April 8, 2012

Words That Make You Shiver

Filed under: Uncategorized — nascentnovelist @ 10:33 am
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I am an insect that dreamt he was a man and loved it, but now that dream is over, and the insect is awake.

Some lines stay with you. They could be in a movie, a book, a song, but the mix of words and sentiment come together so well that it sends shivers down you spine.

A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.

It might be lighthearted, or deadly serious, but you remember it. Citations of these lines will make you smile, or tear up, or shiver. Something about these lines just stick.

God isn’t supposed to be a hack horror writer.

So what is it about these lines that force a reaction from us? I believe it has something to do with build up. It’s not so much the words themselves, but the stories they embody. The lines I remember are usually the ones that contain the story, or at least a major part of it.

Now for wrath. Now for ruin. And the red dawn!

Or, of course, the lines that define a character.

Well, my days of not taking you seriously are certainly coming to a middle.

Regardless, they are lines that stand out because they contain much more than the words themselves. They tell the story.

What words make you shiver? And can you place each quote in this post?



  1. “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”


    “The world outside the restaurant’s windows, beyond words in a red plastic Cantonese neither of them could read, was the color of a silver coin, misplaced for decades in a drawer.”

    And I’ll get back to this post tomorrow, now it’s off for stick meat.

    Comment by gaute — April 8, 2012 @ 11:09 am | Reply

    • “The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

      That is beautiful!

      Comment by nascentnovelist — April 8, 2012 @ 11:18 am | Reply

    • First one is Neuromancer (of course!) but what’s the second one from?

      Comment by Graeme Lennon — April 8, 2012 @ 12:48 pm | Reply

      • Also Gibson and from Spook Country, but not the opening line.

        Comment by Gaute — April 8, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

  2. “Sometimes,” he sighed, “I think the things I remember are more real than the things I see. ”
    ― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

    I spend so much time inside my head that this quotation resonates with me.

    Comment by Robin Hawke — April 8, 2012 @ 11:45 am | Reply

    • Oh, I like how it flows. I never read that book, so I don’t really know the context, but it’s a good line.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — April 9, 2012 @ 4:42 pm | Reply

  3. Sure I could place each quote, but I’d be cheating and googling a couple of them. You start off with the Fly and end with Firefly, but I guess that’s a coincidence. And the LotR quote is from the film, not the book.

    I’d like to throw in a few more, maybe a bit more than just single lines.
    The St. Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V, especially the last and most quoted part. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers…

    Now, all yours are from films or TV so I’ll go there as well.

    The last transmission from HAL in 2010: “ALL THESE WORLDS ARE YOURS—EXCEPT EUROPA. ATTEMPT NO LANDINGS THERE.” Since the first time I saw the movie that line kind of stuck with me.

    I also love the voice over on Apocalypse Now, especially the very first part as Cpt. Willard is drunk in his room. Put on the film, close your eyes and just listen to the voice over as The End by the Doors fade out and Martin Sheen starts talking. That voice over sets the mood for the hole film and sends shivers down my back.

    I guess that’s my favorite.

    Comment by gaute — April 9, 2012 @ 6:53 am | Reply

    • Yeah, I went movie quotes all out because those were the ones that hit me first. But there are some really great lines I know from books too. None that beat the Neuromancer quote you picked though.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — April 9, 2012 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

  4. And I completely forgot this one.

    Comment by gaute — April 9, 2012 @ 6:58 am | Reply

  5. “These eyes of mine – what wonders they have seen.” (can’t remember)
    “He was clearly not just insane. He had passed the brink of insanity at two-hundred miles per hour and was still accelerating.” (Terry Pratchett)
    “Chocolate bread! That is how they start their day – things can only go downhill from there. By lunch-time you’d be fucking everybody you know!” (Dylan Moran about the french)

    Comment by Rob — April 9, 2012 @ 6:20 pm | Reply

    • Actually – got me thinking – for me certain words and names sounds much better than others – they just sound well put together in my head, no idea why; Riptide, Shatter, Slaycroft, Cravenheart, Raven, many others.

      Comment by Rob — April 9, 2012 @ 9:03 pm | Reply

      • Cravenheart. Says so much with so little. I like it.

        Comment by nascentnovelist — April 10, 2012 @ 8:29 pm

    • Dylan Moran is King! I read this comment and instantly put on Black Books.

      Comment by nascentnovelist — April 10, 2012 @ 8:30 pm | Reply

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