Theme: Quotes from Authors and Bookish People about Writing
On my other blog, I’m writing a fiction a day for the A to Z Challenge based on the prompts given by blog friends, and ace photographer J W Richardson. If you’re in the mood for some fiction, go pay a visit to Daily (w)rite.
Today at Amlokiblogs, we’re talking about the very basics of fiction, Narrative.
A narrative (or play) is any account
of connected events, presented to a reader or listener in a sequence of
written or spoken words, or in a sequence of (moving) pictures. The word “story” may be used as a synonym of “narrative”. It can also be
used to refer to the sequence of events described in a narrative.
These are some of the quotes from those who know what a story or narrative is all about:
“Story should be a descent — the feeling that there is an intense gravity to the narrative that draws you down, down, down.”
― Chuck Wendig
“To read fiction means to play a game by which we give sense to the immensity of things that happened, are happening, or will happen in the actual world. By reading narrative, we escape the anxiety that attacks us when we try to say something true about the world. This is the consoling function of narrative — the reason people tell stories, and have told stories from the beginning of time.”
― Umberto Eco
“All stories have a curious and even dangerous power. They are manifestations of truth — yours and mine. And truth is all at once the most wonderful yet terrifying thing in the world, which makes it nearly impossible to handle. It is such a great responsibility that it’s best not to tell a story at all unless you know you can do it right. You must be very careful, or without knowing it you can change the world.”
― Vera Nazarian
“A narrative is like a room on whose walls a number of false doors have been painted; while within the narrative, we have many apparent choices of exit, but when the author leads us to one particular door, we know it is the right one because it opens.”–John Updike
“Narrative is one of the best intoxicants or tranquilisers.”
― A.S. Byatt
What sort of narratives do you find fascinating? What kind of stories do you like to read or write?
Great narrative is so important. You can have all the cool characters you want but if you don't have good narrative to keep them busy there's no story. Great post.
History Sleuth's Writings – Blogging A-Z
Loved the last quote especially!
visiting from the #AtoZChallenge … cheers http://www.bayessence.com/2014/04/paris-baguettes-macarones-y-formulas.html
After a productive day writing, I feel as if I'm riding high–a natural high. lol Nothing like it.
i'm so glad i came here – i love inspiring quotes!
fave so far is the not having to edit anything written in the middle of the night.
and metaphors i'm still trying to master without sounding cliche – i'm a gong when i want to be windchimes =)
and i'm jealous of great narrative writers!
I like the analogy of the room with all the doors that seem real until the author shows the reader the right one 🙂
Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles – A to Z Ghosts
Fantasy Boys XXX – A to Z Drabblerotic
Excellent quotes. I'm with Mary. Like the one about truth.
I love the quote from Umberto Eco!
I like that quote about truth.
Play off the Page
Hmm, very interesting that we need fiction to tell the truth.
Good quotes. I think they do a good job of encapsulating what a story is supposed to do. Intoxicant indeed 🙂
Sometimes it worries me that politicians or powers could take a work of fiction and turn it into reality. This is frightening, especially if it was not for he good of mankind. Brave New World and 1984 have been tinkered with around the edges. I'd rather believe a narrative was read as a warning rather than as a blueprint for a future society, and futuristic is what I like to read and sometimes write – scary!
That's why I'm very careful what I read.
It's interesting–I write children's and young adult fiction–often light, fluffy stories. But I love to read suspense novels about missing people. I don't know what that says about me!
Great characters and stories are key to a really gripping read.
I love that quote by A.S.Byatt. For reading pleasure I enjoy adventure and Wilbur Smith fills that need the best. There are a couple of other good authors who write in the same genre, but he is my favourite. Lee Child is my choice for thrillers, which I also enjoy. I've had the absolute joy of being compared to him in style by two reviewers of my eBooks. How good did that make me feel! LOL
It's great how these quotes always have such useful tips for writing. I'm doing my best to absorb every one.
do you believe in ascending or descending narrative? I mean, some books begin with a bang, some end with a bang. But there are so many that dampen mid-way. Very few manage to retain the tempo thruout.
Both kinds of narrative are fine, imho.
It all depends on what the author is trying to say and how well she's saying it.
It is hard to retain the tempo through the length of a novel, but enough good ones do it. And sometimes, it is not about the tempo at all.
I liked all of your quotes and connected with each. It is best when you can personally connect with the character on such a level that you feel they are real, you understand and empathize with their problems, and feel elated at their successes. That is what I practice and strive for . ♥
Once a college professor used my blog as a part of his writing class as an example of narrative. It was fascinating to see the students starting to arrive in droves. It was a while before I found out what was going on, that my blog was a part of an "online reader" for college students of writing. Wild.
I love your quote collection. I am also a collector of quotes, especially for writers with a leaning toward women writers. You inspired me today!
Julie Jordan Scott
The Bold Writer from A to Z
Wow. That must have been trying as well as exhilarating, Julie!
I loved that last quote: an intoxicant and a tranquilizer. I'd add, a chance to feel less alone. Following a character through turmoil and defeat, then triumph helps us cope with our own life messes.
Change the world without knowing it – that's a scary thought.