sank into his flesh to settle around his heart, squeezing it. Skeletal fingers scraped along his spine and he wanted to look back over his shoulder, but couldn’t. No, he didn’t dare. If he saw what caused the sound it might be more than he could handle. Rooted to the ground, he couldn’t twitch a finger or twist his head around. His lips glued together, so he couldn’t speak.

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    As a rule, however fine and deep a phrase may be, it only affects the indifferent, and cannot fully satisfy those who are happy or unhappy; that is why dumbness is most often the highest expression of happiness or unhappiness; lovers understand each other better when they are silent, and a fervent, passionate speech delivered by the grave only touches outsiders, while to the widow and children of the dead man it seems cold and trivial.

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    Ariana strikes me as the type of girl who is attracted to authenticity.

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    Are there not times, Ridley, when you yourself wish only to hear the best in people – and not to be dragged downwards into the underworld we all regularly inhabit?

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    As much as we can trust anything,’ Crowe rumbled. ‘It’s the cab I took to get here. To be on the safe side, I waited for three to pass before I hailed it.

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    Ashes, ashes.” Her whispered words of an old rhyme smashed through the silence as thunder, and in unison, the shadow figures answered. “We all fall down.

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    A sound from upstairs sends my thought process reeling. It’s just a small noise, perhaps the sound of your feet brushing the crimson carpet in the bedroom? It’s not loud or menacing, but it sends a wave of adrenaline crashing through me. You’re on your way!

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    As the wind continued to howl and groan through her decaying body, she began to sing her story.

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    As the thing came closer, what was left of Nick’s body became revealed and I could see how the dead boy’s eyes had bled from the trauma inflicted upon him; they dripped with steady succession onto the floor between his splayed legs. He looked like a rejected marionette tossed haphazardly in the corner by a frustrated puppeteer, his head drooping so low that his chin rested against his chest. His motionless arms lay at his sides, both of them squeezed into tight fists, as if he’d died futilely trying to defend himself.

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    As you become a better writer, the writing becomes more difficult. You toil harder to tell a story in a smaller number of words.

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    Baby, don't build a monument for me of your sadness. You wouldn't have wasted your tears when I was alive. Why make an ocean of them now when it's over? The future you dreamed is a dream. Dream something else.

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    A writer can do without food for a few hours but not without the sight of books.

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    At one point, I began to think that I had a divine doorman. Lenny was the most unlikely incarnation of God I could imagine, and yet, I kept drifting irresistibly towards this absurd conclusion. Despite my staunchly atheistic inclinations, I couldn't explain Lenny any other way. But eventually I came to my senses and realized that he was just one of those game show freaks with an encyclopedic memory. That didn't make him God, did it? Would God proclaim so regularly how much he likes Patsy's Pizza?

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    A writer gets to live yet another life every time he or she creates a new story.

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    Be a good reader first if you wish to become a good writer.

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    But the fantasy kingdom and trappings of success soon lost their luster, as I discovered that the most prestigious and remunerative of my resume's way stations was also the most tedious and unfulfilling I had ever experienced. This paradox only made me more morose about modernity. Why was I going to watch my hairline recede in front of two-thousand-line spreadsheets staring at me from cold, glowing monitors? Why was everyone in my office apparently so happy to be spending so many hours there, when the things they really cared about - people, pets, pastimes - were all relegated to a few photographs on their desks? That seemed to be the formula: spend the best years of your life in an office with photos of what you really care about.

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    Before he went away, he had heard all about the self-made girl, and there was something in the picture that strongly impressed him. She was possible doutbless only in America; American life had smoothed the way for her. She was not fast, nor emancipated, nor crude, nor loud, and there wasn’t in her, of necessity at least, a grain of the stuff of which the adventuress is made. She was simply very successful, and her success was entirely personal. She hadn’t been born with the silver spoon of social opportunity, she had grasped it by honest exertion. You knew her by many different signs, but chiefly, infallibly, by the appearance of her parents. It was her parents who told her story; you always saw how little her parents could have made her. Her attitude with regard to them might vary in different ways. As the great fact on her own side was that she had lifted herself from a lower social plane, done it all herself, and done it by the simple lever of her personality, it was naturally to be expected that she would leave the authors of her mere material being in the shade. (…) But the general characteristic of the self-made girl was that, though it was frequently understood that she was privately devoted to her kindred, she never attempted to impose them on society, and it was striking that, though in some of her manifestations a bore, she was at her worst less of a bore than they. They were almost always solemn and portentous, and they were for the most part of a deathly respectability. She wasn’t necessarily snobbish, unless it was snobbish to want the best. She didn’t cringe, she didn’t make herself smaller than she was, she took on the contrary a stand of her own and attracted things to herself. Naturally she was possible only in America, only in a country where whole ranges of competition and comparison were absent.

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    But as I sat in that bed, the book in my hands, the city outside silent, I had reason to feel as if a hand from some sub-zero hell had reached up and laid itself-oh, very gently-upon my heart.

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    Despite the objection from his mother he had decided to visit a clinic with the woman. He knew, he would forever be obliged to her. He had found a job, but he could not keep it because of his addiction. He had no money. The woman paid the expenses. She introduced him to people who would understand his problem and help him deal with it. She made him join Sex Addicts Anonymous. She helped him deal with his urges. He had started to believe that sexual addiction was real. Suddenly, everything made sense. He was not a freak, he had a serious problem. He suffered from a disorder. He had the option to set things straight. He underwent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which he benefited from. A prostitute had set him free. - from story 109 of You Me & Stories

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    Clichés are the viruses that infect your writing with diseases.

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    By Jove, it's great! Walk along the streets on some spring morning. The little women, daintily tripping along, seem to blossom out like flowers. What a delightful, charming sight! The dainty perfume of violet is everywhere. The city is gay, and everybody notices the women. By Jove, how tempting they are in their light, thin dresses, which occasionally give one a glimpse of the delicate pink flesh beneath! "One saunters along, head up, mind alert, and eyes open. I tell you it's great! You see her in the distance, while still a block away; you already know that she is going to please you at closer quarters. You can recognize her by the flower on her hat, the toss of her head, or her gait. She approaches, and you say to yourself: 'Look out, here she is!' You come closer to her and you devour her with your eyes. "Is it a young girl running errands for some store, a young woman returning from church, or hastening to see her lover? What do you care? Her well-rounded bosom shows through the thin waist. Oh, if you could only take her in your arms and fondle and kiss her! Her glance may be timid or bold, her hair light or dark. What difference does it make? She brushes against you, and a cold shiver runs down your spine. Ah, how you wish for her all day! How many of these dear creatures have I met this way, and how wildly in love I would have been had I known them more intimately. "Have you ever noticed that the ones we would love the most distractedly are those whom we never meet to know? Curious, isn't it? From time to time we barely catch a glimpse of some woman, the mere sight of whom thrills our senses. But it goes no further. When I think of all the adorable creatures that I have elbowed in the streets of Paris, I fairly rave. Who are they! Where are they? Where can I find them again? There is a proverb which says that happiness often passes our way; I am sure that I have often passed alongside the one who could have caught me like a linnet in the snare of her fresh beauty.

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    Create a world in front of your readers where they can taste, smell, touch, hear, see, and move. Or else they are likely going to move on to another book.

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    Don’t interrupt when your characters take a flight of their own.

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    Don’t break the rules when you haven’t fully figured them out yet.