The Saturday Writing Quote — on story, continued


“Because gossip often places people at the center of attention, it also, at least temporarily, enhances their status with others. This may explain why gossipmongers come from the most isolated, least popular members of a group. After all, they are the ones who most need something to make them socially acceptable.”

— Jack Levin and Arnold Arluke, “Gossip: The Inside Scoop,” in Dimensions of Language 92, 94 (Boyd H. Davis ed., 1993) (via Bryan Garner’s daily blog on usage)

The Saturday Writing Quote — on story

leslie reading

“Stories are about how we deal with the unexpected. And when that happens, your protagonist would instantly and innately call up her own subjective narrative – that is, her past life experience – to figure out what the hell to do.”

Lisa Cron, Writer Unboxed, 10/8/15


(Leslie reading The Bobbsey Twins, ca. 1968.)

The Saturday Writing Quote — on story

IMGP2188“Narrative is our internal attempt to figure out how the external world works, and—most importantly—why people do the things they do, the better to not get clobbered for saying the wrong thing. Story isn’t what happens, externally; story is how we make sense of what happens, internally.”
Lisa Cron, on Writer Unboxed, 10/8/15

The Saturday Writing Quote

“Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things aren’t. I’m not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other people’s lives, never your own.”

–Julian Barnes (British writer and critic, b. 1946) Flaubert’s Parrot