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Everyone Loves A Story: 101 Best Quotes About Storytelling

Everyone Loves A Story: 101 Best Quotes About Storytelling

A good story can transport us to another time and place, make us laugh, or even make us cry.

Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of communication.

It has the ability to entertain, educate, and inspire.

Quotes about storytelling will remind you of its importance and help you to become a better storyteller.

In this article, we will explore 101 of the best quotes about storytelling.


Quotes About Storytelling To Move An Audience

1. “The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.” – Brandon Sanderson

2. “There is something in us, as storytellers and as listeners to stories, that demands the redemptive act, that demands that what falls at least be offered the chance to be restored. The reader of today looks for this motion, and rightly so, but what he has forgotten is the cost of it. His sense of evil is diluted or lacking altogether, and so he has forgotten the price of restoration. When he reads a novel, he wants either his sense tormented or his spirits raised. He wants to be transported instantly, either to mock damnation or a mock innocence.” – Flannery O'Connor

3. “Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” – Jean Luc Godard

4. “The art of storytelling is reaching its end because the epic slice of truth, wisdom, is dying out.” – Walter Benjamin

5. “Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world. Think about how many times a day you use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.” – Edward Miller

6. “A tale may have exactly three beginnings: one for the audience, one for the artist, and one for the poor bastard who has to live in it.” – Catherynne M. Valente

7. “We are, as a species, addicted to story. Even when the body goes to sleep, the mind stays up all night, telling itself stories.” – Jonathan Gottschall

8. “If a story is not about the hearer, he [or she] will not listen . . . A great lasting story is about everyone, or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting–only the deeply personal and familiar.” – John Steinbeck

9. “Authors do not choose a story to write, the story chooses us.” – Richard P. Denney

10. “I have always held the old-fashioned opinion that the primary object of work of fiction should be to tell a story.” – Wilkie Collins

11. “Write to your heart's content, and by all means, have fun with your creation. It's your moment to do absolutely anything within those pages.” – Jennifer Murgia

12. “Storytelling wasn't about making things up. It was more like inviting the stories to come through yourself, let themselves be told.” – Jennifer McMahon

13. “Every great love starts with a great story…” – Nicholas Sparks

14. “You may tell a tale that takes up residence in someone's soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose. That tale will move them and drive them, and who knows that they might do because of it, because of your words. That is your role, your gift.” – Erin Morgenstern

15. “All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey, or a stranger comes to town.” – Leo Tolstoy

16. “Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.” – J. Nozipo Maraire

17. “Whatever story you're telling, it will be more interesting if, in the end, you add, “and then everything burst into flames.” – Brian P. Cleary

18. “When we want mood experiences, we go to concerts or museums. When we want meaningful emotional experience, we go to the storyteller.” – Robert McKee

19. “A storyteller makes up things to help other people; a liar makes up things to help himself.” – Daniel Wallace

20. “Humans are pattern-seeking storytelling animals, and we are quite adept at telling stories about patterns, whether they exist or not.” – Michael Shermer

21. “A story has its purpose and its path. It must be told correctly for it to be understood.” – Marcus Sedgwick

22. “Things worth telling – take time” – Nicholas Denmon

23. “People take on the shapes of the songs and the stories that surround them, especially if they don't have their own song.” – Neil Gaiman

24. “There is no greater power on this earth than story.” – Libba Bray

25. “Stories are a communal currency of humanity.” – Tahir Shah

Best Quotes About Storytelling And Power Of Words

26. “Stories have to be told, or they die, and when they die, we can't remember who we are or why we're here.” – Sue Monk Kidd

27. “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader's arsenal.” – Dr. Howard Gardner

28. “Funny how a beautiful song could tell such a sad story” – Sarah Dessen

29. “There are books full of great writing that don't have very good stories. Read sometimes for the story… don't be like the book snobs who won't do that. Read sometimes for the words–the language. Don't be like the play-it-safers who won't do that. But when you find a book that has both a good story and good words, treasure that book.” – Stephen King

30. “It's like everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own head. Always. All the time. That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.” – Patrick Rothfuss

31. “We are all storytellers. We all live in a network of stories. There isn't a stronger connection between people than storytelling.” – Jimmy Neil Smith

32. “There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place.” – J.K. Rowling

33. “But silence is not a natural environment for stories. They need words. Without them they grown pale, sicken and die. And then they haunt you.” – Diane Setterfield

34. “Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don't want to make eye contact while doing it.” – John Green

35. “I'll tell you a secret. Old storytellers never die. They disappear into their own story.” – Vera Nazarian

36. “Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful tools in our arsenal. It can inspire hope, ignite passion, and change the course of history.” – Libba Bray

37. “Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it's an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.” – Eudora Welty

38. “Stories create community, enable us to see through the eyes of other people, and open us to the claims of others.” – Peter Forbes

39. “The artist lives to have stories to tell and to learn to tell them well.” – Criss Jami

40. “Once upon a time there was what there was, and if nothing had happened there would be nothing to tell.” – Charles de Lint

41. “Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it.” – Hannah Arendt

42. “A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.” – George Lucas

43. “A story begins with this nebulous feeling that's hard to get a hold of and you're testing your feelings and assumptions, testing what you believe. They end up turning into keepsakes and mementos—like amber in which a memory gets trapped.” – Michael Chabon

44. “A story is based on what people think is important, so when we live a story, we are telling people around us what we think is important.” – Donald Miller

45. “You can fix anything but a blank page.” – Nora Roberts

46.” If every event which occurred could be given a name, there would be no need for stories.” – John Berger

47. “Storytelling offers the opportunity to talk with your audience, not at them.” – Laura Holloway

48. “A slavish concern for the composition of words is the sign of a bankrupt intellect. Be gone, odious wasp! You smell of decayed syllables.” – Norton Juster

49. “Writing's funny, it's like walking down a hall in the dark looking for the light switch, and suddenly you find it, flip it on, and then you discover the hallway you passed through is papered with the novel you've written.” – Jonathan Safran Foer

50. “Sometimes reality strays so far from what's rational that we can only explain it through fantasy.” – Romina Garber

Famous Quotes About Storytelling To Inspire The Listeners

51. “Storytelling is our obligation to the next generation. If all we are doing is marketing, we are doing a disservice, and not only to our profession, but to our children, and their children. Give something of meaning to your audience by inspiring, engaging, and educating them with story. Stop marketing. Start storytelling.” – Laura Holloway

52. “Narrative imagining — story — is the fundamental instrument of thought. Rational capacities depend upon it. It is our chief means of looking into the future, or predicting, of planning, and of explaining.” – Mark Turner

53. “All tales, then, are at some level a journey into the woods to find the missing part of us, to retrieve it and make ourselves whole. Storytelling is as simple – and complex – as that. That's the pattern. That's how we tell stories.” – John Yorke

54. “The way we experience story will evolve, but as storytelling animals, we will no more give it up than start walking on all fours.” – Jonathan Gottschall

55. “Purposeful storytelling isn't show business, it's good business.” – Peter Guber

56. “You're never going to kill storytelling, because it's built in the human plan. We come with it.” – Margaret Atwood

57. “People have wanted to narrate since first we banged rocks together & wondered about fire. There'll be tellings as long as there are any of us here, until the stars disappear one by one like turned-out lights.” – China Miéville

58. “The stories we tell literally make the world. If you want to change the world, you need to change your story. This truth applies both to individuals and institutions.” – Michael Margolis

59. “Tell the story that's been growing in your heart, the characters you can't keep out of your head, the tale story that speaks to you, that pops into your head during your daily commute, that wakes you up in the morning.” – Jennifer Weiner

60. “Things in life have no real beginning, though our stories about them always do.” – Colum McCann

61. “Laugh and cry and tell stories. Sad stories about bodies stolen, bodies no longer here. Enraging stories about the false images, devastating lies, untold violence. Bold, brash stories about reclaiming our bodies and changing the world.” – Eli Clare

62. “Artists use lies to tell the truth. Yes, I created a lie. But because you believed it, you found something true about yourself.” – Alan Moore

63. “Listen, and you will realize that we are made not from cells or from atoms. We are made from stories.” – Mia Couto

64. “There is no doubt fiction makes a better job of the truth.” – Doris May Lessing

65. “A man who tells secrets or stories must think of who is hearing or reading, for a story has as many versions as it has readers. Everyone takes what he wants or can from it and thus changes it to his measure. Some pick out parts and reject the rest, some strain the story through their mesh of prejudice, some paint it with their own delight. A story must have some points of contact with the reader to make him feel at home in it. Only then can he accept wonders.” – John Steinbeck

Quotes About Storytelling That Boosts Its Importance

66. “Storytelling is one of the oldest and most powerful means of communication. It can inspire, educate and entertain. It can change lives.” – Unknown

67. “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: artists, inventors, storytellers-creative and holistic ‘right-brain' thinkers.” – Daniel Pink

68. “I think the best stories always end up being about the people rather than the event, which is to say character-driven.” – Stephen King

69. “Well, if storytelling is important, then your narrative ability or your ability to put into words or use what someone else has put into words effectively, is important too.” – Howard Gardner

70. “Whenever I'm asked what advice I have for young writers, I always say that the first thing is to read, and to read a lot. The second thing is to write. And the third thing, which I think is absolutely vital, is to tell stories and listen closely to the stories you're being told.” – John Green

71. “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” – Rudyard Kipling

72. “The process doesn't end there. Stories are more than just images. As you continue in the tale, you get to know the characters, motivations and conflicts that make up the core of the story. This requires more parts of the brain. Some parts process emotion. Others infer the thoughts of others, letting us empathize with their experiences. Yet other parts package the experience into memories for future reflection” – Livia Blackburne

73. “Memory is not a storage place but a story we tell ourselves in retrospect. As such, it is made of storytelling materials: embroidery and forgery, perplexity and urgency, revelation and darkness.” – Noam Shpancer

74. “You're never going to kill storytelling because it's built into the human plan. We come with it.” – Margaret Atwood

75. “The fact of storytelling hints at a fundamental human unease, hints at human imperfection. Where there is perfection there is no story to tell.” – Ben Okri

76. “After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Philip Pullman

77. “True stories can't be told forward, only backward. We invent them from the vantage point of an ever-changing present and tell ourselves how they unfolded.” – Siri Hustvedt

78. “We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” – Joan Didion

79. “My father used to say that stories are part of the most precious heritage of mankind.” – Tahir Shah

80. “A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell themselves. Sick storytellers can make nations sick. Without stories, we would go mad. Life would lose its moorings or orientation… Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the heart larger.” – Ben Okri

Quotes About Storytelling For Motivation

81. “If you're going to have a story, have a big story, or none at all.” – Joseph Campbell

82. “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” – Graham Greene

83. “Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” – Robin Moore

84. “Stories are memory aids, instruction manuals and moral compasses.” – Aleks Krotoski

85. “That is the power of a good story. It can encourage you, it can make you laugh, it can bring you joy. It will make you think, it will tap into your hidden emotions, and it can make you cry. The power of a story can also bring about healing, give you peace, and change your life!” –Jeff Dixon

86. “Power consists to a large extent in deciding what stories will be told.” – Carolyn Heilbrun

87. “A story is never complete.” – Jude Brigley

88. “The difference between real life and a story is that life has significance, while a story must have meaning. The former is not always apparent, while the latter always has to be, before the end.” – Vera Nazarian

89. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

90. “Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world.” – Robert McKee

91. “Story is a yearning meeting an obstacle.” – Robert Olen Butler

92. “There is no society that does not highly value fictional storytelling. Ever.” – Orson Scott Card

93. “If you focus on the humanity of your stories, your characters, then the horror will be stronger, scarier. Without humanity, the horror becomes nothing more than a tawdry parlor trick. All flash and no magic, and worst of all, no heart.” – Don Roff

94. “Whoever tells the best story shapes the culture.” – Erwin McManus

95. “Read a thousand books, and your words will flow like a river.” – Lisa See

96. “These were our bedtime stories. Tales that haunted our parents and made them laugh at the same time. We never understood them until we were fully grown, and they became our sole inheritance.” – Edwidge Danticat

97. “Stories are not like the real world; they aren't held back by what we know is false or true. What's important is how a story makes you feel inside.” –Tahir Shah

98. “Storytellers seldom let facts get in the way of perpetuating a legend, although a few facts add seasoning and make the legend more believable.” – John Alexander

99. “Story is a metaphor for life, and life is lived in time.” – Robert McKee

100. “A well-spun tale can transport listeners away from their humdrum lives and return them with an enlarged sense of the world.” – Jonathan Auxier

101. “You must never tell people their own stories. They have no interest in them, or they think they can tell them better themselves. Give them a stranger's life, and then they're content.” – Karen Lord

Let Us Know About Your Favorite Quotes about Storytelling

The power of storytelling is undeniable.

Whether it's for business, pleasure, or simply passing on knowledge, stories are a part of our lives.

The 101 quotes about storytelling compiled in this article show the importance of stories and their impact on us.

So next time you're feeling lost, pick up a book, watch a movie, or ask a friend to tell you their favorite story.

Which one of these quotes do you find most interesting and inspiring?

Let us know your favorite quote about storytelling in the comment section below.