“In most cultures, stories entail causality and goals, and so that’s what listeners expect when they hear a story. This expectation is so strong that the listener will use them when remembering the story, even if the story lacked these elements.”
–Daniel T. Willingham “The Privileged Status of Story” (2004)

“By telling stories, you objectify your own experience. You separate it from yourself. You pin down certain truths. You make up others. You start sometimes with an incident that truly happened, and you carry it forward by inventing incidents that did not in fact occur but that nonetheless help clarify and explain.”
–Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried (1990)

“Given the choice between trivial material brilliantly told versus profound material badly told, an audience will always choose the trivial told brilliantly. Master storytellers know how to squeeze life out of the least of things, while poor storytellers reduce the profound to the banal. You may have the insight of a Buddha, but if you cannot tell story, you ideas turn as dry as chalk.”
–Robert McKee, Story (1997)

“We dream in narrative, daydream in narrative, remember, anticipate, hope, despair, believe, doubt, plan, revise, criticize, construct, gossip, learn, hate and love by narrative.”
–Barbara Hardy, quoted in The New Yorker, October 20, 2003

“We exist in a fabric of personal stories. All culture, all civilization, is an artful web, a human puzzle, a colorful quilt patched together to lay over raw, indifferent nature. So I never wonder whether, if a tree falls in the forest, will anyone hear it. Rather, who will tell about it?”
–Spalding Gray, Sex and Death to the Age 14 (1986)

“We have, each of us, a life-story, an inner narrative — whose continuity, whose sense is our lives. It might be said that each of us constructs and lives, a ‘narrative’, and that this narrative is us, our identities. If we wish to know about a man, we ask ‘what is his story — his real, inmost story?’ — for each of us is a biography, a story. Each of us is a singular narrative, which is constructed, continually, unconsciously, by, through, and in us — through our perceptions, our feelings, our thoughts, our actions; and, not least, our discourse, our spoken narrations. Biologically, physiologically, we are not so different from each other; historically, as narratives — we are each of us unique. To be ourselves we must have ourselves — possess, if need be re-possess, our life stories. We must ‘recollect’ ourselves, recollect the inner drama, the narrative, of ourselves. A man needs such a narrative, a continuous inner narrative, to maintain his identity, his self.”
— Oliver Sacks, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat (1985)