The dictionary defines the word as: a peculiar trait, idiosyncrasy, original, individual, unusual, peculiar, odd, strange, eccentric and unpredictable.
In other words, quirky defines me.
That’s probably why the main characters in my novels are usually quirky, because let’s face it, every writer is narcissistic enough to always insert a piece of themselves into everything they write.
Or maybe it’s just me.
As I’m writing Sara Beth and The Magic Nails, my newest novel with five quirky main characters, I would take a two-hour break everyday from writing to watch my favorite movies featuring quirky girls I love and I can relate with the most.
So I thought today I would share with you my five favorite quirky women (in no particular order) that help inspire me in writing my novel.
1/ Amelie Poulin in Amelie
I love Amelie Poulain because she’s not just quirky, she has such a good heart that just wants to see other people happy. She may be shy, introvert and lives in her own reality but she goes out of her way to touch the lives of the people around her in the most inconspicuous and genius way. She even devises an elaborate plan just to meet the man she’s secretly in love with, the man who is just as much of an oddball as she is. And in turn, the people whose lives she touched help her to be brave and go after her own happiness. The movie just makes me all warm inside and gives me hope, that even oddballs can make a difference in the world, and of course find each other and fall in love.
2/ Summer Finn in 500 Days of Summer
I love Summer Finn not just because she’s played by my girl-crush Zooey Deschanel and because she’s an avid The Smiths fan. I love Summer because she reminds me of myself, and her relationship with Tom Hanson in this movie is the kind of loving but damaged, passionate but heartbreaking relationship that I think we all can relate to, the relationship we thought was the be-all-and-end-all and yet as it turns out, it just wasn’t the one we are willing to settle in. Summer is the kind of girl who does what she wants, says what she feels like and is not afraid to admit failures when she needs to. I love that about her. She makes me feel that it’s okay to not know what you want for a time, life is about the journey and not really about the destination.
3/ Claire Colburn in Elizabethtown
I love Claire Colburn not just because she’s outspoken and assertive, but also because she’s very creative, persuasive and she’s willing to take a chance on a total stranger she meets in a flight just because she finds him interesting. I also love her offbeat way of getting to know a man she finds interesting: instead of going the normal first date, they have an all-night phone conversation and finally meeting halfway in the morning to watch the sunrise. But the thing I love most about her is of course the effort she makes in guiding the grieving Drew Baylor home, by creating him a special “map”, complete with mixed CDs and interesting places to see and things to do. She makes me realize that sometimes it’s okay to take a chance in life, with someone you don’t really expect anything from.
4/ Sam in Garden State
I love Sam because she’s not only quirky, but she’s also a truly amazing girl. First, she admits openly that she likes to lie, even telling Andrew Largeman that she sometimes hears herself say something and thinks, ‘Wow, that wasn’t even remotely true’. Second, she can laugh at herself and her condition. She doesn’t let being epileptic stop her from living her life and enjoying it to the fullest. Third, she actually picks up a guy in the waiting room of a clinic by asking him to listen to The Shins. How is that not amazing? Sam, just like Claire Colburn in Elizabethtown, became the catalyst for change for the man who eventually falls in love with her. The movie inspires me to just laugh at myself and enjoy life, even if it’s filled with challenges
5/ Celine in Before Sunrise
I love Celine because she is idealistic and romantic, and she dares to take a chance on a romance that she knows isn’t going anywhere. She doesn’t let it stop her, even though she knows a future with the man she meets on the Euro train is wishful thinking and she’s enough of a realist to understand that – she decides to spend one night with him in Vienna anyway, not caring of what comes next, just excited for the adventure that lays ahead of her. I wish sometimes that I was more like her, I’m just too much of a control freak to live in such abandon. This movie of course has amazing conversations between Celine and Jesse, and even though it doesn’t end with the traditional Hollywood happy ending, this is still a cherished love story between two people who just happen to find each other at the right time.
Those are the quirky girls that inspire me as I continue writing Sara Beth and The Magic Nails.
Who are your favorite quirky characters?